Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/29/2011

Forecast: Still cool but a whole lot less wind; New Year’s weekend mild but Arctic blast Monday

2:05 p.m. Update: Today’s surprise flurries and even a bit of light snow (which we’ve been tweeting about) have been mainly confined to areas north and northwest of the Beltway. The activity should move out from west to east during the next couple hours.

10:35 a.m. Update: With skies cloudier than forecast - partly to mostly cloudy skies now expected through the day - highs probably don’t go higher than the mid-40s.

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

Sun struggles to break cold but lack of wind is a nice change of pace.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

Today: Mostly sunny. 45-49. | Tonight: Starry skies. 31-36. | Tomorrow: Sunny a.m., partly cloudy p.m. 52-56. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A couple of “clippers” zip north of us in the next two days bringing snow flurries galore to the Great Lakes. But a few clouds is about all we will have to show for them. The New Year’s revelers encounter no impediments to the merry making as unseasonably mild and dry weather prevails Saturday night and right on into Sunday. However, the warmth of December gets kicked out to sea on Monday as our first full-fledged Arctic blast arrives (snow not included).

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - While an Arctic cold push on Sunday night might set off an errant flake this 1 is probably closer to 0.5.
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): Sunshine should be abundant to start the day but there is still plenty of cold air around. Highs should only make the mid-to-upper 40s. This still feels better than yesterday as breezes should be light from the southwest. A few clouds show up late in the day. Confidence: High

Tonight: While a few clouds may linger over the area early, the bulk of the night is a starry one with a beautiful crescent moon to boot. Breezes remain light and 40s only slowly give way to 30s in the evening. Lows fall to the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow (Friday): Another unseasonably warm winter day is on tap. A storm crossing to our north is moisture starved so even clouds are likely to come in small doses. Still, there is a 20% chance of a sprinkle in the afternoon. The sun wins out most of the time, and the result is highs in the low-to-mid 50s. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Clouds are a little more frequent this evening and there is the slightest chance (20%) for a sprinkle. Winds pick up a little, coming from the northwest overnight as a weak cold front pushes through. Readings should still be well up in the 40s in the evening. Lows only settle to the mid-to-upper 30s. Confidence: Medium-High


New Year’s Eve (Saturday) is brisk in the morning as northwest winds are still kicking up. Those winds die down under mostly sunny skies by midday. This makes highs in the low-to-mid 50s feel just fine. Festivities in the evening benefit from the calm dry conditions. For those out to see the New Year in, readings should be around 40 at midnight. Lows bottom out in the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

New Year’s Day (Sunday) is a great way to start off the New Year. Breezes out of the south and plenty of sun push readings up into the 50s. So you couch potato football fans and hung over partyers had better make some time to get out and enjoy because this warmth is not going to last. A strong cold front will be approaching from the west by evening and winds begin to build. There is a 30% chance for a very light shower and maybe even a snowflake or two once the cold settles in. Overnight lows are still only in the 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday is windy and wintry with highs struggling to reach 40. Clouds are off and on but more on than off. A good day to hunker down with the hot cocoa. Confidence: Low-Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/29/2011

Categories:  Forecasts

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