D.C. area forecast: AM freezing drizzle risk west, showers during the day; more warming ahead

* Winter weather advisory for  Frederick county (Md.) through 1 p.m. *

Today’s Daily Digit

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

6
Not too cold by PM, but drizzle (icy early out west?) and showers still keep it a bit raw and dank.

Express Forecast

Today: AM freezing drizzle possible west, turning to showers everywhere. Highs: 39-46.

Tonight: Early shower? Clearing. Lows: 32-39.

Tomorrow: Turning sunnier, very breezy at times. Highs: Upper 50s to low 60s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

After our western suburbs warm up above freezing this morning, melting any freezing drizzle that may create patchy slick spots, we should ALL be able to enjoy a continued thaw through the weekend. Some of us stay above freezing for several days, potentially. Ready for more seasonable temperatures? Of course even if we are able to manage more average temperatures in the 50s, or warmer, we may have a typical March breeze to accompany. We can handle it, right?

Today (Wednesday): Clouds are likely to dominate our day, with some spots especially out along the I-81 corridor experiencing possible freezing drizzle early. Temperatures warm as we get into midday — turning all precipitation in the region to plain ol’ drizzle and showers — with upper 30s to mid-40s probable for late afternoon highs. The best chance for rain is midday into the afternoon (70% chance), with most of the showers remaining light. Somewhat steady east winds may blow 5-10 mph for much of the day, but waning by evening rush as they slowly shift toward a more south-southeasterly direction. Any peeks of sun could boost temperatures a few degrees. However, a heavier northeasterly fetch lasting into mid-afternoon could conversely keep us on the low end of forecast. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Clouds are slow to depart but showers (55-65% chance) may only stick around just past dinner time. Nothing too heavy expected for rainfall, but you may want a hooded jacket for a few hours. Pre-dawn low temperatures don’t cool much from dinnertime temperatures, bottoming in the near freezing to upper 30s range, perhaps around 40 downtown. South-southwest breezes may start to pick up later in the night, around 5-10 mph at times. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Thursday): It’s more March-like with high temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s and, huzzah, mostly sunny skies. The only caveat — the price for these temperatures — is another March-like aspect: wind. Westerly winds could blow around 10-15 mph fairly steadily, with some gusts up to 25 mph possible. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Skies may stay mostly clear and allow that starlight to twinkle. Low temperatures around 30 are possible well outside the Beltway, with mid-to-upper 30s more likely downtown and surrounds. 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 (↑) Growing threat of an East Coast storm about a week out, but hard to say exactly what the impact is locally.

We do have the chance of hitting 60 degrees on Friday – perhaps low 60s south of town. But north and west of town may only manage the upper 50s. Not that many would complain with average to slightly-above-average temperatures at this point. Skies should stay sunny, especially the morning and midday hours. Let’s flip over the calendar to spring in style! Clouds may move in overnight Friday, with low temperatures around 4o to the mid-40s. Confidence: Medium-High

It looks like the weekend has a warm start and a cooler finish. Saturday high temperatures in the low-or-mid 60s seem possible ahead of our next cold front. Skies may be somewhat cloudy, with a moderate chance of showers, but we should be comfortable even with the rain chances. Overnight, the front heads east after a couple more showers, and skies should clear out slowly. Breezes might kick up just a bit, with low temperatures bottoming out in the low-to-mid 30s. Assuming the cold front continues to move away from the region as expected, Sunday skies could be much sunnier. That sunshine may help offset some breezes and cooler high temperatures in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Confidence: Medium

(forecast prepared overnight)

Also on Capital Weather Gang

PM Update: Freezing drizzle chance tonight western areas; some afternoon rain Wednesday everywhere