Washington: Today -- Afternoon clearing, high in the low 40s, low in the high 20s. Chance of rain is near zero. Wednesday -- Increasing cloudiness, high in the high 40s.

Marryland and Virginia: Mostly sunny, highs in the low to mid 40s, lows in the upper 20s. Wednesday -- Mostly cloudy, highs in the upper 40s.

Extended Area Forecast for Thursday through Saturday: Fair on Thursday and Friday, with increasing cloudiness and a chance of rain on Saturday. Highs in the mid 40s to the low 50s, lows in the mid 20s to the high 30s.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today -- Cloudy this morning, becoming fair tonight. Winds will be from the sough at 5 to 10 knots. Waves will average 1 foot or less.

West Virginia: Today -- Mostly sunny, highs in the mid 30s to mid 40s, lows in the mid teens to mid 20s Wednesday -- Partly cloudy, highs in the 40s.

The Council of Government's Air Quality Index for yesterday showed the high reading in the Washington area during the 3 p.m. period was 9 for the pollutant, photochemical oxidants. Index values between 0 and 24 indicate good air quality. When the index exceeds 100 the air is considered very unhealthy and individuals with lung, heart and eye ailments are urged to restrict their activity. The forecast for today indicates that the air quality will remain stable.

The Nation Yesterday: A cold front in the northwest was spreading showers and snow in Oregon and Washington. Rain along the coast was turning to snow in the Cascades. High winds and ice preceded the front over eastern Wyoming and Montana, with blowing snow reducing visbilities to zero. In the opposite corner of the nation, Florida was having heavy rain. Except for Florida, the southern half of the nation had fair skies along with mild temperatures.

The Nationl Weather Forecast for today: Most of the nation will be cool and sunny. Light snow will spread across the Great Lakes region into outhern New England. A few showers will continue over Florida and the southern Atlantic coastal states. The northern third of the nation will be cold. The southern states will have temperatures in the 50s, and the west coast will have temperatures in the 70s.

The National Weather Service forecasts the Potomac River stage at Little Falls should rise to 5.5 feet today.

Almanac Data for today: The sun rises 7:17 a.m., sets 4:47 p.m.; moon rises 3:52 p.m., sets 5:13 a.m. tides: high 6:27 a.m. and 6:53 p.m.; low 12:43 a.m. and 12:56 p.m. High and low tides at the following locations may be obtained by subtracting the hours indicated from the hours above: Annapolis (3 1/4), Bloody Point Lighthouse (4 1/2), Deale, Md. (4 1/2), Colonial Beach (5 1/4), Norfolk (1), Virginia Beach (3/4), Solomons island (6 1/4), Point lookout (7).

Washington data for yesterday: Highest temperature since midnight yesterday, 37 degrees at 12:45 p.m. Lowest temperature since midnight, 23 degrees at 5:30 a.m. Excess of temperature since Dec. 1, 89 degrees. Excess of temperature since Jan. 1, 305 degrees. Record high temperature for today, 71 degrees in 1873. Record low temperature for today, 13 degrees in 1957. Relative humidity: maximu, 62 percent at 6 a.m.; minimum, 39 percent at 1 p.m. 24 hour precipitation, none. Highest obserbed wind since 7 a.m., 12 miles per hour from the northwest at 10 a.m. Peak gust since 7 a.m., 17 miles per hour from the northwest at 9:54 a.m.

Local Temp.. Humidity (TABLE) Time(COLUMN)T.(COLUMN)H. 12 midnite(COLUMN)26(COLUMN)53 1 a.m.(COLUMN)26(COLUMN)50 2 a.m.(COLUMN)25(COLUMN)55 3 a.m.(COLUMN)21(COLUMN)54 4 a.m.(COLUMN)24(COLUMN)60 5 a.m.(COLUMN)24(COLUMN)60 6 a.m.(COLUMN)23(COLUMN)62 7 a.m.(COLUMN)25(COLUMN)60 8 a.m.(COLUMN)25(COLUMN)60 9 a.m.(COLUMN)27(COLUMN)53 10 a.m.(COLUMN)30(COLUMN)49 11 a.m.(COLUMN)32(COLUMN)47 12 noon(COLUMN)34(COLUMN)43 1 p.m.(COLUMN)37(COLUMN)39 2 p.m.(COLUMN)37(COLUMN)39 3 p.m.(COLUMN)37(COLUMN)41 4 p.m.(COLUMN)36(COLUMN)46 5 p.m.(COLUMN)35(COLUMN)46 6 p.m.(COLUMN)35(COLUMN)46 7 p.m.(COLUMN)35(COLUMN)46 8 p.m.(COLUMN)36(COLUMN)46 9 p.m.(COLUMN)35(COLUMN)52 10 p.m.(COLUMN)35(COLUMN)57 11 p.m.(COLUMN)34(COLUMN)59(END TABLE)

