Wednesday Update on Prospects for Light Snow Thursday Evening

Looking at this morning’s latest forecast model brings back memories of the dreaded “DC area split” where everything goes wrong and snow falls east and west of us with flurries and a dusting at best in the immediate DC Metro.

While this morning’s models are showing some light snow impacting the area between 7PM Thursday and 1AM Friday, I am concerned that the mountains will block some of the moisture and that the coastal storm that develops will rob some of the energy (lift) giving our area only a few hours of potential light snow and only resulting in a dusting at best for most locations.  

Latest High Resolution North American Model model (image courtesy TropicalTidbits):

  • Very short window of time of some light snow before coastal storm begins to strengthen and robs us of lift (upward motion in atmosphere to produce snow).

NAM_06z.gif

Latest high Resolution NAM model Snowfall Accumulation (image courtesy WxBell):

hires_snow_washdc_55.png

Latest Global Forecast System (GFS) model:

  • Showing the same scenario very short window of time for some light snow

GFS_06z.gif

Latest GFS Snowfall Accumulation:

gfs_6hr_snow_acc_washdc_10.png

Latest European (ECMWF) model: 

  • 7pm Thursday (images below show precipitation amounts in liquid)

ecmwf_slp_precip_maryland_9.png

  • 1am Friday (image below showing precipitation amounts in liquid)

ecmwf_slp_precip_maryland_10.png

Latest Euro Snowfall Accumulation:

  • A light dusting at best in the DC Area with higher amounts to our east in southern New Jersey and of course to our west in the mountains.

ecmwf_tsnow_maryland_12.png

Future runs of the high resolution models later this evening will be able to shed more light in greater detail of how this system evolves, but right now I am having a hard time seeing how a widespread solid inch of snow falls in the DC Area.

It is possible to squeeze out an inch of snow from very little moisture, so if the snow holds off until later in the evening (say well after rush hour ends) when temperatures are colder (upper 20s) that will increase the potential for better accumulation potential.

With that said, as of now, I think a light dusting to at most a half-inch of snow is looking like the most likely scenario.

Weekend Storm? 

Regarding the storm system on Saturday that is forecast to move through the South… there is still a great deal of uncertainty to how far north that system eventually tracks.  Its possible that lower southern Maryland and Fredericksburg are on the northern edge of the precipitation shield with some light accumulations while DC remains cloudy. Any bump north in track would greatly change the weekend forecast. I will be watching this evening’s European model closely.

One thought on “Wednesday Update on Prospects for Light Snow Thursday Evening

  1. Andy

    The much dreaded “donut hole” with widespread snow everywhere but for DC. There have been that I have thought DC was cursed by the weather gods. Though I believe being DC snow nuts, we have had more than our share. For example, between 1979 and 2016 (37 years), there were seven 16+ inch snowfalls, even at stupid National Airport. Between 1900 and 1979 (80 years), only one!

    Like

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