Washington, DC

Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Most of the Washington D.C. Area

Bryan Dijkhuizen

Through tonight, a cold front will continue to travel eastward through the area. As low pressure moves along the border, the front is forecast to stall over the region into Thursday.

The low-pressure system will pass just south of the area late Thursday night into Friday morning, bringing wintry precipitation with it. A Canadian high-pressure system will form above on Saturday, ahead of a cold front that will arrive on Sunday.

The cold front will move through on Sunday night, and a Canadian high-pressure system will form over the United States early the next week.

For the Thursday night system, the guidance has been basically steady. As a weak surface high-pressure system rises above, cooler air will flow in behind a cold front on Thursday morning.

The next system, on the other hand, will be just behind it. A very powerful jet max and shortwave in the northern stream of the jet will slam into the central and eastern United States and the Midwest on Thursday.

By the end of the day, a trough will have formed in the upper level of the atmosphere across the Midwest. By the end of the day, a surface low-pressure system will form far to our south over the southern United States.

Our region will be affected by the shortwave and jet max on Thursday night, as the surface low intensifies and moves northeastward across North Carolina Thursday evening and off the coast of North Carolina on Thursday night. This signal looks to be of the Miller B type low-frequency range.

The shortwave's course will be far enough south to place our location in the favorable zone of the mid-and upper-level jet, which will allow precipitation to develop in our area. As a result of the coastal low, there may be further lifted, or at the very least some low-level frontogenetical forcing around 850Mb.

Snow should be the predominant precipitation type due to the presence of sufficient cold and dry air, and snow accumulations are expected to be widespread across the CWA.

Winter weather advisories have been issued for most of the area, with 2 to 4 inches of snow anticipated for much of the region. Bands of heavier snow are expected Thursday evening, with accumulation rates of up to 1 inch per hour not being ruled out.

In the event that heavier bands remain over a specific location, greater totals of 4 to 6 inches cannot be ruled out, and the threat of a short-fuse upgrading to a Winter Storm Warning may be necessary.

Winter Storm Warnings are in force for the Alleghenies and the Blue Ridge Mountains, with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected at higher altitudes.

Fortunately, this storm will move out of the region by Friday morning, with just isolated upslope snow showers expected along and west of the Allegheny Front.

However, with temperatures below freezing, there will be problems with snow-covered surfaces that haven't been properly treated.

The arrival of a Canadian high-pressure system, as well as the gradient between the high and the leaving low, will result in blustery and frigid weather.

The high-pressure system will grow above on Friday night. Winds will lessen, but the weather will remain chilly.

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