The arctic air mass headed our way will make this the coldest Christmas, likely since the late 1980s. The storm system will come in two pieces for the DC Region, mostly rain tonight and Thursday with accumulating Snow across the higher elevations to our west through midday Thursday. The arctic front will barrel through the region on Friday morning accompanied by damaging wind gusts in excess of 50 mph and the potential for snow squalls.
The Trusted European Model
The High-Resolution North American Model
Washington DC Area (NAM Model)
The image below shows accumulating snow across the northern Shenandoah Valley on Thursday morning with freezing rain and sleet also mixing in before the wintry precipitation changes over to rain. The DC Metro will see mainly cold rain during the entirety of Thursday with rising temperatures; the rain will fall heavy at times!
Arctic Front Barrels Through Region on Friday with Snow Squalls Possible
The best chance of a heavy burst of snow is between 8AM and 1PM across the Washington Region. Temperatures above the surface support snow and if the high-resolution modeling is accurate, a quick dusting to one inch of snow is likely resulting in a flash freeze on area roadways. The National Weather Service may even have to issue Winter Weather Advisories on Friday across the DC Metro as travel conditions would deteriorate rapidly due to the 30 degree drop in temperatures in such a short period of time.
Timing the Plunge
Wind Chills Will Drop Into Single Digits Early Friday Afternoon
Potential Snowfall Accumulations
The image below shows potential snowfall accumulations across the entire DC Region Thursday morning through Friday afternoon.
The National Blend of Models Increasing the Chance of a White Christmas (all it takes is 1″) for Some
Wind Chill Forecast 1PM Friday through 1PM Christmas Day
Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays (whatever you celebrate)! Be safe on Friday as conditions will deteriorate rapidly. Best time to get out of town is today if you want to beat the weather.