Washington, DC

Winter Hazard Causes Heavy Snowfall in Washington D.C.

Bryan Dijkhuizen

Throughout Wednesday, high pressure will move offshore as a cold front moves in from the Ohio River Valley, forecasters say.

During the late afternoon and evening of Wednesday, the cold front will move over the Mid-Atlantic.

On the back end of the front, an area of low pressure is forecast to form and move northeastward, bringing the possibility of wintry precipitation to the lower Mississippi River Valley on Thursday night and into Friday.

High pressure is forecast to return for a short period on Saturday before being replaced by another system on Sunday.

Today, broadband of high pressure has developed across the Mid-Atlantic, resulting in an abundance of sunlight.

Despite the brightness, low temperatures dominate, with a substantial amount of snow covering the ground over most of the region.

Temperatures could temporarily climb above freezing from lunchtime until mid-afternoon today, before dropping again below freezing later in the afternoon.

This will result in greater refreeze for surfaces that have not been treated tonight. Furthermore, when the high-pressure system moves offshore, the southerly flow will intensify.

During the night of Wednesday, gusty gusts in the aftermath of a cold front over/near the Allegheny Highlands may reach or surpass 50 mph.

By Thursday, a shortwave trough will be developing over the Central Plains, while a surface low will be developing over the lower Mississippi Valley.

In light of the jet stream's current orientation, which is Southwest to Northeast, the pattern seems to be suggestive of a Miller B type system, in which emerging low phases with and transfers its energy to a growing low off the coast.

In this particular arrangement, the guidance has been rather constant. The general setup seems to be in reasonable agreement, with a plowable snowfall expected for most of the region, according to the latest guidance.

Snowfall at the level of a warning cannot be ruled out, but it will rely on factors that are not yet clear based on the most recent information.

Depending on how powerful the low-pressure system becomes on Friday, very gusty winds may be possible behind it as it departs.

According to some forecasts, wind gusts of more than 50 mph may be experienced.

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