A Bust for DC, However There’s Reason for Hope Next Weekend

Pissed that you didn’t get your 5 to 8″ in DC? Take a number, get in line, call your local Congressional representative. Forecast models are not perfect nor are meteorologists who pour over the tea leaves wanting to pull their hair out trying to make a forecast.

The high resolution North American model (NAM) below depicts snow showers redeveloping tomorrow afternoon across the Baltimore and Washington Metro Areas where a coating to 2″ of additional accumulation is possible.

February is traditionally our snowiest month of the winter and the pattern is looking wild next weekend as a ridge is forecast to build across the western United States while a  trough builds across the eastern half of the nation with arctic air intruding from Canada.

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Cold December Continues with Potential Coastal Storm Next Week

Strong La Nina winters on average have not typically produced much in the way of snow across the Washington Area during the winter season.  With that said, there are a few outlier years, such as the winter of 1995-96 (a moderate strength La Nina winter).  The colder than average pattern that we are currently experiencing thanks to a persistent trough or dip in the jet stream over the eastern United States is providing a window of time for some potential fun along the east coast next week.

Highs on  Friday and Saturday will rise to near 60 degrees until the next cold front moves through our region on Sunday dropping temperatures back down to slightly below seasonal averages. Several waves of low pressure may develop along the Gulf coast during the middle to later half of next week, potentially becoming coastal storms off of the Mid-Atlantic coastline.

The next four images are from the Ensemble model runs from the GFS, Canadian and European Models (courtesy WxBell). Each of the ensemble models suggest that snow may fall somewhere from the Mid-Atlantic to New England during the middle to later half of next week. The exact track of any storm systems that do form and how quickly they strengthen will determine whether or not the Washington Area receives rain, snow or nothing at all.

GFS Ensemble for potential Snowfall Accumulation through Thursday Evening (18 December):

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Watching the Mid-Atlantic Coast on Monday

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.

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