A few apps and national weather websites got people a bit too excited by spitting out numbers like 5-8 inches. There’s maybe a 5% chance of something like that happening.
The reason you may have seen numbers that high is because these apps/websites count all precipitation as snow, are tied to one run of one weather model, spit out raw data, etc.
Basically, they’re not to be trusted when it comes to snow totals until a few hours before the event. Even then, there are many factors that can lead to them being way off.
If anyone is claiming numbers like this is what we’ll get, they’re simply trying increase the hype.
With that said, the image above shows approximately 20% of MoCo in the “high” impact zone, 70% of MoCo in the “moderate” impact zone, and about 10% of MoCo in the “low” impact zone for what we have coming our way on Thursday.
We’ll have a better handle on exactly when everything will come our way, but here’s how it looked according to WUSA9:
The timing will make for a tough call because a decision has to be made prior to the start of any kind of precipitation falling.
I also don’t expect much accumulation because of road temps being above freezing (even though actual temps may drop below freezing in the morning).
However…sleet is sleet. If enough of it falls, it can definitely make things messy.
Here is a map with projected accumulations that was tweeted out by WUSA9 meteorologist, Topper Shutt:
He warns that even these numbers may be aggressive…and you only see 1 inch in Gaithersburg and areas north.
This likely won’t be a massive storm that drops several inches of snow on us, but it can be a messy situation that lasts beyond the morning rush. It should be all rain in our area by 4pm or so, which will help with the evening commute for most people on the road, but may be too late for schools.
I expect a Winter Weather Advisory to be issued for at least the NW part of our county tomorrow.
The early Pencil Prediction for Thursday, 11/15 is…..
I’m keeping it conservative until we have some more information tomorrow. If it looks like things may be a little colder, we may have to add a pencil and start thinking about the possibility of a whole day off…especially since this will be the first winter precipitation of the season.
If things are a little warmer than expected, we can end up with a storm that primarily consists of cold rain.
I’ll have an update on the forecast and an updated pencil prediction for you tomorrow!
Check out the free iOS MoCoSnow App for predictions that include exact percentages (starting tomorrow).
Also, get your limited edition MoCoSnow SNOWSZN shirt, while you still can (4 days left)