PM Update: A very cold night, then turning milder Thursday

Temperature Map

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

It was a struggle to get temperatures into the freezing to upper 30s range today across the area, from northwest to southeast. Add in gusty winds, and feels like readings in the teens have been common through the day out west of the city. With an unseasonably cold air mass overhead, plan on another mid-winter type night.

Through Tonight: Skies remain clear and winds calm down a lot with sunset. Mix with low dew points, you’ve got a recipe for plummeting temperatures. We’ll wake up to very light winds and lows ranging from the mid-teens in cold spots to the low 20s in the warm.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Don’t call it a heat wave, but even with temperatures well below normal we’re warming on up. It’s a cold start — bundle up — before winds from the south start to get some hints of spring back into the area. Under partly to mostly sunny skies, highs make a run for the upper 40s to lower 50s, maybe even a smidge warmer in spots. Winds are around 5-10 mph.

See Dan Stillman’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Hi resolution NAM low temperature forecast for Thursday morning. (Weatherbell.com)

Hi resolution NAM low temperature forecast for Thursday morning. (Weatherbell.com)

More frozen records in play: Yesterday was Dulles’ coldest high so late in the year on record, with a 33 degree max. Today, the third daily record low max in a row is likely to fall, with the old record being 35 degrees in 1971. If it stays freezing or lower, it’s also the latest freezing high on record there (since 1963). The March 27 record low of 17 degrees set in 2001 also should be threatened. For D.C., the task is harder as always given the lengthier historical period and clustering of big cold in the late 1800s through early 1900s. Still, the daily record low tomorrow morning of 20 degrees set in 1894 may be in range yet seemingly a bit too cold to reach.

Atlantic storm: Even with the great imagery collection from earlier, fantastic stuff keeps on piling in from the beastly storm out over the Atlantic Ocean. It has now dropped to a pressure of at least 955mb per the latest Weather Prediction Center plot at 2 p.m., making it one of the strongest storms in recent history in that region.

Comparison of storm location and pressure from 5p yesterday to 2p today. (WPC)

Comparison of storm location and pressure from 5p yesterday to 2p today. (CWG adaptation of WPC imagery)

Late afternoon visible image. (NOAA)

Late afternoon visible image. (NOAA)

Late afternoon infrared image. (NOAA)

Late afternoon infrared image. (NOAA)

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