D.C. area forecast: A springlike weekend before we head back into winter

1:25 p.m. update: Models continue to show a storm system likely to pass by late Tuesday into Wednesday as a potential light snow threat. But, the general trend of late has been disagreement about the track, with one camp keeping it well offshore and another close enough to bring us precipitation. Both the GFS and the NAM this morning kept the low well to the south and east, with mainly just a period where a few snow showers are possible.


Feb 22. morning run of the GFS. It shows a low pressure well to the southeast of the D.C. area not bringing much if any precipitation to the area. (Weatherbell.com)

Last night’s European model run was a little more interesting, with light precipitation spreading through the area after midnight on Wednesday morning and into the hours after sunrise. It would probably promote some light accumulation, at least in spots, though surface temperatures might be borderline. Today’s European continued signaling a storm closer to the coast.


Feb 22. morning run of the European model. It shows potential for light snow across the region in the hours before and after sunrise on Wednesday. (Weatherbell.com)

Given that the European model usually performs quite well in this range, it’s hard to ignore the solution even if the model does not have a lot of support right now. If it is right, we’re seemingly looking at a fairly low impact event except it may coincide with the Wednesday a.m. commute. We could also still see rain mix in given temperatures are not expected to be super cold. We’ll of course have more as we move ahead!

Today’s Daily Digit

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

8
A mild weekend day with plenty of sun. Lots to like about this one.

Express Forecast

Today: Mostly sunny. Highs: Near 60 to mid-60s.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows: Mid-30s to near 40.

Tomorrow: Partly to mostly cloudy. Highs: Upper 50s to lower 60s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

You’ve undoubtedly heard that winter is only on hiatus, but let’s focus on the nicer days ahead today and tomorrow for now. Also, keep in mind that D.C.’s average morning low rises to 33 degrees on Monday, and the average high reaches 50 degrees on Tuesday. With those facts in fresh, any cold ahead will surely have less bite than what we saw in the heart of winter.

Today (Saturday): I don’t know about you, but this looks like a Saturday I’ve been waiting weeks for. A patch or two of morning fog is possible, but daytime skies probably lean mostly sunny. Other than a breeze from the northwest, not much to think about on this one as highs reach at least the upper 50s to lower 60s most spots, perhaps even the mid-60s downtown and south/west. Winds peak around 10 mph during the afternoon. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: After a mostly clear start, clouds re-infiltrate the area as the night wears on. Those clouds should help cap temperatures mainly in the mid-30s to near 40 range, though the typically coldest spots might dip to freezing or so. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Sunday): It’s a good deal cloudier than today, and may end up mostly cloudy on the whole. There’s some hint we’ll see periods of sun though. Highs should again head to at least the upper 50s and low 60s, but cloud cover or lack of it could have an impact on details. Winds are from the west around 5-10, shifting to the north late. There could be a few late-day showers around with the front moving in as well. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: A 30-40% chance of rain or snow showers lingers until about midnight as colder air begins to filter back into the area. It should mostly or fully be conversational stuff if it happens. This first cold push won’t be too intense — that comes later in the week — but it still gets lows down into the upper 20s to lower 30s zone. 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.

2 (→) Pattern headed back more favorable for snow, but biggest threat midweek remains foggy enough to hold steady.

On Monday we trend back toward sunny skies. However, cooler temperatures are also settling in, so not quite as pleasant as the weekend. Still, highs mainly in the mid-40s (43-48) aren’t much different than what we should expect this time of year. Confidence: Medium

Coming off another night of lows in the upper 20s to around freezing, Tuesday features increased cloudiness compared to Monday, but appears to be another fairly tranquil day. Just a 20-30% chance of a rain or snow shower during the afternoon. Highs reach near 40 to the mid-40s. Any larger impacts from a storm system trying to redevelop offshore should hold off until after dark or Wednesday, and at present there’s considerable reason to believe the storm may end up a little too far away for much. Confidence: Medium

Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.
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Ian Livingston · February 21