PM Update: Rain early Monday may briefly switch to sleet and snow northwest of D.C.

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* Winter weather advisory from western Loudoun County to northern Montgomery County and north and west, from 2 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday *

There is no soft lead in here. It’s April 1st, Easter Sunday, and we are preparing for a Monday morning commute filled with rain, and even some sleet and snow in our colder areas. I will spare you the references to April Fools’ Day. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. And although some of us could see the white stuff tomorrow, the majority of our readership will see only a cold rain, potentially mixing with sleet at times. What a way to start April.

Listen to the latest forecast:

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Through Tonight: A cold front passed through the area early this afternoon and is now stalled to the south of us. Temperatures will continue to fall through the 50s this evening, with winds from the northwest ushering in colder air. Precipitation will begin to move into the area from west to east sometime between midnight and 2 a.m. Precipitation will fall in the form of rain for the majority of our area at the onset, possibly mixing in with some sleet or wet snow after 5 a.m. north and northwest of the Beltway. Should any frozen precipitation fall, accumulation will probably be limited to grassy surfaces only. Overnight lows will range from 32 to 38 degrees, with winds becoming northeast late at 5-15 mph.

View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post.

Tomorrow (Monday): The heaviest burst of precipitation will be moving through the Washington metro area between 4 and 8 a.m. Temperatures will probably be too warm (upper 30s) for anything but rain to fall around the Beltway and to the south and east. A brief period of accumulating snow is possible far to the north and west of D.C., toward northern Montgomery County in Maryland and northern and northwestern Loudoun County in Virginia. Snowfall totals there could reach an inch or so, mainly on grassy surfaces. All precipitation will come to an end rather quickly sometime between 8 and 10 a.m.

It will remain mostly cloudy for the rest of the day, with temperatures on the cool side. Afternoon highs will struggle to reach the 50-degree mark under a light east/northeast wind at 5 mph. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, with showers redeveloping at night. Lows in the low to mid-40s.

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More details on Monday morning’s messy commute: Late Sunday night, a low-pressure system develops along a frontal boundary stalled to the south of D.C. The storm center will move to the east rather quickly, passing south of D.C. early Monday morning. The combination of a storm tracking south of D.C., a cold high pressure positioned to our northeast and the early morning timing (the coldest part of the day) means that some of our area will have to deal with a mixed bag of precipitation.

Here are the details:

  • Precipitation moves in from the west after 2 a.m. and should end between 8 and 10 a.m.
  • Temperatures will be above freezing everywhere at the onset of the precipitation, which means that everywhere in the D.C. metro region will start with rain.
  • A two- to four-hour period of moderate precipitation is likely to pass through between 4 and 8 a.m.
  • Around the Beltway and to the south and east, the moderate rain may slow the commute a bit. It is not out of the question that a little sleet or snow mixes in with the rain, but temperatures in the upper 30s mean no issues with iciness.
  • Immediately north and west of the Beltway, rain may mix with or change to some sleet and wet snow for a brief period, especially in areas with more elevation. However, we lean more toward mostly, if not all, rain falling. Any accumulation would be around a coating and, with low temperatures in the mid-30s, limited to grassy areas, decks, car tops and mulch. Roadways remain wet, not white.
  • From Leesburg to Ellicott City to the north and west, there is a better chance of the rain changing to sleet and/or snow for a few hours, especially once you get north and west of Interstate 70 in Maryland. Temperatures are likely to be at or above freezing (around 33 or 34), so while the total snowfall may end up around an inch or so, accumulation will probably be limited to grassy surfaces, with perhaps some patchy slush on roads when precipitation falls heavily.

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