After midday highs in the mid-70s, temperatures declined this afternoon in the wake of a strong early season cold front. The accompanying showers will gradually subside this evening and temperatures will plunge to their lowest levels since early May. Fall weather is firmly entrenched over the region Friday.

Through Tonight: Scattered showers decrease in coverage and intensity as rush hour comes to a close. At the same time, temps fall through the 60s. Then cloud cover gradually decreases. Overnight lows are chilly, ranging from the mid-40s in the colder suburbs to the low 50s downtown. When you factor in a steady breeze from the north at 10 to 20 mph, yes - a jacket is definitely a good idea as the night wears on.

Friday: We awake to brilliant sunshine but an extra layer is advisable when you get up and head out with temps in the 40s in many spots. Morning sunshine yields to some increase in cloud cover during the afternoon due to some instability at high altitudes. There’s definitely an October feel to the air as highs only manage the mid-to-upper 60s. We’ll have a light breeze from the north at around 10 mph.

See David Streit’s forecast through early next week. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Pollen update from Walter Reed: Trees are MODERATE, grasses MODERATE, weeds HIGH, and mold spores MODERATE

New National Weather Service phone service: While Verizon continues to offer forecasts for the metro region at 202-936-1212 (who knows for how long?), the National Weather Service is offering an alternative: it will provide its forecasts locally free of charge using “HD” voice technology, i.e. the same computerized voice from NOAA radio. Here are phone numbers for our region:

Washington, DC area: 202-349-0185
Manassas, VA area: 703-652-1210
Baltimore, MD area: 410-500-4450
Fredericksburg, VA area: 540-322-4035

It’s a useful service, but somehow doesn’t seem to have the same charm as Verizon’s service - which features real human forecasters.