D.C. area forecast: Bone-chilling cold is back, with not much melting

* Wind Chill Advisory through noon Wednesday | Local closings | The Grid (snow images from around town) | Reader photo compilation | Latest snow amounts from NWS *

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

2
Snow cover puts a pretty face on teeth-chattering wind chills near and below zero.

Express Forecast

Today: Partly to mostly sunny, very cold, a bit breezy. Highs: Teens to near 20.

Tonight: Winds subside, frigid. Lows: Single digits to mid-teens.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy, still cold with chance of snow showers. Highs: Low-to-mid 20s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Hopefully you shoveled last night because the bone-chilling cold is back today in full force. Today’s brutal wind chills back off a bit by tomorrow, but we remain extremely cold through Friday, with a few chances of flurries and snow showers Thursday into the weekend. More significant melting has to wait until Saturday when temperatures finally get back into the 30s. Florida, anyone?

Wind Chill Map

Wind chills: Latest D.C. area wind chills. See more maps on our Weather Wall.

Today (Wednesday): Any early-morning cloud cover gives way to partly to mostly sunny skies. But if you’re looking for warmth that sun is fairly useless, with frozen morning lows in the single digits to near 10 and wind chills below zero, only rising to afternoon highs mainly in the teens (not impossible downtown touches 20). Winds at 10-20 mph from the northwest are less gusty than they were overnight, but strong enough to keep wind chills from escaping the single digits much of the day. Confidence: High

The record low maximum temperatures for the date are 21 at DCA (1961), 20 at Dulles (1970), and 19 and BWI (1961), all three of which could be broken. If highs at Reagan National only reach the teens, it would only be the fourth such day since 1994.

Tonight: Winds subside and temperatures plunge under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Lows dip to the single digits across the suburbs to the low-to-mid teens downtown. Confidence: 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.

2 (↓) No obvious threats for significant snow, but in a cold pattern things can pop-up quickly.

Tomorrow (Thursday): After another biting cold morning, afternoon highs rebound only slightly higher than today, maxing out in the low-to-mid 20s with partly cloudy skies. Winds are light in the morning, but pick up again in the afternoon as a reinforcing shot of cold air pushes into the area. A few flurries or snow showers might fly during the day as well. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Some flurries or snow showers may continue during the evening. Otherwise it’s just plain cold as lows tumble to the single digits to low teens. Add in a nice breeze and you’ve got wind chills below zero for at least part of the night. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Any leftover flurries and clouds Friday morning yield to at least partial sunshine and — nothin’ but cold. Afternoon highs should eventually sneak into the low 20s. On the plus side, winds should decrease during the day. Not quite as cold Friday night as breezes come more from the south and lows settle mainly in the teens area-wide. Confidence: Medium-High

The weekend is a touch warmer but still very wintry and rather breezy, too. Upper-level energy brings the risk of more snow showers Saturday into Saturday night. Meanwhile, Saturday highs should finally get into the 30s, before temperatures tank again Saturday night with lows in the teens to near 20. Most of Sunday look dry as of now as highs aim for the upper 20s to mid-30s, though a system capable of producing a bit of snow may approach late in the day or during the night. Confidence: Low-Medium

Dan Stillman is a meteorologist and editor for the Capital Weather Gang. He earned an M.S. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University, and a B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan.
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