Freezing Rain, Sleet Expected to Move in This Weekend

WASHINGTON — Can you believe that we made it into the 70s for most of the region on Thursday? Well, as you may have heard, things are about to dramatically change heading into the weekend, so hopefully you enjoyed that little preview of spring that we head because winter is coming back.

(Courtesy of NBCWashington)
The weekend’s forecast could bring a drop in temperature and a wintry mix through Monday’s MLK holiday. (Courtesy of NBCWashington)

What Is Happening in the Atmosphere?

Temperatures will continue to drop as a cold front works its way through the region as we head into the evening.

Eventually this frontal system will stall south of the area and an area of low pressure will push out of the Tennessee Valley spreading precipitation into the WTOP region overnight into early Saturday morning.

High pressure Friday is settling north of the Mid Atlantic region creating a steady easterly flow. When that flow hits the mountain ranges to the west, it bounces off, causing an overcast day with plenty of cooler air trapped near the surface while warmer air spreads aloft.

Temperatures by late Friday night will have dropped to around 30 degrees for much of the region, making it certainly cold enough for some wintry weather.

(Courtesy NWS)
(Courtesy NWS)


Watch for some wintry weather moving into the region after midnight Friday and through daybreak Saturday spreading from the southwest to the northeast.

It could start out as a little bit of wet snow/rain in some parts of the region while others may see some freezing rain to start. It looks like Southern Maryland will be impacted the least with it turning into a rain event with some isolated spots of freezing rain, unlike the Shenandoah Valley, which will see most of the freezing rain.

Most of the precipitation will move out as we head into the evening Saturday with a transition to possibly just plain rain for a majority of the region.

Freezing rain advisory posted for the Shenandoah Valley from Midnight tonight until 6pm on Saturday. (Courtesy of NBCWashington)
Freezing rain advisory posted for the Shenandoah Valley from Midnight tonight until 6 p.m. on Saturday. (Courtesy of NBCWashington)


While this will last for much of the day, amounts look like they’ll be on the lighter side, thank goodness.

However, there will still be issues on the roads, especially untreated surfaces, porches, driveways, sidewalks, car windshields, railings, etc. We all know too well that just minimal amounts of ice and snow are enough to wreak havoc throughout the D.C. region.

Wet snow accumulation should be less than 1 inch in most of the region. There could be some areas that received slightly more, but most areas that do get snow will be 1 inch or less before the transition to freezing rain and sleet take over.

The ice accumulation will also be on the lighter side, but possibly create some lasting impacts around the region. We are thinking a glaze to 0.10 inches with isolated spots up to 0.2 inches.

Even though the snow and ice will be light as it falls through the day, it would just be best to limit your time out and about.

What you can expect through the region on Saturday. (Courtesy of NBCWashington)
What you can expect through the region on Saturday. (Courtesy of NBCWashington)

Once this moves out of our region, there could be a quick transition over to just plain rain as temperatures try to move up a few degrees. We are keeping a few very isolated showers on Sunday but for now, Sunday looks mainly dry as temperatures move back to around 40 degrees.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day could bring some showers with spotty freezing rain in the morning. It will begin to taper off during the afternoon but temperatures will remain around 40, still below normal for this time of year.

Unfortunately, it is not looking like the best holiday weekend. But hopefully the rain can clear out for Monday parades in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. If you are headed to any of the local ski resorts, it will be fairly icy on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Not the best conditions.

We warm up as we head through next week with some rain possible on Inauguration Day. That will be the next problem we tackle as we move through the next workweek.

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