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D.C. area forecast: Mainly benign weather lulls us into a false calm before Hurricane Sandy’s potential impact

Hurricane Sandy: How to prepare for the storm


Today: Mostly cloudy, some a.m. fog/drizzle. 67-73. | Tonight: Slightly breezy, clouds continue. 53-59. | Tomorrow: Mainly cloudy, increasing breeze. PM shower? Mid-60s to around 70. | Sunday: Increasing odds of rain and wind. Mid-50s to around 60. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Today (Friday): Calm but cloudy. Fog and possible early morning drizzle (20% chance) may be slow to burn off. Some sunshine peeks are a good bet by the afternoon but a light easterly fetch off of the bay and Atlantic keeps us somewhat socked in. A few cirrus clouds associated with Sandy could be visible by later in the day as well, assuming our lower, overcast clouds show us some breaks. High temperatures may struggle to get into the upper 60s to low 70s. But our slightly muggy (around 60 degrees) dew point should keep you from being chilly. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Sandy-associated high level cirrus clouds really start blocking out any view of stars. Light breezes continue out of the east and then, later, northeast direction. Thanks to the clouds, temperatures only slowly dip toward, ultimately before sunrise, the mid-to-upper 50s. Confidence: Medium

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Saturday): We’ve got overcast skies again and they may only briefly show us some breaks here and there. Northeast breezes become more noticeable, toward 15 mph or so. By very late in the afternoon we run the risk of an isolated shower (10-20% chance). High temperatures may only get to the mid-60s in the coolest (but somewhat muggy, regardless) spots. But most of us hopefully can manage the upper 60s to around 70 degree mark. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Showers run a better chance (25-35%) of dampening us. North-northeast winds continue to slowly increase toward the 15-25 mph range. Because of clouds and these breezes continuing to stir-up the atmosphere, we again stay mild—only hitting low temperatures of the low-to-mid 50s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: Here’s when one of two possible scenarios begins to unfold, an indirect hit or a direct hit. For now, we’re leaning very slightly more toward a direct, or near-direct hit along the Delmarva or New Jersey coast, with the possibility of major to extreme impacts locally. Winds and shower chances are on the rise. Rain could be into the area by morning with odds and intensity potentially growing during the day. Winds that start as a heavy breeze early also tend to increase by evening. Temperatures should hover in the mid-50s to around 60. If the more easterly/northerly threat plays out, timing may slow down a bit with rain arriving later. Note: Marine Corps Marathon runners could—could--end up without serious rain dampening their run. Confidence: Low-Medium


Sunday night: Winds from the north and northeast increase further to at least 20-30 mph, and potentially sustained at tropical storm force above 40 mph late at night, each potential wind tier with higher gusts. Even though it’s cooler at the ground level, plenty of moisture is being fed up overhead, so rain could be heavy at times through the night (50-60% chance). Cooler air helps push temperatures down into the 40s area-wide. Confidence: Low

Monday continues potentially rainy, cool and quite windy as tropical storm force winds (possibly as high as 50+ mph sustained) and heavy rains persist in some fashion through much of the day. Snow is even possible at high elevations well to the west! The mixture of at least periods of heavy rain and strong persistent winds may lead to major power outages along with significant tree loss and some structural damage. Stay bundled up, too, as high temperatures only get to around 50. Please note winds most likely remain high, even if precipitation moves in or out differently than expected. Confidence: Low

Tuesday may eke out a few breaks in the cloud cover, assuming Sandy continues to move on its way. There’s also a chance it just kind of sits and spins while weakening over the northeast, or Tuesday stays rainy and windy if the storm comes in further north initially. While we have a decreasing (40% chance) of showers or rain, any bands of rain that spiral through could still contain downpours and gusts of wind to around 40 mph. Snow may also be ongoing over the mountains to the west. Cold air continues in behind our Sandy-invigorated cold front, as high temperatures only make it into the mid-40s to around 50. Brrr. I really hope we don’t lose electricity and, thus, much of our heating systems. Confidence: Low-Medium


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