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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/06/2012

D.C. area forecast: Strong cold front to end mild streak; cold and wet Sunday


Today: Increasing clouds, afternoon showers possible. Breezy. 70s. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy and breezy, showers likely late. Mid-40s to near 50. | Tomorrow: Periods of rain. Chilly! Near 50. | 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

Pleasant start, but strong cold front arrives by afternoon. Just a small risk of a passing shower. Get the Digit on Twitter| Discuss on Facebook


This weekend is a tale of two months, neither of which we’re currently in. Today’s highs are more like those we might expect in late September. Tomorrow we might have daytime temperatures like those we’d typically see in early December. Between the two is a strong cold front that kicks through this afternoon, followed by a little storm system passing by behind it. Rain associated with the storm promises to make tomorrow’s chill rather raw.

Today (Saturday): Hard not to favor the first half of the day, though overall it might not be too bad. Clouds should be streaming in by mid-morning if not prior, and they’ll continue to do so as a front nears the area. That front should pass through as soon as midday out west, and probably closer to early afternoon for D.C. and then points east. Along the front, we might see a few scattered showers (20% chance), though they’ll be quick moving and won’t amount to much if they happen. Skies may even clear out a bit late. Temperatures shoot for the mid-70s, but may be a bit lower or a bit higher depending on the timing of the front. Winds increase to around 15-20 mph, with higher gusts, during the afternoon. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Breaks in the clouds that could be around through the evening fill in again overnight. Northwest breezes should diminish as time passes, but won’t die off completely, and they continue pumping in cold air. Lows should reach the mid-40s in the suburbs to near 50 downtown. Rain chances go up after midnight, and showers become likely by sunrise. Confidence: Medium

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

Powerful cold front heading east: Above shows the 24-hour change in temperature as of about 10:30 a.m., as much as 25F lower in a band stretching from Texas to New York. (WeatherBug)
Tomorrow (Sunday): This won’t be the best day to spend outside — sorry Redskins ticket holders! Periods of showers or light rain (80% chance) continue on and off through the day, with the heaviest activity perhaps coming during morning or midday. Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t look to want to start drying out till we get toward late afternoon or evening. Not fun enough? Temperatures might end up “peaking” early and either staying stagnant or dropping thereafter. So, that high “near 50” means much of the day could be in the 40s. Winds from the north around 5-10 mph only add to the wintry feel. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tomorrow night: A 40% chance of evening showers becomes a dry overnight. The cold hits its peak, and that means the chilliest night of the young cool season is here. If you’re not ready yet, the good news might be some remnant clouds and wind around. That’ll help keep temperatures from bottoming out below the mid-30s to low 40s. It could be worse? It will be soon enough... Confidence: Medium


Columbus Day doesn’t bring much warming in the temperature department, but at least we’ll see a good deal of sun. Highs seem to want to get stuck in the “well below average” range, with mid-50s to near 60 all we can manage. Those cool daytime readings set the stage for another cold, but probably a touch warmer, night as lows make the mid-30s in the chilled suburbs to the low-or-mid 40s downtown. Confidence: Medium

As everyone lucky enough to have Monday off (not me) heads back to work on Tuesday, gorgeous conditions settle in. It might still be a touch cool for some, but should feel warm comparatively. Mostly sunny skies lead to highs in the mid-60s to near 70. This is the fall weather I’m ready to enjoy! Confidence: Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/06/2012

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