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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/22/2011

Forecast: Cloudy, mild first day of winter; rainy tonight and a mainly dry Christmas weekend

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

 
Not going to complain about these temperatures for the first day of winter, astronomically speaking.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly cloudy. 60-64. | Tonight: Moderate showers. 44-48. | Tomorrow: Showers end early, then mostly cloudy. 51-55. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

The weather is pretty much on the traveler’s side as we pass the winter solstice and enter the Christmas home-stretch. Sizeable showers tonight should hold off until after most commuting is done. Last minute shoppers are in luck with minimal rain chances Friday and Saturday. For those dreaming of a white Christmas, the problem is an approaching storm system is likely to be too far south to deliver the moisture.

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - Dreaming is likely all we will be doing as far as a white Christmas is concerned or anytime in the next week for that matter.
 
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 (Thursday): The sun is taking the day off for the most part (you could catch a few glimpses early in the day) but, thankfully, the warmth is not. Highs are likely to be in the lower 60s across the area. Breezes should be light, making it feel all the better. But best of all, showers are expected to hold off until evening making for a lack of travel problems. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Wet is the word for this evening and through much of the night. Some of these showers could come down pretty hard but fortunately it looks like the heaviest may not fall until after midnight. Breeze are light, aiding umbrella survival rates. Rain chances are just shy of 100% and amounts of up to three-quarters of an inch are likely with potentially heavier amounts north of the city. Evening readings should hold in the 50s and lows only make the mid-to-upper 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Friday): Winds shift to come from the north (10-15 mph) at daybreak and showers die out quickly. The cold front is strong enough to hold temperature rises in check with most areas only managing upper 40s to lower 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Clouds gradually break up and cold air continues to funnel into the region as a strong high pressure system builds in from the north. Readings should still be in the 40s in the evening but more seasonable readings arrive by night’s end. Lows hit the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Christmas Eve (Saturday) is a seasonable day with mostly clear skies and highs in the mid-to-upper 40s. No impediments from the weather for frenzied shoppers. Rudolph and company should have no problems as skies should be mostly clear. Lows hold in the low-to-mid 30s (some upper 20s in the colder suburbs). Confidence: Medium-High

Christmas Day (Sunday) has some increasing clouds on the agenda which should at least make the Christmas lights brighter. A disturbance passes well to our south and for that reason precipitation is unlikely (20% chance). Highs manage to reach the mid-to-upper 40s. The evening could get pretty chilly as a strong wind from the north pushes colder air into the area. Overnight lows range from the mid-20s to lower 30s (downtown). Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday is brisk but mostly sunny. Hopefully most of you have the day off and don’t have to go out early. Highs should only reach the low-to-mid 40s. Confidence: Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/22/2011

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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