D.C. area forecast: Cold today, but milder weekend is nicely timed

9 a.m. update: Forecast for today (below) updated to reflect expectation for variable cloud cover today – with intervals of sunshine possible, but more cloudy than not. (Original forecast favored partial sunshine then increasing clouds.)

Today’s Daily Digit

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

4
Really should not be so generous when temps are nearly 20 degrees below average but we are winter hardy at this point.

Express Forecast

Today: Variably cloudy. Highs: 31-37.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, breezy. Lows: 24-30.

Tomorrow: Cloudy, breezy, slight chance of light rain. Highs: 42-46.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

I share the sadness of the “Snowbros” on their dwindling window of winter, but many of us will be celebrating a return of something akin to spring this weekend. We take a step back towards winter today though, with highs only in the 30s. But then temperatures trend up and we stretch towards 60 Saturday. That will feel mighty nice compared to what we has been served up recently.

While temps slip back a few degrees on Sunday, my bet is there will be more grousing about the lost hour of sleep as daylight savings time returns. For the first few days of the later twilight, at least, it will finally be mild enough to be enjoyed.

Today (Thursday): Watch for slick spots from any re-freezing when you get up and head out.  Beyond that, expect a variably cloudy, cold day, trending towards the cloudier side as an offshore storm starts heading north. Unfortunately, a very strong high to our north pumps in colder air and we only peak in the low-to-mid 30s. Winds are light from the north in the morning but pick up to about 10-15 mph by late in the day. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Clouds thicken overnight as the storm comes closer and winds pick up from the east at 10-15 mph. Temperatures only briefly dip overnight with lows mid-to-upper 20s. Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow (Friday): Clouds hang in much of the day and there is even a slight chance of light rain mainly along and east of I-95 (if precipitation arrives early enough, a slight chance it mixes with sleet and/or freezing rain – best chance towards southern Maryland, where it would move in soonest). Significant rains are most likely confined to southern Virginia and the southern Delmarva Peninsula as the strong high pressure to our north helps to nudge this storm out to sea. Highs manage to make the low-to-mid 40s but it may not feel it with brisk winds from the northeast at 10-20 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: A few evening showers are possible, mainly east of I-95. Then clouds should slowly but surely get dragged out of the area as the storm moves farther out to sea. Winds diminish and lows end up in the upper 20s to lower 30s. Confidence: Medium-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. More info

1 (↓) There’s a foggy, far-off threat about a week away – may be more of a rainmaker.

Saturday is a keeper! Sunny skies rule, breezes are light and highs in the 50s! Even a 60 degree reading is not out of the question in the city. In any event, a great day to be out and about. Clouds increase overnight as an upper level disturbance approaches and there is a very slight chance for a sprinkle late night or a few wet snowflakes up near the Pennsylvania border. In any event, they should be out of the area by the time the one hour later sunrise occurs. Lows range from the mid-to-upper 30s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday is in the back draft of the upper level system from the overnight which pulls in colder air from the tundra to our north. Thanks to our relatively mild start most of the area should still reach the upper 40s to lower 50s as skies clear quickly. The quarter moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter overhead once the delayed darkness sets in for the evening. Overnight lows hold in the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday is back to sublime with sunny skies and highs in the mid-to-upper 50s. A perfect day for sneaking out for lunch. Confidence: High

Also on Capital Weather Gang

PM Update: Cloudier into Thursday, still cold; severe winter hurting economy