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D.C. area forecast: Increasing clouds and calm today, but snow likely Friday morning

A sloppy mix of rain and snow will zip into the D.C. region Friday morning — the official first day of spring. Capital Weather Gang's Jason Samenow has your forecast. (Video: The Washington Post)

Winter weather advisory for northern Montgomery, western Loudoun, and Frederick counties.

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

4/10: Mild temps today are my focus, enjoying the beauty of emerging crocus; for come tonight, snow it just might; seems to me the joke’s on us.


Today: Increasing cloudiness. Highs: 48-52
Tonight: Rain after midnight changing to or mixing with snow. Lows: 28-34
Tomorrow: Snow/rain changing back to rain. Highs: 40-44


On Friday morning, winter tries to exit with some fanfare prior to the official arrival of spring later in the day (6:45 p.m.). Yes, that means some snow. For most of us accumulations are minor but it may snow with enough intensity for some slick spots, especially in our colder suburbs. Just work up a nice haiku or some kind of mantra to repeat over and over that it really will be spring on Saturday with highs near 60, and sanity should be preserved.

Today (Thursday): We should have some sun but clouds gradually move in this morning and thicken as the day goes on. The air mass overhead isn’t terribly cold and it is late March, so highs still manage the upper 40s to lower 50s. Calm winds make it feel a little less brisk than yesterday. Confidence: High

Tonight: The evening should remain peacefully cloudy but look for rain to develop between about midnight and 3 a.m. (perhaps a bit earlier in our southwest areas). In our colder areas (Frederick and Loudoun counties), precipitation may start as snow. Where rain is falling, it should gradually mix with and change to snow, except well to the south (around Fredericksburg) before dawn. Don’t be surprised in the city if there is some back and forth between rain and snow (with some sleet at times too), with mainly snow when precipitation intensity increases. Winds are minimal. Lows should drop to the upper 20s north to mid-30s south. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Friday): Snow is likely to be prevalent at daybreak and there could be some slick spots for the morning commute, especially north and west of the city. As the morning wears on, snow likely changes back to rain from the District and points south first and then into our northern suburbs. In some of our far northern suburbs, precipitation may remain mostly snow. Snow accumulations for the immediate metro area are unlikely to exceed an inch but 1-3 inches are favored in northern Montgomery County, Loudoun county and to the north and west. Afternoon precipitation, mostly in the form of rain, tapers off in the mid-to-late afternoon. Winds pick up from the east at 5-15 mph. Highs only reach the upper 30s to lower 40s. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Precipitation is over by the time the vernal equinox occurs at 6:45 pm and ushers in astronomical spring. Clouds only slowly decrease later at night and lows end up in the upper 20s to lower 30s in northern burbs and mid-to-upper 30s in the city and points south. Confidence: Medium-High


Saturday proves that spring does still exist with partly sunny skies and southerly breezes pushing highs to 55-60 across the region. However, stealing in like a thief in the night is another strong cold front. Winds shift to the northwest and get gusty in the predawn. However, lows are only in the low-to-mid 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

The real cold air settles in on Sunday with temperatures struggling to rise at all and we have to settle for upper 40s to lower 50s.  A steady northwest wind emphasizes our lost warmth. Catch a glimpse of the newly emerging crescent moon in the west in the evening snuggling up with Venus. High pressure settles in overnight calming winds which allows lows to drop to the upper 20s to lower 30s in most areas, so we may all need to snuggle up. Confidence: Medium

Monday feels better without the breeze but the airmass is still a relatively chilly one with highs only in the mid-to-upper 40s. At least mostly sunny skies make it a little more bearable. Confidence: Medium

A daily assessment of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.

5/10 (↑): The race will be to put down snow faster than it melts but still a decent chance to reach the magic inch early tomorrow.