AREA FORECASTS

WASHINGTON: Today, windy, cooler, morning shower, partly sunny afternoon. High 56. Wind north 15-25 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, colder. Low 36. Wind north 6-12 mph. Friday, mostly sunny, cool. High 58. Wind north to northeast 6-12 mph.

MARYLAND: Today, windy, sharply cooler, a shower early, then partly sunny. High 54-58. Wind north 15-25 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, colder. Low 26-38. Wind north 6-12 mph. Friday, mostly sunny, cool. High 57-60. Wind north to northeast 6-12 mph.

VIRGINIA: Today, windy, much cooler, a morning shower, then partly sunny. High 53-61. Wind north 15-25 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, colder. Low 24-44. Wind north 5-10 mph. Friday, mostly sunny, cool. High 56-59. Wind north to northeast 6-12 mph.

Recreational Forecasts

MOUNTAINS

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia: Today, variably cloudy, windy, sharply colder. High 50-54. Low 28-32. Wind north 15-25 mph. Friday, partly sunny, a milder afternoon. High 56-60. Wind southeast 6-12 mph.

BEACHES

Maryland and Delaware: Today, windy, colder, a shower early, then partly sunny. High 55-60. Low 31-36. Wind north 15-25 mph. Friday, mostly sunny, cool. High 57-62. Wind northeast 6-12 mph.

Virginia: Today, variably cloudy, windy, turning colder, a shower. High 57-72. Low 33-53. Wind northeast 12-25 mph. Friday, partly sunny, cool. High 57-62. Wind northeast 8-16 mph.

BOATING

Upper Potomac River: Today, windy, colder, a shower early, then partly sunny. Wind north 15-25 knots.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today, a shower early, then partly sunny, windy. Wind north 15-25 knots. Waves 1-2 feet on the lower Potomac, 2 feet on the Bay.

River Stages: The National Weather Service estimates the stage at Little Falls to be 3.3 feet this morning and predicts the stage to hold near 3.3 feet Friday morning. Flood stage at Little Falls is 10 feet.

PLANET WATCH

Rise Set

Sun 6:46 a.m. 4:58 p.m.

Moon 9:40 a.m. 7:40 p.m.

Mercury 7:38 a.m. 5:21 p.m.

Venus 2:55 a.m. 3:02 p.m.

Mars 11:29 a.m. 8:50 p.m.

Jupiter 4:00 p.m. 5:07 a.m.

Saturn 4:47 p.m. 6:21 a.m.

Uranus 12:44 p.m. 10:52 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.