Record Shattering Cold Heading our Way & Update on Prospects for our first Significant Winter Storm

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Check out this gorgeous sunset with our National Monuments glowing on the mall in Washington as the sun sets over Arlington, Virginia (image courtesy National Parks).

Think it’s cold now? We haven’t seen anything yet as the Coldest air mass of the season and possibly the coldest we have seen here in Washington since the winter of 2014/15 pays our area a visit during the middle to later half of next week.

Time Frame:   Wednesday Night through Friday night with lows potentially dipping into the single digits and teens and highs possibly holding in the lower to middle 20s!

Prospects for Snow:

The following two images are from the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) showing potential snow on the ground by Christmas morning.  Notice that according to this medium-range American model, there is a pretty good chance we will have snow on the ground between late next week and Christmas. The second image is just zoomed in on the Washington Area so you can see more detail…. anyone rooting for ensemble #9?

gefs_snow_ens_ma_65.pnggefs_snow_ens_washdc_65.png

Now let’s take a look at the European Ensembles:

  • The first two images simply show ensemble members 2 through 26 & 27 through 51 (remember the ensembles are created by tweaking initial conditions slightly in the 1st operational run and then re-running it some 50 additional times).  Consider the ensembles a “Witchhunt for consensus”.  When all the results look similar… then you have a great deal of confidence that something is going to occur in the world of weather.

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eps_snow_50_washdc_41.png

The image below just ‘averages out’ the two images above

eps_snow_m_ma_39.png

I know I said originally that I was watching the 13th through the 16th and I remain curious to see if something like a wave of low pressure develops along the arctic front on Wednesday (December 14th) which could touch off a burst of snow or widespread snow showers… Remains to be seen.

If we don’t receive our first accumulating snow event by Wednesday, the next opportunity (as I will discuss in my next post) will be the following weekend (December 17th and 18th).

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