D.C.-area forecast: Clouds today before light snow Friday

9 a.m. update — Winter weather advisory issued for Friday

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Friday from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Charles and Prince William counties northward, including most of Northern Virginia, the District and Maryland.

The Weather Service projects 1 to 3 inches north of Route 50 and Interstate 66 and about an inch to the south. This is slightly higher than our current projections. We’ll have a new briefing on Friday’s snow potential and an updated accumulation forecast later this morning.

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

5/10: The cold is not so bold; readings above freezing are appeasing.

  • Today: Mainly cloudy, minimal breeze. Highs: 32 to 38.
  • Tonight: Light snow possible after midnight, calm winds. Lows: 27 to 32.
  • Tomorrow: Light snow in the morning; winds build late. Highs: 30 to 36.

Clouds gather as a moisture-limited snow event is headed our way late tonight into tomorrow. Probably enough to at least pretty things up, but not so fun to drive in. The weekend is back to bone-chilling readings before our big January thaw sets in next week.

Today (Thursday): The clouds should be filling in fairly quickly, but despite that, temperatures in most of the area climb above freezing and lead to some minor melting. Highs still only manage the mid-30s in most areas. Winds are minimal. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: The clouds thicken as moisture gradually increases to the point that some snowflakes may start falling in the pre-dawn hours, especially west of Interstate 95. Winds are calm. Lows are mostly in the upper 20s and low 30s, except mid-30s toward Southern Maryland. Confidence: Medium

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Tomorrow (Friday): Light snow is a decent bet in the morning, with the coverage and intensity of snow increasing north and northeast of Washington. To the south and west, snow becomes lighter and more spotty. Models have trended somewhat farther north and drier with this system, so the chance of at least an inch in the District and points south have decreased, and even our northern suburbs could end up on the edge of accumulating snowfall. The morning is nearly calm, but winds from the northwest build in the afternoon as the snow moves away. Highs are in the 30s (low 30s in our colder areas, upper 30s toward Southern Maryland). Confidence: Low-Medium

Tomorrow night: Those northwest winds gust up to 20 mph as skies clear. Much colder air surges back into the area with lows in the mid- to upper teens and wind chills in the single digits. Confidence: Medium-High

Saturday is raw with gusty winds and temperatures struggling to reach the low to mid-20s despite mainly clear skies. Another cold night is on tap, with lows ranging through the teens. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunshine holds strong on Sunday, but so does the cold air. Highs only in the upper 20s to lower 30s are at least 10 degrees colder than normal, even for the middle of winter. A clear calm night follows, with lows again in the teens. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday remains mainly sunny, with a warming trend just getting underway that will strengthen through the week. Highs reach the upper 30s to lower 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

A daily assessment of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.

6/10 (→): Contemplated dropping this to a 5 as models have shifted the system a bit to the north and decreased available moisture. Downward adjustments to accumulation expectations may be needed.

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