D.C. area forecast: Cold stranglehold eases a bit, maybe afternoon flurry

Today’s Daily Digit

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

3
20s beats the teens but with unrelenting winds, less sun and snow starting to turn ugly, not by much.

Express Forecast

Today: Increasing clouds, chance p.m. snow showers. Highs 23-27.

Tonight: Breezy, slowly clearing. Lows 7-11.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, light winds. Highs 22-26.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

The next 5 days feature a cavalcade of clippers rotating around the polar vortex (we all know that term now). They are all weak and, more importantly, all pass just to our north which keeps us on the drier side of the systems; so any flurries/snow showers we get should be more conversational than confrontational. The problem is as each one passes by it gives a little tug on the Arctic air keeping us struggling to get above freezing.

Today (Thursday): Clouds are likely to be scuttling in by daybreak but expect some breaks of sun as well. The crescendo for today’s clipper should come in the mid-afternoon when there will be a 20-30% chance of snow showers (highest odds north of the District). Most spots should reach highs in the mid-20s. However, winds of 10-15 mph from the west keep the bundle up factor high. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Colder air surges in behind the clipper and skies quickly clear. Lows plummet once again with readings mainly in the upper single digits and wind chills around zero as west winds remain brisk much of night. Confidence: High For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…

Tomorrow (Friday): Sunny skies are welcome and lighter winds are as well. Temperatures struggle but still have a fighting chance of making the mid-20s. Kind of a sad thing to consider a victory but there you have it.  Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: Clouds gradually increase through the night as the next clipper approaches. Winds from the south are no help as lows still fall to the teens. Confidence: 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 chances for flurries, but picking up an inch a long shot in the near term.

Saturday is pretty much a cloudy day from start to finish. The clipper passing just to our north is a bigger system but most of the accumulating snows are likely to be reserved for our Pennsylvania and West Virginia neighbors. There is a 40% chance that a few snow showers hold together coming down from the northwest,  most likely between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Highs will be low-to-mid 30s but strong breezes make it less than pleasant. Skies clear overnight and winds calm but lows again fall to the teens.  Confidence: Medium

Sunday should at least start off sunny but with yet another clipper zooming by to our north in the afternoon, clouds increase. Highs reach the low-to-mid 30s. This one has less of a chance to push snow showers our way in the evening – as its limited moisture concentrates north.  However, the possibility of a small southward tweak to the track leads me to assign a 20% chance for some flakes. Clouds and breezes overnight help to keep our lows up with 20s for a change. Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday gets off to a better start but we all know the drill; after the clipper passes another surge of Arctic air in its wake leaves us stuck in the low-to-mid 30s. Increasing winds add to the dismay to this day but at least there should be sun. Confidence: Medium

Also on Capital Weather Gang

PM Update: Record cold today turns slightly less intense on Thursday