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D.C. area forecast: April’s soggy send-off is a raw, rainy deal; drier toward weekend

Flash Flood Watch Tonight through Wednesday night

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Very cool, windy, rainy, dreariness and we don’t really need this much rain

Express Forecast

Today: Rain. Highs: 54-58.

Tonight: More rain, possibly heavy at times.  Lows: 51-55.

Tomorrow: Showery with possible thunderstorm.  Highs: 68-72.


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.

A super slow-moving springtime slog of a storm drifts through the Midwest today and throws streams of moisture our way.  High pressure stalled over New England contributes to the mess by feeding in very cool Atlantic air.  The pressure gradient between the two weather features drives an easterly wind that makes chilly daytime temperatures feel even cooler at times.  We edge into the warm sector of the storm tomorrow with closer to normal temperatures, more showery weather, and the potential for some thunderstorms (even early tomorrow morning).

Clearing is attempted by later on Thursday with a mostly dry Friday to Sunday anticipated (outside of some stray shower risks on Saturday).  We’ll need the dry weather to wring out this wicked wetness!

Today (Tuesday): Rain is the main descriptor as a stalled boundary feeds copious quantities of moisture into the region.  We should see fairly steady precipitation, but it can alternate at times between light drizzle and a steadier rain.  The annoying part will be a brisk wind from the east and northeast at 10-20 mph with occasionally higher gusts that make afternoon highs only in the mid-to-upper 50s – some 10-15 degrees below normal – feel like 40s to low 50s instead.  Look for about .25″ to .5″ of rain today.  Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Rain persists with temperatures holding about the same or dipping slightly down into the lower 50s.  We could see some heavier rains at times as the main warm front attempts to press north through the area.  We cannot rule out some rumbles of thunder either.  Breezy to windy weather from the east at 15-20 mph contributes to the misery.  We could pick up another .5″ to 1.5″ overnight with flash flooding possible during the heavier rain periods, especially in more typical poor drainage areas.  Confidence: Medium

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…

Tomorrow (Wednesday): A warm front punches through the area in the morning, which shifts our winds to come more from the south (and not blow quite as hard).  Highs should manage to reach the upper 60s to low 70s, but more showers throughout the day are likely along with the risk for afternoon into evening thunderstorms, a few of which could be strong to severe.  Precipitation should tally up another .5″ or so with higher totals (up to 1″) around thunderstorms.  Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: The final piece of this massive low pressure system is a cold front that should come through at some point during this period.  Some heavier thunderstorms and showers could ride along the front, so rainfall totals could again push up to .5″ to 1.5″ with locally higher totals for a net entire event accumulation of 2″ to 5″.  We’ll be quite soggy by this point.  Lows range from the upper 40s to low 50s.  Confidence: Medium


Thursday brings May and may bring us a break from all this rain.  A cold front sweeps through very early and shifts our winds to a drier direction (coming from the west).  Temperatures have a shot to surge into the middle to upper 70s to offer a decent day as there isn’t a whole lot of cool air initially behind the front, but we can’t yet rule out the risk of showers and thundershowers popping at times (30% risk).  Thursday night looks partly cloudy with temperatures dropping into the middle to upper 40s in the outer suburbs to low 50s in the city.  Confidence: Medium

Friday is our best chance for dry weather with partly cloudy skies as highs pop into the upper 60s to low 70s.  Friday night is cool again with a few clouds as lows drift down to the middle 40s (low 50s right in the city).   Confidence: Medium

The weekend looks much better than our soggy workweek with highs in the low 70s and lows in the 40s to low 50s.  Saturday should be partly sunny, but there is a risk for a few passing showers in the afternoon.   Sunday seems to be the better chance to feature sunny skies.  Confidence: Medium-High

Matt Rogers is a meteorologist and a Petworth resident. He is president and co-founder of Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Md., which focuses on weather risks for the energy and agriculture sectors. Like most meteorologists, his passion for weather started extremely early in life and has never let go.
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