D.C. area forecast: The chill is on as the New Year approaches

December 30, 2013

Today’s Daily Digit

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

5
It’s chilly, but welcome back sun.

Express Forecast

Today: Partly sunny, breezy. Highs: 40-44.

Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy. Lows 27-31.

Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs: 39-43.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

2013 closes and 2014 begins with brisk but dry weather. We’re talking highs mainly within a few degrees of 40 through midweek. On Thursday, a storm system swings by but we may end up on its warm and dry side easing winter weather concerns. In its wake, arctic air pours into the region…maybe some of the coldest air of the winter so far.

Today (Monday): Not a bad late December day. There’s a bit of a breeze, but – after yesterday’s gloom – we welcome back the sun, at times veiled by clouds zipping by. Highs range from near 40 in our colder suburbs to the mid-40s southeast of the District. Winds are from the northwest at 10-15 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: A subtle, moisture-starved cold front approaches and passes overnight, so we’ll have an increase in clouds. The models don’t show any precipitation, but I wouldn’t be stunned if there were a few pre-dawn flurries or snow showers (10 percent chance). Overnight lows range from the upper 20s to around 30. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Gusty winds from the northwest (15-20 mph, with gusts to 20-30 mph) follow Monday night’s cold front, so it’s a blustery day. Highs are around Monday’s levels – mostly in the low 40s but if feels colder, despite skies gradually becoming mostly sunny. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Diminishing winds and cold for New Year’s Eve revelers. Evening temperatures fall through the 30s, with early morning lows ranging from near 20 in the colder suburbs to the upper 20s downtown. Confidence: High

A LOOK AHEAD

High pressure sits on top of us to start the New Year Wednesday, promising lots of sunshine, but chilly temperatures. High temps range from 36-40, but winds are light. Increasing high clouds Wednesday night, with lows in the mid-20s to near 30 downtown. 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.

1 (↓) Snow setup Thursday not terribly promising. Lean times for snow lovers continue.

Thursday brings the week’s trickiest forecast. A storm system approaches from the west, but probably passes to our northwest – placing us in the dry slot while allowing temperatures to warm above freezing. Some of the models want to develop a coastal system, which might increase the precipitation and tap some colder air – but this probably occurs too far north for us to be meaningfully impacted. Bottom line is that we have a chance of rain and/or snow showers, but odds are long for a major winter storm. Highs are near 40. Turning sharply colder and windy Thursday night with a chance of snow flurries and showers.  Lows plunge into the high teens and low 20s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Friday and Saturday are partly to mostly sunny and dry but quite cold.  Highs Friday struggle to reach 30 and gusty winds make it feel even colder. Friday night may be the coldest of the winter so far, with lows from the low teens in the colder suburbs to near 20 downtown.  On Saturday, the winds diminish, but it’s still cold, with highs 30-35. Confidence: Medium

Ahead of the next front, temperatures moderate some Sunday.  Clouds increase during the day, with highs back into the 40s. Confidence: Medium

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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