PM Update: Spotty showers diminish with sunset, cool and breezy Thursday


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.

Afternoon temperatures making the upper 40s to low 50s many spots weren’t warm enough to keep some frozen precipitation from reaching the ground here and there. Cold air aloft is the culprit, and as we lose what meager daytime heating we’ve had, those showers will disappear.

Through Tonight: Showers of rain, snow and graupel decrease rapidly heading into sunset, and clouds that built during the day should diminish at least a little as well. Still, we end up with partly to mostly cloudy conditions through the night as lows range from near 30 to the mid-30s.  Winds from the northwest around 10-15 mph with higher gusts keep it a bit chilled.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Another day like the last two is ahead as we’ve still got some cold air aloft and a small disturbance moving by on the jet stream. So, that means any sunshine might end up being “self defeating” with clouds tending to bubble during the warmest parts of the day. Can’t rule out a sprinkle or two, but they should be hit-or-miss. Highs again head for the upper 40s to lower 50s, with winds sustained around 15-20 mph from the northwest during peak heating.

See Dan Stillman’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.

Satellite gap: We’ve reported here that a “satellite gap” possible in the years ahead could adversely impact forecasts. A local company — PlanetIQ — is proposing a way to bridge that gap. Their idea is to use a set of 12 satellites in low-Earth orbit and sell the data to the government. Doyle Rice of USA Today has more.

Pollen update: Tree pollen is moderate. Cedar, Cypress, Juniper, Elm and Maple are the main contributors to the 24.92 grains per cubic meter per last report. Mold spores are low.

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Rain, snow and graupel on a spring afternoon