D.C. area forecast: Warmer today ahead of Saturday’s wintry mix nuisance

Today’s Daily Digit

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

5
A bit warmer (or, less frigid) and sunnier than Thursday — a Friday, to boot. Woot!

Express Forecast

Today: Less cold and breezy. Mostly sunny. Highs: 36-42.

Tonight: Increasing clouds but calm. Lows: Mid-20s to low 30s.

Tomorrow: Wintry mix to rain. Highs: Upper Mid-30s to near 40.

Sunday: Slowly clearing. Highs: Near 40 to mid-40s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

Before we get to Saturday’s wintry weather mess, enjoy a milder and sunnier day today. By midday tomorrow, we do have some headaches for the day (potentially into the evening, especially west and north of town). Sunday into Tuesday brings gradual but steady improvement. So don’t get too glum, and don’t fret too much. Sun and more seasonable air shall return!

Today (Friday): We have to bundle up in the morning, but at least we accelerate toward afternoon high temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s under mainly sunny skies. Westerly breezes from 5-10 mph won’t feel quite as bad, and may even slacken in the afternoon as they start a slow shift toward the southwest. Confidence: High

Tonight: Mostly calm conditions are my highlight since low temperatures in the upper 20s to lower 30s may feel acceptable without wind chill! Sky conditions aren’t ideal for star/planet/Geminids-gazing, with increasing clouds (our next storm is heading our way from the west). Confidence: Medium-High

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

Snow Potential Index

A daily assessment of the potential for *accumulating* snow for the next week on a 1-10 scale.

3 (↑) May be brief snow on Sat. Yet, it shouldn’t amount to much before a mixed bag changing to rain takes over.

Tomorrow (Saturday): We’ve got a mixed bag of precipitation and it is coming more into focus; but, our confidence should increase a notch more before precipitation starts. So far it does not deserve a label “major winter storm,” rather a nuisance event for the immediate metro region. Of course D.C. and south/east is warmer and wetter in this borderline wintry scenario. Especially out in western Montgomery, Loudoun, and counties northwest from there, the storm may have a greater impact. Perhaps imagine last Sunday’s snow, ice and rain event but a few notches less impressive.

Some early-to-mid morning conversational snowflakes early could coat many surfaces but should gradually mix with sleet and/or rain as the morning wears on in the metro region. A dusting to less than one inch of snow and sleet is most likely in the D.C. area, with perhaps a bit more out west and north. By mid-afternoon, the metro region should see mostly a cold rain, but a wintry mix may hang on west and north. High temperatures rise enough for all of us to head to the mid-30s to near 40, except maybe a few spots far to DC’s north & west. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Rain continues for almost all of us into the evening, with pockets of freezing rain lingering in further northwestern counties–especially west into the Shenandoah Valley near 1-81. Precipitation should gradually wind down after midnight. Temperatures only slightly dip toward low temperatures in the low-to-mid 30s. Yes, a few slick spots in colder areas are possible. Light easterly breezes shift to northwest 5-10 mph after midnight. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: We could stay mostly cloudy as it’s slow to clear behind this weak storm, but we should see some afternoon sunshine break out. High temperatures could be as cold as the upper 30s, but any sunshine may boost us into the mid-40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night: Party cloudy and calm with low temperatures around 20 north and west of the Beltway, and perhaps as “comfortable” as the upper 20s downtown. Confidence: Medium

Monday’s probable sunshine will be most welcome, I presume. Other than it being a nice break, it is a boring weather day, with high temperatures in the mid-30s to around 40. We may have to tweak this temperature range a bit, depending on just how much cold air is drawn-down by our exiting storm. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tuesday’s commute may not sting so much, with sunny skies prevailing most-to-all of the day. Temperatures rise in the afternoon into the mid-40s with perhaps some upper 40s south of town. Toasty. Confidence: Low

Also on Capital Weather Gang

PM Update: Very cold tonight, chilly but not as cold Friday; Geminid meteor shower