wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Local

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/13/2012

Forecast: Winter returns with a blast of cold and windy air

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

 
Gusts near 40mph mixed with chilly temperatures is not much fun. And it's hard to dress!
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter
EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Partly sunny, windy. Flurry possible. 35-42. | Tonight: Mostly clear, still windy. 20-27. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny, breezy. 32-38. | Sunday: Cloudier a.m. and sunnier p.m. Flurry possible? Mid-30s. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Ready the lip balm and perhaps even the ski goggles if you want to make that fashion statement. We are about to get blustery and cold into the weekend. By Sunday, we may have a few flakes to converse about, but really the topic of conversation will be the continued cold. Our bodies have un-acclimated from winter conditions, I would argue! For the holiday, on Monday, we might again see the 40 degree mark with 50 possible by Tuesday. In a way, both winter lovers & detractors should like a piece of this forecast?

Snow Potential Index: 1 (↓) - Maybe a few flurries Friday & Sunday a.m., but no real solid snow chances ahead. Bad time to be a snow lover.
 
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 (Friday): Hopefully the strong winds today will dry roads during the early morning hours quickly enough to avoid any slick spots for the ride in. But the drawback is the gusty nature of these winds, perhaps above 40 mph by midday. With sustained winds from the west at 15-25 mph even daytime highs (many places will have near midnight highs) in the mid-30s to near 40 will feel more like temperatures in the 20s. BUNDLE UP!! Some snow showers/bursts are possible in the highest parts of the Blue Ridge, but outside of a flurry chance around here, we should see only moderate numbers of remnant clouds from these snow showers. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Dinnertime wind gusts slowly diminish toward 30 mph, and eventually 20 mph. Skies should be clear after the sun sets, but this only aids the atmosphere in cooling quickly. Find that scarf & gloves again because overnight lows, without factoring the wind, will get down into the 20s -- the warmest spot, downtown, may stay near the upper 20s. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Saturday): This one should be a bit easier to handle, with westerly winds only in the 10-15 mph range (hopefully only a few gusts higher than that). Sun may win the battle over clouds, but it won’t really help thaw you out much. Temperatures remain muted, with most readings in the mid-30s probable, and perhaps a few upper 30s south of town. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: We should really dip downward in the temperature department, especially if the breezes fully calm down; but, a few clouds could help insulate us a bit. Lows reach the low-to-mid 20s with the admitted cold spots (perhaps Manassas? Winchester?) showing us a reading near or below 20. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: We may have the smallest chance of flurries falling from some (especially) morning clouds, because of a weak upper-level atmospheric disturbance moving south of D.C. Chances are low, only about 10-20%. Eventually the sun should shine brighter, but temperatures still struggle in our current winter air regime, with highs in the mid-30s most spots. If we see a lot of sun in the afternoon, a few spots south of here, like Richmond or Fredericksburg, could flirt with the 40 degree mark, but that remains a low chance. Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night: Calm, and cold conditions continue to please cold-temperature lovers. Calm winds and clear skies make it somewhat more tolerable for those wanting it milder. Lows could really range widely in these types of scenarios, from near 20 in the suburbs to the upper 20s downtown. Confidence: Low-Medium

Martin Luther King Day (Monday) is a holiday for some, but not quite a holiday for your furnace. At least highs do manage to get above the 40-degree mark in most spots, however if we get less than the mostly sunny conditions I am expecting, temperatures could hold right around 40. Just a warning. But at least the air will be calm and we can get some errands done outdoors with minimal sting, right? Confidence: Medium

Tuesday gets off to a slightly milder start around freezing, so your commute won’t deserve weather complaints, anyway. Skies could get pretty cloudy as the morning wears on though, with a 30-40% chance of rain showers by the afternoon. Ready for this? High temperatures could bolt upward toward the low-to-mid 50s ahead of our next approaching cold front. Confidence: Low

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/13/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company