First Chance of Accumulating Snow: Early Thursday
Probability of Accumulating Snow: <10%
This winter season is not taking any time getting started! The Mid-Atlantic's first winter storm is on the horizon as it sits about 48 hours away. This will not be a snow maker many. However, this is the first shot at seeing some snowflakes and wintry precipitation for a large swath of the region.
Low pressure moving along the Appalachian Mountains is forecast fade and develop a new storm off the Coast. This new storm looks to move along and off the Eastern Seaboard on Thursday. As this coastal storm gets going, it is expected to throw precipitation into our area. Though the details are still murky, this is my current thinking:
Precipitation may start as a wintry mix overnight Wednesday into early Thursday morning. With the warm coming up from the south, many will turn over to rain quickly, especially coastal areas. This rain looks to persist through the afternoon. Precipitation stay wintry longer for the highest elevation NW of I-95 in Western MD, WV, Western VA, and Central PA. Any accumulation would most likely occur on grassy surfaces although if a period of moderate snow develops, especially before sunrise, some slick spots could develop on roadways NW of DC. This is expected to be an all rain event southeast of DC, as shown below.
Where wintry precipitation will hold on longer, the National Weather Service has gone ahead and issued the first Winter Storm WATCH of the season. It is in these higher elevation areas where snow/ice totals could be impactful.
How much precipitation are we talking? Not much. While this may be our first winter storm, we are not looking at a lot. Nevertheless, here is my first call on snow and ice totals for the region:
Yes, winter is getting off to an early start! This is the second earliest I have ever posted a winter weather forecast. As my winter outlook stated, our southern Jet Stream (storm track) will be very active this winter; like it was this summer and fall. Now that temps are lowering, this will lead to some of these being wintry. While the wintry side of this one will not be widespread, it is encouraging for snow lovers. These early season storms are very climatology driven. It will be the highest elevations, areas away from the coastline. It will be these areas that will be looking at roadway and school/business impacts on Thursday. I will update this forecast tomorrow, and that is when we can start talking school odds. In the meantime, keep it locked in with JB Weather. Southern Maryland's premier weather forecasting outlet!
-John A. Bordash