In the coldest day of winter so far, temperatures only rose into the low 20s this afternoon and wind chills were stuck in the single digits for a good part of the day (even below zero at times this morning).  Winds have calmed down and a clear, extremely cold night lies ahead.  Saturday is sunny, helping temperatures bounce back to near freezing.  By Sunday, we climb towards 40, but not before a possible period of freezing rain and drizzle.

Through Tonight: The combination of the arctic air mass overhead, snow cover, light winds, and clear skies makes for bone-chilling cold overnight.  Lows range from the low single digits in the colder suburbs to 10-12 downtown.  Dulles Airport has a decent chance to break its record low of 5 for January 4, set in 1979.

Tomorrow (Saturday): Sunshine helps temperatures make a nice recovery.  Highs climb to near 30 in the colder suburbs to the low-to-mid 30s downtown and south of town. Winds become out of the south in the afternoon, at 5-10 mph.

Saturday night:  The wind from the south brings increasing clouds and not quite as cold temperatures.  Lows range from 20-25.  Towards morning, there’s a slight chance of some freezing drizzle which could put down a light glaze on surfaces, that are very cold.

Sunday: Some freezing drizzle or light freezing rain is possible (40 percent chance) in the morning.  But temperatures will gradually rise above freezing from southeast to northwest – so any frozen precipitation will change to plain rain by mid-morning around town and by noon in the colder suburbs.  Precipitation may be patchy (hit or miss), so this may not be a huge deal, but any ice can cause problems.  During the afternoon, scattered areas of light rain are likely (60 percent chance), with highs in the low 40s.

See Camden Walker’s forecast through early next week. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

High resolution satellite imagery showing today’s snow cover over the region (NASA Modis image)

Snow poems:  We received two poems during last night’s snow, one from David Ebenbach via email, the second from Shireen David via Facebook. They’re well worth sharing…

David Ebenbach poem


This is the rain that won’t
leave us, that in the morning
will still be here, curled up

against our car tires and trees,
our homes, thick in the grass,
deep the length of the sidewalk.

This is the naïve rain that
thinks it can break the cycle,
live here quietly among us.

This is the rain that believes it’s permanent—
and only because of the children,
who mark it everywhere with angels.

Shireen David poem

“My friend and I went for a walk around 8pm in Arlington,” David writes. “Here’s a little poem (modified Frost) I wrote…”

Stopping in Arlington on a Snowy Evening

Whose sidewalks these are I think I know.
Arlington, so pretty in the snow;
A few neighbors drive by, wondering:
Silly girls, where will they go?

We pass by cozy homes with twinkling lights,
heavy branches, glistening, snowy bright.
Sipping coffee (me) and Sue, tea;

Scrunching snow under our boots, we make our way past a high school.
Stopping by a soccer field, near slushy roads and quiet yards,
A magical second evening of the new year.

These Arlington roads are lovely, snowy and not quite dark.
This frosty exploration ended at Harris Teeter – a temporary car park,
For milk, eggs and TP before I sleep,
For milk, eggs and TP before I sleep.