D.C. area forecast: Warmer air teases today, then trending frigid by Sunday

Today’s Daily Digit

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

7
Too bad bright skies can’t accompany our brief warm up. Our skin & heating bills should enjoy this break!

Express Forecast

Today: Mainly cloudy, light p.m. shower? Highs: Upper 50s to mid-60s.

Tonight: Showers taper, turning blustery. Lows: Upper 30s to mid-40s.

Tomorrow: Quick early shower? Increasing sun and wind. Highs: Near 50 to mid-50s.

Sunday: Breezy and brutal, but sunny. Highs: 30s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


Clouds: Latest mid-Atlantic infrared satellite shows movement of clouds over past two hours. Refresh page to update. See more maps on our Weather Wall.

What shall we name this impending sense of Arctic doom heading our way by Saturday night? While you are brainstorming, might I suggest you do it outside as much as possible today, and to some degree tomorrow, in the moments of sunshine we should be able to muster. After that, we plummet into deep cold on Saturday night through about Monday night. Scarves, gloves, and even balaclavas are appropriate!

Today (Friday): As long as a weak warm front moves north of us, our shower chances should remain around 20% or so—and any showers threatening mainly in the afternoon should remain light. Clouds have a high chance of shrouding the sun for good parts of the day, though. Once the front is north of us, southwest breeze from 5-10 mph should blow occasionally. Enjoy the warm air, highs range from near 60 to the mid-60s in general.    Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Showers have a better (50%) chance of invading but rainfall should remain on the light side. Skies stay mostly cloudy which helps buoy the temperatures a bit in the upper 30s to mid-40s range most spots. Breezes shift around midnight from the southwest around 15 mph to the northwest, gusting once or twice perhaps toward 25 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Saturday): After an early 10-20% chance of a light early morning shower, skies should clear as the cold front heads off to our east. The cold air is delayed a bit but it will follow soon enough on the northwest breezes around 15 mph. Gusting perhaps toward 30 mph or higher? Temperatures eke out one last moderately pleasant day, with highs near 50 to the mid-50s, possibly beginning to drop noticeably before dark as the cold air headed in deepens. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: If staying out late, please take an extra layer to deal with colder and colder temperatures. Winds and coldness surge into the region with gusts up toward 35 mph possible from the northwest. Temperatures fall rapidly toward their dawn-time minimums in the mid-to-upper 20s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: This one really may be brutal. In some full winters this is about as cold as we get during the day. Perhaps not terrible January, but I proclaim too-much-too-soon upon on this air mass. Mid-30s for high temperatures, perhaps even low 30s in the suburbs and near or below freezing in elevation to the west. It appears seriously breezy (at least 15 mph winds sustained out of the north and northwest? We will have to refine as we get closer.), certainly enough so we won’t really notice the sunny sky “warmth.” Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night: For the first time this season I am writing upper teens for low temperatures in the coldest spots with, brrrr, mid-20s for me, downtown. Can I whine a little? Skies remain mostly clear, allowing all our nice surface warmth to rise and escape into the atmosphere. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday is a continued chilly day but at least it mercifully remains sunny as well. Just a few periodic clouds perhaps. High temperatures still may be capped below 40 for many of us, but a few spots above 40 can’t be ruled out. Confidence: Medium

Tuesday may feature substantial and increasing cloud cover as our potential storm system moves toward us from the south. It remains to be seen how organized and large it gets. Assuming it does not move out to sea or fail to materialize completely, some increasingly noticeable breeze out of the east or northeast may start picking up by late afternoon. High temperatures should manage to get into the mid-40s or so for most if not all of the region. Confidence: Low

Also on Capital Weather Gang

PM Update: A cloudy, somewhat mild Friday; Topper Shutt's winter outlook