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Posted at 09:55 AM ET, 02/08/2013

D.C. area forecast: Morning wintry mix becomes rain, possibly ending as snow

9:55 a.m. update: The rain (and sleet and snow north and west) have moved out of the D.C. area. A surprising 2-4 inches of snow fell in central Virginia (even into Fauquier county, where schools are closed), with around 0.5-2 inches in Loudoun and Frederick counties. The winte r weather advisory has been cancelled in areas that received snow. We’ll have to wait and see whether any wrap around snow from the storm comes back into the area (mainly northern suburbs) tonight. All eyes now on Philly to Boston....

7:00 a.m. update: Much of the area has gone over to rain or been almost all rain after a brief bout of sleet late night. Some western spots have picked up as high as 1” of snow with temperatures still near freezing. A smaller area lined up near the Blue Ridge has seem a bit more snow, as much as a few inches in spots. The largest totals, even as high as 3-4”, seem to be to our southwest. Rain, wintry mix trending toward rain to the west should all continue for a few hours before beginning to taper from west to east by late morning or so.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Morning mix, to rain. Increasing afternoon wind. Near 40 to mid-40s. | Tonight: Evening snow showers? Biting winds. Mid-20s to around 30. | Tomorrow: Increasing sunshine but windy. Upper 30s to low 40s. | Sunday: Mostly sunny. Mild? 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


Who really likes a wintry mix and chilly rain? When it ends, cold and wind are our “fair” trade-off. Meh. 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: 5 (↑) - Morning slop may drop a coating or a bit more. Additional flakes possible, mainly NE, as storm pulls away. Get the SPI on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook

FORECAST IN DETAIL


While cities to the northeast like New York City and Boston get clobbered with snow, we’ll mainly have the storm’s collateral damage of strong winds an cold air for a couple days. After today’s wintry mix to rain event passes, we ramp up the winds tonight and much of tomorrow. We also notch down the temperatures. Sunday and onward brings an upward trend in temperatures. You might soon be able to put away gloves and scarves for a bit?

Today (Friday): Our slushy, sloppy, “D.C. classic” wintry mix cocktail may hamper the morning a bit, but many spots should be at or above freezing and rising even early in the monring. Still, watch for slick spots out there! Full melting does happen as we slowly rise to near 40 and into the low 40s during the afternoon. Skies remain cloudy with rain the most likely precipitation type everywhere by around 10 a.m. Rain should lighten and taper through the early afternoon hours as northerly breezes trend windy. A high gradient in precipitation totals may be seen near the area, with us generally on the lighter side of things to the east. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Only a few breaks in the clouds appear possible, as more precipitation could move back in by evening into overnight, particularly north and east of D.C. and toward Baltimore. We are keeping an eye on a quick dusting to perhaps an inch or a bit more snow for some “lucky” folks in our area—this is only a possibility if the New England snowstorm is able to throw back enough snow into our area. As the storm northeast of us is rapidly strengthening, winds will pick up—even howl—from the northwest in the 15-25 mph range (sustained) along with gusts over 35 mph. Lows drop to the mid-20s to around 30 (downtown) but wind chills could easily dip into the teens. Confidence: Medium

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Saturday): This is a blustery one with northwest winds continuing to blow as high as around 20 mph, gusting even higher. Only gradually do they slacken, mainly after sunset. As the big storm in New England slowly pulls away from the coast, skies will clear and much of the day should see sunshine. Despite this, high temperatures struggle under such strong, cold winds out of Canada, keeping high temperatures in the upper 30s, to low 40s if we are lucky. Wind chills will be lower, so bundle up! Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Winds slowly diminish into breezes, though still chilling us thoroughly since low temperatures hit the upper teens outside the beltway, and even mid-20s likely downtown. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: Our emergence out of wintry chill and wind is here. High temperatures should hit at least the mid-40s, assuming skies stay mostly sunny throughout the day. If winds shift at all, lightly, to a southerly or westerly direction later in the day, a few spots south of town could hit the low 50s. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night has increasing clouds and southerly breezes announcing the arrival of some rain showers perhaps (30-40% chance). Almost everyone should remains above freezing in the mid-to-upper 30s; however, we will watch a few colder valley areas for a couple hours of freezing conditions slimly possible. Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday could be wet with some light rain showers (40-50% chance) but hopefully they diminish slowly during the afternoon. Keep an umbrella on you, just to be safe. High temperatures may reach the upper 40s to, even, mid-50s if the rain fully pulls out before mid-afternoon. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tuesday is a mix of sun and clouds, and even a slight chance of a sprinkle still exists. High temperatures hover around 50 but could go higher if we see more sunshine than currently expected—perhaps mid-50s again not out of the question. Confidence: Low

By  |  09:55 AM ET, 02/08/2013

 
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