D.C. area forecast: Wintry cold with morning flurries possible; normal temps elude area through weekend

March 21, 2013

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the days weather, on a scale of 1 to 10.

3
This Arctic weather is more typical of 3 months ago, thus the rating.

Express Forecast

Today: Chance of flurries, then clearing and breezy. 39-43.

Tonight: Clear, dry and still breezy. 25-29.

Tomorrow: Sunny, breezy and not as cold. 47-51.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


If this is the first full day of spring, wake me in another 3 months. In fact, today will barely be normal for the heart of winter. You may even get to take in a few flakes. Attendees of the kickoff of the Cherry Blossom Festival will need scarves and a keen eye for any blooms (peak is now forecast to not occur until the first week of April). A weak but welcome warm-up on Friday and Saturday gets us closer to normal. Then back to old cold and damp to start the new week.


Radar & lightning:Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Thursday): There is a decent chance (40%) for some snow showers  or flurries in the morning followed by gradual clearing from west to east. Highs are only in the upper 30s to lower 40s. Winds of 10-15 mph make it even chillier. Hope you didn’t put away the gloves and scarves! Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Stars will be shining steadily through this cold atmosphere. For all you impatient gardeners, if you have seedlings you can bring in, do. If not, cover them up with something and hope for the best. Weigh that cover down too as winds remain 10-15 mph. Lows fall to the mid-to-upper 20s, yes, even in the city. Confidence: High

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…

Tomorrow (Friday): Sunshine is a go today, all day. Pesky winds fail to give up and remain at 10-15 mph. The spring sun has better success but highs still only max out in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Confidence: High

Snow Potential Index

A daily assessment of the potential for *accumulating* snow for the next week on a 1-10 scale. More info

2 (→) Too dry to accumulate today; on Sunday/Monday it may be too warm…too close to call.
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Tomorrow night: Yet another night of heavy coats and nervous gardeners as lows drop to the mid-20s suburbs to near freezing downtown. At least winds abate under clear skies. Confidence: High

A LOOK AHEAD

We are safely sandwiched between storms on Saturday and with just a little luck get ready for a mainly sunny day and even warmer temperatures. Highs reach the low-to-mid 50s which is almost seasonable. Clouds could begin to filter in from the south late in the day. Breezes are light as well, so outdoor activities are a go. Clouds increase overnight and lows hold in the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

A complex storm system is expected to approach the area on Sunday. Clouds quickly thicken. Rain, possibly mixing with snow in colder areas, may develop as the day wears on (best chances late in the afternoon). Highs reach the 40s. Those daytime temperatures make it difficult for our region to cool enough to achieve accumulating snow overnight except perhaps in elevated areas well west and northwest of the city. The chance of precipitation is 70 percent with lows in the 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

The storm attempts to strengthen as it passes offshore early Monday morning based on the latest model input. This would keep us in a 70% chance of rain and/or snow mainly in the morning followed by lingering clouds and cold readings for the remainder of the day.  The “March Madness” continues with highs only in the 40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

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Ian Livingston · March 20, 2013