AREA FORECASTS

WASHINGTON: Today, windy, much colder, partly sunny. High 52. Wind northwest 15-25 mph. Tonight, brisk, cold, partly cloudy. Low 34. Wind west 10-20 mph. Thursday, partly sunny, chilly. High 52. Wind west 10-20 mph.

MARYLAND: Today, windy, partly sunny. High 50-54. Wind west 15-25 mph. Tonight, brisk, patchy clouds. Low 32-36. Wind northwest 10-20 mph. Thursday, partly sunny, breezy. High 50-54. Wind westerly 12-22 mph.

VIRGINIA: Today, windy, colder, partly sunny. High 50-54. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Tonight, brisk, partly cloudy. Low 32-36. Wind northwest 10-20 mph. Thursday, partly sunny, windy. High 52-56. Wind west 12-22 mph.

Recreational Forecasts

MOUNTAINS

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia: Today, windy, much colder, snow showers. High 36-40. Low 24-32. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Thursday, partly sunny, cold. Wind northwest 10-20 mph.

BEACHES

Maryland and Delaware: Today, windy, much colder, partly sunny. Readings dropping into the 40s. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Thursday, brisk, partly sunny. Wind northwest 12-22 mph.

Virginia: Today, windy, much colder, partly sunny. Temperatures falling into the 40s. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Thursday, windy, partly sunny. Wind west-northwest 12-22 mph.

BOATING

Upper Potomac River: Today, windy, much colder, partly sunny. Wind northwest 15-25 knots, gusts around 30 knots.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today, windy, much colder, partly sunny. Wind northwest 15-30 knots. Waves averaging 2 feet lower Potomac and 2-4 feet on the bay.

River Stages: The National Weather Service estimates the stage at Little Falls to be 3.0 feet this morning and to rise near 3.5 feet for Thursday morning. Flood stage at Little Falls is 10 feet.

PLANET WATCH

RiseSet

Sun 6:37 a.m. 5:06 p.m.

Moon 1:59 a.m. 3:13 p.m.

Mercury 8:31 a.m. 5:56 p.m.

Venus 2:46 a.m. 3:10 p.m.

Mars 11:37 a.m. 8:52 p.m.

Jupiter 4:34 p.m. 5:43 a.m.

Saturn 5:21 p.m. 6:56 a.m.

Uranus 1:15 p.m. 11:23 p.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.