Pencil Prediction for Tuesday, February 13 With Guest Prediction From FOX 5’s Mike Thomas (School Closings and Delays)

Courtesy National Weather Service

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect on Tuesday, February 13th for N/W Montgomery County, Howard County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Carroll County, and more. The timing of the changeover to snow (overnight Tuesday into the morning, depending on your location) will likely impact local schools.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are expected in Montgomery County, with 2-4 inches of snow expected (and as much as 5 inches of snow possible) in  counties like Frederick and Carroll.

Per the NWS, “Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. Rain is expected to change to snow between
5 AM and 7 AM. Snow will be heavy at times, with rates of around 1/2 to 1 inch per hour through mid-morning Tuesday. Visibility may be reduced to less than one half mile at times. Slow down and use caution while traveling. When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery,
increasing your risk of a fall and injury.”

Back end snow (snow that comes at the end of a rain storm) is tricky, and this could very easily be a boom or bust type of situation. A “boom” scenario would mean the changeover happens a little earlier, it snows pretty hard, and maybe temps drop a little lower than expected with a few inches accumulating in the morning. A “bust” scenario would mean the rain hangs on longer than expected and any snow that falls would likely just continue to make the road wet.

Below you’ll see the prediction from FOX5 meteorologist Mike Thomas as well as our official Pencil Prediction followed by the rating scale so you know exactly what these predictions mean.

FOX 5 Meteorologist Mike Thomas’ prediction: 3 Pencils.

“I’ll go 3 pencils! I think better than a 50% chance of a delay just because of the timing and forecast. But I think they are going to make a judgement call based on how the event actually performs. There is equal chances in my mind that a few sneaky inches could close schools…as there is that we see a lot less snow and a lot more mix, and that allows things to open on a delay. But since upper Montgomery County is already under a winter weather advisory, I think school officials will likely at least delay.”

Official MoCoSnow Pencil Prediction: 3 Pencils

This one is all about timing. With the heaviest snow expected to fall just before and during the morning commute, MCPS could find itself regretting a decision to not delay. If snow does fall at a steady rate, enough to overcome the warm ground, we could see a messy commute. Because of that, I think a delay is likely and it could even lead to a closure.

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