D.C. area forecast: Welcoming winter on a warm note

December 21, 2013

11:00 a.m.:Both Dulles and BWI have broken record highs already with 11 a.m. temperatures of 62 and 63 respectively. D.C. still has a way to go with an 11 a.m. temperature of 61, needing 68 to tie.

10:00 a.m. update: Breaks in the clouds are a bit more numerous than anticipated. This should help drive temperatures toward the higher end of the range for today many spots. Enjoy!

Today’s Daily Digit

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

8
Quite cloudy like Friday, but even warmer. If it’s not going to snow, I’ll take this all winter.

Express Forecast

Today: Mostly cloudy. PM shower north and west? Highs: 62-68.

Tonight: Cloudy. Isolated shower possible. Lows: 52-59.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy. PM showers and thundershowers likely. Highs: Near 70 to low 70s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

From 5:00 a.m.: As astronomical winter begins today, we should typically see highs in the mid-40s most spots with lows ranging from the mid-20s to around 30. Not even close this weekend! Instead, we’re talking temperatures that could set records today, tonight and tomorrow. If you’re a fan of winter warmth, the only thing you’ll be missing this weekend is lots of sunshine.

Today (Saturday): It’s another day filled with clouds and only the occasional break, but the warm air intrusion is also increasingly stronger. So much so, you may even feel the humidity by late in the day! Pumped in on southwest winds around 10 mph, temperatures should reach a range of about 62-68 for highs, maybe upper 50s well northwest where there’s still some snow influence nearby, or spots right on the water with a wind off it. Most of the area should stay dry, but a few showers may push by late off to the northwest (20% chance). Confidence: Medium-High

Saturday records in play (hi min/hi max): DCA, 51/68; IAD, 46/61; BWI, 52/62

Tonight: Clouds, again. It’s also pretty balmy for a late December night with dew points making a move to the mid-50s or even near 60. And that’s about where lows fall, mainly between 52 and 59. More records on the warmest daily low temperature end should occur. We might even challenge the all time warmest December low in D.C. at 59, though the cold river makes me think it will be tough. Just a slight chance of an overnight sprinkle or brief shower. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Sunday records in play (hi min/hi max): DCA, 49/72; IAD, 49/67; BWI, 48/70

Tomorrow (Sunday): Despite clouds continuing to rule, all systems are go for temperatures about as warm as we see in December. Much of the area should head for 70 or into the low 70s. The timing of showers, even thundershowers, may disrupt our temperature rise. For now it appears it will hold off till early or mid-afternoon over northwest parts of the area, and toward sundown elsewhere. They are likely as we get into evening though. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: We start off mild with showers and thundershowers likely, but temperatures should begin to noticeably cool by morning as nighttime lows reach for the 50s. The cold front passes somewhere in the hours around and after midnight. It should be through the area prior to sunrise. It doesn’t move too fast though, so we might still be dealing with rain in the area for the commute. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Monday is a high around midnight type of day, with temperatures likely to cool from there on — perhaps holding steady during “peak heating.” Showers may persist or even increase again as a wave rides by along the front to our southeast. Best odds of that are across eastern parts of the area, even into early afternoon but generally dwindling as the day goes. By afternoon, temperatures are down into the upper 40s to lower 50s. Probably pretty breezy as well. Confidence: Medium

Back to winter reality on Tuesday as cold air infiltrates the region once again. Along with plentiful sunshine, we probably get the joy of gusty northwest winds! Highs should struggle to get much past the mid-to-upper 30s, but maybe 40 if we’re lucky. Confidence: Medium-High

Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.
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David Streit · December 21, 2013