D.C. area forecast: Turning cold after today with a few minor snow chances

Today’s Daily Digit

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

4
Warm weather still for January, but a wet way into work

Express Forecast

Today: Morning rain. Highs: 48-53.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows: 32-38.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy, pm rain/snow. Highs: Mid-40s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


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.

A cold front is providing our rainy morning. Our atmospheric pattern is on fast-forward currently with rapidly moving systems affecting us over the next several days.  The details on each one are tricky, but the swift flow prevents any major storm threats.

The nice upper 50s to near 60-degree weather of yesterday is fading now, but we should at least feel some 50s today before a bigger temperature slide starts tomorrow and bottoms out this weekend.  While it won’t be as cold as last week’s polar plunge, we are thinking highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s this weekend.

What about the snow?  We’ll we have a shot at some light mixed precipitation late tomorrow afternoon into tomorrow evening with some small snow accumulation possible particularly well north and west of the city.  Another shot of light snow arrives Friday night, but the modeling is still unsure on details, so confidence and accumulation expectations are still very low as we edge into the colder weekend period.

Today (Tuesday):  A dreary day as a cold front takes its time traversing the region.  Mainly light periods of rain this morning should end by early afternoon with mostly cloudy skies remaining.  Temperatures only slowly warm this morning, but should manage some upper 40s to low 50s by this afternoon.  Total rainfall should be about a tenth to a quarter of an inch.  Light winds from the west at 5 to 10 mph.  Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Mostly cloudy skies tonight with lows dropping to the low 30s in the outer suburbs to the upper 30s in the city.  Light winds around 5 mph. 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 at least ~1″ of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.

3 (↑) 3 chances in 4 days (Wed to Saturday night), but all light w/ limited accumulation chances

Tomorrow (Wednesday) and tomorrow night: More clouds than not with temperatures only managing to move up through the 40s mostly.  A weather system approaches by late afternoon into evening with the promise of some mixed precipitation.  Surface temperatures are expected to be well above freezing through the afternoon to evening rush hour, so roadway freezing issues are unlikely. However, grassy surfaces and untreated roads well west and north of the city could start seeing some light snow accumulations after dark (up to 1″ possible).  As temperatures fall through the 30s, we could see some light accumulations (dusting) might expand into the immediate western and northern suburbs of the District in the mid-to-late evening.  This still looks to be a conversational snow concern if at all, but as temperatures fall into the upper 20s and low 30s toward dawn Thursday, be wary for slick spots.  Light breezes from the northwest at 5-10 mph.    Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday allows us to dry out a bit, but daytime temperatures are the coldest of the week so far with highs only in the upper 30s to low 40s under partly cloudy skies.  Thursday night is also the coldest so far this week as lows reach the middle to upper 20s under mostly clear skies.  Confidence: Medium-High

Friday starts partly to mostly sunny morning to midday, but then we watch clouds move into the picture during the afternoon with mixed rain/snow possible by the latter part of the evening rush hour.  Rain should switch to mostly snow Friday night, but it is still very unclear how much precipitation will be available.  For now, we can say just very light accumulations possible with the system mostly tapering off by or before dawn.  Lows drop down into the 20s, so anything that falls freezes by early Saturday.  Confidence: Low-Medium

The MLK Holiday weekend looks drier overall, but we could see some lingering snow showers on Saturday morning yet with partly cloudy skies by afternoon with highs only in the 30s.  Saturday night has some clouds around and a slight chance of flurries with lows in the 20s.  Sunday should find partly sunny skies with highs stalled in the middle to upper 30s again.  We might manage some 40s on MLK Monday with partly sunny skies after mostly clear skies with 20s for lows again Sunday night.  Confidence: Medium

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