AREA FORECASTS

WASHINGTON: Today, morning showers, then partly sunny, windy, snow shower late. High 54. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Tonight, partly cloudy, windy, much colder. Low 24. Wind northwest 20-40 mph. Friday, sunny, windy, cold. High 36. Wind northwest 20-40 mph.

MARYLAND: Today, showers, then partly sunny, windy, flurry late. High 52-55. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Tonight, partly cloudy, windy, much colder. Low 22-25. Wind northwest 20-40 mph. Friday, sunny, windy, cold. High 34-37. Wind northwest 20-40 mph.

VIRGINIA: Today, shower, then partly sunny windy, flurries late. High 51-54. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Tonight, partly cloudy, windy, much colder. Low 21-24. Wind northwest 20-40 mph. Friday, sunny, windy, cold. High 33-36. Wind northwest 20-40 mph.

Recreational Forecasts

MOUNTAINS

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia: Today, rain showers early, then snow showers, windy, cold. High 40-45. Low 10-15. Wind northwest 15-30 mph. Friday, partly sunny, windy. High 20-25. Wind northwest 15-30 mph.

BEACHES

Maryland and Delaware: Today, showers, then partly sunny, windy, turning much colder tonight. High 51-59. Low 20-25. Friday, windy, cold, mostly sunny. High 30-35. Wind north 20-40 mph.

Virginia: Today, becoming partly sunny, windy, mild. High 59-72. Low 24-42. Wind southwest 12-25 mph. Friday, mostly sunny, windy, much colder. High 40-45. Wind northwest 15-30 mph.

BOATING

Upper Potomac River: Today, morning rain, snow showers, then partly sunny, windy, flurry late. Wind northwest 15-30 knots.

Lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay: Today, morning showers, then partly sunny, windy. 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 3.5 feet this morning and predicts the stage to fall to 3.3 feet Friday morning. Flood stage at Little Falls is 10 feet.

Planet Watch

Rise Set

Sun 7:26 a.m. 5:07 p.m.

Moon 11:30 a.m. -- -- --

Mercury 7:31 a.m. 4:52 p.m.

Venus 4:49 a.m. 2:30 p.m.

Mars 9:44 a.m. 8:48 p.m.

Jupiter 11:43 a.m. 12:48 a.m.

Saturn 12:30 p.m. 1:59 a.m.

Uranus 8:43 a.m. 6:57 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.