Freezing Rain Redeveloping this Evening along Interstate 95

Here are the Latest Snowfall Reports (a bust with mainly sleet in Metro DC) from the NWS Database

As has been the trend this winter, the far northwest suburbs received a bit more snow but sleet even ruined the party for these areas as well with 7.2″ so far being the unofficial winner near Martinsburg, WV.

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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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Snow and Sleet Likely During Evening Rush Hour

Despite current temperatures hovering just above freezing — dew points are currently hovering in the lower 20s and evaporation cooling will likely cause surface temperatures to drop during the PM rush, allowing for a period of moderate to heavy snow or sleet to fall across the Metropolitan Area.

The latest high-resolution rapid refresh model (images below courtesy WxBell) paints an interesting picture for those of us snow-starved DC Area residents. The image below begins at 20z (3pm) and continues through 7z (12am).  Notice the dark blue representing heavy snow, orange (sleet) and pink (the dreaded freezing rain).

Most models depict the snow and sleet to break out in earnest between 3 and 6pm, just in time for the afternoon rush hour.

Tricky Forecast

Temperature profiles in the mid-levels of the atmosphere are tricky today and snow or sleet could easily accumulate this evening especially along and north of the interstate 66 corridor in Northern Virginia and along and north of the route 50 corridor in central Maryland.  The image below is from the latest High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model and shows that there is at least a potential for an inch or two of snow even in the immediate Metro Area (to include the District).

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