Latest Update and Final Pencil Prediction For Thursday, December 15

by MCS Staff

All of MoCo is under a Winter Weather Advisory starting at 10pm Wednesday night until 1pm Thursday afternoon. The advisory starts a few hours before any wintry precipitation is expected to fall and ends a couple hours after it’s expected to changeover to just rain as a buffer in case things decide to start or end a little earlier or later than anticipated.

Per our featured photo, the National Weather Service expects things to get started in MoCo between 1am and 3am. Freezing rain is expected to fall until about 8am when we see things start to changeover to just rain. Areas like Bethesda and Silver Spring may not see much freezing rain at all, while areas north of Gaithersburg may see a tenth of an inch or more. Either way, it doesn’t take much for freezing rain to make things messy.

Freezing rain occurs when regular rain falls and freezes upon contact with the ground, causing a layer of ice to form. It’s different than sleet in that sleet freezes as it’s falling and looks like little pellets…so any freezing rain that falls Thursday morning will look like regular rain until it hits the ground. In the latest map from the National Weather Service (seen below), about 1/4 of the county is expected to get between .1-.25” (Clarksburg, Damascus, etc.) while the rest is at .01-.1”

Pencil Prediction: 2.5 Pencils– I think a delay is likely tomorrow and we can’t rule a closure if things get a little messier than expected. On the other side of things, temperatures may be warmer than expected with mainly rain affecting us, so we can’t rule out a full day of school. Right now, I’d say a delay with reassessment as the most likely scenario for tomorrow morning.

Our latest winter weather updates and school predictions can always be found on our website,, but we still update the iOS app when we can (seen below). We predict the chance of at least a delay and a closure of schools. In this specific situation we think there’s a 62% chance of at least a delay for MCPS and a 40% chance of a closure (this means there’s a 38% chance of a full day of school according to our prediction). Note: Always prepare for a full day of school regardless of the prediction and check out our website for the latest updates.



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