AREA FORECASTS

WASHINGTON: Today, variably cloudy, shower late. High 74. Wind south-southeast 7-14 mph. Tonight, mostly cloudy, shower. Low 56. Wind southwest 8-16 mph. Thursday, becoming mostly sunny, chilly breeze. High 68. Wind northwest 9-18 mph.

MARYLAND: Today, increasingly cloudy, shower late. High 68-74. Wind southeast 7-14 mph. Tonight, mostly cloudy, showers. Low 49-57. Wind southwest 8-16 mph. Thursday, becoming sunny, breezy, cool. Wind northwest 9-18 mph.

VIRGINIA: Today, variably cloudy, showers late. High 67-75. Wind south-southwest 7-14 mph. Tonight, mostly cloudy, a shower. Low 47-58. Wind southwest 6-12 mph. Thursday, becoming mostly sunny, chilly breeze. Wind northwest 8-16 mph.

Recreational Forecasts

MOUNTAINS

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia: Today, becoming mostly cloudy, shower late. High 72-76. Low 54-58. Wind south-southeast 7-14 mph. Thursday, partly sunny, chilly breeze. High 66-70. Wind northwest 9-18 mph.

BEACHES

Maryland and Delaware: Today, increasingly cloudy. High 73-77. Low 55-59. Wind south 7-14 mph. Thursday, becoming mostly sunny, chilly breeze. High 66-70. Wind northwest 8-16 mph. Surf 65-68.

Virginia: Today, increasingly cloudy, shower. High 71-79. Low 54-65. Wind southeast 6-12 mph. Thursday, becoming mostly sunny, chilly breeze. High 66-74. Wind northwest 7-14 mph. Surf 68-71.

BOATING

Upper Potomac River: Today, becoming mostly cloudy, shower. Wind south-southeast 7-14 knots.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today, variably cloudy, a shower late. Wind south-southeast 7-14 knots. Waves under a foot on the Potomac and 1 foot on the Bay.

River Stages: The National Weather Service estimates the stage at Little Falls to be near 4.1 feet this morning and predicts the stage to fall slightly to 4.0 feet Thursday morning. Flood stage at Little Falls is 10 feet.

PLANET WATCH

Sun

Rise: 7:15 a.m.

Set: 6:33 p.m.

Moon

Rise: 10:59 a.m.

Set: 9:20 p.m.

Mercury

Rise: 9:11 a.m.

Set: 7:21 p.m.

Venus

Rise: 3:35 a.m.

Set: 4:34 p.m.

Mars

Rise: 12:56 p.m.

Set: 10:04 p.m.

Jupiter

Rise: 7:04 p.m.

Set: 8:20 a.m.

Saturn

Rise: 7:48 p.m.

Set: 9:26 a.m.

Uranus

Rise: 3:42 p.m.

Set: 1:50 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