PM Update: Freeze warning again tonight; X-class flares hurled from sun

Temperature Map

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

It was a cold, and in spots frozen, start to the day. We didn’t really warm up all that much either as highs only reached the 50s. Especially noticeable, considering the blustery winds. Freeze warnings go up again at midnight across the entire area, as that plant-massacring chill refuses to abate just yet.

Through Tonight: It’s mostly clear and kinda cold this evening, but winds diminish rapidly with sunset. Tonight’s temperatures shouldn’t be too much different than last night, with freeze warnings up for the area again. Winds are on the whole expected to be calmer, and skies clearer, so some spots may reach their cold potential better this go. Lows are mainly in the upper 20s to mid-30s, but perhaps more like upper 30s again for downtown D.C. or right on the water. Late night winds are light and variable.

The weekend: A cool but enjoyable autumn weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday are relatively similar, with highs largely ranging from the mid-50s to near 60 both days. Mostly sunny throughout as well, with perhaps a few more clouds on Sunday than Saturday if you’re keeping count. Saturday night lows should also be up a notch, mainly ranging from the mid-30s to low 40s. A few renegade spots could try for another freeze though. Daytime breezes are around 5-10 mph from the northwest.

See Camden Walker’s forecast through the beginning of next week. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Part of the first X-class flare is seen on the sun earlier today (left side).  It peaked shortly after this image was taken.  See full animation. (Spaceweather.com)

The first of today’s X-class flares is seen on the sun earlier (left side). It peaked minutes after this image was taken. See full animation. (Spaceweather.com)

Solar eruption: A new sunspot rotating over the limb of the sun has been pumping out the X-flares today. Sunspot AR1882 (seen glowing brightly at far left above) released an X1 class flare before sunrise locally, and an X2 a few hours after sunrise. X-class flares are the strongest of the classification system, and are further ranked by numbers indicating increased strength within the class.

Given where the flares went off, it’s unlikely to have profound impacts on Earth’s magnetic field, but this is the most active the sun has been since May, and heightened solar activity could persist in the coming period. Here’s a cool video of the event from NASA.

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