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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/21/2011

Forecast: Chance of rain today? Yes. Cold Rain? No. Christmas storm? Maybe so.

Today's Daily Digit
 
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

 
Rain could dampen day at any time. But highs near 60 are too nice to ignore.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly cloudy & mild. Chance of showers. Near 60 to low 60s. | Tonight: Chance of early-evening showers. 40s to near 50. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly cloudy. Chance of rain late. Upper 50s to low 60s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Somewhat remarkably, given we’re just a few days from Christmas, any raindrops today are warm ones with highs making a run at 60. But then again, mild has been the story of this winter so far, with cold snaps brief and not terribly bone-chilling. Mild weather sticks around through Friday with another round of rain possible Thursday night, followed by more December-like temperatures and maybe another period of precipitation over the holiday weekend.

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - Odds remain low, especially for accumulation, but still a sliver of hope for a few Christmas weekend flakes.
 
The SPI is a daily assessment of the potential for accumulating snow for the next week on a 0-10 scale. Get the 'SPI' on Twitter
 

Today (Wednesday): Bring the umbrella, but don’t expect a day-long drenching. A storm system whose center passes well to our west and north today, eventually over the Great Lakes, gives us a 40% chance of showers in the morning and 60% in the afternoon, when isolated thunder can’t be ruled out. A steady breeze from the south around 10-15 mph keeps us mild with highs near 60 to the low 60s despite mostly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: That 60% chance of showers continues into early evening. But by mid-evening, any rain should be gone or making its exit to the east, with total rainfall probably a half-inch or less, and possibly less than 0.25”. The rest of the night features partially clearing skies and lows in the 40s in the suburbs, to as warm as near 50 downtown. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Thursday): With a break between storm systems, we should see some sun early but probably more clouds late - we’ll call it partly to mostly cloudy. The air mass is still a mild one that has us looking at highs in the upper 50s to low 60s. There is a chance that showers from the next system enter from the west during the late afternoon, though the more likely scenario is they hold off until evening. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Back to the umbrella-toting if you plan to be out and about. Rain is likely with lows in the 40s. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Any lingering morning showers on Friday should soon give way to at least partly sunny skies and highs in the 50s. Friday night should present no weather worries whatsoever with partly cloudy skies and lows mainly in the 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

Christmas Eve Saturday shapes up as a quiet weather day for the vast majority of the nation, including around here. Partly sunny skies and highs in the mid-40s to near 50 should do just fine for last-minute shopping. Confidence: Medium-High

Some models suggests a storm developing to the south and moving through with rain, potentially even some snowflakes mixed in, sometime Saturday night and/or Christmas Day Sunday. Others suggest the storm misses us or holds off until late Sunday-Monday. I’d like to see a bit more model consensus before leaning in one direction or the other. Lows Saturday night bottom mainly in the 30s, with Sunday highs in the 40s to near 50. Confidence:Low

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/21/2011

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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