Temperatures ending 7 p.m. (EST) yesterday (TABLE) City(COLUMN)L.(COLUMN)h. Albany(COLUMN)12(COLUMN)29 Albuquerque(COLUMN)11(COLUMN)41 amarillo(COLUMN)20(COLUMN)47 anchorage(COLUMN)17(COLUMN)29 Asheville(COLUMN)20(COLUMN)47 Atlanta(COLUMN)26(COLUMN)44 Atlantic City(COLUMN)21(COLUMN)34 Austin(COLUMN)24(COLUMN)55 Baltimore(COLUMN)22(COLUMN)38 Billings(COLUMN)22(COLUMN)38 birmingham(COLUMN)26(COLUMN)46 Bismarck(COLUMN)03(COLUMN)33 Boise(COLUMN)33(COLUMN)47 Boston(COLUMN)19(COLUMN)30 Brownsville(COLUMN)47(COLUMN)54 Buffalo(COLUMN)17(COLUMN)26 Burlington(COLUMN)05(COLUMN)22 Casper(COLUMN)14(COLUMN)31 Charleston, S.C.(COLUMN)38(COLUMN)51 Charleston, WV.(COLUMN)13(COLUMN)41 Charlotte, N.c/.(COLUMN)28(COLUMN)42 Cheyenne(COLUMN)18(COLUMN)43 chicago(COLUMN)21(COLUMN)32 Cincinnati(COLUMN)19(COLUMN)38 Cleveland(COLUMN)14(COLUMN)33 Columbia(COLUMN)26(COLUMN)49 Columbus(COLUMN)15(COLUMN)34 Dal.-Ft. Worth(COLUMN)22(COLUMN)57 Dayton(COLUMN)20(COLUMN)36 Denver(COLUMN)14(COLUMN)35 Des Moines(COLUMN)27(COLUMN)38 Detroit(COLUMN)09(COLUMN)32 Duluth(COLUMN)-9(COLUMN)21 Fairbanks(COLUMN)-07(COLUMN)11 Fargo(COLUMN)09(COLUMN)24 Flagstaff(COLUMN)12(COLUMN)37 Great Falls(COLUMN)30(COLUMN)42 Hartford(COLUMN)09(COLUMN)27 Helena(COLUMN)15(COLUMN)42 Honolulu(COLUMN)70(COLUMN)81 Houston(COLUMN)40(COLUMN)52 Indianapolis(COLUMN)23(COLUMN)39 Jackson, Miss,(COLUMN)25(COLUMN)50 Jacksonville(COLUMN)33(COLUMN)55 Juneau(COLUMN)26(COLUMN)34 Kansas City(COLUMN)26(COLUMN)44 Las Vegas(COLUMN)30(COLUMN)58 Little Rock(COLUMN)26(COLUMN)48 Los Angles(COLUMN)48(COLUMN)78 Louisville(COLUMN)24(COLUMN)43 Memphis(COLUMN)25(COLUMN)47 Miami Beach(COLUMN)69(COLUMN)81 Midland-Odessa(COLUMN)25(COLUMN)51 Milwaukee(COLUMN)10(COLUMN)28 Mpls.-St. Paul(COLUMN)15(COLUMN)34 Nashville(COLUMN)19(COLUMN)45 New Orleans(COLUMN)34(COLUMN)49 New York(COLUMN)21(COLUMN)31 Norfolk(COLUMN)30(COLUMN)38 North Platte(COLUMN)03(COLUMN)28 Oklahoma City(COLUMN)18(COLUMN)51 Omaha(COLUMN)28(COLUMN)33 Orlando(COLUMN)51(COLUMN)75 Philadelphia(COLUMN)18(COLUMN)34 Phoenix(COLUMN)35(COLUMN)70 Plttsburgh(COLUMN)07(COLUMN)29 Portland, Me.(COLUMN)-4(COLUMN)21 $6Portland, Ore. 42(COLUMN)47 Providence(COLUMN)16(COLUMN)27 Raleigh(COLUMN)22(COLUMN)42 Rapid City(COLUMN)11(COLUMN)37 Peno(COLUMN)20(COLUMN)48 $6Richmond 23(COLUMN)38 St. Louis(COLUMN)30(COLUMN)45 St. Prbg.-Tampa(COLUMN)48(COLUMN)65 Salt Lake City(COLUMN)17(COLUMN)39 $6San Antonio 25(COLUMN)60 San Diego(COLUMN)50(COLUMN)75 San Francisco(COLUMN)47(COLUMN)59 San Juan(COLUMN)73(COLUMN)87 St. Ste. Marie(COLUMN)-05(COLUMN)20 Seattle(COLUMN)45(COLUMN)47 Shreveport(COLUMN)22(COLUMN)53 Sioux Falls(COLUMN)25(COLUMN)33 Spokane(COLUMN)32(COLUMN)37 Syracuse(COLUMN)18(COLUMN)27 Topeka(COLUMN)24(COLUMN)45 Tucson(COLUMN)45(COLUMN)63 Tulsa(COLUMN)25(COLUMN)52 Washingon(COLUMN)23(COLUMN)37 Wichita(COLUMN)27(COLUMN)47(END TABLE)

