Steady rain will expand in coverage across the DC region this evening and will continue through the overnight hours with some locations south and east of Washington potentially picking upwards of 1 to 2 inches of rain. The image below (courtesy Tropical Tidbits) shows a low pressure system rapidly moving across our area with rain before bombing out off the New England coastline and dropping well over a foot of snow in parts of New Hampshire and Maine. The image below begins at 9PM this evening and runs through 7AM Sunday.
Rain will pull out of the region early on Saturday morning and skies will being to clear out. Gusty NW winds will drive wind chills down into the 20s both Saturday and Sunday as high temperatures struggle to reach the lower to middle 40s.
Potential Snow Event? Watching the Mid-Atlantic Coastline on Monday
All eyes will then turn to the Mid-Atlantic coastline on Monday as the next storm system tries to form along the North Carolina coast. The big question remains how close to the coast does this storm system form and where does it track? Cold air will be in place region-wide so any any precipitation would fall in the form of snow.
The latest European Ensemble model (image below courtesy WxBell) shows the uncertainty in where the low pressure system forms off of Cape Hatteras and how close to the coast does it track.
There is some adequate blocking in the larger scale pattern over the north Atlantic ocean so this system is certainly something to watch. Most indications currently suggest that the storm system will slip out to sea, sparing our region from seeing our first snowfall, however the models are by no means in agreement on just how close this system tracks to the coast. A track closer to the coast could produce an accumulating snowfall across parts of the Mid Atlantic.
The latest European Ensembles (courtesy WxBell) currently shows mostly a miss for our region, although I sure do like the looks of ensemble number 42 (quite the beautiful outlier).
The latest Canadian Ensembles also show a miss for our region:
The latest GFS Ensemble also depict a miss for our region
The Bottom Line:
I’m hopeful that this system forms closer to the coast, rapidly strengthens and phases with the upper-level low pressure system sooner than later because the overall upper-level synoptic pattern is favorable for east coast storminess with blocking over the north Atlantic ocean and a ridge of high pressure dominating the west coast of the United States.
With that said, I have seen strong La Nina winters (like the one we are currently in) where snow storms slam New England and impact the Richmond and Tidewater area while missing the DC Metro. I’ll of course update you if things begin to look more interesting over the next 24 to 48 hours.