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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/17/2011

Forecast: Much colder, showers slow to move out today; another fine fall weekend ahead

A few wet snowflakes possible in colder north and west suburbs today

10:15 a.m. update: The precipitation shield has largely set up along and to the east and southeast of I-95, so areas west of the beltway haven’t seen much (and may only get grazed, if that, by additional precipitation heading northeast). Most of the precipitation falling this morning is rain, but a few spots have mixed with sleet and snow during more intense bursts. This activity should gradually push off to the east and northeast by early afternoon, and will be followed by gradual clearing.

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Today: Occasional light showers, windy. Much colder. 43-47. | Tonight: Clearing and breezy. 26-33. | Tomorrow: Sunny. 46-50. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Say goodbye to 60-degree warmth. Temperatures today are a good 15 degrees colder (or more) than the last several and it’s windy. Mainly light showers are around and about, and there is a chance, just a chance, that the moisture hangs around enough for a few snowflakes to fall mainly in the north and west suburbs. The weekend is a trade-off: cool but sunny to start and then clouds but warmer to finish.

Today (Thursday): Clouds and sprinkles/showers make for a less than optimal commute in the early morning. Occasional light showers are likely to linger into the early afternoon (70% chance). Cold air steadily surges across the area on strong winds from the northwest at 10-15 mph, gusting to 30 mph. If the moisture holds in long enough it could get cold enough to convince a few snowflakes to fall in the north and west suburbs (especially towards Leesburg and Frederick and points west and northwest) but it would be just a few with accumulation highly unlikely. Breaks in the clouds are likely as the afternoon wears on, especially in the western suburbs. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Skies clear quickly but winds only gradually lessen, meaning dress warmly. Temperatures slip steadily and most areas go below freezing. Lows should be mid-20s to lower 30s. The real question is whether Reagan National will finally fall to freezing? It will be close. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Friday): The sunshine is dazzling but the readings are not. Most areas stay in the mid-to-upper 40s. Breezes are only light today, taking that chill out of the equation. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: The stars are in good supply as high pressure parks over the area. This keeps it calm but radiates heat away in a hurry. Sub-freezing is likely in all but downtown once again. Lows range from the mid-20s to lower 30s. Confidence: Medium-High


Saturday is a fine fall day with plenty of sun and only a light breeze. Another good chance to get some outdoor work done before winter settles in. Highs are respectable in the mid-to-upper 50s. As soon as the sun sets, the temperatures start slipping so evening readings may already reach the upper 40s. However, our breeze from the south is working overtime and lows only drop to the mid-30s in the suburbs to mid-40s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday is likely to start out cloudy and stay that way. The storm responsible for this unwelcome addition to our sky is up in the Great Lakes headed for Canada so shower potential is pretty slim (20%). The good news is that the warm air feeding into that system benefits us. Look for readings in the low-to-mid 60s, so who can complain about the clouds? Overnight lows only slip to the mid-to-upper 40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday is expected to remain cloudy and there is a 20% chance of a light shower. However, there should be enough high pressure nosing into the region from the north to make the showers sparse. The trade-off is cooler temperatures with highs in the mid-to-upper 50s. Confidence: Low

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/17/2011

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