Jury is Out on Precipitation Type Late This Weekend

The first real shot of some cold air will infiltrate the Washington Metropolitan Area tomorrow night as the first in a long series of cold fronts moves across the DC Area.


The image above, courtesy TropicalTidbits.com shows temperatures falling sharply into the middle 20s on Thursday night with highs on Friday likely holding in the middle to upper 30s with breezy conditions.

An area of low pressure may develop in Texas on Saturday night and then skirt along a cold front stalled to our south late this weekend (Sunday night).  

There is currently little consensus as to whether we start out as snow and then change over to a wintry mix or if we end up starting out as sleet and then quickly change over to rain.

Here are the latest operational GFS and Canadian models:  

Notice the GFS keeps the wintry mix well west of the DC Metro with mainly a cold rain event Sunday night into Monday.


The latest Canadian has a colder solution which would produce some accumulating snow across our area before a change over to a wintry Mix (if it were to be the correct model):


European Ensembles (slightly tweaking initial numerical inputs and then running the same model 50 times) gives you multiple “outputs”.

Ensemble 2 through 26


Ensemble 27 through 51


Notice that some ensemble members show no snow to several inches across our area.

The “Average” of the 50 Ensemble Models above


I will provide more updates to come as we get closer to this first event (we are heading into a stormier pattern next week with additional opportunities for some winter events).

Keep in mind that most of the Forecast Ensembles are forecasting a brutally cold arctic blast late next week (December 15th-18th time frame).  

Some of the ensembles suggest low temperatures could flirt with the single digits and teens with highs holding in the lower to middle 20s here in the DC Metropolitan Area!  


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