After a warm start to the season, winter is asserting itself, with a snowstorm that looks set to drop up to two feet of snow on the nation’s capital and the Northeast this weekend — with the tail of the storm bringing more seasonal chill to South Florida.
But the Miami area will get warmer before it gets colder, with temperatures heading back up to the low-70s Wednesday through Friday, then dipping into the low-50s by Sunday. The western Miami-Dade suburbs could see a shiver-inducing upper-40s early Sunday morning.
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National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Gregoria said these winter temperature swings are standard for South Florida, which, like the rest of the nation, had an unusually warm December. The region got its first chill this past weekend, with temperatures dipping into the upper-50s.
"This is pretty typical of the wintertime warm-up and cool-down," Gregoria said Tuesday. "We finally got chilly air down here, but we’re going to have gradual warming temperatures until the next big cold front, coming through on Friday."
That front is projected to bring heavy snow to the Virginias up to Southern New England, as well as strong winds that, combined with higher, full-moon driven tides, could also mean coastal flooding. Washington, D.C., looks like it could well be the center of the storm, with Philadelphia, New York City and Boston also affected.
“Model indications Friday night into Saturday and the weekend are showing the potential for one to two feet of snow,” Gregoria said. “It could be really significant in our nation’s capital up into New York City and southern New England. This could be a really significant and potentially crippling storm for our nation’s capital. This is one to watch for them.”
In a Washington-bashing election season, whether folks would cheer a capital buried in snow or froth over a weather-generated political standstill is uncertain. But in one sense, it will still be business as usual: The Northeast has a "snowfall deficit" for which this storm might compensate.