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D.C. area forecast: Rains recede, sun returns by afternoon; drier and colder balance of week

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the days weather, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Dreary start brightens by afternoon with near seasonal temperatures.

Express Forecast

Today: Rain ends early with p.m. clearing. Breezy. 54-59.

Tonight: Mostly clear and cold. 27-34.

Tomorrow: Sunny am and cloudy pm. 47-53.


Radar & lightning:Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

A muddy March morning greets you today with maybe a lingering shower, but conditions are expected to rapidly improve as sunshine breaks through by midday or this afternoon along with warmer, more seasonal temperatures.  Mostly dry and colder-than-normal weather prevails Wednesday into the weekend as we keep a wary eye on another storm system late Sunday.

Today (Tuesday):  A possible morning shower through about rush hour with partial clearing by midday and sunshine at times this afternoon.  Most of us should have picked up between .25″ and .5″ of rain overnight to keep this March rain surplus going.  Highs by the afternoon should soar compared to the last two chilly days with mid-to-upper 50s expected.  Winds pick up to 10-20 mph and are gusty at times this afternoon unfortunately. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: The winds die down and the skies trend toward the mostly clear direction as temperatures fall well into the upper 20s to low 30s (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Wednesday): The day should start off on the mostly sunny side, but then clouds build in by midday or afternoon to cap our high temperatures in the upper 40s to low 50s range.  We’re supposed to be in the upper 50s normally this time of year.  Light breezes. Confidence: Medium-High

Snow Potential Index

A daily assessment of the potential for *accumulating* snow for the next week on a 1-10 scale. More info

2 (↓) Risk of light snow showers Wed night and rain/snow mix on Sunday night. Late March climatology offers big challenges, so we stay uber-cautious.
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Tomorrow night: A weak disturbance passes over the area with a slight 20% risk of scattered rain or snow showers. No major concerns are seen with this very light event.  Cloudy skies with lows in the upper 20s to middle 30s, warmest in the city.  Confidence: Medium


Thursday is another chiller as high pressure builds in with some unusually strong late season cold Canadian air.  Highs struggle to push up into the middle 40s with partly to mostly sunny skies. It could be a bit breezy at times too, which offers some enhanced wind chill annoyances.  And the dew points are once again bone dry. Probably the entire area falls below freezing Thursday night under partly cloudy skies.  Lows range through the 20s to near 30. Confidence: Medium

Friday finds the cold air mass trying to moderate with warmer March sunshine, but the best we can do initially is probably upper 40s to near 50, which is still well below normal for late March.  Look for partly to mostly sunny skies again.  A few clouds are possible Friday night as lows again dip from the middle 20s to the low 30s. Confidence: Medium

The weekend starts out ok but still colder-than-normal with partly to mostly sunny skies Saturday and highs into the upper 40s and low 50s.  Partly cloudy Saturday night as lows fall into the 30s.  Sunday is the tricky day as a storm system may lift up from the south that afternoon or night to bring precipitation back into the area.  We can at least expect increasing clouds during the day Sunday with highs mainly in the 40s.  Afternoon showers are also possible with a risk of rain/snow mix Sunday night into early Monday.  Stay tuned for updates on our next weather-maker.  Confidence: Low-Medium

Matt Rogers is a meteorologist and a Petworth resident. He is president and co-founder of Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Md., which focuses on weather risks for the energy and agriculture sectors. Like most meteorologists, his passion for weather started extremely early in life and has never let go.
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David Streit · March 18, 2013

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