Travel Alert: Blizzard Conditions, Severe Thunderstorms and High Winds Threaten East this Weekend

Those of you with travel plans this upcoming weekend need to pay close attention to the forecast across the eastern United States. Several disturbances in the jet stream are forecast to merge (phase) together across the Midwest producing a potential blizzard with heavy rain, high winds and even some tornadoes along the eastern side of the storm’s track. Snow could even accumulate across portions of the Mid South and southern Appalachians.

If the current track of this system verifies, the big cities from DC to Boston would receive very heavy rain and high winds. Severe thunderstorms may also pose a threat of tornadoes in some areas (to be determined).

The image below (courtesy Pivotal Weather) shows the latest European Forecast model of how this storm could pan out:

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Monday 5:30 AM Update

Good morning, here is your 5:30 AM update:

High impact Nor’easter still slated to slam the Washington Metropolitan Area this evening through Tuesday.  Thunder-Snow and sleet is possible overnight with gusty winds (40 mph +) and snowfall/sleet rates of one to two inches per hour during the overnight hours!

The exact snow/snow-sleet/sleet-rain line is still in question but it is important to remember that where this line sets up, one won’t have to travel too far to go from lighter accumulations to significant accumulations. This is why it is prudent to be prepared for this major high-impact winter storm (the potential loss of power) than to focus too much on any slight shifts back and forth between where this line sets up. Please continue to monitor the official forecast from the National Weather Service as those of you under Winter Weather Advisories could still be upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning later today.

As of 5AM No changes to my snowfall map:

  • After looking at the all-important European Model I am sticking with this for now. Any update to this map won’t be made until this afternoon.


  • The area of highest uncertainty in my opinion continues to be those of you located in the “4 to 8” and “1 to 4” zone in the map below.  I can see a situation where this zone gets shrunk very close together meaning the short west to east distance from Woodbridge, VA to Waldorf, MD could see a snowfall gradient of 10″ or more! 

This storm has a lot of moisture to work with:

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Highly Uncertain Forecast South and East of DC

It is premature to post a snow map until Sunday morning in the Washington Region as until the exact track is pinned down we have precipitation type issues (where does the rain/snow line set up) during the event.

For those of you north and west of Washington and Baltimore the latest forecast modeling is still showing a significant snow storm. For those of you south and east, this could still wind up being a significant storm. 

The latest European operational model from overnight brings the “540 line” right into the District, meaning if this latest operational is correct (I will remind you that many of the ensembles keep the “540 line” south and east of Washington) the northern and western suburbs receive the heaviest snowfall accumulations while areas south and east get slop (wet snow) going over to a mix and ending as light snow.

Latest 00z operational European model showing 2am Tuesday (Monday night):

  • Notice the 540 line (blue line labeled 540)… that is the “rain/snow” line.

Latest 00z operational European model showing 8am Tuesday:

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