10 a.m. update: We’ve seen a very few snow flurries in the region and temperatures have plummeted. Reagan National is down to 43 and Dulles to 38. And it’s windy! At 10 a.m., both Dulles and Reagan National had winds gusting to 33 mph, making for wind chills in the upper 20s and low 30s. Temperatures should hold here for the duration of the daylight hours and then start to tank as darkness settles in later on. We could see a stray flake or two, but the best chance of snow flurries has come and gone already.
6:30 a.m. update: The front is a couple hours delayed in arriving, so the cold air is just beginning to move in. Temperatures currently in the upper 40s and low 50s (as of 6 a.m.) will plunge to the upper 30s and low 40s by 8-10 a.m. and remain more or less steady during the day. Any precipitation moving in behind in the front may begin briefly as rain, followed by possible snow flurries. However, as mentioned below as a possibility, the precipitation seems to be drying out some as it moves over the mountains, so the odds of rain or snow are just around 30 percent.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
From 5:00 a.m.: It is only the 12th of November, but, today and tomorrow, it feels more like the 12th of January. Scattered flurries and snow showers this morning give way to a partly sunny afternoon. Sunshine, limited as it is, won’t do much to warm us up, as temperatures struggle to surpass 40 today and blustery conditions make it really feel close to freezing. This early preview of winter makes a cameo on Wednesday, even with full sunshine. The Arctic cold begins to move out on Thursday.
Today (Tuesday): Scattered flurries and snow showers will continue to move across the area this morning. The city and southern/eastern suburbs may see rain showers at first, but expect any precipitation to turn over to snow with time. Parts of the region may see little or no precipitation due to a rain (snow) shadow effect east of the mountains.
Surface temperatures could be cold enough to support a coating on grassy surfaces in upper Montgomery, Frederick and Loudoun counties. Some snow shower activity could come in moderate-heavy bursts, which would temporarily reduce visibility, so be careful if you get caught up in one of these while driving. The flurries and snow showers hang around in scattered form through mid-morning, with most activity dwindling by 10 a.m. or so.
It’s partly sunny the rest of today, with temperatures holding steady or rising only slightly into the upper 30s (north and west) to the low 40s (D.C., south and east). Winds pick up this afternoon, becoming gusty as they blow 10-20 mph from the north-northwest. Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: It’s a “bundle up” kind of night as skies become clear and the Artic cold becomes entrenched. Temperatures tumble into the mid-20s across most of the northern and western ‘burbs, and bottom out in the upper 20s elsewhere, though the city should stay near 30. It will likely be the first freeze of the season at Reagan National. Wind speeds tail off, but don’t completely wind down from the northwest, checking in at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High
For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…
Tomorrow (Wednesday): Our bout with winter-like cold lasts another round, as a large high pressure cell continues to advance toward the region. Full sunshine will enable temperatures to warm a little, but with the Arctic nature of the air and low sun angle, the Sun’s effect will be muted. Highs reach the low to mid-40s, still a good 15-20 degrees below normal, and prolonging the coldest blast of air in November since 2008 (the mid-latter part of that month also featured highs/lows in the low 40s/upper 20s). Winds kick up again out of the northwest at 10-15 mph. Confidence: High
Tomorrow night: It’s another clear, cold night. Lows aim for the mid- to upper 20s again. Winds are southwesterly and light, no more than 5 mph. Confidence: High
A LOOK AHEAD
We begin to “thaw out” on Thursday thanks to the southwest wind. Another bright, sunny day along with the warmer flow lifts highs into the low to mid-50s (still below average for the date, though). Still on the chilly side Thursday night, with lows from the upper 20s in the cooler suburbs to the mid-30s downtown. Confidence: High
Friday offers more sun and continued warming ahead of a weak disturbance. Highs rise to near 60. Not as chilly Friday night with lows above freezing in most spots (mid-to-upper 30s) to close to 40 downtown. Confidence: Medium-High
The weekend may start out partly sunny on Saturday as the disturbance sends some clouds our way. Sunday could be potentially cloudy and showery as a stronger push of moisture arrives from the south. Temperatures stay relatively mild throughout the weekend, near 60 (though a wetter scenario could hold highs in the 50s on Sunday). Overnight lows Saturday night range from 40-45. Confidence: Medium