D.C. area forecast: Chilly today, then slow moderation until Sunday’s Polar plunge

November 19, 2013

Today’s Daily Digit

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

4
Sunshine will do its best, but this new cold slaps us via windy weather

Express Forecast

Today: Sunny, breezy.  Highs: 48-52.

Tonight: Clear and cold.  Lows: 23-33.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Highs 47-51.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

Yesterday’s 68 high at Dulles and 71 at National was a pleasant reprieve, but that mild air mass is long gone.  Of the next two days, today actually feels the worst owing to a biting wind chill.  Tomorrow may end up being physically colder, but winds relax.  After tomorrow, we find ourselves on a slow warming progression culminating with low 60s by Saturday before the coldest air of the season arrives Sunday.

Today (Tuesday):  High pressure dropping into the Midwest is pushing modified Polar air in our direction.  With low pressure up in eastern Canada, a strong pressure gradient strengthens our winds, requiring us to reference the dreaded wind chill effect.  The winds in the 15-20 mph range should make the 40s feel like 30s frequently.  These winds should die down a bit later this afternoon as our high temperatures hit the upper 40s to low 50s.  Sunny skies offer some modest offset to the chilling effect.  Confidence:  High

Tonight: Winds calm and skies remain mostly clear, opening the door for colder conditions.  Temperatures should reach the low-to-middle 20s in the outer suburbs and low 30s right in the city as winds are light from the north at around 5 mph.  Confidence:  High

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

Tomorrow (Wednesday): This week’s high pressure system finally reaches us by this point, so skies stay mostly sunny, but we still deal with chilly weather with highs only managing the upper 40s to low 50s.  Most spots may be 1-3F cooler than yesterday on highs, but the light winds around 5 mph from the north and east mean a weaker wind chill at least.  Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: A few clouds may move in, but temperatures should still drop into the 30s for most areas with some 20s again possible for western to northwestern suburbs. Light winds from the east.  Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday trends gradually warmer with partly to mostly cloudy skies as highs peak in the low to middle 50s.  Thursday night is partly cloudy with lows in the middle 30s to middle 40s (suburbs to city). Confidence: Medium-High

Friday should be partly cloudy in the morning to mostly cloudy in the afternoon as a warm front edges our way.  Highs sneak up into the upper 50s to near 60.  Cloudy skies and a 40% chance of showers Friday night with lows stalling in the 40s.  Confidence: Medium

The weekend is a divided one with a warmer Saturday and much colder Sunday.  Highs in the lower 60s on Saturday are accompanied by clouds and showers (60% likelihood).  Lingering showers are possible Saturday evening with partly to mostly cloudy skies overnight as temperatures return to the 30s for lows.  Sunday should see gradual clearing, but highs will struggle to get beyond just 40 degrees with some breezy conditions making it feel even colder.  This looks to be our first real dose of winter cold weather.  Confidence: Medium

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Ian Livingston · November 18, 2013