D.C. area forecast: Mostly clear, crisp fall weather through weekend; Freeze Warning for N&W suburbs

Freeze Warning issued for Washington's north and west suburbs from 3-10 a.m. Friday (NWS)

Freeze Warning issued for Washington’s north and west suburbs from 3-10 a.m. Friday (NWS)

1:50 p.m. Update: The National Weather Service has upgraded the earlier Freeze Watch to a Freeze Warning, in effect from 3 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday for areas generally north and west of D.C. and I-95. From the NWS: “A FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED. THESE CONDITIONS WILL KILL SENSITIVE CROPS AND OTHER VEGETATION.” Overnight and early-morning lows are expected in the low 30s across many of the north and west suburbs, especially north and west of the Beltway.

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 1 to 10.

7
Plenty of sun, but breezy winds from the west-northwest remind us just how cool those temps have become.

Express Forecast

Today: Partly sunny and brisk. Highs: 52-56.

Tonight: Calming winds, frost in suburbs. Lows: 31-37.

Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs: 51-55.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Fine fall weather settles in for the long haul, through Monday at least. There is likely to be some frost on the pumpkins in the suburbs, but downtown should just squeak by to allow those last summer flowers to linger. Time to dig deep in that closet for the sweat shirts, sweaters and blankets. Our reward for the chill is plenty of sun to highlight all those glorious fall colors that the trees are just beginning to sport. Get out and enjoy them before you have to start raking them!

Temperature Map

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

Today (Thursday): Sunshine should come on strong through the morning, but temperatures fail to respond in kind, as very cold air aloft puts a lid on them. Clouds pop up in the afternoon, but should not dominate, as highs settle for the low-to-mid 50s. Breezes from the west-northwest near 15 mph (with some higher gusts) make you feel the chill. Confidence: High

Tonight: Evening readings quickly slip into the 40s to make even a short walk bracing. Winds calm overnight allowing lows to fall into the 30s across the region, with the first freeze possible for those north and west of the Beltway. Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow (Friday): Plenty of sun, but plenty of cold air parked over us as well. The result is a stand off with highs again stuck in the low-to-mid 50s. Winds from the northwest around 10 mph are still a bit of a factor. Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: This is the night to gather in any potted plants you want to save for the winter, since just about anyone could dip to frost levels. Even inside the Beltway is not a guaranteed safe haven, as winds are calm so low-lying areas look out. Lows range from the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: High

A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday beckons us outside. Sunshine reigns across the land and winds are minimal. Highs even ratchet up a bit to the mid-to-upper 50s, which we should be getting acclimated to at this point. The starry night is a chilly one, but for those who escaped the frost the previous two nights, there is minimal threat with lows in the low-to-mid 40s. Confidence: High

Sunday may be a bit breezier but sunny skies still make for a fine outdoor day. Temperatures creep still higher with upper 50s to low 60s the likely highs. Overnight lows slip to the upper 30s to lower 40s. Confidence: Medium

Monday is back to plenty of sun and highs again should comfortably reach the upper 50s to lower 60s…gotta love it. Confidence: Medium-High

Also on Capital Weather Gang

The evolution of D.C.'s cold snap: when do we break out of it?