Snow and ice are in the forecast for D.C. this week

    Futurecast depicting the chance for snow and a wintry mix in our area Wednesday morning.

    While precipitation with light rain and snow has been well south of D.C. on Saturday, additional chances for wintry precipitation exist looking ahead to this week.

    We don’t want to leave out our first possibility tomorrow, which appears extremely light. There may be enough cold air at the onset of precipitation for a few sleet pellets, or graupel, but precipitation will quickly change over to rain tomorrow evening.

    This week, a system will develop in the Deep South Tuesday and slide towards the Mid Atlantic by Wednesday. A strong area of high pressure will settle over the northeast, ensuring a cool northeasterly flow at the surface east of the mountains setting up the wedge of cold air. Precipitation will ride over this layer Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

    European ensemble guidance depicting the strong ridge over the northeast and developing low over the southeast next Wednesday morning.

    At this point, snow is expected at the onset of precipitation in the morning hours, changing over to a period of sleet and freezing rain later in the day and eventually rain by Wednesday night. Areas to the north and west of D.C. have the highest confidence for snow and ice. This is also evident in both our local National Weather Service office and Weather Prediction Center outlooks for wintry weather.

    In the past few days, ensemble guidance has been steadily showing multiple inches of snow before a changeover. Speaking of change, the guidance will certainly do so over the next few days. Any difference in the position and strength of the surface high, the timing of the mid-level energy or a multitude of other factors in play will lead to different outcomes.

    American ensemble members for next Wednesday morning depicting the mess of snow, sleet and freezing rain over the DC area.

    These kinds of systems are notoriously difficult to forecast for in the Mid Atlantic and D.C. area so be sure to stay with us as our area certainly has the chance for travel disruptions for the middle of the week.

    Risk levels for the DC area next Wednesday. At this point, icing appears to be the highest threat by the afternoon and evening.

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