AREA FORECASTS

WASHINGTON: Today, sunny early, then increasingly cloudy. High 50. Wind west 12-22 mph. Tonight, mostly cloudy, rain late. Low 38. Wind south 8-15 mph. Thursday, rain to start, then partly sunny, windy. High 52. Wind west to northwest 15-25 mph.

MARYLAND: Today, sunny early, then increasingly cloudy. High 49-52. Wind west 12-22 mph. Tonight, mostly cloudy, rain or wet snow late. Low 36-39. Wind south 8-15 mph. Thursday, rain or wet snow early, then partly sunny. High 49-52. Wind northwest 15-25 mph.

VIRGINIA: Today, sunny early, then increasingly cloudy. High 47-50. Wind west 12-22 mph. Tonight, mostly cloudy, rain or wet snow late. Low 35-38. Wind south 8-15 mph. Thursday, rain or wet snow early, then partly sunny. High 47-50. Wind northwest 15-25 mph.

Recreational Forecasts

MOUNTAINS

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia: Today, increasingly cloudy, rain showers tonight. High 40-45. Low 34-39. Thursday, windy, turning colder, afternoon snow showers. High 37-42. Wind northwest 15-30 mph.

BEACHES

Maryland and Delaware: Today, mostly sunny, blustery. High 50-55. Low 37-42. Wind west to northwest 12-25 mph. Thursday, rain to start, then partly sunny, windy. High 50-55. Wind northwest 15-30 mph.

Virginia: Today, mostly sunny, breezy. High 53-60. Low 40-45. Wind west 10-20 mph. Thursday, shower early, then partly sunny, windy. High 55-60. Wind northwest 15-25 mph.

BOATING

Upper Potomac River: Today, sunny early, then increasingly cloudy, rain or wet snow at night. Wind west 12-22 knots.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today, sunny, then increasingly cloudy. Wind west 12-25 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 3.5 feet this morning and predicts the stage to fall to 3.3 feet Thursday morning. Flood stage at Little Falls is 10 feet.

PLANET WATCH

Rise Set

Sun 7:26 a.m. 5:06 p.m.

Moon 10:59 a.m. 10:58 p.m.

Mercury 7:29 a.m. 4:49 p.m.

Venus 4:47 a.m. 2:30 p.m.

Mars 9:46 a.m. 8:48 p.m.

Jupiter 11:47 a.m. 12:51 a.m.

Saturn 12:34 p.m. 2:03 a.m.

Uranus 8:47 a.m. 7:01 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.