Snow is finally coming, but no shovel needed

WASHINGTON — The first flakes of the season, along with some rain, will roll through the region Tuesday afternoon and into the evening. While the snow may be more than just a few flurries in some areas, I want to stress that the D.C. region is not expecting much of anything in accumulation. The real story will be the winds that increase through the day Tuesday.

An Alberta Clipper (remember those?) will zoom out of the Northwest and trek through the area during the afternoon and evening, bringing an arctic cold front with it. Even with increasing clouds through the day, temperatures will rise into the lower to mid 40s, though with an increase in the wind speed. After about 2 p.m., the region will begin to see some scattered rain showers move in. After about 4 p. m. , winds will pick up, temperatures will drop and some of the rain will turn to light snow. A large amount of snow fall across the region isn’t expected — there could be some areas that may not see any flakes (mainly south and east of D.C.). But use caution if you are driving through any of the snow showers, especially north and west of D.C. There could be a few bursts of snow on the commute home that could cause low visibility, especially with the increased winds.

You will have to travel considerably north and west (through western Maryland and Central West Virginia) to find more than a dusting of snow. Some locations within the WTOP/NBC4 area (see above in the “sweepable” section) may get up to 0. 25” but that will be it. Any of the snow or rain showers will taper off after 9 or 10 p. m. But winds will still be rolling, which I believe to be the main story Tuesday evening.

Winds will pick up through the day, gusting up to 30 mph at times during the midday. Winds will turn from the southwest to the west late Tuesday afternoon and really increase, gusting up to more than 45 mph at times. This could definitely make travel hazardous, and the region will have to monitor power outages. Winds will begin to settle down overnight, though they will still remain breezy.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says they are pre-treating trouble spots in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, including bridges and ramps such as the Springfield interchange; Interstate 66 at Route 29; the Fairfax County Parkway; and routes 1, 7, 28, 29 and 50.

There will be plenty of sunshine when you wake up Wednesday morning, but winds will be gusting up to 20 mph at times, which will make it feel like the single digits/lower teens when you walk out the door. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much better from there. Windchills will be in the teens for much of Wednesday. The winds will finally calm Wednesday evening, after 6 p.m.

Temperatures will rise towards the end of the week. Daytime highs on Friday and Saturday top out around 50 degrees, but there is some rain in the forecast for Friday night into Saturday. But our roller coaster weather is not over just yet. Temperatures will drop once again heading into the beginning of next week.

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