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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/11/2012

Forecast: Solid rain moves in today, then mild tomorrow and much colder by Friday

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

 
Cool 40s with a soaking "what-if-this-was-snow" kind of rain midday through evening.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Rain moves in. Mid-to-upper 40s. | Tonight: Rain tapers. Low 40s. | Tomorrow: Shower early? Partly sunny, mild & breezy. Mid-50s to near 60. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

No big winter storms to track. But an interesting and somewhat tricky forecast nonetheless, with a soaking rain today into tonight, a return to mild weather tomorrow, and a couple of weaker systems that may or may not generate occasional snowflakes Thursday night into the holiday weekend. What are we most confident of? The rain today into tonight, and much colder temperatures Friday through the weekend.

Snow Potential Index: 2 (→) - No big snowstorms as of now. Couple little systems (Thurs nite/early Fri; late Sat nite and/or Sun) worth watching.
 
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 (Wednesday): We’re in for a pretty good soaking as rain moves in from southwest to northeast between mid-morning and early afternoon (after the morning commute), maybe briefly mixing with sleet or snow at the onset. The rain should last into the evening and could be moderate to heavy at times, especially during the commute home. Skies becoming mostly cloudy, and eventually the rain, limit highs to the mid-to-upper 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: The rain may not taper until after midnight, and mist or drizzle could linger thereafter. Best guess for Wednesday-Wednesday night rainfall totals is in the .75-1.5” range. Continued cloudy skies and maybe some fog keep temperatures from dropping very far, with overnight lows mainly in the 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Thursday): Once we get past the chance of a leftover morning shower, skies turning partly sunny and mild breezes from the west-southwest (at around 10-20 mph) warm highs to the pleasant mid-50s to near 60. It’s only a one-day “warm wave,” so plan to get outside at least for a little while during the day. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Colder air surges in, and with it could come some late evening or overnight rain or snow showers. Under partly to mostly cloudy skies, lows tumble to the low-to-mid 30s. Cold enough for any snow to stick? Probably a minor accumulation at most and mainly north and west of town. But something to keep an eye on. Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Friday closes out the work week on a partly sunny, windy and chilly note. Highs only manage the mid-30s to low 40s, with gusty breezes making it feel colder than that. A few flurries or snow showers may swing through as well. Winds should decrease some Friday night with lows in the upper teens to upper 20s (suburbs to city). Confidence: Medium

Saturday’s not as windy, but may still be somewhat breezy and just as cold as Friday, if not a little colder. Partly sunny skies and highs in the 30s to near 40 will be quite the chill compared to this past Saturday’s mid-to-upper 60s. Confidence: Medium

Late Saturday night and/or Sunday, an upper-level system coming out of the Midwest dives to our south before likely re-developing off the coast. Currently, models suggest that most precipitation (if any) would skip over the D.C. area during the coastal transition. But this is the kind of thing that can change. So we’ll watch it, especially since temps look nice and wintry, with Saturday night lows in the 20s and Sunday highs in the 30s to near 40 again. Confidence:Low-Medium

Early indications are that high pressure takes control on MLK Monday, delivering quiet but still chilly conditions with highs in the 30s to near 40. Confidence:Low-Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/11/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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