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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 02/24/2012

Forecast: Warmth before shower and storm potential, then very windy

* Wind Advisory for immediate metro region 3 p.m. to midnight *
* High Wind Warning for Loudoun, Frederick, & Carroll counties 3 p.m. to midnight *

3 p.m. update: An obvious temperature bust today due to stubborn cold wedge. The temperature at 3 p.m. is just 52 in D.C. - but the warmth is oh, so close. In Stafford, it was 70 at 2 p.m. and it’s currently 80 in Richmond. Follow our live blog for the latest on rain, storms, and wind in the region.

8 a.m. update: Temperatures are a little cooler to start the day than forecast as a warm front has not yet pushed to our north. Case in point: it’s 50 in Charlottesville, but 63 in Richmond. It may take until late morning or early afternoon that the warm push makes it into the D.C., so we’re now favoring the low end of our forecast high range, closer to 70 than 75. Also note the wind advisory and high wind warning posted for later today. The Fire Weather Watch, on the other hand, has been discontinued due to rain chances.

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

 
Hints of sun, and warm. Showers/storms and big wind threaten during the second half of the day.
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter
EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Partly sunny, p.m. showers and storms. Windy late. 70-75. | Tonight: Clearing, still windy. Mid-30s to low 40s. | Tomorrow: Fairly sunny, still windy. 48-53. | Sunday: Sunny. Near 50 to mid-50s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Today is a warm, showery, and eventually windy one. It just may be tricky to drive high profile vehicles after the front whips through, not to mention debris (like sand) blowing into our eyes. Once this cold front gets through the region, we have a couple cooler days, as breezes abate for Saturday night and Sunday. Overnight lows closer to freezing this weekend, though, may have you reaching for that buried winter coat! Not for long though, as temperatures next week could meet or exceed the 60 degree mark. Ah, what a non-wintry February, eh? (Allergy sufferers say: achoo!)

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - Can't totally rule out a flake late next week, but close. Pollen might continue to be a bigger issue.
 
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
 

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map. See interactive map on our Weather Wall.

Today (Friday): Looks windy and warm with some peeks of sunshine through sometimes-thick clouds. Showers may pop (40-50% chance), mainly in the afternoon, along with the sounds of thunder possible too. As you head towards southeast Virginia, there is an increasing risk of severe thunderstorms.

Winds should be most of the story with gusts above 40-50 mph, especially late this afternoon and to the west (some gusts to 60 mph possible at higher elevations). And please be careful where you are discarding your cigarette butts because of a high fire danger!

Even outside of gusts, winds still could be sustained between 20-25 mph out of the southwest and west. Ahead of this approaching cold front, most of us manage to hit the 70 degree mark with some of us heading into the mid-70s (especially south of town). Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Clouds should depart the region fairly quickly behind our cold front, evidenced by winds turning out of the westerly direction, and almost as gusty (40 mph possible) as during the daytime! Temperatures slowly drop toward pre-dawn low temperatures around the mid-30s in the suburbs to lower 40s downtown. Yet we aren’t really going to enjoy the wind-chill factor-- making the ~30 degree drop more than annoying. Confidence: Medium

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the beginning of next week...

Tomorrow (Saturday): Looks nicer, but, if only we didn’t have this pesky west wind, around 15-20 mph still with gusts near 40, we could still revel in some sunny weather. Highs aim for right about average (rare this winter!), near the 50 degree mark. Confidence: Mediu-High

Tomorrow night: Clear skies rule, with -- finally -- winds dissipating. Just be prepared to bundle up a bit. Lows could end up in the low-to-mid 30s downtown, perhaps upper 20s if you live outside the Beltway. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday: This one lives up to its label, with bright, blue skies! Still, temperatures remain a bit muted, albeit near average, somewhere near 50. South of town, a few mid-50s appear possible. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night: Skies should stay clear for the most part, so if you can get away from light pollution to do a bit of stargazing, you should try! Just don’t forget to bundle up, with lows dipping toward the 30 degree mark by dawn, with perhaps mid-30s if staying downtown (opting-out of stargazing). Confidence: Medium-High

Monday could have a mix of sun and clouds, with a slight breeze possibly returning as well. Yet, because this breeze is from the warmer, southerly direction, temperatures head toward the 60 degree mark! South-of-town’ers could see a few readings in the mid-60s, to boot. Confidence: Medium

Tuesday appears to want to be cloudier than Monday but still almost as mild, with temperatures in the upper 50s possible. A few of us could still hit 60. We’ll watch the approach of our next cold front though, and update the timing of clouds and any showers (10% chance at this point) as we get into next week. Confidence: Low-Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 02/24/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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