AREA FORECASTS

WASHINGTON: Today, mostly sunny, cool, breezy. High 60. Wind north 8-16 mph. Tonight, clear, cold. Low 42. Wind variable under 4 mph. Friday, mostly sunny, bright, a milder afternoon. High 68. Wind east to southeast 5-10 mph.

MARYLAND: Today, mostly sunny, cool, breezy. High 58-61. Wind north 8-16 mph. Tonight, clear, cold, scattered frost. Low 33-36. Wind variable under 4 mph. Friday, mostly sunny, a milder afternoon. High 65-68. Wind east to southeast 6-12 mph.

VIRGINIA: Today, patchy fog early, mostly sunny, cool, breezy. High 57-60. Wind north 8-16 mph. Tonight, clear, cold, scattered frost. Low 33-36. Wind variable under 4 mph. Friday, mostly sunny, becoming milder. High 66-69. Wind southeast 5-10 mph.

Recreational Forecasts

MOUNTAINS

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia: Today, mostly sunny, chilly. High 55-60. Low 33-38. Wind north 6-12 mph. Friday, sunny to partly cloudy, becoming milder. High 60-65. Wind south 6-12 mph.

BEACHES

Maryland and Delaware: Today, mostly sunny, breezy, cool. High 58-63. Low 38-43. Wind north 10-18 mph. Friday, sunny, becoming milder. High 63-68. Wind southeast 5-10 mph. Surf 68-71.

Virginia: Today, sunny, breezy, cooler. High 62-70. Low 43-53. Wind north 7-14 mph. Friday, sunny, becoming milder. High 67-72. Wind southeast 5-10 mph. Surf 71-74.

BOATING

Upper Potomac River: Today, mostly sunny, breezy, cool. Wind north to northeast 7-14 knots.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today, mostly sunny, cool. Wind north 8-16 knots. Waves under 1 foot on the lower Potomac and 1-2 feet on the bay.

River Stages: The National Weather Service estimates the stage at Little Falls to be 4.0 feet this morning. The level is predicted to fall to 3.9 feet Friday morning. Flood stage at Little Falls is 10 feet.

PLANET WATCH

Rise Set

Sun 7:09 a.m. 6:42 p.m.

Moon 5:05 a.m. 6:09 p.m.

Mercury 8:51 a.m. 7:25 p.m.

Venus 3:37 a.m. 4:42 p.m.

Mars 1:00 p.m. 10:10 p.m.

Jupiter 7:30 p.m. 8:47 a.m.

Saturn 8:12 p.m. 9:52 a.m.

Uranus 4:06 p.m. 2:13 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