D.C. area forecast: Winter blast whips in ahead of midweek East Coast storm

Today’s Daily Digit

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

3
Way too early for wind chills in the teens and 20s. Perhaps a flurry if that’s any consolation?

Express Forecast

Today: Partly sunny and very cold, windy. Low-to-mid 30s.

Tonight: Clear and cold. Teens to low 20s.

Tomorrow: Partly sunny, less windy, still cold. Upper 30s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Winter announces itself early this year with a double dose of wintry conditions this week. Up first is the cold, actually very cold arctic air mass greeting us today with sub-freezing temperatures and wind chills in the teens and 20s!  To say you need to bundle up would be an understatement. Chilly weather continues into midweek when round two arrives, in the form of an early-season coastal storm aiming to mess with the traditionally busiest travel days of the year. Still uncertain is the exact timing of precipitation and whether some of it could be of the wintry variety.

Wind Chill Map

Wind chills: Latest D.C. area wind chills. See more maps on our Weather Wall.

Today (Sunday): Well, for starters, it’s COLD out there today.  Even with partly sunny skies, this arctic blast keeps temperatures from doing much of anything in the positive direction. In fact, most areas may spend much of the day at or below freezing, with highs only in the low-to-mid 30s! Static shocks should be a plenty as the air is bone dry with dew points below zero. Add in winds from the northwest around 15-25 mph with gusts near 40 mph, and we’re talking wind chills staying in the 20s.  A light flurry or two is even possible at times. Confidence: High

Tonight: It doesn’t get quite as cold as it could thanks to a steady breeze, but it’s still easily the coldest night of the season so far. Mostly clear skies help lows chill to the low 20s downtown with teens likely in the suburbs. Brrr. Confidence: High

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the latest on our upcoming storm…

Tomorrow (Monday): The cold snap sticks around into the work week, but thankfully the winds relent.  With partly sunny skies, daytime highs are probably stuck in the 30s for a second day, but should at least get to the upper 30s.  Morning winds from the west near 5-10 mph veer around from the south during the afternoon. Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: Those southerly winds help bring some moisture back into the air and keep temperatures from falling off too much overnight.  Some clouds stream in as well as our storm system in the Gulf states begins to get its act together.  Overnight lows end up right around 30. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Tuesday dawns with a storm poised to track north from the Gulf up the East Coast. The timing isn’t nailed down quite yet, but for now we’re looking at mostly cloudy skies with the chance of rain (perhaps a touch of sleet or snow north and west) rising from 30% in the morning to 50-60% during the afternoon. Daytime highs reach the 40s. Steady rain is a good bet Tuesday night, and could be heavy at times as lows drop into the 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

European model shows bull's-eye of steady cold rain over the area Tuesday night. The is just one run of one model, so not a done deal, but certainly a decent chance of precipitation mainly Tuesday afternoon into at least Wednesday morning. (StormVistaWxModels)

European model shows bull’s-eye of steady cold rain over the area Tuesday night. The is just one run of one model, so not a done deal, but certainly a decent chance of precipitation mainly Tuesday afternoon into at least Wednesday morning. (StormVistaWxModels)

We’re likely still dealing with some precipitation on Wednesday, at least during the first half of the day.  Rain showers (60% chance) should become lighter as the morning goes on, but could turn to a wintry mix as cold air begins to seep in, especially north and west of D.C. No accumulation expected with highs near 40 to the low 40s. Later in the afternoon should be drier and breezy, but a second area of low pressure could (40% chance) send some light rain or snow showers our way during the evening into the overnight as lows sink to the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Low

For Thanksgiving Day, the chance of an early-morning flurry should give way to a mostly sunny day as the storm system moves away. In its wake, though, we’re left with another round of chilly and breezy conditions, nicely fitting for the Thanksgiving feast. Temperatures struggle to highs in the upper 30s to near 40.  Confidence: Medium

Also on Capital Weather Gang

Arctic blast: Five weather hazards you should be aware of