D.C. area forecast: Increasing clouds but mild today, t’storms Friday morning

February 20

Today’s Daily Digit

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

8
Another snow melting day for sure, if only the clouds would hold off and let us make the 60s!

Express Forecast

Today: Sunny morning, cloudy afternoon. Highs: 56-60.

Tonight: Mainly cloudy, slight shower chance late. Lows: 46-53.

Tomorrow: Thunderstorms likely mid-morning, clearing mid-afternoon. Highs: 59-65.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

This is not a drill! Get out and enjoy the next few days of luxurious warmth. Why? Because winter comes back with a vengeance next week. In the meantime, 50s to 60s hold through the weekend before our next polar pummeling arrives. First, a not so cold front pushes into the area early on Friday. Despite moving in before peak heating (that would maximize the storm’s energy), a strong line of thunderstorms remains possible. Severe storms are unlikely; but lightning and brief downpours could well occur. The weekend holds on to warmth thanks in no small part to our rising sun angle.

Today (Thursday): The morning should only have some thin high clouds, allowing our temps to climb smartly. Light breezes from the southeast proffer little chill and we should easily make the mid-to-upper 50s. If, for some unknown reason, I am wrong and clouds do not increase by midday, then reaching lower 60s is still on the table. In any event, clouds thicken by evening.  Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: A starless night is on tap but with the blanket of clouds and a decent breeze (southeast 10-15 mph) temps barely slip lower with mainly upper 40s to lower 50s, continuing to disappear those stubborn snow piles as we sleep. There is only a 20% chance of a pre-dawn shower. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Friday): The rumble of thunder could be heard as early as daybreak around the Blue Ridge. For the city, the line of thunderstorms (near 100% chance) should cruise through with a quick half inch of rain mid-morning, helping to wash a little of that road salt away, hooray! Winds from the southwest could gust as high as 30 mph with the storms but most of the day clock in at 10-15 mph.  Skies clear in a jiffy in the afternoon, allowing temps to jump into the low-to-mid 60s for a nice blow dry. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: The clearing skies and calming winds allow a more typical temperature drop with lows in the 30s. If you are an early riser, before dawn that is, catch the half moon and Saturn communing high in the heavens. 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 (→) Middle of next week may be active, but specifics still sketchy.

Saturday is probably going to be the nicest day we see in quite some time. Skies are mainly sunny and winds are fairly light but the real treat is highs in the low-to-mid 60s. That should finish off all but the behemoth snow piles. The evening readings drop fairly quickly but with sunset now almost back to 6 p.m. it takes longer for the 50s to fade. Lows should be mainly mid-to-upper 30s under starry skies. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday continues to hold on to our “spring break” tenaciously with highs still likely to reach at least the upper 50s. The problem is the arctic dam has broken and is spilling across the Midwest, sealing our doom. Skies should still be mainly sunny but occasional skiffs of clouds roll through, the tail end of snow showers that are starting to assault our neighbors up in PA. Lows crash dive into the 20s on strong northwest winds. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday finally throws in the towel and winter is back in spades. There is a 20% chance of a mix of snow/rain early. Gusty northwest winds keep the highs stuck in the upper 30s to lower 40s. Sadly this is about a good as it will get all of this week and I will not even mention the snowstorm that the European model is trying to sling at us for the following weekend. Confidence: Medium

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