Travel Nearly Impossible Thursday as High-Impact Winter Storm Blasts DC Area

Latest Snow and Sleet Accumulation Potential Map

This will be a high-impact winter storm with a crippling sleet and/or freezing rain event along and east of Interstate 95.  For those of you in the 6 to 10″ area of my map below — this is mainly a snow event .  Elsewhere, precipitation will begin as a period of accumulating snow before changing to sleet  and/or freezing rain.

The million dollar question remains whether we see mostly sleet (ice pellets) or freezing rain (liquid that falls and freezes on everything).

Ice Accumulations from Freezing Rain could be Crippling along Interstate 95

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Breaking: High Impact Snow and Ice Storm Headed for DC Area

The National Weather Service will likely issue Winter Storm Watches today for the entire Washington Region for significant snow and ice depending upon your exact location Wednesday night through Friday morning.

I give this event a snow plow rating of disruptive as I expect snow-covered roadways on Thursday morning with temperatures in the middle to upper 20s.

Snow will begin to mix with and change over to Sleet and Freezing Rain before transitioning to an Ice Storm with Freezing Rain likely across much of the region, mainly east of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Ice amounts could be crippling with over a quarter-inch of ice accretion from Freezing Rain causing scattered to widespread power outages along and east of the Interstate 95 corridor and nearly impossible travel. 

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Another Wintry Mess on Thursday However Snowfall Accumulation Amounts Remain Uncertain

Thursday is looking like a mess across the DC Region as another potent, moisture-rich, winter storm moves our way.  All of the forecast models start the DC area with accumulating snow Wednesday night through Thursday morning before a change over to either sleet or freezing rain occurs. There is the potential for significant accumulations of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

GFS Ensemble (American) showing 30 ensembles (opinions) for snowfall potential:

Next up is the Canadian ensemble model which shows quite a spread in snowfall accumulation:

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