D.C. area forecast: Arctic air retreats, but wintry worries don’t disappear for long

Today’s Daily Digit

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

8
I am going very subjectively rosy for a Friday above 40 degrees with some sunshine and little breeze.

Express Forecast

Today: Sunshine battles some clouds. Highs: 40-47.

Tonight: Increasing clouds, fog possible. Lows: Mid-20s to near freezing.

Tomorrow: Clouds could win over sun, but pleasant. Highs: 49-55.

Sunday: Cloudy with some rain possible. Highs: Low-to-mid 50s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Long deserved, this upcoming above-freezing air regime should give our skin, heating bills, and snow boots a small break over the next three days. Snow boots, take note though, we are keeping our eyes peeled on next week. Could we have something late Sunday night or Monday morning mess up our rush hour? Also again middle of the week? We’ll keep you updated.


Clouds: Latest mid-Atlantic infrared satellite shows movement of clouds over past two hours. Refresh page to update. See more maps on our Weather Wall.

Today (Friday): Let’s call it partially sunny, with some clouds, which we can easily ignore thanks to “warm” high temperatures rising toward the near 40 to mid-40s range most spots. Well south of town, a couple spots could flirt with 50 degrees, if sunshine remains strong through the afternoon. We should enjoy this relatively calm, sometimes wind-less, day. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Clouds may thicken into periodically overcast skies, along with some late night fog possible. Warmer air over a colder ground can create ideal fog formation conditions, assuming the southeast breeze overnight does remain light. Low temperatures could range from a few mid-20s to near freezing downtown. Patchy ice spots on your car (for instance) from any “freezing fog” doesn’t look to cause widespread headaches at this time. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Saturday): May be almost as “near-perfect” as Friday, if we grade on a winter curve, haha. Partly-to-mostly sunny skies and a manageable 5-15 mph southerly breeze combine with high temperatures in the low-to-mid 50s. Get outside! This assumes we don’t see more clouds than expected, which is possible, and that could bring down temperature expectations a bit. We will watch it! Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Clouds and fog may again take over. There is even a 20% chance of a shower or two after midnight. Low temperatures mainly in the mid-to-upper 30s should keep us clear of wintry headaches. South breezes at 5-10 mph keep us thawing. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday (Superbowl Sunday, Groundhog Day): Could be a bit damp for us. Not sure if Phil will see his shadow up in Pa., either. So we’ll have to see about him promising more winter. The NY Superbowl appears it should eke out a dry game, luckily. Hopefully only a sprinkle to be expected. Perhaps more for us in D.C., however. Clouds should dominate and rain chances of around 25% exist as a front approaches. At least nothing too heavy. Luckily we’ll also have a noticeable southwesterly breeze that should boost high temperatures into the low-to-mid 50s or so. Confidence: Medium

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.

3 (↑): Some risk for snow centered on early Monday, then two more storms to watch in the days after.

Sunday night: On the earlier side of the evening and overnight hours, we could see some more sprinkles and maybe a shower (25% chance). Some of these drops could turn to flakes if cold air meets up in time with our slight moisture overhead. And as we get past midnight toward morning the risk of rain changing to snow or snow increases to about 50%. Low temperatures around 30 to lower 30s appear likely. Don’t expect any travel headaches until around dawn, really, if a storm system does in fact get its act together enough to overspread us with more steady snow. Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday’s weather could get tricky and wintry. Remains to be seen how much cold air and moisture may meet up, overhead. Let’s for now keep an eye on it and call for a period of wet snow or rain (50% chance). Too early to talk about accumulations as details need to be worked out, especially with marginal temperatures going in. High temperatures could come after the storm (upper 30s to low 40s perhaps?) and melt us off a bit during the afternoon. But hard to get a fix on how the day’s temperatures will behave, until we know if this storm strengthens and moves towards us. Could be colder. Bottom line, it is still too murky to confidently predict this complex scenario so far out. Confidence: Low

Tuesday’s conditions could stay fairly cloudy as another system attempts to move nearer our area. As we get through the day a period of wintry mix is possible, potentially eventually changing to all rain as the storm goes. High temperatures could briefly hover around 40 degrees, but  dipping back near freezing for a time as the storm begins. It is also possible the bulk of this moisture waits until later evening. We are watching it, and stay tuned for more updates from Wes Junker, our winter weather expert. Confidence: Low

Also on Capital Weather Gang

PM Update: Trending warmer, 40 possible Friday; Hawaii snow