Temperatures Abroad Yesterday (TABLE) City(COLUMN)Weather(COLUMN)Time(COLUMN)Temp. Aberdeen(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)48 Amsterdam(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)52 Ankara(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)3 p.m.(COLUMN)34 Athens(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)2 p.m.(COLUMN)59 Auckland(COLUMN)rain(COLUMN)12 p.m.(COLUMN)59 Auckland(COLUMN)rain(COLUMN)12 p.m.(COLUMN)54 Berlin(COLUMN)rain(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)39 Birmingham(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)54 Bonn(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)52 Brussels(COLUMN)pt. cldy.(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)57 Cairo(COLUMN)rain(COLUMN)2 p.m.(COLUMN)57 Casablanca(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)noon(COLUMN)72 Copenhagen(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)36 Dublin(COLUMN)rain(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)52 Geneva(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)45 Hong Kong(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)8 p.m.(COLUMN)63 Jerusalem(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)2 p.m.(COLUMN)48 Lisbon(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)noon(COLUMN)61 London(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)55 Madrid(COLUMN)rain(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)48 Manila(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)8 p.m.(COLUMN)81 Moscow(COLUMN)pt. cldy(COLUMN)3 p.m.(COLUMN)09 New Delhi(COLUMN)pt. cldy.(COLUMN)5 p.m.(COLUMN)72 Nice(COLUMN)pt. cldy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)55 Oslo(COLUMN)snow(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)19 Paris(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)59 Peking(COLUMN)pt. cldy.(COLUMN)8 p.m.(COLUMN)34 Rome(COLUMN)pt. cldy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)61 Saigon(COLUMN)pt. cldy(COLUMN)8 p.m.(COLUMN)82 Sofia(COLUMN)pt. cldy(COLUMN)2 p.m.(COLUMN)48 Stockholm(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)30 Sydney(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)10 p.m.(COLUMN)70 $6Tokyo clear(COLUMN)9 p.m.(COLUMN)43 Tunis(COLUMN)pt. cldy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)66 Vienna(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)41 Warsaw(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)1 p.m.(COLUMN)25 (END TABLE)

Temperatures (Western Hemisphere) (TABLE) City(COLUMN)Weather(COLUMN)High(COLUMN)Low Acapulco(COLUMN)pt. cldy(COLUMN)90(COLUMN)76 Barbados(COLUMN)fair(COLUMN)85(COLUMN)77 Bermuda(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)79(COLUMN)67 Bogota(COLUMN)fair(COLUMN)65(COLUMN)47 Calgary(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)34(COLUMN)14 Edmonton(COLUMN)snow(COLUMN)34(COLUMN)10 Havana(COLUMN)fair(COLUMN)81(COLUMN)73 Kingston(COLUMN)fair(COLUMN)88(COLUMN)73 Montego Bay(COLUMN)fair(COLUMN)85(COLUMN)73 Mexico City(COLUMN)hazo(COLUMN)69(COLUMN)50 Monterrey(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)47(COLUMN)37 Montreal(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)18(COLUMN)-04 Nassau(COLUMN)fair(COLUMN)85(COLUMN)68 Ottawa(COLUMN)snow(COLUMN)16(COLUMN)-04 Regina(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)30(COLUMN)0 St. Kitts(COLUMN)fair(COLUMN)85(COLUMN)75 Toronto(COLUMN)pt. cldy(COLUMN)23(COLUMN)10 Vancouver(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)46(COLUMN)41 Vera Cruz(COLUMN)cloudy(COLUMN)68(COLUMN)55 Winnipeg(COLUMN)clear(COLUMN)09(COLUMN)01 (END TABLE)