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PM Update: Way colder than it’s supposed to be Friday; single digit wind chills tonight

Temperature Map

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

Those strong winds you felt this afternoon, gusting over 30 mph at times, came steam-rolling in along an arctic front which sends temperatures tumbling tonight. Temperatures run some 25 degrees below normal and wind chills…, ugh!

Through Tonight: Bundle up, and I mean it! Temperatures quickly drop below freezing and eventually topple into the teens by the pre-dawn hours. Some of our colder spots plummet into the high single digits. Winds slowly wane over the course of the night from 10-20 mph this evening to 5-10 mph by dawn, but wind chills still bottom out in the single digits to near zero in our colder areas after midnight.

Weather map showing arctic cold front over region this afternoon (National Weather Service)

Tomorrow (Friday): Skies are mostly sunny and winds are light (around 5-10 mph, from the north), but still it’s deceptively cold. Highs range from 23 (far north and northwest areas) to 29 (in the city and southeast). In the afternoon, we may see some increase in high clouds.

See David Streit’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.

Could Friday be in top 10 coldest days so late in the season?: Some of the modeling suggests highs in D.C. tomorrow will do no better than the mid-20s.

NAM model forecasts high temperatures Friday afternoon in the low-to-mid 20s (

That would place it in some rare company for cold so late in the season. CWG’s Ian Livingston sent me this list of the ten coldest days so late in the winter:

2/29/1884 20
3/1/1980 21
3/2/1914 25
3/2/1980 25
3/4/1873 20
3/5/1872 23
3/6/1901 21
3/13/1888 25
3/17/1900 25
3/20/1885 20

In recent days, our day time highs have been running slightly milder than modeled, so I imagine Reagan National Airport should go higher than 25 but it will be interesting to follow.

The record low maximum of 27 degrees (from 1934) for the date is definitely in play.

Interesting reading over last few days:

Where is the National Weather Service’s New Supercomputer?

Offshore wind farms can tame hurricanes, study finds

Can giant walls protect the USA from tornadoes?

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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Jason Samenow · February 27, 2014

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