A warm front is pressing through the region this morning and will be followed quickly by a cold front tonight, as our fast-moving weather pattern kicks into gear.
Temperatures will climb into the 40s today as busy south winds develop over the area and readings will hold well above freezing as we push into tonight. As such, precipitation that develops over the region later tonight will initially fall in the form of rain across the area…with a steady light rain anticipated after midnight.However, unlike most cold fronts, moisture with this upcoming weather system will be lagging behind the advancing frontal zone. Consequently, temperatures will be falling back into the 30s as the rain overspreads the area and will continue to fall through the pre-dawn hours. In fact, model guidance is in good agreement that the atmosphere will cool rapidly first thing Friday morning, causing rain to transition to a period of accumulating snow.
As things look right now, we should anticipate light to moderate rain mixing with and then flipping over to snow very close to dawn Friday morning (target time looks to be 5 to 7AM) as temperatures drop to the freezing mark. Snow will then fall steadily for a few hours before tapering off to flurries by late morning and ending quickly thereafter.
While total snowfall is expected to be on the light side (ranging from a thick coating to as much as 1 to 2 inches in spots) the timing of the upcoming event is less than ideal.
The combination of falling snow and dropping temperatures will result in a period of snow-covered, slick roads – just in time for the morning drive. There is also the potential for a brief ice-up as temperatures drop quickly from 32-33F to 27F-28F.