Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 09/22/2012

D.C. area forecast: Autumn starts mild, but p.m. showers and thundershowers herald cooler air


Today: Variably cloudy, p.m. showers or t’showers. 83-87. | Tonight: Shower chance early, clearing. 50s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, breezy. Upper 60s to low 70s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10

Other than a p.m. gusty shower/thundershower threat, not many complaints. A bit warm for the start of fall. Get the Digit on Twitter| Discuss on Facebook


We welcome fall today on a somewhat summery note. However, autumnal conditions won’t be too far behind the official start, as we ride a bit of a temperature roller coaster this weekend. The fairly sharp change in temperatures is ushered in by a cold front pushing through. Out ahead of that, we could see some gusty showers and thundershowers blow through later today. Then it’s pure glory once again.

Today (Saturday): It’s a pretty warm day for the first one of fall, but nothing obscene when it comes to temperatures or humidity. Clouds are variable, with times of less sun and times of more, generally plateauing on the cloudy end during the afternoon or early evening as highs rise to the mid-80s most spots. An approaching front sends us a line of showers or thundershowers, probably sometime in the 2 p.m. (west) to 8 p.m. (east) range. These may be hit or miss, though it’s likely (60% chance) they’ll cross the area. Any of the stronger storms may present a wind damage threat, yet it doesn’t appear to be a widespread concern. Confidence: Medium-High

What is the Storm Threat Level?

Tonight: Showers that may persist into evening should head east pretty quick heading into the night. Right on their heels, cooler and drier air begins to come in on a northwest breeze that may be occasionally gusty. Lows make the 50s pretty much everywhere — low 50s in the ‘burbs and closer to 60 downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast into next week...

Tomorrow (Sunday): With the front well east, we should see plentiful sun along with much cooler daytime temperatures. Highs may struggle to get to 70 in spots, while perhaps making the low 70s in others. With cold air aloft, I can’t rule out some increased cloudiness during the afternoon, and perhaps even a very isolated shower (10% chance). A breeze from the north and northwest blows around 10-20 mph with higher gusts. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: A cool evening becomes a chilly night. But, it’s fall now by all measures, so we should get used to it! Plan on lots of clear skies as lows range from the low 40s to near 50.. Confidence: Medium-High


Monday’s lookin’ like as winner, except for the fact that it’s Monday. Lots of sun, lots of blue sky. We climb off crisp morning lows to afternoon temperatures near 70 to the mid-70s. After sunset, temperatures quickly dip toward lows in the 40s for the suburbs to low 50s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

We might run a string of 10s into Tuesday (unless workweek factors push us down a bit). From here, it appears another gorgeous one is ahead, with highs in the low-and-mid 70s. The most wonderful time of the year? Confidence: Medium-High

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 09/22/2012

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