12:55 p.m. update: Rain will gradually exit the District and locations to the northeast over the next hour, so the risk of flooding is more or less over.
Some have noticed temperatures have not warmed as much as forecast (upper 40s to upper 50s). Indeed, the cold air has been tough to dislodge, and so highs will more likely range from the upper 30s in our colder western areas to the low-to-mid 50s in our eastern areas. Most locations will be in the 40s this afternoon.
The lack of warming in our colder areas means less snow and ice have melted and a greater potential for refreezing tonight.
Scroll down for the forecast through the weekend and to the bottom of this post for our storm updates from early this morning…
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
5/10: Wet and warm as water washes away winter woes today
Today: Showers, much warmer. Highs: 49-59.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows: 28-36.
Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. Highs: 46-50.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
And now for something completely different. Our atmospheric tilt-a-whirl continues as we spin from winter to spring. Much warmer weather, moderate to heavy rain, and even a rumble of thunder move into the area today. We cool down tomorrow into Thursday, but nothing like the weekend. The big story could be this next weekend as another surge of warming winds sends temperatures soaring into the 50s and 60s.
Today (Tuesday): Beware of iciness across the region for the early morning rush hour period. Otherwise, we are trucking up through the 30s and even into the 40s into the latter part of the morning rush. Rain is likely throughout the day, heavy at times with thunder possible. Total rainfall could range from ½ to 1 inch. Temperatures should advance higher into the 50s by later this morning into the early afternoon especially for areas from the District east and south. We even have a chance to briefly touch 60! Winds blow from the south direction at 5-10 mph, but then shift to come from the west in the afternoon at 15-20 mph with some higher gusts. Confidence: Medium
Tonight: Partly cloudy, breezy and dipping colder again with western to northwestern suburbs dropping down below freezing later at night, with the potential to get into the upper 20s, so watch for icy spots. Otherwise, the District and close-in suburbs are favored to stay above freezing in the mid-30s. Winds blow from the west at 5 to 15 mph. Confidence: Medium
Tomorrow (Wednesday): Partly cloudy with near-normal temperatures as highs work back into the middle to upper 40s with a few spots hitting 50. Light winds, mainly from the west at 5 to 10 mph, help to finally dry us out. Confidence: Medium-high
Tomorrow night: A few clouds about, but temperatures should manage to get a little colder and we’ll have to watch for refreeze spots in wet areas. Lows range from 20 in the outer suburbs to around 30 in the city. Confidence: Medium-high
A LOOK AHEAD
Thursday features mostly sunny skies, some light cool breezes, and temperatures slightly below normal as Canadian high pressure drifts over the area. Highs only manage the lower 40s. Thursday night aims for mostly clear skies and lows ranging through the 20s. Confidence: Medium-high
Friday starts on the sunny side, but then sees some increasing clouds in the afternoon. Temperatures increment warmer with highs in the middle to upper 40s. Friday night rolls in on the cloudy side with the chance of a few scattered showers as a warm front moves through. Lows only drop to the upper 30s to the middle 40s. Confidence: Medium
Another massive warm-up dominates our weekend story and it’ll feel very much like springtime. Partly sunny skies assist that springtime feeling as high temperatures range through the 50s and even 60s both days. Lows Saturday night range through the 40s under partly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium
SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX
A daily assessment of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.
0/10 (↓): More spring is king with less winter zing.
Early morning storm updates (no longer applicable)
10:15 a.m. update: A flood warning has posted for the entire D.C. area through 2 p.m. The combination of rising temperatures, heavy rain, and melting snow is leading to flooding of small creeks and streams and in poor drainage areas. Another 0.5 inches or so of rain is possible on top of the 0.5-1.0 inches fallen before the rain ends between noon and 1 p.m. from southwest to northeast.
— Hilary Ginsberg (@hilarysg) February 16, 2016
9:45 a.m. update: Heavy rain, reducing visibility and leading to ponding of water on roads, is streaking through the region. Some localized flooding of poor drainage areas and small streams cannot be ruled out. The good news is that the rain rapidly exits between noon and 1 p.m. based on radar trends and short-term models. A quick 1-2 inches of rain is possible in the mean time.
7:55 a.m. update: The winter weather advisory and winter storm warning in effect over the region have been dropped. As ice will take a few hours to melt, continue to use caution on sidewalks and untreated roads.
7:35 a.m. update: Temperatures across the entire region have now risen above freezing, although an exception or two well north and west of town is possible. But, it will take a few hours for icy surfaces to melt, so please use caution through at least mid-morning on sidewalks and untreated roads which may be very slippery.
Amazingly, Reagan National Airport’s temperature jumped from 32 at 5 a.m. to 51 at 7 a.m. Very mild air has reached the I-95 corridor and locations to the southeast, and this mild air is pushing northwest. The mild air and rain should lead to a rapid melting process through the afternoon.
6:45 a.m. update: We continue to urge folks to be very careful as untreated roads and sidewalks are icy and dangerous even as temperatures are rising and now above freezing in many parts of the D.C. area. Importantly, temperatures are still near freezing in western Montgomery, Loudoun and Frederick County, though they should be above freezing by 8 a.m. Below is a zoomed-in look at our colder areas and where temperatures are still near freezing:
6:10 a.m. update: Temperatures are rising rapidly especially inside the Beltway and east. Reagan National is up to 40 degrees at 6 a.m. (from 32 at 5 a.m.). But we still have pockets of subfreezing temperatures close by. These areas and especially our far northwest suburbs (Frederick County) may take another hour or so to pass 32 degrees.
Despite the rise in temperatures, we urge caution as the ice will take a few hours to melt.
— Robyn (@wickedrg) February 16, 2016
5:30 a.m. update: Temperatures have *mostly* risen above freezing from the Beltway and east, but please use caution as not all ice will have melted and there may be small pockets where temperatures remain below freezing. In our northwest and western areas, there is still an area wedged in with subfreezing temperatures but we expect it to gradually warm above freezing by 7 a.m. The warming southeast of town is rapid, with temperatures there now into the 40s.
5 a.m. update: Early risers and commuters are still dealing with extremely hazardous conditions especially around the District and points west and northwest. Untreated roads and sidewalks are a sheet of ice and extremely difficult to navigate. This should change quickly over the next one to two hours as areas east of DC are already into the 40s.