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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/30/2011

Forecast: Mild set of days ahead, but cold air looms

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

 
I like saving $ on utilities with temps in the 50s! A breeze and some clouds keep me from going higher.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Clouds by p.m. 52-57. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy, breezy. Possible sprinkle. 35-40. | Tomorrow: Breezy, mainly sunny. 53-58. | Sunday: Mostly sunny. Mid-50s to near 60. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

If you like mild air, you have a few more days to enjoy it before our chill-down next week. Just dress for breezy conditions more often than not. Highs in the 50s look probable through Sunday, when we also may have a chance at 60 degrees. Sorry cold weather lovers/snow lovers, we don’t have much winter to speak of until Sunday night or Monday, when maybe a couple flakes may accompany the Arctic air barreling into our region. At least for New Year’s Eve plans Saturday night, there aren’t any weather headaches for us!

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - Arctic air bound for us looks moisture starved, but maybe able to produce a couple flakes Sun. night or Mon.
 
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 (Friday): Crossing north, above our region, a smallish storm system may throw toward DC a few clouds by midday and especially into afternoon. No flurries today though. Riding on southerly breezes, high temperatures in the low-to-mid 50s sound like a decent break from the cold. Or, is it dampening your wintry spirit? This time of year, cloud shields are difficult to predict with the low, weak sun angle, but if we’re lucky we could have another decent sunset to photograph. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Clouds may persist and even thicken their blanket over us as the evening progresses. A slight (10-20%) chance for a sprinkle exists too, though it likely stays north of the area. Those southerly breezes pick up a little right before shifting to the northwest overnight. This weak cold front shouldn’t have enough time before the sun rises to really pull down temperatures beyond the mid-to-upper 30s, perhaps 40 downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the beginning of 2012...

New Year’s Eve (Saturday): It may be somewhat sunny, but prepare for a bit of a brisk day with northwesterly winds averaging around 15 mph but gusting to 25 mph or so. Winds may decrease heading into sunset. High temperatures still manage to make it into the mid-50s or so, since the cold front overnight wasn’t very strong! No Arctic air... yet. Confidence: Medium-High

2011 -> 2012 (Tomorrow night): If you’re traveling between or among your evening festivities, I am happy to report dry conditions and probably a quickly decreasing breeze. If you are still awake and outside to ring in the New Year, temperatures should be around 40 at midnight with pre-sunrise temperatures ultimately bottoming in the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

New Year’s Day (Sunday): We usher in 2012 on a very sunny note with light south breezes pushing temperatures well into the 50s. A few folks could even see 60 degrees, especially south of town. This is a call to get outside and enjoy this weather, as it will be our most “pleasant” day for some time to come. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night: Looks to be mostly cloudy and low temperatures near average in the low-to-mid 30s. But it could become quite breezy by morning if a strong Arctic cold front stays on-schedule to approach from the west. Also accompanying the front is a 20% chance of a shower or perhaps a couple snowflakes. To reiterate the SPI, above, no significant accumulation expected. Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday may look sunny, with a few clouds here & there, but the wind is what may get you. Wintry high temperatures in the 40-45 degree range appear likely and yet the wind-chill will be lower. Luckily most of us will not have to work and bear the outdoors. There may be a lingering threat of a snow flurry or two as cold air continues to spill into the region. And as soon as the sun sets, temperatures will plummet. Dress in layers, please! Confidence: Low-Medium

Tuesday may see a mix of clouds and sun. Would you believe that temperatures will struggle to get above the freezing mark? It could be close based on model output for now, which suggests temperatures in the low-and-mid 30s. We’ll have to see if that can moderate at all though. Even if it did, winds will continue to be strong enough to make you feel considerably colder through much of the day. Confidence: Low

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/30/2011

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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