Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Jan 30 – Feb 6)

We jump right into it this week as the complicated winter weather pattern continues to make forecasting rather difficult. The region will be a bit colder tomorrow as mostly cloudy skies and northerly winds kick in and cold air damming develops along the eastern slopes of the Appalachians. The strength of the CAD will be key on Monday night through Wednesday as precipitation starts to move into the region from the south and west. It should start off as light snow from central VA and southern MD northward, with mixed precipitation just south of that and rain even further south near the VA/NC border. The wintry weather will shift further north as we work into Tuesday, with areas from DC north changing over to freezing rain. There should not be that much precipitation on Tuesday south of PA as the main bulk of the storm moves into the area on Wednesday. Areas north of Montgomery County, MD could see significant icing from this storm as QPF amounts support around 0.5-0.75″+ of wintry precipitation on Wednesday. I’ll go into more detail on a map (coming very soon!) that will show the main bulk of the precipitation breakdown. Areas further north in PA will see nearly continuous mixed precip. and snow Monday night through Wednesday as a band of moisture sets up on the northern side of a stationary boundary.

We’ll get a small break after this storm exits the region Wednesday night and high pressure takes over. Right now the models are calling for a late Friday into Saturday snow and mixed precip. storm event for the region, but I suspect they could be kicking the upper-level energy out of the Southwest too quickly, and we could actually be talking about a Sunday/Monday event. Regardless of the timing, we are seeing similar model trends to last Wednesday’s snow storm, with some issues with timing and where the main band of snow sets up. I hate to use this terminology, but we’re looking at a “thread the needle” situation for this storm (much like we had with the last storm), in that the system will have to set up just right in order to produce big snowfall (6″+) over the region. There will be an update on this storm tomorrow and I’ll make a first call snowfall map around Wednesday/Thursday depending on the timing of the system.

So in summary, we’re looking at two more winter storms this week. The first one could produce significant/crippling ice from just north of DC up to the PA border, and the second one has the potential to do something similar to last Wednesday’s storm. No breaks for the East Coast this winter!

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