9:25 a.m. update: An area of cloud cover this morning will keep us chilled through late morning. By midday and into the afternoon, it should turn mostly sunny, with highs still around 55-60. Satellite view.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
A thaw returns for the next couple days but it may not last if we do indeed see rain turn to sleet and snow late Sunday into Monday. Let’s enjoy our mild air and somewhat calm (albeit breezy) conditions before the storm. Anyone ready to get off this weather see-saw? Or, do you find this roller coaster somewhat exciting?
Today (Friday): Sunshine should dominate clouds for the most part. Temperatures start a bit chilly but warm quickly toward the mid-50s to around 60. Partial thanks goes to that higher, stronger sun angle. Wind speeds may increase as we shift direction throughout the day, with morning south winds around 5-10 mph morphing into southwesterly winds around 15 mph as we head into the afternoon. Gusts around 25 mph can’t be ruled out by mid-afternoon either. Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: It’s partly-to-mostly cloudy with a slowly slackening southwesterly breeze blowing between 5-15 mph. Low temperatures could stay in the low-or-mid 40s downtown, with mid-to-upper 30s possible outside the Beltway. If your locale maintains fairly heavy cloud cover all night, temperatures may remain nearer the higher end of the range. A shower from some of these clouds can’t be totally ruled out (10% chance) either. Confidence: Medium-High
For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…
Tomorrow (Saturday): For the Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. marathon and half-marathon, shower chances have diminished and are below 5% as it looks now. So, runners may only have one weather item with which to cope—the somewhat chilly start. Temperatures should climb to above 50 fairly soon in the morning with late afternoon high temperatures around 60 to the mid-60s (we could get even warmer if clouds clear quickly after sunrise?). Skies should clear more fully as the afternoon wears on. We could also have a fairly active westerly breeze around 5-15 mph. Confidence: Medium
Tomorrow night: Partly cloudy conditions for our evening turn into overcast conditions after midnight. Our temperatures should bottom out in the mid-30s downtown, perhaps a few upper 20s outside the Beltway. Any westerly breezes around dinner time should fade after midnight. Confidence: Medium
Sunday: The day starts calmly, with a few peeks of sun in the morning. By mid-to-late afternoon, however, we believe it could completely cloud over as a complicated wintry storm system tries to start impacting our area. We have a meeting of air masses overhead, so it is still difficult to say how fast any cold air can slide in from the north to change late afternoon rain showers (50% chance) into sleet/snow. The storm system with its initial rain is approaching from the south and trying to hold some warm air overhead, and thus the battle and uncertainty. High temperatures should still get into the (cold for March!) 40s to near 50 before falling off late day. Stay tuned… Confidence: Low
A LOOK AHEAD
Sunday night: Colder air filters in, with rain changing over to snow if not prior. We have a possible period of sleet during the transition, but probably not a lengthy one. The changeover happens first in areas to the northwest (Loudoun and Frederick counties) and last in the southeast (southern Maryland). Overall, the chance of precipitation is at least 60%, more like 70% south. We’ll try to narrow down soon for you on the timing and details of precipitation expected. Some accumulation is possible by dawn, especially in our region’s typically favored areas north and west of the city. Low temperatures in those areas want to bottom out in the upper 20s, with temperatures hovering closer to freezing downtown. Confidence: Low
Monday (St. Patrick’s Day) is looking a bit wintry, with precipitation likely ending in the form of snow for almost all of us. It could end by morning rush? Or, last through midday? We still need to watch the data for longer, to figure out the specifics of this forecast. Some models hold the precipitation on longer than others, but generally the daytime stuff looks lighter than overnight. Don’t forget to wear some green! With luck of the Irish, we could see some peeks of sun during the afternoon as high temperatures head for the mid-to-upper 30s. Perhaps higher if we do get enough sun. Confidence: Low
For Tuesday, any overnight rain/snow showers that may pop-up for one last hurrah should clear out by morning as we awake to lows mainly in the upper 20s to near 30. Sunny skies may shine for most of the day?! We’ll have to watch a secondary wave though, as it may at least throw some clouds our way as it tracks well to the southeast. High temperatures climb into the comfortable 40s, perhaps some upper 40s south of town. I cannot wait. As long as the breeze remains tame (TBD), increased sun and mild temperatures may feel very comfortable to our now winter-hardened bodies. Confidence: Low-Medium