Entire DC region under winter storm watch; ‘significant’ snow, ice possible

Tuesday has been tranquil, but snow is coming — again.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for the entire D.C. region for late Wednesday night through Thursday night.

Heavy snow and ice are expected, and “significant travel impacts” are expected across the area, according to the weather service.

For D.C., and the close-in suburbs in Maryland and Northern Virginia, the weather service said the region could see 5 inches or more and ice accumulations of a quarter inch or more.

The weather service said power outages and tree damage from ice is likely and “travel could be nearly impossible.”

A winter storm watch mean there is the potential for hazardous conditions.

Storm Team4 meteorologist Doug Kammerer said this storm could pack a wallop.

“I do think this storm will be the most impactful for our region that we have seen so far this winter,” Kammerer said on Twitter. 

If everything goes according to the forecast, the D.C. area will join much of the rest of the U.S. being blanketed in snow and ice. A winter storm across the country has led to record-breaking cold temperatures and widespread outages.

In the D.C. area, a wintry mix of mainly snow and sleet is expected to move in early Thursday before sunrise, according to Storm Team4 meteorologist Amelia Draper.

With temperatures only rising into the upper 20s to lower 30s, the wintry mix is expected to continue throughout Thursday, she said.

“Basically, the messy day out there is going to be Thursday,” Draper said.

So, how much snow will you see? In the District itself, Draper said she expects 1 to 2 inches of snow “and then ice on top of that.”

The northern and western suburbs — Montgomery County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia, for example — are expected to see 2-6 inches. Around the Interstate 81 corridor into Western Maryland, areas could see 6-10 inches, Draper said.

“The more snow you’re seeing, the lower the amount of ice that you will likely be seeing out there,” Draper said.

Looking ahead to Friday morning, a wintry mix of freezing rain and just plain rain will end early in the day, then some sunshine develops, and high temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s, she said.


Tuesday night: Mainly clear, breezy in the evening. Cold, with lows in the upper teens to mid-20s.

Wednesday: Morning sunshine, becoming party cloudy to overcast by evening. Highs in the mid- to upper 30s.

Thursday: Wintry mix of snow and sleet starting early in the morning, mixing with rain and/or sleet after daybreak. Slushy accumulations possible. Highs in the low to mid 30s.

Friday: Snow or sleet early, transitioning to all rain by noon. Showers end by evening. Highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.

Current conditions

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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