After a gloomy start with clouds and showers, mother nature staged a rally with mild sunshine this afternoon. Temperatures soared into the upper 50s as if to defy Punxsutawney Phil‘s forecast for 6 more weeks of winter. The work week closes out with another warmer than average day, but we do have to start paying attention to a (small) chance of snow Saturday night.

Through Tonight: Skies become mostly clear and it’s chillier than the last several nights. Lows range from near 30 in the colder suburbs (where some frost is possible - have your scrapers handy) to the mid-30s downtown.

Friday: High pressure moves over the region from the west, ensuring sunny skies. It will definitely be a hint cooler than the last several days, but we still manage to reach the low-to-mid 50s - some 5-10 degrees above normal.

See David Streit’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

New records for warmth: Reagan National Airport set a new record high low temperature Wednesday, falling to just 48 degrees, breaking the old record of 47 from 1988. BWI airport dipped to just 50 degrees, tying the record high low temperature from that year.

Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes in D.C. for NOAA public event: NOAA is hosting two guest speaker sessions in Silver Spring, both open to the public. The first, at 10 a.m., features the adventures of a NOAA hurricane hunter pilot. The second, at 12:00 p.m., features a panel of experts discussing tornado forecasting and lessons learned from the record-breaking year of 2011. The panel features the Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes among other prominent experts. Additional information.