Snow should break out during the pre-dawn hours on Saturday and then change over to a mix of sleet and freezing rain during the day. The precipitation amounts will be light but extreme northern Virginia and northern Maryland fare the best chance at receiving one to three inches of snow before the change over to sleet and freezing rain.
Ice will be the most menacing aspect of this storm with the north-central Shenandoah Valley and sheltered valleys east of the Blue Ridge possibly picking up to a quarter of an inch of ice. I won’t be shocked to see Winter Storm Watches issued for these areas during the overnight hours.
The immediate Washington Metropolitan Area should generally pick up to a tenth of an inch of ice, but areas that see a pro-longed period of freezing drizzle or freezing rain on Saturday afternoon and evening could wind up with slightly higher amounts. Confidence is high that southern Maryland and north-central Virginia including the northern-neck will see flurries that will quickly change over to freezing rain and then plain rain with temperatures likely rising into the middle thirties.
Here is the latest European Model showing Ice accretion (accumulation) potential:
Next up are the Ensembles for snowfall accumulation:
GFS has been the most consistent with showing a general 1 to 3″ across northern Maryland where precipitation should hold on the longest.
The European Ensembles are showing less consistency but favor northern Maryland where the arctic air will be the thickest.
Digesting the European images above, it appears that the interstate 66 corridor is the border line between a dusting and where a solid one to two inches could accumulate. I based my maps above on a blend of the models.
I’ll update my maps tomorrow evening if I see any drastic changes in snow and ice potential.