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

PM Update: Rain to exit, winds to rage, turning cooler

* Wind Advisory for entire region thru midnight *

Temperatures significantly underachieved today, only reaching the 50s to near 60, rather than the 70+ forecast (except in the southernmost parts of the region). Intermittent rain showers cycled through, and even some heavier thunderstorms in southern Maryland. As we await the last of the showers to exit, the winds will pick up significantly as a cold front blows through. A wind advisory is in effect.

Through Tonight: A few showers are possible early this evening before gradual clearing. Winds will steadily intensify, with very strong gusts most likely between 6 p.m. and midnight. Sustained winds from the west will reach 20-25 mph, with some gusts to 40-45 mph, except 50-60 mph in higher elevations to the west. Low temperatures range from 35-40 (suburbs-city).

The weekend: Both days are partly to mostly sunny and cooler, with highs only around 50. Saturday is definitely the windier of the two days, with a wind from the west at 15-20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph or so at times. By Sunday, winds should be light, generally less than 10 mph. Saturday night is clear and cold, with lows from the 25-32 (suburbs-city).

See Camden Walker’s forecast through early next week. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Temperatures at 1 p.m. today. Note the 40s in northern Maryland and 75+ reading in central Virginia.
Forecast bust: Today is one of the biggest temperature forecast busts I can recall CWG making. We forecast highs of 70-75 (leaning closer to 70), and while that verified in St. Mary’s and Stafford counties, parts of the northern part of the region didn’t get out of the 40s! All of the models showed the warm front lifting north of D.C. by early-to-mid morning and forecast highs between 65 and 75. There was no indication in any of them of a cold wedge at this latitude and the warm front getting stuck.

I don’t know of any forecaster who got this right, and I’m not sure hours of additional study would’ve produced a significantly better forecast. We probably should’ve been faster in adjusting our forecast, but with all the data pointing to a warm spike (it happened in Richmond which hit 80), I really did think we’d warm up at least into the 60s. We’ll need to be more cautious in warm front forecasts moving forward.

By  |  05:00 PM ET, 02/24/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

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