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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/18/2012

D.C. area forecast: Mild today with possible evening storms; slightly cooler, sun-drenched weekend


Today: Diminishing sunshine, slight shower risk late. Highs 68-73. | Tonight: Evening storms likely. Lows 54-58. | Tomorrow: Showers end early, turning sunny. Highs 70-74. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10

Perfection but for the late blooming clouds, the breeze blowing dirt in my eyes and the risk of a stormy evening. Get the Digit on Twitter| Discuss on Facebook


Let’s get the not so good news over with first: there is one big storm out over the Midwest aiming a line of showers/storms our way this evening. A few cells could produce strong winds. We are not talking derecho here, but just be careful. Beginning Friday, the forecast is in“fall”ible - sunshine and mild temperatures hold all weekend.

Today (Thursday): This day is likely to start out with sunny skies but that is not likely to hold into the afternoon as strong winds from the south (10-20 mph) latch on to a lot of moist air from the Gulf. A stray shower could pop up (20% chance) but increasing clouds are the main feature. Highs still make very respectable upper 60s to lower 70s, so hard to complain. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: This is the tricky part of the forecast. Right now it looks like a line of storms may fire up on the east slopes of the Appalachians early evening and come barreling our way. Still lots of leeway on timing and intensity but current call would be for storms to roll through (80% chance) around 8-10 pm.

There are such strong winds aloft that even if there isn’t much thunder the more vigorous cells could still pull down some 30-50 mph wind gusts, capable of some damage. Gentler rain showers could linger through the overnight and amounts of a quarter to a half inch should keep gardens happy. Evening readings in the 60s end up in the 50s. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Friday): There could still be a few showers along the eastern fringes of the area at daybreak (20% chance) but they quickly head off for the coast. Sun returns in abundance and highs reach the low-to-mid 70s.Winds are light from the west. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: A crescent moon in the western sky signals a starry night ahead. Evening readings should hold in the 60s but fall quickly overnight ending up in the low-to-upper 40s (suburbs-city). Confidence: High


All is well on Saturday with abundant sunshine, light breezes and dry air in control. Highs should reach the mid-to-upper 60s. The evening cools into the 50s but catch a look at the western horizon once darkness descends to see Mars and the star Antares pairing up. Overnight lows fall to the 40s under clear, calm conditions. Confidence: High

Sunday remains first class for outdoor activities with unbridled sun and mild readings in the mid-to-upper 60s. The evening cools quickly but we are getting used to the 50s by now. Lows end up in the 40s throughout the area. Confidence: High

Going back to work on Monday is kind of a bummer as another sun-filled day is in the making. Highs should reach the low-to-mid 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/18/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

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