Today’s temperatures, which topped out in the mid-to-upper 40s, were more characteristic of mid-December. But as flow shifts from more northerly to southerly over the course of the weekend, temperatures moderate. Tonight though, could well be the season’s coldest so far, a shade chillier than last night even.
Through Tonight: Whereas overnight winds last night mixed the air enough to prevent temperatures from really toppling, that won’t be the case tonight. Rather, the winds go calm and pretty much everyone tumbles below freezing. Reagan National should record its first freeze right on schedule (the average date happens to be today), although a very light south wind towards morning could foil that. Lows range from the low-to-mid 20s in the colder suburbs to the low 30s downtown.
The weekend: Saturday’s sunny, helping temperatures recover from the 20s and 30s into the mid-50s. It’s not out of the question some high clouds move in late. Winds are light, from the south at 5 to 10 mph. With the southerly flow established, not as cold Saturday night, with lows ranging from the low-to-mid 30s in the cooler suburbs to the low 40s downtown. Even milder yet Sunday, with highs warming into the 60-65 degree territory, despite clouds increasing during the day.
Reno fire: A large wildfire fanned by wind gusts up to 60 mph has wreaked havoc in Reno, Nevada. The Associated Press reports “the blaze raged through more than 400 acres, claimed at least one life, injured several others, destroyed 20 homes and blanketed Reno and its suburban enclaves in a fiery curtain.” You can see the fire and the mountain waves that produced the strong winds on satellite imagery at the CIMSS satellite blog.