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Here We Go: Storm Underway; Northern Virginia 'Most Likely' to See 8-10 Inches of Snow

Snow had hardly started at 9 p.m. Wednesday and streets were already covered outside the Patent and Trademark Office. (Patch photo by Todd Richissin.)
Snow had hardly started at 9 p.m. Wednesday and streets were already covered outside the Patent and Trademark Office. (Patch photo by Todd Richissin.)
Grocery stores throughout Northern Virginia will likely be busy Wednesday if this forecast from the National Weather Service holds:

The National Weather Service in Sterling is forecasting that the Northern Virginia area will receive 8 to 10 inches of snow from the winter storm that is expected to hit the area beginning Wednesday and continuing at least through Thursday morning, according to accumulation maps released Tuesday afternoon at about 3:45 p.m.

The weather service issued three maps Tuesday with three snowfall possibilities for the area (click on the link to see each map):
1. Minimum: "Expect at least this much" 3.9-4.5 inches of snow
2. Most Likely: 8-10 inches of snow
3. Maximum: "Potential for this much" 13.2-14.6 inches of snow

"Snow will move into the area in the early evening, from 6 to 8 p.m.," said Brandon Peloquin, a meteorologist with the NWS office in Sterling.

Wednesday during the day will be dry, he said. Once the snow starts falling, it "will likely start off light, during the early evening hours, but as night progresses, it will become moderate to heavy Wednesday night into Thursday morning."

When you wake up Thursday morning, "it's likely still going to be snowing, it will have been falling throughout the overnight hours, and there will be some snow accumulation," he said.

Later Thursday, some areas in Northern Virginia may see it snow throughout the day, while other areas may see a mix of snow and rain or rain, he said. 

When asked if there is the possibility that any area of Northern Virginia will not see any snow: "As of right now, it looks like the entire area will see snow, Wednesday and first thing Thursday morning," Peloquin said.

The possible "rain-snow" line for later Thursday is a "tough call," he said. "It could set up along I-95 or farther north and west. We'll know more at some point tomorrow."

Snow will stick Wednesday night due to low temperatures, in the 20s; Thursday could see temperatures rise above freezing. "Obviously that could help things Thursday afternoon," Peloquin said. "Either way, it's a close call."

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