FORECAST IN DETAIL
Today’s our warmest day of the next few as our temperatures start crashing back to earth tonight into tomorrow. A messy storm is possible this weekend as even chillier air surges into our region. We may not get back into the seasonable 50s until Tuesday of next week. Hope you didn’t put away all the winter gear?
Today (Friday): Sunshine attempts to negate the wind. A dry but eventually-cold front is flying through. Afternoon high temperatures still manage the low-to-mid 60s thanks to the downsloping nature of the wind direction just behind the cold front. Air moving perpendicular to the Appalachians will sink from higher elevations and warm by the time it reaches the lower elevations nearer D.C. With west-northwest winds gusting near 30 mph at times, a light windbreaker or jacket is recommended. Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: North-northwest winds gradually die down toward 10 mph or so. That delayed cold air behind the front finally starts taking hold. Temperatures should dip the mid-30s to low 40s (downtown). Somewhat clear skies are good for stargazing but also assist with our surface warmth escaping easily, back into the higher levels of the atmosphere. Confidence: Medium-High
For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast into next week…
Tomorrow (Saturday): Skies quickly turn overcast. You might want to get outdoor plans done in the morning to play it safe. A storm is likely to be developing well south of us. High temperatures may stay muted without much sunshine, in the mid-to-upper 40s. Perhaps a couple degrees cooler, if northerly winds remain persistent around 5-10 mph and rain moves in sooner than afternoon (and heavier than simple showers). Overall, a 30%-40% chance of daytime rain showers at this time, but it is a tricky forecast, so stay tuned. Confidence: Low-Medium
Tomorrow night: Steadier, moderately intense precipitation may move in during the evening. It may change to snow as well, especially late night. During any breaks in the likely precipitation, skies remain socked in with clouds. Overnight low temperature may drop into the mid-30s downtown, with low 30s more probable outside of the Beltway. This may allow a bit of snow accumulation, particularly in north and west suburbs. Northeasterly winds gust near 20 mph at times. Forecast subject to revision! Confidence: Low-Medium
Sunday: Our late season nor’easter may be somewhat strong, but there is still uncertainty as to strength and track. If the storm is close enough to the coast, it’s likely we see bouts of heavy precipitation through the morning and perhaps into the afternoon and evening before things tend to taper. If the storm strengthens slower it will stay further offshore, and there will be less impact overall. More of a light snow turning back to light rain/snow mix before ending. In the former scenario, a few to several inches of snow is a risk, mainly on grassy surfaces and favoring places north and west of the Beltway but possible everywhere. Highs in the mid-or-upper 30s are the best bet in the snowier outcome, while upper 30s to low 40s might happen in the weaker storm. Northerly winds may gust near 25 mph at times. Confidence: Low-Medium
A LOOK AHEAD
Sunday night: If the storm is a big one, snow may continue into the evening, but it tends to taper off the further into the night we get. It’s a chilly first full night of spring with low temperatures falling to around the freezing mark—even downtown. Perhaps 20s outside of the Beltway? Some icy spots may develop, particularly if it keeps snowing through the evening. Confidence: Low
Only a slow warming trend as sunshine returns Monday into Tuesday. Any clouds should give way quickly on Monday, with clouds giving way to sun on Monday and then sunshine sticking around Tuesday. It’s somewhat chilly (but warmer than recent) with high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 40s on Tuesday, and more like mid-50s by Tuesday. Breezes on Monday may have us reaching for the coat still. At least we have a strong and high sun angle now, and can avoid walking in the shade when needed, right? 70 degrees may only be another few days off — I think we’ll make it! Confidence: Low-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.
3/10 (↑): Snowflakes threaten late Saturday into Sunday. Total accumulation potential still very much up in the air.
Ian Livingston contributed to this post.