The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday for D.C. and points south of Interstate 66 and U.S. Route 50. Forecasters expect heavy snow late tonight through Monday afternoon, with total accumulations of between 3 and 6 inches possible.
Higher-than-average temperatures have made snowfall a bit of a rarity so far this season, but the D.C. region’s winter weather lovers might finally have something to get excited about.
A low pressure system developing over Southern Appalachia is poised to bring snow from the Blue Ridge to the coastal Chesapeake Bay starting Sunday night. Though last-minute shifts in the forecast could lead to locally higher or lower totals, snowfall will complicate Monday morning travel for commuters in the District, Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday for D.C. and points south of Interstate 66 and U.S. Route 50. Forecasters expect heavy snow late Sunday night through Monday afternoon, with total accumulations of between three and six inches possible. The heaviest snowfall is predicted to be between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.
The forecast for heavy snow was extended from its original perimeters to include areas in central and northern Maryland (parts of Baltimore, Montgomery County) and northern Virginia (Loudoun County) could see one to three inches.
Lesser totals are forecast to the west in portions of central and northwest Virginia, including Fauquier and Culpeper counties, where a Winter Weather Advisory instead called for 2 to 4 inches.
— Matt Ritter, WTOP Multimedia Meteorologist (@MetMattRitter) January 2, 2022
Monday’s forecast had called for little more than flurries a day ago, but a dramatic shift in computer models on Sunday morning has put the immediate D.C. region under a distinct risk for something much more significant.
The culprit — a rapidly deepening storm front moving out from the Tennessee Valley over the Carolinas — will bring moisture into the D.C. area from west to east after midnight. While a mix of rain and sleet could kick things off, overnight temperatures should be cool enough for a prolonged period of good ol’ snow lasting past daybreak.
“As the colder air continues to spill into the region from the north, that rain will switch over to sleet and then eventually from sleet as the air continues to get colder and colder will change over to snow,” NBC Washington meteorologist Ryan Miller told WTOP.
But as with so many winter storms in recent memory, there’s a catch: Models are hinting at a tight gradient of snowfall accumulation just north of the nation’s capital, meaning small nudges in the system’s path throughout Sunday could…