We’re getting further into spring but more snow is now in the forecast for a large portion of the country as old man winter remains relentless this year. For many cities at risk for snow with this snow, it is highly unusual for it to come in April. A city like Washington, DC receives only 0.2 inches of snow on average every April and there’s only been 5 years on record where at least 5 inches of snow fell in total during the month.
We’re going to be watching a low pressure system developing east of the Rocky Mountains over the Southern Plains on Friday. The developing low will begin to bring snow from the northern Rocky Mountains through the Central Plains, including Nebraska, Kansas, and possibly even northern Oklahoma. Snow is also expected to extend into northern portions of Missouri. Then overnight Friday, this storm will quickly move to the east, similar to the disturbance earlier this week. Snow is currently forecast Friday night for much of Missouri and along the Ohio River. Lighter snow in the form of snow showers may linger in the Central Plains while beginning to sneak into portions of the Mid-Atlantic. As our low pressure intensifies overnight, that will allow snowfall rates to increase. Therefore, a heavier snow is possible in the Ohio Valley. This time, however, the best chance for snow may be just south of the river into much of Kentucky.
Then on Saturday, while snow begins to clear out of the Ohio River Valley by the afternoon, the action will turn to the Mid-Atlantic region and portions of the Northeast. At this time, we are expecting snow to fall across northern Virginia, into much of Maryland, the northern DelMarVa, southern Pennsylvania, most of New Jersey, and Long Island. At least the southern coast of New England may deal with snow as well. In the Washington, DC area, the rain/snow line will be nearby. This could be an all-snow event for the city itself, however, or we may see rain changing over to a moderate to heavy snow as the day progresses. The ensemble guidance is a great tool to look at when trying to figure out where features, like the rain/snow line, will set up. Some of the ensemble members keep that line to the south while others keep it to the north due to a closer track of the low to the coast, which could put more of the Northeast at play for snow. There is plenty of uncertainty that remains, so it’s important to monitor the forecast. What is certain is that there will be cold air in place. Again, significant snow this time of the year for this region is basically unprecedented, but the cold air mass in place from Canada will help aid in accumulating snow. This should be a sub-6 inch event for most — if not all — locations, but if heavier snow bands set up, that will allow the snow to accumulate despite the high April sun angle.
Then into the overnight hours of Saturday, our low pressure will begin to move offshore. At this time, this is expected to be a weak low and should not rapidly-strengthen. At the storm lifts to the north and east, we are expecting snow to move into much of southern New England and potentially the eastern New England coast while snow comes to an end in the Mid-Atlantic by the early-morning hours of Sunday. Snow may continue for some in New England on Sunday, but the details are yet to be determined.
At this time, here’s where we’re thinking snow is possible at this time and where there’s the best chance for at least three inches of it.