Winter Storm Gia is bringing the first snow of 2019 across the DMV this weekend. Here's who can look forward to sledding and who will be just stuck with just "cold."

A couple of things are certain: it's going to snow, and it's going to happen this weekend. Aside from that, the weather channels have somewhat mixed estimates for how much snow is going to fall, and where. I went through several sites including Accuweather, WTOP, and various local news station reports to get the best idea of how this is going to unfold.

The Timing

Everyone agrees the snow will start Saturday afternoon and go all the way through Sunday night. Current models predict only a minor accumulation by sundown on Saturday evening, so you've got plenty of time to prepare. The precipitation is moving west to east, so the western parts of Virginia will see the storm's end first.

The most constant snowfall (the kind that is hard for plows to keep up with) will happen all day Sunday into Sunday night. You probably don't want to be on the road after Saturday night if you can help it.

Who will get the worst of it? 

Most models are showing the heaviest snow along I-64, I-81, and I-95, indicating that the worst pockets will be well west and south of D.C. How much snow those areas will get varies by source, from either 3-5 inches to 6-12 inches by the end of Sunday night. The steadiest snowfall looks like it will be in the middle of the storm, running up the spine of Virginia to western Maryland.

Courtesy of Accuweather

What about everyone else?

At least 1-3 inches of snow is anticipated for most in the DMV. As far north as Baltimore, that number diminishes somewhat, and no snow is expected to reach New England because of a wall of cold, dry air. As of press time, everyone in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia will get measurable snow, except for the very far southeast portion of Virginia along the North Carolina border. Saturday will be the lighter snowfall day, with steadier snow all day and night on Sunday. 

What to watch

Check for shifting snow totals on Friday night and Saturday morning. You already know it's going to snow, so have your salt, snow shovel, and car scraper ready. It won't hurt to fill up your gas tank, and make sure you have plenty of snacks in case you lose power. Fill up a few empty 2-liter bottles with tap water in case of water main breaks in your neighborhood, and check the batteries in your flashlights.

For what it's worth, I don't know why people stock up on bread -- I'd much rather have cold pizza for dinner! It's always fun to have an extra propane tank in case your power is out and you need to grill for dinner. Stay safe out there, everyone, and here's hoping you get enough for a fun snow day!

Are you in the path of the worst of Winter Storm Gia's snow? What are your typical snow day preparations? Let us know in the comments below.

Need a good book for a long, snowy weekend? Check out our January pick for the Great DMV BookClub!

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