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PM Update: Scattered showers tonight, then a sparkling weekend

Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Cool air wedged into the region failed to budge today, holding temperatures in the 50s in most places while the rain held off. A cold front sweeping through this evening may set off a few showers, but then we clear out. The weekend is a winner with beautiful sunshine and high temperatures in the low 60s each day.

Through Tonight: We may see temperatures “pop” briefly near or even above 60 into early this evening as a warm front in central Virginia tries to nudge northward. But then a cold front coasts into the region bringing a 40 percent chance of showers and possibly a rumble of thunder – the best chance is between around 7 and 10 p.m. By midnight, rain chances evaporate and skies begin to clear. Lows range from the low 40s in our colder suburbs to upper 40s downtown.

The weekend (Saturday and Sunday): Both days feature mostly sunny skies and temperatures near the seasonal norm – in the low 60s. Saturday, however, is on the breezy side, with winds from the northwest at 10-20 mph, with some higher gust. On Sunday, winds are light and variable.  Saturday night is clear but cold, with lows near 30 in our colder suburbs, with upper 30s downtown.

See Camden Walker’s forecast into early next week. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

A cloudy D.C. afternoon, April 3 (John Sonderman via Flickr)

Pollen update from U.S. Army Allergen Extract Laboratory: 

The cedar/cypress/juniper family is making up for lost time as today’s highest tree pollen contributor at 237.38 grains/cubic meter.  Maple and pine pollen are at 30.99 and 30.35 grains respectively. Other area tree species are also beginning to flower at high to moderate levels.

Tree pollen is HIGH at 339.30 grains/cubic meter, a nice jump from previous days.

More super El Niño speculation:  Over on Jeff Masters’ blog, guest contributor Michael Ventrice posts a detailed analysis and concludes: “The Pacific Ocean continues to show signs of a developing moderate to strong El Niño event.”

WeatherBell’s Ryan Maue sees similarities in ocean heat content patterns between the present and 1997, prior to the strong El Niño event that year (into 1998):

Related: A super El Niño on the way? Subtle signs emerging

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 · April 4, 2014

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