AREA FORECASTS

WASHINGTON: Today, mostly sunny, blustery, sharply colder. High 42. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, cold, diminishing wind. Low 26. Wind northwest 6-12 mph. Thursday, partly sunny. High 44. Wind becoming southeast 6-12 mph.

MARYLAND: Today, mostly sunny, windy, much colder. High 40-43. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, cold, diminishing wind. Low 24-27. Wind northwest 7-14 mph. Thursday, partly sunny. High 42-45. Wind becoming southeast 7-14 mph.

VIRGINIA: Today, mostly sunny, windy, much colder. High 39-42. Wind northwest 15-30m ph. Tonight, mostly clear, cold, little wind late. Low 22-25. Wind northwest 5-10 mph. Thursday, increasingly cloudy. High 41-44. Wind becoming southeast 6-12 mph.

Recreational Forecasts

MOUNTAINS

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia: Today, morning snow showers, then partly sunny, windy, cold. High 27-32. Low 18-23. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Thursday, partly sunny. High 37-42. Wind southwest 6-12 mph.

BEACHES

Maryland and Delaware: Today, mostly sunny, windy, sharply colder. High 42-47. Low 25-30. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Thursday, mostly sunny. High 40-45. Wind southeast 8-15 mph.

Virginia: Today, becoming mostly sunny, windy, much colder. High 45-50. Low 28-33. Wind northwest 15-25 mph. Thursday, mostly sunny. High 45-50. Wind becoming southeast 6-12 mph.

BOATING

Upper Potomac River: Today, partly to mostly sunny, windy, sharply colder. Wind northwest 15-30 knots.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today, mostly sunny, windy, colder. Wind northwest 15-30 knots. Waves 2 feet on the lower Potomac; 2-3 feet on the bay.

River Stages: The National Weather Service estimates the stage at Little Falls to be 3.4 feet this morning and predicts the stage to rise to 3.7 feet Thursday morning. Flood stage at Little Falls is 10 feet.

PLANET WATCH

Sun

Rise: 7:27 a.m.

Set: 5:00 p.m.

Moon

Rise: 6:23 a.m.

Set: 4:20 p.m.

Mercury

Rise: 7:10 a.m.

Set: 4:24 p.m.

Venus

Rise: 4:33 a.m.

Set: 2:27 p.m.

Mars

Rise: 10:00 a.m.

Set: 8:48 p.m.

Jupiter

Rise: 12:14 p.m.

Set: 1:17 a.m.

Saturn

Rise: 1:02 p.m.

Set: 2:31 a.m.

Uranus

Rise: 9:14 a.m.

Set: 7:26 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.