D.C. area forecast: Another taste of spring today, before cold and snow chances return starting tonight


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5:00 p.m. update: It turned into a beautiful day, with highs reaching the low 60s. But the weather regime is about change. Clouds streaming into western Maryland and eastern West Virginia mark the leading edge of a cold front that should bring mostly rain showers overnight. However, especially in our far northern and northwest suburbs, rain could mix with and change to snow before ending. The chances of much more than a coating in the region are low, and most spots awaken to bare ground. The rain moves in between 8 and 11 p.m. from northwest to southeast and the mix of rain and snow pulls away between 2 and 4 a.m. The greatest chance of precipitation is in our northern areas; it may spotty from the District and points south.

Behind tonight’s front, we settle into a cold pattern with highs only in the 30s and 40s in the week ahead. We’re still looking at an opportunity for some snow showers and flurries Tuesday and perhaps a steadier period of snow Wednesday morning, but not a big storm. We’ll keep you posted.

Today’s Daily Digit

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

7
Not as sunny and not quite as warm, but still mild and a more than pleasant way to end the weekend.

Express Forecast

Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, still mild. Highs: Upper 50s to low 60s.

Tonight: Rain/snow showers likely. Lows: Upper 20s to mid-30s.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, colder, breezy. Highs: Mid-40s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

From 6 a.m.: Unfortunately, we see less of the sun today that energized yesterday’s spring-like warmth. But on the upside, most of that warmth sticks around for one last day anyway.  A cold front this afternoon ends our spring preview as temperatures chill significantly tomorrow and even more so into midweek. In addition, we have a couple shots at some snow. One comes as soon as tonight, though we shouldn’t see much impact locally. The next may be a more significant storm Tuesday night into Wednesday, though the evidence is split as to whether the storm will be a hit or a miss.

Temperature Map

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

Today (Sunday): We may start partly sunny during the morning, but on the whole we’re a good deal cloudier than yesterday, with skies turning mostly cloudy by afternoon.  At least it’s still on the mild side with highs reaching into the upper 50s to low 60s.  Keep an eye to the northwest late in the day as some showers may begin to encroach, though only a 20% chance they reach the north and west suburbs before sunset. Light winds are from the southwest through much of the day, before shifting to come from the north by late afternoon following the passage of a cold front. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Showers become likely during the evening, moving in mainly after 6-7 p.m. from northwest to southeast, as a wave of low pressure along the front approaches the area. It could get a little interesting as cold air arrives later in the evening and changes the rain to snow for at least the northern half of the area. After approximately 9-10 p.m., northern Maryland (Frederick and Carroll counties and north of Baltimore) could pick up to an inch or so of snow before the precipitation ends overnight. Closer in, areas north of approximately I-66/D.C./Rt. 50 could see a dusting but that’s about it, while the southern half of the area should be too warm for any accumulation. By morning, lows range from the upper 20s (northwest) to low-to-mid 30s (southeast). Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the latest on midweek snow chances…

Tomorrow (Monday): Any lingering rain or snow showers should exit early in the morning before the commute. We start the new work week much colder than the weekend, but with sunny skies making a comeback, highs in the mid-40s aren’t terrible as colder stuff is still to come. Gusty winds from the northwest add a pretty good chill, though, sustained around 10-20 mph with gusts near 25-30 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

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 (↑) Snow threats still lurk Tues night-Wed and maybe next weekend. But still nothing concrete.

Tomorrow night: The winds begin to ease overnight, so that’s a plus.  But, it’s plenty cold again.  Temperatures fall back into the 20s area-wide overnight, under partly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Temperatures continue their downward trend on Tuesday as skies turn back to the cloudy side. Afternoon highs only reach the upper 30s to low 40s with light winds. We’ll watch for the chance of a flurry or snow shower mainly during the afternoon. Confidence: Medium-High

We’re still monitoring the potential for a storm to affect the area Tuesday night into Wednesday. Models continue to disagree as to whether the system will provide us a period of snow or mixed precipitation, or if it will skip by to the south and east with little to no impact. It does not look like a major storm either way, but could complicate the Wednesday morning commute if it materializes. Temperatures stay cold regardless, with Tuesday night lows in the upper 20s to low 30s and Wednesday highs likely in the 30s, reminding us we still have some winter to go. Confidence: Low

Dan Stillman contributed to this forecast

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