The Nightmare Before Thanksgiving? Odds are Increasing of a Major Snowstorm impacting the DC Area on Wednesday.

Currently the Global Forecast System (GFS) and European forecast models both show a coastal storm developing off of Cape Hatteras on Tuesday night and moving up the Northeast coastline on Wednesday.

The eventual exact track of this system is still subject to change with any shift to the west or east having a major impact on who receives rain versus snow or whether we see much in the way of any precipitation at all on Wednesday.

Because Wednesday is one of the busiest travel days of the year, I would urge anyone with travel plans to monitor the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service as you make your arrangements. If current trends continue, Winter Storm Watches could be issued as early as Monday afternoon.

Based solely on this morning’s forecast models (the eventual track of this storm may change) let’s take a look at some potential impacts across The National Capital Area:

** This is only a Preliminary Outlook based on current forecast model data (subject to change)**
** This is only a Preliminary Outlook based on current forecast model data (subject to change)**
Latest GFS model forecast (weatherbell.com)
Latest GFS model forecast 1 PM Wednesday (weatherbell.com)
Latest GFS model forecast (weatherbell.com)
Latest GFS model forecast 7PM Wednesday (weatherbell.com)
Latest GFS model forecast (weatherbell.com)
Latest GFS model forecast 1AM Thanksgiving Day (weatherbell.com)
Latest GFS model forecast (weatherbell.com)
Latest GFS model forecast 7AM Thanksgiving Day (weatherbell.com)

The latest snowfall accumulation forecast (European Forecast Model) has been raising eyebrows in the weather blogs this morning:

Latest ECMWF snowfall potential (weatherbell.com)
Latest ECMWF snowfall accumulation potential (weatherbell.com)

Some Key Players to Watch:

– A clipper system will be diving south out of Canada into the Midwest on Tuesday.
– The further south the clipper drops, the closer to the coast the Nor’easter will ultimately track as a deeper upper level trough would allow more phasing.
– If the clipper ejects further east in track, we may see a shift further east in track of the coastal storm which could ultimately spare much of the DC Area from a high-impact accumulating snow event.
– If the current storm track verifies, the heavy, wet snow would likely close schools and government offices, as well as snarl traffic for hours on Wednesday.
– If the current European Forecast model verifies, the immediate Washington Area would be digging out from our first major snow storm with 6 to 14″ of snow on the ground (White Thanksgiving anyone?).
– Very cold air will pour into the Mid-Atlantic on the heels of this potential storm and Black Friday will be quite cold with highs over potential snow pack not getting above freezing.
– For the sake of Thanksgiving travel, hopefully the track will shift much further east, sparing our region…. again this post is only for situational awareness that while not certain, the potential exists for our first major winter storm of the season. Stay Tuned!

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