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PM Update: A cold, cloudy night with re-freezing; today’s unusual March chill

Tuesday delays | Infographic: seasonal snowfall at the 3 airportsSnow total reports from NWS | Snowfall total map *

Temperature Map

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

Depending on your perspective on winter, you either loved today’s deep late-season powder or you are just waiting for the strong March sun to eat it up. Either way, we’re going to head back toward milder conditions fairly soon, but not tomorrow. We’ll definitely warm a few degrees compared to today’s crazy cold upper 20s and low 30s but we remain on the cold side of normal.

On the bright side, when it comes to snow, it could be worse: Philly’s seasonal snow total reached 67.4 inches today, second highest on record (only behind 2009-2010), surpassing the huge winter of 1995-96.

Through Tonight: Sunset watch for this evening? Could be a good one – but the main story is cold.

Despite only being days from spring, we’ve got a mid-winterlike night ahead thanks to fresh snow cover and the remains of a cold air mass. Although the blanketing effects of mostly cloudy skies may mitigate deep cooling, lows still fall to near 20 in the cold spots to the mid-20s downtown. Watch out for refreeze as the sun sets and beyond. Many roads remain slushy, wet, or dotted with patchy standing water this afternoon. Winds are from the northeast at 5-10 mph.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Icy spots may be an issue through the period shortly after sunrise. A low pressure developing well offshore to our southeast isn’t much of a worry, but it should help keep the clouds around. So plan on another mostly cloudy one, with the potential for increased breaks in the cloud cover late. Prior to that, there could be some light drizzle or showers during the midday or afternoon, but mainly south and east of us. Northeast winds around 5-10 mph won’t promote much warming. Highs are in the upper 30s to low 40s.

See Jason Samenow’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.

St. Patrick’s Day Snowman ( Kari Garcia via Twitter)

Really cold… again: I don’t know about you, but for some reason today’s temperatures didn’t feel that bad after all we’ve been through. But, highs were downright frigid for this time of year — a good 25 degrees or so below normal.

In D.C., we won’t be breaking the record of the coldest daytime high of 25 degrees set way back in 1900. At Dulles, where the books are much shorter and only date to 1963, the coldest high of 34 degrees set in 1976 will fall. As long as D.C.’s high is below 36 degrees (a sure bet), it will be the coldest Mar 17 recorded at Reagan National which became the official location in 1945. If D.C. stays at or below freezing, it will join only 23 other days this late or later in a waning cold season during the 143 year record for the city. It would also be the first time so late since 1942. When combined with historic snow, a truly rare day for the city.


1.5 apples: Despite much improved road conditions, there’s a good chance of delays and some schools may close.


1 dome: Expect to report on time. We’ve had enough time off this winter anyway, no?

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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