Get ready for a blast of arctic air to cause bitter cold temperatures and frigid wind chills on Friday and Saturday.
Rain and snow fell in the D.C. area on Thursday morning, dropping flakes in areas like western Loudoun, northern Montgomery and Frederick counties. But the winter storm was less impactful than expected.
“We had all the ingredients for this storm, it just didn’t pan out in terms of surface temperatures,” Storm Team4 Meteorologist Michelle Grossman said.
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Cold air aloft didn’t reach the ground, which is why rain hung on for much longer than anticipated, Grossman said.
Bitter cold air will be the big weather concern as the region dries out Thursday afternoon. Expect a frigid afternoon with gusty northwest winds of 15-25 mph. Feels-like temperatures will be in the 20s.
Overnight rain gave road crews limited options for pretreating roads. This, combined with a hard refreeze from the cold, could make some roads slippery. Be cautious, especially on untreated side streets.
Friday and Saturday will be below freezing. Wind chills on Friday morning could be near 0° in some spots as the coldest air in nearly three years moves in. The high Friday will be a frigid 26°.
A winter storm previously expected on Saturday will skirt our area. Southern Maryland can expect some snow. The next storm chance we'll see will be on Tuesday.
The cold will begin to ease on Sunday when highs could reach 30°. By Monday and Tuesday, highs are expected to be back in the upper 30s.
Closures, Delays on Thursday
Federal agencies in the D.C. area are opening on a two-hour delay Thursday with the option of allowing unscheduled leave/telework. D.C. government, however, will open on time, Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
Several school systems in the area have announced they are closed, delayed or doing virtual learning. Here's a full list of school closures and delays.
How Much Snow Could We Get Thursday?
Cold air stuck aloft limited snowfall amounts.
Snow accumulations were expected to be around 1 inch but a delay in the transition from rain cut down on snowfall totals.