Conditions Good for Melting Several Inches This Week

A second day of sun and temperatures above freezing Monday will help the big dig out from under the blizzard.

Snow started to melt Sunday, as the sun was out and temperatures climbed above freezing, but they dropped back into the teens and single digits overnight creating icy conditions. There isn't much threat of that in the coming days.

Monday was warmer than Sunday, with temperatures about 40 degrees. And you can expect highs in the mid-40s Tuesday and about 40 degrees Wednesday. Milder air and cloud cover moving in should keep the temperature above freezing, according to Storm Team4.

So for three days reaching 40 degrees, 2-3 inches of snow will melt each day, Storm Team4 said.

Light rain is possible Tuesday afternoon, which won't help melt the snow but will compact it and make it heavier.

Some snowflakes to the south of D.C. are possible Wednesday, but they will only coat some areas, according to Storm Team4.

Another factor is dirt. When the snow gets dirty, it absorbs more sunlight instead of reflecting it.

The blizzard storm began with the first flakes arriving about noon Friday in Manassas and Gainesville, Virginia.

Storm Team4 said projected snowfall totals could put this storm firmly in the top five biggest snowfalls of all time for the region.The biggest snowfall on record is the deadly 1922 Knickerbocker blizzard, during which 28 inches fell and the weight of the snow collapsed an Adams Morgan movie theater, killing 98 people inside.

In Frederick County, Maryland, some places saw an astonishing 38 inches of snow, the National Weather Service reported. Jones Springs, West Virginia, had 39 inches.

But places closer to the metro area saw feet of snow as well: More than 36 inches of snow fell in north Potomac, Maryland. More than 29 inches fell in Centreville, Virginia.

And more than 22 inches of snow fell at the National Zoo in Northwest D.C. 

For reference, the December 2009 and February 2010 snowstorms, popularly called "Snowpocalypse" and "Snowmageddon," clocked in at 16.4 inches and 17.8 inches, respectively.

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