Snow arrives to DC area in time for Christmas holiday
Friday feels like the first day of winter because snow has arrived in the D.C. area with temperatures dropping, setting the stage for an Arctic Christmas holiday.
Wednesday was the Winter Solace, but Friday, it feels like the first day of winter.
That’s because snow has arrived in the D.C. area with temperatures dropping, setting the stage for an Arctic Christmas holiday.
Expect wind, cold and dangerous wind chills on Friday, Storm Team4 meteorologist Steve Prinzivalli said. The culprit is a powerful low-pressure center over the Midwest.
The cold front started moving into the region in the 8 a.m. hour.
Winchester, Virginia, reported a wind gust of 43 mph and Martinsburg, West Virginia, reported one at 44 mph.
There has been hail in Haymarket, Virginia, and sleet at Dulles International Airport.
A squall or a heavy gust of wind has developed east of the I-95 corridor with heavy rain and some sleet. It’ll go down the U.S. Route 50 corridor from Bowie to around Annapolis and across Chesapeake Bay Bridge, said Storm Team4 meteorologist Mike Stinneford, just after 9 a.m.
Friday started off cloudy, with temperatures starting in the 40s. It had been raining all morning, a continuation from Thursday night, followed by the eastward-sweeping Arctic cold front.
“As winds shift from the south to the west behind the front, bitter air will flood into the area and the rain showers may end as snow showers in the mid-late morning but we do not expect much accumulation,” Prinzivalli said.
Friday night will see temperatures plummet into the 20s, with whipping winds of up to 20 to 30 mph, and gusts of 40 to 50 mph.
There’s a wind advisory posted Friday until 2 p.m., as well as:
- A Flood Warning for Northern Virginia has been extended to 1:30 p.m. Friday, except for Carroll and Frederick counties.
- A High Wind Warning for areas along and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains
- A Wind Chill Advisory for the D.C. area from 4 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday. (The first one since 2019, Prinzivalli said.)
The combination of frigid air and nasty winds will produce bone-chilling and dangerous wind chills below zero Friday evening and into early Saturday.
Any chance for a White Christmas?
What’s the likelihood of snow for Christmas? It would be a miracle, but the forecast for the holiday weekend will be “nasty cold,” Prinzivalli said.
Clouds will give way to feeble sunshine Christmas Eve, with temperatures struggling to reach the middle 20s and gusty winds that will place wind chills near zero and the single digits.
Christmas Day will be sunny but frigid, with highs in the 20s and wind chills in the teens.
High pressure, the source of the arctic air mass, will settle into the area for the new workweek. With that added pressure, the winds will diminish, but it will still be cold, with highs in the lower 30s Monday and then the middle 30s Tuesday.
Friday Morning: Showers, possibly ending as a brief period of snow. Snow accumulations an inch or less. Temperatures falling to near freezing.
Friday Afternoon: Partly to mostly sunny, windy and sharply colder. Highs into the teens to low 20s.
Friday Night: Clear, windy and colder. Lows from 0 to 10 above. Wind chills as low as 20 below.
Saturday, Christmas Eve: Partly cloudy, windy and cold. Highs in the low to mid-20s. Wind chills in the single digits and teens.
Sunday, Christmas Day: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid- to upper 20s.
Monday: Mostly sunny and a little warmer. Highs in the mid-30s.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy with highs around 40 degrees.
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