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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/19/2013

D.C. area forecast: Inauguration weather turns colder after a moderately mild weekend

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly sunny, breezy. 47-53. | Tonight: Mostly clear. Upper 20s to mid-30s. | Tomorrow: Mostly to partly sunny, breezy. Mid-40s to near 50. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

TODAY'S DAILY DIGIT

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


Main issue is a healthy breeze. Sunshine on a Saturday is worth a +1 itself (unless I’ve just jinxed it). Get the Digit on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook

SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX

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


SPI: 2 (→) - A few Monday snowflakes still possible. Coming cold wave may also bring opportunities as next week progresses. Get the SPI on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook

FORECAST IN DETAIL


Pre-inauguration festivities should mostly go off without any weather worries this weekend, as we are greeted with plenty of sun and temperatures close to — and warmer than — what we’d usually expect at this point in January. Colder air begins to bleed back into the region with the first frontal passage on Sunday, and that sets the stage for a cold but not frigid Inauguration Day. It’s just the start though as Arctic air invades for our return to work.

Today (Saturday): Skies are mostly sunny throughout the day. It’s a decent one overall for any outdoor activities, though you’ll notice that wind from the south as it blows around 10-15 mph much of the day, with the highest gusts probably during the midday and early afternoon. Highs are largely in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Enjoy that growing evening light, we’ve gained about 30 minutes from our low point in early December. The area remains mostly clear as south and southwest winds continue around 10 mph. After a not-too-chilly evening, lows eventually make the upper 20s in the colder spots to the low-or-mid 30s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Sunday): The timing of our first cold front will be important for how high we make it temperature-wise. For now, it appears to come early enough to cap us about in the mid-to-upper 40s. If it holds till later in the day, everyone might near or pass 50. Gusty (15+ mph sustained) west winds during the morning become even gustier northwest winds during the afternoon. Skies are generally mostly sunny, but we may see some increased cloudiness and even a stray sprinkle near or behind the front. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Partly cloudy skies are the rule. Winds remain gusty in the evening, but they should die off fairly quickly overnight as the front moves off to the east and the pressure gradient relaxes. Lows should hit the 20s everywhere, ranging from low 20s in the coolest suburbs to the upper 20s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Inauguration Day is looking partly cloudy, chilly and breezy, but it could be worse historically! Swearing-in temperatures in the mid-30s rise toward a high in the upper 30s or near 40 downtown. Suburbs are more likely to get locked in the mid-and-upper 30s for highs. Ahead of the Arctic front that passes by evening, we might see some snow flurries or snow showers, particularly from noon and into the afternoon. These should just be conversational if they happen, though there is an outside shot of a very brief heavier snow squall not amounting to much. See more details on wind chills and how to dress if headed out. Confidence: Medium

It’s a frigid morning, with temperatures ranging from the teens to low 20s most spots on Tuesday. Despite partly to mostly sunny skies, this shot of extra-cold air might be a bit hard to deal with, given how we haven’t seen a lot of cold so far, and last winter was quite warm. Highs only make the mid-20s (23-28) most spots. We have to go back about two years for similar readings. For reference, D.C.’s coldest high last winter was only 32! Confidence: Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/19/2013

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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