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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/12/2012

Forecast: Unseasonably mild today but noticeably cold starting tomorrow

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

With lots of sun and unseasonable warmth, it's hard not to give a perfect 10 but it's windy!
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

Today: Mainly sunny and breezy. 58-62. | Tonight: Rain showers possibly mixing with snow. 32-36. | Tomorrow: Clearing, windy. 42-46. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


The next couple of days are the equivalent of meteorological whiplash. Today is practically a taste of spring time. Things start to go downhill tonight with light showers that may mix with snow. Winds start howling overnight and do not give up on Friday as the cold air invasion gets serious. Aside from some clouds and possible flurries early Sunday, the weekend is full of sun. But winter has the audacity to keep us chilled through the MLK holiday.

Snow Potential Index: 2 (→) - While any flakes early Friday am are probably less productive than last Monday's whitening, a brief coating can't be ruled out predawn N & W. Sunday am's prospects look bleak even for flurries.
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): You may want to check the calendar but, yes, it really is still the heart of winter. Skies clear out early conspiring to allow temperatures to rise quickly into the 50s. Many areas should make 60. Such temperatures are more reminiscent of an early spring day and a real treat. Breezes are brisk from the west at 10-15 mph. Clouds could begin to creep back in before sunset. Confidence: High

Tonight: Clouds increase early and thicken through the evening as temperatures remain in the balmy 50s. Showers (80% chance) should not reach the area until about midnight. Winds build through the night reaching 15 to 25 mph. Colder air finally surges over the Appalachians prior to dawn and gives us the chance to mix the rain showers with some snow. Accumulations are going to be very hard to come by with the warm ground and the brevity of the event. Lows end up in the low-to-mid 30s (northwest to southeast). Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Friday): The one good thing about the strong winds this morning is that they will dry most wet patches on the roads quickly. The bad thing is that they will be gusting to 40 mph or higher so be careful out ther.e Temperatures struggle to go up at all and most areas have to settle for low-to-mid 40s. Sunshine is frequent but look for bands of clouds zipping through on occasion from snow squalls occurring in the Appalachians. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Skies are clear but the windy conditions are slow to abate. With most areas dropping below freezing fairly early in the evening, it is time to bundle up. Overnight lows range through the 20s (low 20s cooler suburbs, upper 20s downtown). Confidence: Medium-High


Saturday looks like a nice day with mostly sunny skies and less wind to contend with. But, in this case, looks are definitely deceiving. Arctic air is firmly in place for the weekend. Highs do no better than mid-to-upper 30s. A few clouds ripple through from time to time in the afternoon but it should stay lip-chappingly dry. The overnight is likely to be even colder if the winds calm down and clouds remain scant. But we may see some mid- and high level clouds. Lows reach the low-to-mid 20s with a few “pits” likely to see upper teens. Confidence: Medium

Sunday could see some morning clouds as a very weak upper level low goes by but chances of light snow or flurries from this system are less than 20%. Even if the sun wins out most of the day as expected, temperatures do not. Highs are expected to peak in the mid-to-upper 30s. The Arctic high is directly over the area in the evening with calm, sparkling starry skies to enjoy. Overnight lows range from mid-teens to mid-20s (downtown). Confidence: Low-Medium

Martin Luther King Day (Monday) is sunny with barely a breeze. That is welcome but temperatures continue to struggle with highs only in the upper 30s to lower 40s. Confidence: Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/12/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

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