Heavy Freezing Rain Moving in to the Area… Delayed Opening Tomorrow?


Snowfall totals (image above courtesy NWS Washington) from trained spotters and the general public as of this evening:  A general two to four inches of snow fell across the immediate Washington Metropolitan Area.

Heavy Freezing Rain is currently moving in from the south… treacherous road conditions (secondary streets) should be expected through the first half of the Tuesday morning rush hour.

HRRR- (High Resolution Rapid Refresh) Model showing freezing rain in pink colors.

The image below is the future cast radar prediction at 3 AM… notice heavy freezing rain falling across the immediate Metropolitan Area.


4 AM — Pockets of Freezing Rain still falling.


5 AM – The ground is so cold, it wouldn’t surprise me if temperatures are still hovering right at 32 degrees in most of our northern and western suburbs.


Let’s look at the prediction for surface temperatures at between 4 and 6AM: (HRRR model, images courtesy Weatherbell)

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Timing the Change Over to Freezing Rain

The following images are from the HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh) model showing the timing of the change over from snow (blue) to freezing rain (pink). Time stamps are in the upper right hand corner of each image. Images courtesy Weatherbell.
hrrr_ref_maryland_2 hrrr_ref_maryland_4 hrrr_ref_maryland_6 hrrr_ref_maryland_7

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Snowfall Reports & Updated Totals


Snowfall totals have way over-achieved from Fredericksburg to southern Maryland:  The image above are reports from the public and trained spotters as of this morning (image courtesy NWS: http://www.weather.gov/lwx/pnsmap?type=snow)

Here is what may be on the ground before the change over to freezing rain (Image courtesy NWS/Washington):


Total storm accumulations of 10″ are not out of the realm of reality in areas that have already received 5 to 7″.

The models are clearly under-estimating how potent the cold air was out ahead of this storm system.  This worries me that our icing potential may be higher as a prolonged period of freezing rain could stack up to a quarter of an inch or more before the change-over to rain Tuesday morning.