D.C. area forecast: Warm today, wild weather Wednesday, then quick cold shot Thursday

March 11

Today’s Daily Digit

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

9
If not for the clouds, we’d have our first “Nice Day” in a very long time!!

Express Forecast

Today: Partly sunny. Highs: 64-68.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows: 42-50.

Tomorrow: PM showers/storms. Highs: 66-72.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

It’s that time of year when if you don’t like the weather, just wait a day or two for something completely different.  Temperatures should soar into the mid-60s today and even low 70s tomorrow. But tomorrow, a mid-to-late line of afternoon showers and even thunderstorms is possible, which could be briefly heavy and contain very gusty winds.  Then we nosedive into a much colder air mass Wednesday night into Thursday when afternoon temperatures could be about 30-40 degrees colder (compared to Wednesday).  We warm into the weekend, before Sunday edges cooler again as clouds increase.

Today (Tuesday): Winds from the west (around 5 to 10 mph) and a warmer start to the day should advance temperatures faster (compared to Monday) with pleasant highs in the mid-60s.  The corresponding variably cloudy sky conditions we’ll broad brush as partly sunny. This doesn’t qualify as an official Nice Day as cloud cover may be too pervasive, especially in the morning.  But at times, especially after this long winter, it will feel like one.  Confidence: High

Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy skies and fairly mild with lows only reaching down to the low 40s in the outer suburbs to near 50 in the city.  Light breezes from the southeast. Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow (Wednesday): A busy spring-like weather day is in store as temperatures surge strongly up through the 60s, cresting in the low 70s by early to middle afternoon. A line or two of showers and thunderstorms should march through the region by mid to late afternoon lingering into rush hour unfortunately.  Heavy downpours could significantly reduce visibility and very gusty winds (30-40+ mph) are possible in thunderstorms.  Otherwise, winds should be 10-15 mph from the south in the morning, shifting to coming from the west and then northwest in the afternoon and evening up to 15-20 mph with higher gusts.   Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Showers and storms linger into the early evening hours with a precipitation total from the activity probably around a .25″ to .5″, but locally higher amounts associated with thunderstorms.  Very windy and turning much colder overnight with temperatures dropping deep into the upper 20s to low 30s toward dawn.  Winds from the northwest at 15 to 25 mph (with higher gusts) and the influx of dry air enhance the wind chill effect to a very miserable level (feeling like the teens by midnight and beyond).   Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday is our icebox day as the March sunshine tries to modify a polar air mass.  Temperatures may only top out in the upper 30s but some areas could manage the low 40s as winds from the north and northwest at 10-20 mph continue to offer wind chill annoyances.  Dew points drop into the very bone-dry single digits.  Thursday night should see partly cloudy to mostly clear skies with lows toward dawn in the upper teens in the outer suburbs to middle 20s in the city as the wind dies down- another hard freeze for sure.   Confidence: Medium-High

Friday features mostly sunny skies and a moderating air mass as highs manage to return to the 50s by midday and afternoon. Partly cloudy and warmer Friday night with lows in the 30s.  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. More info

2 (→) Models indecisive still, but a winter weather risk exists Sunday night into Monday.

The weekend looks mixed again.  Those of you running the Rock and Roll marathon and half-marathon in D.C. should see a cool (40s) and cloudy Saturday morning with a risk of light rain showers before partly cloudy skies and highs in the low 60s greet the area by afternoon.  Saturday night looks partly cloudy with lows in the 30s to near 40.  Sunday trends back cooler again along with more clouds as highs only manage the low 50s.   Confidence: Medium

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