Arctic air is moving toward the East Coast and could bring record low temperatures later in the week. In upstate New York, the weather proved deadly for a boy who died after getting trapped in a snow bank while sledding. (Reuters)

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

7/10: Grading partly sunny 40s on a curve, compared to the bitter cold that’s coming.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Partly sunny, breezy early. Highs: Low to mid-40s.
Tonight: Chance of flurries, turning windy late. Lows: Upper teens to mid-20s.
Tomorrow: Extremely cold, gusty winds. Highs: Mid-20s. Wind chills: 5-15.

View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post headquarters.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

One more day before the deep freeze. It’s only two days — Thursday and Friday — of bone-chilling cold, but it won’t be pretty. The frigid air hangs on long enough for a potential wintry mess late Friday night into Saturday, before temperatures go on quite the roller coaster through the weekend.

Today (Wednesday): Temperatures rise through the 30s this morning, and while that feels kind of chilly with a 10-15 mph wind from the northwest, we’ll be pining for such readings by tomorrow and Friday. Get out and enjoy this last day before the deep freeze, as highs reach the low to mid-40s under partly sunny skies, with a diminishing afternoon breeze. Confidence: High

Tonight: Mostly cloudy skies move in during the evening as the arctic front pushes through, perhaps with some scattered snow flurries. Winds pick up overnight from the northwest, and the polar air starts pouring in toward dawn with lows down to the upper teens to mid-20s. Confidence: Medium-High

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Temperatures go nowhere fast despite partly to mostly sunny skies. Mid-20s is about the best we can do, and with winds from the northwest around 20-25 mph and gusts to near 35 mph, we’re talking wind chills no better than around 5-15 degrees through the day. Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: Winds slacken but remain on the breezy side through the night. With lows dropping into the teens, we’ll see wind chills sink into the single digits, and as low as near zero in our colder suburbs. Winds continue from the northwest, around 10-20 mph with some higher gusts. Confidence: High


The sun rises beyond National Harbor on Dec. 13. (Nicole Kosar via Twitter)

A LOOK AHEAD

Our winds diminish Friday with the heart of the arctic air mass directly overhead. Highs remain frigid, in the mid-20s to near 30 with partly sunny skies, but it’s a less punishing cold thanks to the much lighter winds. Skies turn mostly cloudy Friday night with a decent chance of some snow developing around or after midnight, possibly mixing with sleet and/or freezing rain. Anything that falls will stick with temperatures in the 20s. Confidence: Low-Medium

The way it looks now, any snow accumulation early Saturday morning should be limited to around an inch or two, before changing over to all sleet and/or freezing rain during the early to mid-morning, and then all plain rain by late morning into early afternoon. So it’s the first half of the day, through around noontime, that could well be an icy mess on the roads before conditions improve into the afternoon, when temperatures should rise into the 40s. But precipitation amounts and timing of changeovers are easily subject to change as we’re still a few days out. Confidence: Low-Medium

Could see a break in the rain for at least a portion of Saturday night as milder air surges in from the south. Overnight temperatures could rise to near or past 50, although they could still hold in the 40s if the warmer push is weaker than currently anticipated. More rain showers are likely Sunday as our next cold front comes through, but not before highs likely reach the 50s. Temperatures should plummet back into the 30s by late afternoon or evening, with another brief wintry mix possible Sunday night. Confidence: Low

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 (↑): Brief period of snow late Friday night into early Saturday morning could flirt with an inch or so before changing to ice and rain.