D.C. area forecast: Sunday soaker ushers in colder pattern heading into 2014

Today’s Daily Digit

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

1
40s and soaking rain in December gets 1 point only b/c it’s not 30s and soaking rain.

Express Forecast

Today: Soaking rain into afternoon. Highs: Near 40 to mid-40s.

Tonight: Partial clearing. Lows: Low-to-mid 30s.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy and a bit breezy. Highs: Near 40.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

A pattern change is in the forecast with milder air on the way out and colder weather ready to settle in for an extended stretch. Today’s transition features a good soaking as an area of low pressure moves through the mid-Atlantic. It doesn’t linger though, exiting the area later today and giving way to mostly dry and cold conditions through New Year’s Day. Might the weather turn interesting again as we get into Thursday?


Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Sunday): Rain overspreads the region early this morning and should be moderate to heavy at times into the early-to-mid afternoon. Rainfall amounts in the 0.75-1.25″ range are likely, with locally higher totals possible, before the rain moves out from southwest to northeast during the mid-afternoon.  Temperatures don’t climb much due to the rain and overcast, so we’re looking at highs near 40 to the mid-40s.  Winds from the east-northeast during the morning swing around to come from the west-northwest in the afternoon, blowing around 5-15 mph throughout. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: The rain should be gone by evening, save for a lingering shower or two mainly north and east. Drying winds from the west-northwest allow skies to partially clear and temperatures cool accordingly, with lows dropping to the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast into 2014…

Tomorrow (Monday): A cold front comes through during the morning, but should be a mostly dry one after today’s system wrings out pretty much all our moisture.  Aside from some flurries in the mountains and maybe a stray one around town or to the north, the main impact of the front is partly cloudy skies and a reinforcing shot of cold air. Highs are held near 40 with winds near 10-20 mph from the west-northwest. Confidence: Medium-High

Snow Potential Index

A daily assessment of the potential for at least ~1″ of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.

2 (↑) First flakes of new year could fly Thursday. Likely a low-impact event, but worth watching.

Tomorrow night: The chill becomes more noticeable during the evening as temperatures sink steadily through the 30s. Partly to mostly cloudy skies keep us from maximizing the cold, but lows still dip into the 20s for most, perhaps hanging on near 30 downtown with slackening winds. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

It stays on the cool side for New Year’s Eve.  We also have a bit of mid-level energy whizzing by that could kick off a flurry or snow shower early. Otherwise, we settle for partly sunny skies and highs held to the mid-30s to near 40. All looks fine as we get toward midnight, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures heading down toward lows in the 20s. Confidence: Medium-High

New Year’s Day 2014 starts out pretty much how 2013 ends.  High pressure to the north keeps the cold locked in, but probably isn’t close enough to completely clear out the clouds.  Skies are partly sunny and highs again top out in the mid-30s to near 40. Confidence: Medium

Thursday features some possible weather of note as a disturbance diving through the Midwest begins to transfer some oomph to a developing low-pressure area offshore. This could provide a chance of snow or mixed precipitation, though for the time being details are way too fuzzy to get too worked up about it.  Confidence: Low

Also on Capital Weather Gang

D.C. area forecast: A Saturday to savor ahead of Sunday's soaking