AREA FORECASTS

WASHINGTON: Today, sunny, bright, warmer. High 74. Wind west 6-12 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, cool. Low 54. Wind southwest 4-8 mph. Saturday, sunny to partly cloudy, warm, breezy. High 76. Wind south to southwest 8-16 mph.

MARYLAND: Today, sunny, warmer, bright. High 72-75. Wind west 6-12 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, cool. Low 50-53. Wind west to southwest 4-8 mph. Saturday, sunny to partly cloudy, warm, breezy. High 75-78. Wind south to southwest 8-16 mph.

VIRGINIA: Today, warmer, sunny, bright. High 72-75. Wind west 6-12 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, cool. Low 49-52. Wind southwest 3-6 mph. Saturday, partly to mostly sunny, warm, breezy. High 75-78. Wind south to southwest 8-16 mph.

Recreational Forecasts

MOUNTAINS

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia: Today, mostly sunny. High 65-70. Low 43-48. Wind southwest 6-12 mph. Saturday, partly sunny, breezy, mild. High 68-73. Wind southwest 8-16 mph.

BEACHES

Maryland and Delaware: Today, sunny, breezy, warmer. High 70-75. Low 53-58. Wind west 8-16 mph. Saturday, sunny to partly cloudy, breezy, warm. High 72-77. Wind southwest 10-20 mph. Surf 71-74.

Virginia: Today, sunny, warm. High 72-77. Low 55-60. Wind west to northwest 6-12 mph. Saturday, mostly sunny, warm, breezy. High 75-80. Wind southwest 8-16 mph. Surf 74-77.

BOATING

Upper Potomac River: Today, sunny, excellent visibility. Wind west to southwest 7-14 knots.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today, sunny, bright, excellent visibility. Wind west to southwest 8-14 knots. Waves under 1 foot on the Potomac, 1 foot on the bay.

River Stages: The National Weather Service estimates the stage at Little Falls to be 4.7 feet this morning. The stage is predicted to crest near 5.0 feet this afternoon. Flood stage at Little Falls is 10 feet.

PLANET WATCH

Rise Set

Sun 7:03 a.m. 6:52 p.m.

Moon 11:53 p.m. 1:46 p.m.

Mercury 8:29 a.m. 7:29 p.m.

Venus 3:42 a.m. 4:50 p.m.

Mars 1:04 p.m. 10:16 p.m.

Jupiter 7:55 p.m. 9:14 a.m.

Saturn 8:37 p.m. 10:17 a.m.

Uranus 4:29 p.m. 2:38 a.m.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Forecasts for Washington area, 202-334-9000 code 9100.

Long range regional forecasts, 703-260-0405.

Chesapeake Bay boating forecast, 703-260-0505.

Recreational and traveler's forecast, 703-260-0706.

Smithsonian Institution star/planet information, 202-357-2000.

Air Quality Index, 202-962-3299

For hourly updates of major cities on the internet,

http://www.weatherpost.com