D.C. area forecast: Plentiful sunshine with less wind today, rain early Friday

Noon update: Clouds have blanketed the region earlier than anticipated, and that’s putting a brake on temperatures. It’s only around 40 at noon across the region, and highs will struggle to reach 50 this afternoon.

Today’s Daily Digit

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

6
Ample sunshine, light winds provide a pleasant spring-time day, but still not as warm as many like!

Express Forecast

Today: Most sunny skies, dry. Low-mid 50s.

Tonight: Increasing clouds, rain likely. Near 40.

Tomorrow: Rain ending by afternoon. 50s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

Temperatures:Latest D.C. area temperature map. See interactive map on our Weather Wall.

The next few days will feature a see-saw pressure pattern of sorts as we bounce from high pressure, to low pressure, then back to high pressure by the weekend.  With high pressure overhead, today should be sunny and clear.  An approaching coastal low pressure system brings an increase in clouds and the chance for measurable rain Thursday night through Friday morning.  High pressure takes over again late Friday ushering in a weekend warm-up.

Today (Thursday): Brr this morning was a chilly one!  You can thank the high pressure, clear skies, and low dew points for the cold wake-up call.  Once the sun comes up we should experience a rapid warm-up, with temperatures climbing into the low-mid 50s by the afternoon.  Expect light winds out of the south, and increasing clouds toward evening.  Confidence: High

Tonight: Chance of showers increases throughout the night as a coastal low pressure approaches from the south.  The rain likely starts before midnight, and most of the rain will fall during the overnight hours and before sunrise.  Areas south and east of the District are most likely to experience the heaviest precipitation amounts.  Mostly cloudy skies keep overnight lows on the milder side, mainly near 40. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Friday): Pack your umbrella for the morning!  Rain is likely ongoing during the morning commute, but should taper thereafter with decreasing clouds but gusty winds. The Orioles home opener looks dry but breezy.

The tricky part of the forecast is just how fast the low pressure area exits the coast. The earlier the rain stops the warmer it will get, potentially reaching 60 or 65.  But if the rain/clouds are slower to exit, highs may get stuck in the 50s.  Storm rainfall totals of 0.25-1″+ are possible;  higher amounts are expected farther south and east with decreasing totals to the north and west. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Winds shift around to the north in response to the low pressure area off the coast and clouds decrease.  Expect lows to dip to near freezing in the colder suburbs to the upper 30s downtown. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

A weekend warm-up!  As high pressure builds back into the area Saturday’s temperatures will reach the mid-upper 50s, with a decent shot at cracking 60 in many spots.  Some clouds and north/northeasterly winds may keep temperatures just below, however.  Saturday night looks calm with lows near 40 downtown with low-to-mid 30s in the colder suburbs. Confidence: Medium

The real warmth holds off until Sunday, which is setting up to be an excellent day.  Southerly flow in response to high pressure should propel temperatures toward the low-mid 60s.  I’m a little concerned that some moisture from the southwest causes some increasing clouds toward the afternoon and evening, but it should be a great day to get out nonetheless.  Sunday night looks cloudy and mild, with lows from 45-50.  Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday could be the day; the day high temperatures finally touch and even surpass 70!  Confidence: Low-Medium

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