D.C. area forecast: Heading out of the deep freeze

9:25 a.m. update: Very light snow or flurries is hunkered in over mainly western parts of the area. This is somewhat unexpected activity, but may cause up to another dusting or a little more in the steadiest of activity. The snow puts a general wrinkle in our forecast for today. Clouds should be more numerous (mostly cloudy, at least at times) than noted, and temperatures may struggle to get near and past freezing thanks to the extra clouds. Snow activity should dwindle in the coming period, but might linger for a while in spots.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Partly sunny. Upper 20s to Mid-30s. | Tonight: Mostly clear. Low teens to near 20. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. 33-38. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A daily assessment of the potential for *accumulating* snow for the next week on a 0-10 scale. More info


FORECAST IN DETAIL


Today (Saturday): We should be breaking free from the thickest clouds by sunrise if not prior, though it’s a decent bet some float by during the day, probably less numerous as time goes. Highs reach the upper 20s to mid-30s (mainly south of D.C.) — still cold. There’s a north/northwest breeze which may be sustained around 10-15 mph, and a bit of a wind chill, but nothing we can’t handle at this point. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: With mostly clear skies, light winds and snow cover (at least in spots), we should see prime conditions for radiational cooling. Many places are well into the teens, with a an overall range of about 12 in the coldest suburbs to 20ish downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Sunday): Plenty of sun graces the sky. Winds shift around to the southwest and south, but they’re pretty light. That means any warmth transport should be rather slow. So, let’s look for highs above freezing many spots, but still ranging from around freezing well north and west to the mid-or-upper 30s elsewhere. Clouds may increase before sunset as the next weather maker approaches. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: After an evening of increasing clouds, mostly cloudy skies are the general rule. A south wind also helps keep temperatures from getting too low, but they didn’t start all that high. Lows make the mid-20s to near 30. Concern may lie in precipitation advancing from the west after midnight and toward morning. Pre-dawn, precipitation odds go up to around 30-40%, and that could mean sleet or freezing rain (snow seems less likely as the atmosphere above is already warming). Right now, it appears whatever falls would be very light. Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

We open Monday with that 30-40% chance of light rain or freezing rain showers. Temperatures should warm up quickly enough that the threat for frozen precipitation dwindles quickly. Again, right now anything looks very light. Despite lots of clouds and maybe a shower throughout the day, south winds keep pumping in warmer air, meaning we should rise toward 40 and perhaps as high as the mid-40s. Confidence: Medium

After the first night with lows above freezing in some time, Tuesday is set to bring us some springlike conditions. It’s another day with at least partly if not mostly cloudy skies, though I’ll hope for the sunny intervals myself! Can’t totally rule out a quick shower either. Temperatures... they’ll feel pretty nice as they head to the mid-50s and near 60. A day to leave home a layer or three. Confidence: Medium

Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.

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