D.C. area forecast: Milder ahead of our next arctic blast

Today's NAM model shows upward of 0.25" liquid equivalent precipitation in the D.C. area on Tuesday. However, today's European model (not shown) still shows only very light amounts. (NOAA) Today’s NAM model shows upward of 0.25″ liquid equivalent precipitation near D.C. on Tuesday. (NOAA)

3:40 p.m. Update: Snow potential for Tuesday may be increasing at least a bit. Some of today’s model data, especially the NAM model pictured here, hints that a couple of inches might be in play as a Clipper passes through during the day. That said, today’s European model, which tends to be more reliable at this range, still shows little to no snow. We probably won’t be able to say anything with much confidence until sometime tomorrow.

Today’s Daily Digit

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

7
Plenty decent with gradually brighter skies and temps near average, despite a cool afternoon breeze.

Express Forecast

Today: Chance of a.m. snow shower, then decreasing clouds. Highs: Low-to-mid 40s.

Tonight: Mostly to partly clear. Lows: Mid-20s to low 30s.

Tomorrow: Partly sunny, warmer. Upper 40s to near 50.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

We’re not looking too shabby to close out the long weekend, so enjoy it while you can. After perhaps an early snow shower or flurry today, the chill wanes by afternoon as the clouds move out. Tomorrow, a holiday for some, is even milder and should be the pick of the week weather-wise.  Beginning Monday night, another arctic blast overtakes the region and temperatures start to tank, with highs only in the 20s by midweek, and possibly staying sub-freezing through Friday.


Radar & lightning: Latest D.C. area 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): We start out on the cloudy side and there may be a morning snow shower or flurry as well.  As we move later in the morning and into the afternoon, though, skies should gradually brighten as temperatures warm 10-15 degrees over yesterday afternoon’s chill. Highs should reach the low-to-mid 40s around the region under the increasing afternoon sun. Breezes are less gusty than yesterday, but still noticeable in the afternoon at 10-15 mph. Confidence: High

Tonight: Skies stay mostly clear for much of the night, though clouds may increase again toward morning.  Overall, it’s a dry and pleasant night with lows in the mid-20s to low 30s (suburbs to city). Confidence: High

 Keep reading for the forecast of how cold and how long…

Tomorrow (Martin Luther King Jr. Day): If you’ve got anything to do outside in the near future, take my suggestion and use the holiday to do it.  It’s the last time we’ll be “warm” for a while, at least for the next week or so.  With a mix of clouds and sun through the day, highs should rise into the upper 40s and perhaps near 50 for some. Winds come from the west at around 10-15 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Another arctic front passes through overnight, but not in time to do anything unusual to our temperatures. Lows settle mainly in the mid-to-upper 20s, as light winds turn to come from the north. Skies are partly to mostly cloudy with the chance of a flurry toward dawn. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

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 (→) Several systems and plenty of cold in the next week, but not a lot of moisture to work with.

Arctic air continues to filter in on Tuesday. Temperatures start the day in the 20s and probably don’t get much traction from there. Highs struggle to get back near 30 as winds increase from the north and northwest under mostly cloudy skies. Meanwhile, low pressure developing off the coast as upper-level energy slides by could produce some light snow. As of now, accumulation potential looks limited, mostly likely on the order of a dusting if any. Tuesday night temperatures drop to the teens downtown with single digits possible in the colder ‘burbs. A gusty breeze could push wind chills down toward zero. Confidence: Low-Medium

Wednesday should feature more in the way of sun, but even less in the way of warmth. Temperatures continue to struggle to do much of anything with highs likely held in the 20s. Lingering gusty winds, especially in the morning, may make things fairly miserable for those out and about. While this cold blast may not be as intense as our last, it does look to stick around longer, with temperatures having trouble reaching the freezing mark through the end of the work week. Confidence: Medium-High

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Ian Livingston · January 18, 2014

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