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Posted at 04:05 PM ET, 03/15/2012

PM Update: D.C. sets record high; still warm but shower chances into Friday

11:45 p.m. update: A backdoor cold front has slipped through the region - dropping temperatures somewhat more than envisioned earlier as winds have come in from the northeast. Overnight lows now look to dip to around 50 across much of the region (earlier forecast was low to upper 50s). Friday morning may be a bit chilly. Temperature should recover (to 70+) in the afternoon assuming winds shift to southerly - but the exact timing of the shift is a little uncertain. If it holds off too long, highs may not get out of the 60s. Stay tuned to updates tomorrow.

From 4:05 p.m.: Both Reagan National and Dulles Airport set record high temperatures today, climbing to 82 and 84 respectively. The old records, set in 1990, were 81 and 82. It was third straight day at or above 80. It’s warm again Friday, but clouds and the opportunity for showers drop readings by a good 6-8 degrees.

Through Tonight: Summer-like this evening, with temperatures only slowly falling back through the 70s. Isolated to scattered showers or thundershowers may develop and move through, especially after around 8 p.m. - but odds are just 20-30%. Late at night, lows falls back to the low 50s in the cooler suburbs to the upper 50s downtown under variably cloudy skies.

Friday: We may awake to some sunshine, but clouds gradually build and there’s a good (50-60%) chance of showers and thundershowers, especially into the afternoon. The airmass is still mild, so highs reach the mid-70s or so- perhaps a bit warmer if we manage enough sunshine.

See David Streit’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Other record highs today: Many other cities from the East Coast to the Midwest have reached new record highs today. Here’s a selection: Chicago, Chattanooga, Madison, Detroit, Huntsville, Minot, and Louisville. Cities which have at least tied recordss include Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Birmingham. Track records at

Pollen update: The U.S. Army Allergy Center reports today’s tree pollen count was 141 spores per cubic meter, which is HIGH. However, it was a bit lower than Wednesday’s count of 225.

By  |  04:05 PM ET, 03/15/2012

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