A strong cold front will move across the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, with an area of low pressure arriving Tuesday night into Wednesday. This will likely bring wintry weather with accumulating snow possible Tuesday night into Wednesday.
On Tuesday, rain showers will develop across the area. Ahead of the front, temperatures will rise into the 50’s and 60’s, with even some lower 70’s possible in Hampton Roads. Rain on Tuesday is expected to be mainly light, picking up in the evening.
Most models show very cold air working into the western part of the state as early as Tuesday afternoon. The NAM (North American model) shows rain changing over to snow as early as Tuesday afternoon in the mountains. Temperatures in the mountains will fall into the 30’s by the evening.
By Tuesday night, heavier precipitation will arrive over colder air moving across the region. Rain will change to snow in the Piedmont, with snow continuing across the Shenandoah Valley and mountains.
It’s important to note that “ground temperatures” WILL LIKELY melt snow accumulation at the beginning of the event. However, since most of this is falling at night, heating from the sun is obviously not an issue, and we expect wet snow accumulation to occur.
By Wednesday early morning (around sunrise,) temperatures will range from the upper 20’s to around 30 degrees in the mountains and Shenandoah Valley, and lower 30’s in the Piedmont. It will remain too warm south and east of Richmond for any snow accumulation, with all rain expected.
Snow accumulation will ultimately depend on multiple factors, such as timing, precipitation rates, and temperatures. Right now, we think odds are at least 50 percent for a few inches of snow in the Shenandoah Valley, with higher amounts in the mountains (up to 4 inches.) Up to 1 inch is possible in the Virginia Piedmont. Areas along and southeast of US 360 will see just a cold rain.
In the Virginia Piedmont and D.C. area, most snow accumulation will likely be on grassy areas. Partially (or) snow covered roads are possible in Shenandoah Valley and the mountains.