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PM Update: Nice and mild Wednesday, but shower risk; Chicago logs coldest winter on record

Temperature Map

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

Aside from a midday interval of clouds, today was beautiful with sunshine and afternoon highs in the mid-60s. A pleasant evening lies ahead but Wednesday no longer looks as promising as it once did. Clouds and showers may spoil the expected mild temperatures.

Through Tonight: Partly cloudy skies for much of the night, perhaps becoming mostly cloudy by morning.  It’s not particularly cold, with lows ranging from the low-to-mid 40s in our colder suburbs to near 50 downtown.  Light winds from the south.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): It’s fairly mild, but unfortunately mostly cloudy to overcast for a good part of the day due  a weak weather front in the vicinity.  The best chance of any sun is early in the morning.  By late morning and into the afternoon, there’s a 30 percent chance of spotty showers.  This will not be an all-day rainfall and some areas may stay more or less dry – but an umbrella or rain coat is a wise call.  Despite the clouds and shower chance, highs should reach the mid-60s or so.  Winds are light, mostly from the north at 5-10 mph.

See Matt Rogers’ 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.

A wind-swept flag on March 31, 2014 (John Sonderman via Flickr)

Pollen report from U.S. Army Allergen Extract Lab:

March was in like a lion and out like a lion this year….what with the snow and the cold, we have been below average with our pollen count.

The reddish hues of area maple trees and the bright yellow color of weeping willow trees are clearly evident now against the blue spring sky as their flowers open up.  It was nice to see some daffodils scattered about in neighboring yards also.

Cottonwood, birch and oak trees have elongating, drooping catkins that sway back and forth noticeably in the breeze as they disperse pollen into the air.

Cedar/cyp/juniper, elm, maple, birch, cottonwood, oak, pine and willow pollen lead the spring parade of trees currently flowering.  There will be a great deal more to come as our tree season really gets underway….

Tree pollen is in the HIGH range at 115.02 grains/cubic meter.

Chicago’s coldest December through March period on record: The average temperature in Chicago between December and March was a frigid 22 degrees, coldest in records dating all the way back to 1872!

“One can thank the record 26 days at or below zero this winter and the 19th coldest March on record, among other factors, for that,” writes John Dodge of CBS Chicago.

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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Kevin Ambrose · April 1, 2014

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