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Winter storm likely for parts of the Southeast; little impact expected for DC area

Bryce Rosenau, 13, left, makes a snow fort with his brother Blake, 10, and sister Elise, 15, right, during a snowstorm Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Appleton, Wis. (Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent via AP)

Measurable snow has become less and less likely for the DC area this weekend into early next week. While a potent winter storm still appears likely, the southward trend has continued this week and the highest likelihood for snow continues to be targeted over southwest Virginia and western North Carolina.

The system will progress from California today and move into the Southern Plains tomorrow. Winter Storm Watches are already up from New Mexico and Texas, east to Oklahoma and Arkansas. Upwards of 3-6 inches of snow with locally higher amounts will be possible there. Icing may also become an issue with a few tenths of an inch forecast.

Additional Winter Storm Watches are anticipated for North Carolina and Southwest Virginia later today. Some locations in the North Carolina Piedmont and Foothills may be the hardest hit where over a foot of snow may fall.

Best local chances for snow

High pressure situated from the Ohio Valley to parts of the Mid Atlantic will push cold, dry air into the DC Area. The northern fringe of the winter storm will be battling this dry air Sunday into Monday morning.

If there is any kind of northward trend, areas such as Culpeper, eastward to Fredericksburg and extreme Southern Maryland may see some snow. At this point snow doesn’t appear likely, even for our southern zones. With a 1034+mb high just north of town, it will be very difficult to overtake that amount of dry air at the surface. For those that have travel plans along I-81 or even I-95 Sunday into Monday, you may want to alter them now to stay ahead of this storm. Travel conditions will deteriorate quickly starting Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Can we at least get a break from the cold?

November was 3 degrees below normal, and after a brief warm-up earlier this week, we’ve been right back in the fridge. We’ll continue this cold spell through the middle of next week. We’ll moderate some later next week with highs back in the mid to upper 40s Thursday and may be pushing into the 50s ahead of the next cold front Friday.

Annual precipitation record?

We need 0.56” of precipitation in order to have the record annual precipitation. This was set in 1889 with 61.33”. With 26 days left in the year, DC sits are 60.78”. I believe we will have a very good chance to break this record next Friday into Saturday. If not, it’s really going to come down to the wire! If we’re this close, we might as well break it!

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