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Washington DC weather for March 15: spring weather followed by accumulating snow

National Weather Service forecast map
National Weather Service forecast map
Map courtesy National Weather Service

Brian's exclusive forecast for Washington DC:

Today: Variable cloudiness and windy at times. Warm with a high from 65 to 70.

Tonight: Mostly clear and turning colder with a low in the mid 30s.

Sunday: Increasing clouds with afternoon rain showers. Colder with a high near 40.

Sunday Night: Rain changing to snow. The low will be around 30.

Monday: Snow tapering to flurries during the afternoon. The high will be near 35.

The extended forecast calls for a chance of snow showers on Tuesday with a low in the upper 20s and a high in the upper 30s. Variable cloudiness with a few showers on Wednesday and Thursday with a low around 40 and a high near 55 each day.

A changeable weather pattern will occur over the next few days. Highs today will approach 70 degrees in Baltimore & Washington, but in 48 hours accumulating snow will be falling across the region as a late-season winter storm impacts the Middle Atlantic states. Although the air feels like spring today, it will be rather windy in the wake of a weak cold front that is moving through the area. Tonight, high pressure will build down from Canada and will cause the mercury to drop 35 degrees between now and Sunday morning. At the same time, an area of low pressure will develop to our southwest and track toward eastern North Carolina. Precipitation from this low will override cold, dry air at the surface and produce afternoon and evening rain showers on Sunday that will mix with, and change to snow by Monday morning. The track and intensity of this low is yet to be determined, and slight changes in the track will have a significant impact on where accumulating snow falls. Another issue is the timing of the change over to snow. If the change occurs during the overnight hours, then snow will likely accumulate across the region with snow even covering paved surfaces. If most of the snow falls during the day on Monday, the solar energy from the mid-March sun will allow for the snow to melt on paved surfaces. Computer forecast models are presenting a wide range of scenarios for Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis with anywhere from mixed rain and snow with no accumulation to a significant accumulation of more than 6 inches. The latest guidance suggests that at last some accumulation of snow is likely in these areas by Monday morning. More updates will be posted throughout the weekend, but it is looking more likely that winter will be making its presence felt once again.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect through Saturday evening. Winds on Saturday will come out of the west at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 and waves up to 3 feet. Winds on Saturday night will come out of the north at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 and waves from 1 to 2 feet. Winds on Sunday will come out of the northeast at 10 to 15 with gusts over 20 and waves from 1 to 2 feet. Visibility may be reduced in snow, rain, and fog on Sunday. Marine information is provided only as a guide. Boaters should always stay tuned to the latest forecasts and advisories from the National Weather Service.

Click here for the average March lows and highs for Baltimore. Click here for the average March lows and highs for Washington DC. Click here for the sunrise and sunset times. For more weather updates, please visit my web site, my Chesapeake Bay Weather page on Facebook, and if you're heading to Ocean City feel free to check out my Ocean City MD Weather page on Facebook. You can also follow me on Twitter @chesbayweather.

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