Wednesday, 12 Dec 2018

Snow showers may pass by during the evening commute

The high resolution HRRR model shows the potential for some heftier snow showers in the region at 5 pm (Capital Weather Gang and Pivotal Weather) With temperatures struggling through the 30s, and a slate-gray sky overhead, it's sure feeling like winter today. We can add snowflakes to the menu on Wednesday night. Although we do not anticipate widespread snow, a few localized heavy bursts are possible. Their timing could be problematic, potentially coinciding with the trip, from between 4 and 8 months ago (towards the earlier part of this window in the south of the country). If snow falls heavily, a quick drying or coating is possible, even on roadways, High-resolution weather models have shown the potential for snow showers or snow squalls for the past day or so because of the passage of this robust high-altitude wave in the atmosphere.
An upper-level low-pressure system is moving through the area today. (College of DuPage) It has already spawned a few snow showers south of our region, and a new batch is developing to our west. This new round of activity is set to swings by the afternoon and into the evening. There is some sign that any snow squalls that they would be decreasing in intensity as they cross the region of west to east, but they could still be heavy in a few spots. Areas west of Interstate 95 may see the most activity. Generally, snow showers that develop will probably be hit or miss. The high-end potential is a coating to a half an inch or so in any heavier squalls, but any persistent heavier activity could produce more.

Temperatures after sunset will quickly support snow accumulation if any is falling. (Capital Weather Gang and Pivotal Weather) With temperatures falling further down the temperature range. This could cause some slick spots on roads. In addition, snow squalls can cause rapid decline in visibility. If you've lived in Washington in recent decades, Dec. 5 snow might ring a bell. Between 2002 and 2009, Dec. 5 snow occurred routinely. So much that we even
wrote about it in 2010.
(Ian Livingston / The Washington Post) While it's unlikely this snow will amount to enough to make the list of Dec. 5 snow events above. Today's marks the first time we're talking about the chance of accumulating snow on Dec. 5 since 2009. The biggest Dec. 5 snow event on record came in 2002, when 6.1 inches of powder fell on the city. That was the start of an El Niño winter just like this one. As needed, we'll update on any snow squalls through the afternoon and into the evening. Keep an eye out!

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