The Washington Post

PM Update: Mostly clear tonight, and cloudier Thursday; sneeze season here?

Temperature Map

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map. See interactive map on our Weather Wall.

Two days in a row now we’ve seen wintry weather in the morning for at least parts of the region before finishing with a springlike afternoon. Add in thunderstorms this morning plus the potential for more on Friday, and it might seem we’ve turned a corner toward the next season. Of course, that’s not quite the case yet, but we can still hope.

Through Tonight: After clouds associated with some afternoon showers depart, skies are mostly clear overnight. Some good stargazing weather, especially with temperatures that aren’t “too cold.” We eventually head for lows as chilly as the mid-20s in the coldest spots north and west to perhaps a hair above freezing downtown. Winds are light.

Tomorrow (Thursday): We may eke out some morning sunshine, but clouds should generally be on the increase as the day progresses. With less sunshine, readings may not head quite as high as afternoon temperatures the last two days, but highs mainly reaching the low-and-mid 50s shouldn’t feel bad at all. Winds are from the south around 5-10 mph.

See Dan Stillman’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.

Memorial Bridge on Feb. 17. (John Sonderman via Flickr)

Pollen picking up steam: You may be noticing buds fattening up on some trees across the region, and they seem quite happy to take in the last two days worth of warmer temperatures. With some early flowering now underway, tree pollen has risen to low/moderate levels locally, at 8.63 grains per cubic meter of air. The main culprits when it comes to tree pollen are Ceder, Cyprus and Juniper, with Elms also pollinating well at this point, and Maples starting to join the party too. Of course, colder weather in the near future is likely to stunt some of this activity, but not before a few more days of some early sneezing.

Here’s a graph of a normal tree pollen season. As you see, we’re right around the typical point at which the numbers begin to climb:

(Susan Kosisky, Walter Reed)
Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.
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