Update on Today’s Major Winter Storm | Watching Freezing Rain Potential Closely

After looking at the latest forecast models, confidence continues to remain low in regards to how much sleet and or freezing rain falls from the Blue Ridge and Catoctin mountains eastward toward the western suburbs of Baltimore and Washington. “The Devil is in the Details” and there will be a lot of “now-casting” going across these areas as everything will depend on temperature profiles.  I’m most concerned about today’s freezing rain potential (more below). 

The image below (courtesy WxBell) is the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model showing the future-cast precipitation type through the duration of this storm. Blue represents snow, orange represents sleet and pink represents freezing rain.

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Tuesday Update: Major Snow Storm for Some, Major Ice Storm for Others?

This is a very low confidence forecast as the latest forecast models continue to indicate a more inland track of the low pressure system which is increasing the threat of sleet and freezing rain and drastically cutting down on snowfall accumulations! My map below includes Snow, Sleet (frozen rain drops) and Freezing Rain.

Any deviation in track of the area of low pressure further to the west or back to the east will have a drastic impact on whether we are digging out from snow or sleet (or both), or losing power from ice accretion from freezing rain.

Here’s a look at the latest forecast models and what they are showing for potential snowfall accumulations:

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Monday Update on Wednesday’s Winter Storm

The forecast models continue to disagree on the exact track of the coastal storm and how quickly it strengthens. For those of you who wanted all snow in the immediate Metro Area, the models have trended toward a more inland track bringing the rain/snow line right into the 95 corridor. There is still time for models to adjust the track further east and any shift  eastward even by 25 miles would have a significant impact on how much snow, sleet and freezing rain falls in your neighborhood. For those of you in southern Maryland this is looking like mainly a rain event.

The latest North American Model (NAM)

The NAM model (image below courtesy Tropical Tidbits) tracks the storm system from near Raleigh, NC toward the NJ coastline and depicts a mix on Wednesday changing over to rain with little to no snowfall accumulations across the interstate 95 corridor. 

If the above track verifies, there would be little to no snowfall accumulation across the 95 corridor!

The Global Forecast System (next image, courtesy Tropical Tidbits) has been the most bullish for a significant accumulating snow in DC because it keeps the track of this storm system off of the NC coastline before it moves northeast and eventually out to sea. 

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