D.C. area forecast: A pleasant weekend despite a bit of springtime chill

10:30 p.m. update: Freeze warning issued for Howard and Frederick counties overnight. More info.

Today’s Daily Digit

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

9
Too breezy to go 10, but a cool and quiet end to a trying week is a huge plus in my book.

Express Forecast

Today: Partly to mostly sunny, breezy. 59-64.

Tonight: Mostly clear, breezy at times. 31-40.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. 56-61.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Wind Speed Map

Winds:Latest D.C. area wind speeds (mph). See more maps on our Weather Wall.

Following a cool pattern in March that lasted through early April, we’ve seen almost two weeks of above (often well above) normal temperatures ending yesterday. This afternoon’s highs are the first step back into a below normal regime for at least a few days. But, when we’re talking daytime readings within a few steps of 60, it could be a lot worse. The threat of an overnight freeze to the north and west reminds us we’ve got a way to go till summer.

Today (Saturday): Don’t be totally fooled by the digit if you’re into warmth all the time in spring, as it might be “chilled” at least here and there. Highs should rise to at least near 60, and perhaps up into the low-and-mid 60s if we get the right wind flow off the mountains. That still means much of the day is in the 50s, and when you add in an at times stiff breeze as high as 15 to 20 mph (with higher gusts), it’s definitely a little different than what we’ve seen lately. A good deal of sun, mixed with some clouds thanks to cold air aloft, should help your enjoyment level though.  Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: If you’re out during the day and plan to remain out through the evening, you’ll want to plan ahead with a layer or two. Temperatures fall nicely with sunset, and are diving through the 40s well before midnight most spots. Add in a breeze still blowing around 5-10 mph with higher gusts it might be noticeable. Lows fall to near freezing in the colder locations north and west to around 40 downtown. Keep in mind, Dulles’ last freeze is right around now on average. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Sunday): After our cold start to the morning, temperatures are in no hurry to rise too fast. The good news is we’ll be seeing another bright and sun-filled day with just a few clouds here and there. Highs should range from the mid-50s to near 60, but probably favoring the higher side most spots.  Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: As high pressure passes by to our north, winds become more out of the northeast and east, which should help draw our moisture levels back up and promote cloudiness as we get closer to morning. Still, before we get into the thicker cloud blanket, temperatures head back down to the mid-and-upper 30s in the suburbs to the low 40s downtown. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

On Monday, a weak system off the southeast coast combined with high pressure drifting off the northeast coast should conspire to give us a cool and fairly cloudy marine air mass. Light winds mainly from the east along with mostly cloudy skies equal highs heading for the upper 50s to around 60. Winds should be relatively light at least.   Confidence: Medium

Tuesday brings a breakout from the marine air as the pattern remains progressive, but we might be slow to burn it off with no real warmth infusion in its wake. I’d lean at least partly cloudy (as in less clouds than Monday) though. Temperatures might be a little warmer as well, say near 60 to low 60s.  Confidence: Low-Medium

Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.
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