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.
Now is the time to plan for prolonged and widespread power outages along and west of the Blue Ridge mountains.
The first major winter storm of the season is getting ready to wallop the Washington Region with sleet and freezing rain beginning overnight Wednesday and continuing beyond the morning rush hour on Thursday. Cold air will be tough to scour out along and west of the Blue Ridge mountains throughout the day on Thursday where Ice Storm Warnings are likely to be issued by the National Weather Service. It is these areas where ice accretion on trees and power lines of up to a half-inch, combined with gusty winds behind the storm, could lead to widespread power outages.