National Weather Service to refine snowfall predictions

Packed snow can make roads very slippery. (WTOP/Kristi King)

WASHINGTON – With Friday morning’s Freeze Warning and cooler temperatures on the way, it may be time to start thinking about this winter’s snow.

This year, the National Weather Service is changing how it puts out predictions to make it clearer when there is a chance the storm could be a bust or dump more inches than expected in the area.

Meteorologists with the weather service’s Sterling office tell the Baltimore Sun that they will put out forecasts this year that go beyond just a band on a map reading “2-4 inches.”

Instead, they will offer the probability of each amount of snow accumulation based on the forecast models as well.

For example, if the prediction is two to four inches, the weather service may say there is a 70 percent chance that at least two inches fall, a 30 percent chance that it is more than four inches, and a 5 percent chance that it is more than eight inches. That would leave a 30 percent chance of a trace to two inches.

For those who just don’t want to wait for official predictions, both farmers’almanacs predict more snow than usual this year.

For the latest weather updates and the forecast, visit our weather page.

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