Spring forward? Not so fast. 1st day of spring brings rain, maybe snow

(Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
Here’s the outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service on Monday afternoon. (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter) (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
Expect some rain to move in during the overnight as temperatures fall, said Storm Team4's Lauryn Ricketts. (Courtesy NBC Washington)
Expect some rain to move in during the overnight as temperatures fall, said Storm Team4’s Lauryn Ricketts. (Courtesy NBC Washington) (Courtesy NBC Washington)
(Courtesy NBC Washington)
“There are two parts to this system,” Storm Team4’s Lauryn Ricketts said. (Courtesy NBC Washington) (Courtesy NBC Washington)
(Courtesy NBC Washington)
The National Weather Service forecasts snow likely on Wednesday, with a chance of precipitation at 70 percent. (Courtesy NBC Washington) (Courtesy NBC Washington)
A one degree shift one way or the other will a make a big difference between cold rain or heavy, wet snow, the National Weather Service says. (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter) (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
A one degree shift one way or the other will a make a big difference between cold rain or heavy, wet snow, The National Weather Service says. (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
A one degree shift one way or the other will a make a big difference between cold rain or heavy, wet snow, the National Weather Service says. (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter) (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
A one degree shift one way or the other will a make a big difference between cold rain or heavy, wet snow, The National Weather Service says. (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
A one degree shift one way or the other will a make a big difference between cold rain or heavy, wet snow, the National Weather Service says. (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter) (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
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(Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
Expect some rain to move in during the overnight as temperatures fall, said Storm Team4's Lauryn Ricketts. (Courtesy NBC Washington)
(Courtesy NBC Washington)
(Courtesy NBC Washington)
A one degree shift one way or the other will a make a big difference between cold rain or heavy, wet snow, The National Weather Service says. (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)
A one degree shift one way or the other will a make a big difference between cold rain or heavy, wet snow, The National Weather Service says. (Courtesy National Weather Service via Twitter)

WASHINGTON — Nothing about this year’s first day of spring will bring visions of flowers and Easter egg hunts.

A mix of rain, sleet and snow is expected to arrive in the D.C. area overnight and affect Tuesday morning’s commute. Forecasters are also looking out for another storm to move into the area Tuesday night and potentially bring snow Wednesday, said Storm Team4’s chief meteorologist Doug Kammerer.

The National Weather Service has a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and a Winter Storm Watch in effect from late Tuesday night through Wednesday night.


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After a sun-filled Monday, two waves of winter weather are expected to cast a shadow during the first week of spring in the D.C. region, with possible snow in the forecast.

“There are two parts to this system,” Storm Team4’s Lauryn Ricketts said.

Showers and falling temperatures overnight could change over to a snow mix by daybreak Tuesday. A mix of sleet and snow is especially expected to affect areas north and west of D.C., Kammerer said, with roads expected to be slushy the farther north and west drivers go.

The National Weather Service’s Winter Weather Advisory means “periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties” on Tuesday. Wet snow and freezing rain is expected.

Kammerer said it’s tough to forecast because of temperatures — one degree will make a different from sleet to snow, he added.

A light glaze of ice will be a major impact Tuesday for northern Maryland, Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, according to the weather service. The advisory affects D.C. and several surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia.

In Maryland, affected areas include Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Charles, Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s County and St. Mary’s counties. In Virginia, affected areas include City of Alexandria, and Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties

The weather service said another round of snow is likely late Tuesday night and Wednesday. Kammerer said area-wide totals could fall between 3 to 6 inches; in the north and west zones, totals could be even higher.

Wednesday will see the most snowfall, Kammerer said. Thursday is looking breezy and cool with winds out of the Northwest.

Here is the forecast:

  • Overnight: Rain moving in as temperatures drop — changing to snow north/west of D.C. by daybreak. Highs in the 30s to 40s.
  • Tuesday: Weather alert — snow possible north and west of D.C. Around Interstate 95 sees possible rain or mix. Southeast of D.C. will have mostly rain. Highs in the 30s.
  • Wednesday: Weather alert — snow all day, heavy at times, moving out by the evening. Highs in the upper 30s.

Latest forecast:


Travel and transportation

Storm Team4’s Sheena Parveen said the roads will be wet in the D.C. area on Tuesday, following a wintry mix of rain and snow, except in Northwest D.C. where roads may be slicker.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration had crews pre-treat highways and bridges in northern counties in advance, as nighttime temperatures will increase the chance of roads refreezing.

Maryland crews are also clearing stormwater management systems of debris to enable positive drainage and preparing chain saws, chippers and generators, and road closed signs.

The weather service also advises that commuters expect slippery road conditions Tuesday going into Wednesday and reduced visibility at times.


Closings and delays

If the bleak forecast comes to fruition and causes any school delays Tuesday or Wednesday, they will be listed on WTOP’s Closings and Delays page.


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