D.C. area forecast: Still cold today minus the wind; stronger cold blast set for Sunday

November 20, 2013

Today’s Daily Digit

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

6
Maybe a bit high for temps struggling to 50, but light winds worth a point or two after yesterday’s gusty chill.

Express Forecast

Today: Partly to mostly sunny, light winds. Highs: Upper 40s to near 50.

Tonight: Mostly to partly clear. Lows: Upper 20s to upper 30s.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. Highs: Low-to-mid 50s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Over the past few weeks, each shot of cold air has been followed by a decent warming trend, and then an even stronger cold shot than the last. That trend continues as we stay cold today (but lose yesterday’s wind), gradually warm tomorrow through Saturday, and then by Sunday welcome the coldest air of the season so far. Late Friday into Saturday looks to be our only chance of rain now through the weekend, with temperatures likely remaining on the chilly side through Thanksgiving week.

Temperature Map

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

Today (Wednesday): Yesterday’s gusty breeze is gone, but the cold air stays in place despite partly to mostly sunny skies. From early-morning lows mainly in the mid-20s to mid-30s, temperatures reluctantly rise toward afternoon highs in the upper 40s to near 50. That’s plenty cold, but at least light winds (around 5-10 mph from the northeast) mean little in the way of wind chill. Confidence: High

Tonight: Chilly but could be worse. Skies should be mostly clear through the evening, with the potential for some increasing clouds overnight. Most spots should land in the 30s for lows, with some upper 20s possible far north and west. . Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow (Thursday): Probably more clouds than today – we’ll call it partly cloudy. Yet, since the overall air mass is warmer, highs should manage the low-to-mid 50s. Winds remain pleasantly light, at around 5-10 mph from the east and southeast. Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: Skies turn partly to mostly cloudy. That insulating blanket combined with further warming of the air mass leads to not-so-chilly lows, mostly in the upper 30s to mid-40s. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

An approaching frontal system brings partly to mostly cloudy skies and even warmer temperatures on Friday, as highs head for the upper 50s to low 60s. A 20% chance of an afternoon shower turns into a 40% chance of scattered showers Friday evening and overnight, which features mild lows in the 40s. Confidence: Medium

If you’re not a fan of winter, then you’ll want to savor the first half of the weekend for as long as you can. Saturday isn’t perfect by any means, with a 50% chance of scattered showers lingering at least through the morning and an increasing afternoon breeze from the northwest, but highs in the 50s are a treat compared to what Sunday holds. After a a breezy Saturday night with lows near 30 to the mid-30s, Sunday looks sunny, windy and very cold, with highs only in the upper 30s to low 40s. Confidence: Medium

Dan Stillman is a meteorologist and editor for the Capital Weather Gang. He earned an M.S. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University, and a B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan.
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