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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/18/2013

D.C. area forecast: Temperatures on a small roller coaster, before plummeting next week

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mainly sunny, brisk. Mid-30s to near 40. | Tonight: Chilly, starry. 21-29. | Tomorrow: Breezy but otherwise nice. Upper 40s to low 50s. | Sunday: Partly sunny, breezy. 42-49. | 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


Hard to give too many points for the blustery shock of cold temps. At least we’ll finally see sun. :) 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 ↓ - Monday may hold some flakes. Gotta think they’re inconsequential for now though. Bundle up, regardless! Get the SPI on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook

FORECAST IN DETAIL


Breezes and windy conditions over the coming days may demand keeping scarves and gloves handy at times. Next week, find hand warmers (not just gloves) if participating in Inaugural festivities. What about in between, for this weekend? Breezes interfere with otherwise mild 40s—even some 50s—yet we should have decent chances of sunshine to help negate any wind-chill factor.

Today (Friday): I am filled with confidence, relatively speaking, that we’ll see sunshine. Don’t let that bright orb in the sky today startle you, because the cold, wintry high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 30s might be more shocking. Wind chills may dip into the 20s at times, if northwest breezes at 10-15 mph do gust toward 25 mph a couple times! Break out those scarves and gloves. Heck, maybe even the earmuffs. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Mainly clear, mostly crisp. Ah, watch those temperatures drop and as it gets to feeling wintry in a hurry. Light south breezes may help keep temperatures in outlying areas from falling lower than the lower 20s with many of us around the beltway holding, before dawn, in the mid-to-upper 20s. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Saturday): The gem of the weekend? Get outdoors and perhaps consider one of many opportunities to do community service this long weekend. High temperatures climb toward the upper 40s to lower 50s, thanks to southerly breezes at 10-15 mph. Some gusts could be noticeable and thus a bit chilly, so it isn’t exactly a day at the beach. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Clear skies might otherwise allow surface heat to escape and temperatures rapidly drop, typically, but southwest breezes in the 10 mph range should negate a rapid cool-off. Downtown may only get into the lower 30s before sunrise, with upper 20s possible outside the beltway. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday: This may be our last somewhat milder winter day before reinforcing colder air sweeps in later. West winds gusting toward 25 mph at times are a harbinger of the change to come, but in the meantime they may just make less comfortable the high temperatures in the 42-49 degree range. Luckily, we may have a decent amount of sunshine. A late day sprinkle (10% chance) can’t be ruled out. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night: Some clouds may help keep temperatures up just a bit, but it is still going to be cold. With dry air, some coldest spots may hit the 20 degree mark before sunrise. But downtown could stay in the upper 20s or so. Confidence: Medium

Martin Luther King Jr Day/Inauguration Day is going to be a decent — albeit chilly — day to do some community service outdoors, if you are so inspired. Unless of course you are “simply” attending inauguration and/or the parade. We may see a few breaks in the clouds, but I think clouds dominate. So don’t count on much solar warmth, if you are standing still on the Mall or stuck in security lines. Snow flurries or even a moderate snow shower are possible. We’ll keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t turn into anything more than conversational flakes. Fortunately, the really cold stuff might wait till Tuesday, so we shoot for highs in the mid-and-upper 30s.

Wool socks and insulated underwear is recommended. Our bodies simply haven’t acclimated to serious winter conditions, just yet. Confidence: Low-Medium

Following a cold morning with lows in the upper teens to mid-20s, Tuesday features sunshine more likely than not, but the Arctic high pressure system that is helping to suppress cloud cover also brings with it cold high temperatures around 30 to the lower 30s. Yes it is possible we eke out an entire (first of season) sub-freezing day at one of our airports, but it might be a close call. Confidence: Low

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/18/2013

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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