D.C. area forecast: A sensational Saturday, but colder air returns thereafter

12:55 p.m. update: It has been a tale of two sides of the cloud line so far today, with western parts of the area seeing much more sun than D.C. and east. The back edge quickly progressed toward D.C. this morning but has been hung up since. Despite that fact, temperatures have risen into the 60s across the area, and are nearing 70 in some spots to the west, northwest and southwest, where sun has been consistent today. Clearing should try to continue to advance east this afternoon, but given it has been slow thus far, it may still take a while to turn sunnier everywhere.


12:50 p.m. temperatures and satellite inlay. (Weather Underground/NASA)

p.s., We’ll have an update on the Tuesday storm threat later today.

Today’s Daily Digit

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

9
Slightest chance of a brief passing shower can’t really hold this day back, and neither can some wind.

Express Forecast

Today: Partly cloudy, brief shower possible. Breezy. Highs: Mid-60s to low 70s.

Tonight: Becoming partly-to-mostly cloudy. Lows: Mid-30s to near 40.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy, chance of showers. Highs: 46-51.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

This is our last weekend until the second week of November with average highs below 60 degrees, and that’s a whole lot of good news as far as I’m concerned. Today, we’re well above that number, but tomorrow we’re well below. If you average the two it’s right around normal though! In some ways this weekend is similar to what we saw last weekend, except there’s no big snowstorm on the way tomorrow. We’re still watching the coastal storm threat around Tuesday and maybe into Tuesday night, though it’s going to take a little luck to make the CWG snow bros truly happy.

Today (Saturday): We have some clouds around early in the day with the passage of a front, but I’m confident it will still be quite nice in the end. I was tempted to bring out the Nice Day stamp. We could fairly easily verify it, yet a small risk (10-20% chance) of quick-hitting showers as the front passes — plus potential periodic clouds and a gusty breeze — might end up busting that idea too. Sustained winds are from the southwest and west around 10-15 mph at peak, with higher gusts in the midday and afternoon. High temperatures should head for the mid-60s to low 70s. Sweeeeet! Confidence: Medium

Tonight: We start off fairly clear, but skies may become cloudier at times overnight. Partly cloudy should do it — perhaps mostly cloudy by morning. Cooler air filters in on light north winds, though it’s not terribly cold. Lows are in the mid-30s to near 40. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Sunday): Our confused weather stays confused. The springtime highs of Saturday are a thing of the past as north winds keep the cold air funneling in. A reinforcing front passes through as well, potentially making skies rather cloudy. A wave of low pressure passing along to our south may also send us a light rain shower or conversational (non accumulating) snowflake our way, with the main risk of that south of D.C. Highs head for the 46-51 range. Winds are from the north around 10 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Skies clear, and this may be the peak of the cold shot, so it’s rather cold! Even with winds tending to stay up  through the night, we’re maybe looking at everyone heading into the 20s. The range should be from low 20s in the coldest spots to upper 20s or around 30 downtown. Grab the coat and scarf if headed out. 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

3 (→) Ocean storm may end up too far east for more than conversational flakes Tue-Tue eve, but still watching it.

We head back to work alongside a mostly clear Monday. It’s one of those days that looks nicer than it feels, though it shouldn’t be too bad in the sun. Winds are probably gusty as highs rise into the near 40 to mid-40s zone. And on Monday night, clouds increase a bit as temperatures fall to the upper 20s and lower 30s. Confidence: Medium

By Tuesday we’re watching a developing low pressure off the southeast coast that should become a large ocean storm. How close it gets to us remains uncertain, but the general thought is it’s a bit east for a big impact. However, an upper level area of low pressure is also swinging in from the west, and this should help enhance rain and snow showers (50% chance), or a period of light rain and snow in the area. With daytime highs around or above 40, any snow falling shouldn’t be cause for concern as it stands right now, but still subject to significant change. That storm continues to wrap up Tuesday night as it pulls away to the northeast, and it should help keep some gusty north winds going into Wednesday. 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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