11:40 a.m.: We’ve got new thoughts on the potential for a significant snow event late Monday into Tuesday.
10:15 a.m.: Despite my call for a fully sunny day, some clouds have formed this morning. It’s also a little milder than expected thus far as temperatures did not fall quite as far as anticipated last night. This may affect high temperatures slightly, but probably not much. Clouds may occasionally block the sun heading into afternoon as well.
From 5 a.m.
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
3/10: Temperatures struggling to get much above freezing, and wind chills. In mid-March. No thanks.
Today: Mostly sunny. Gusty breeze. Highs: 31 to 37.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows: Upper teens to mid-20s.
Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs: 36 to 41.
View the current conditions at The Washington Post headquarters.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
We’re starting what may end up the longest below-normal stretch of this cold season. And we’re not yet out of the time of year where the extra cold air also delivers snow risks. A juicy storm looks set to bump into the cold dome over our region, and we’re still closely watching what might happen as that unfolds. First, a cold but visually pleasant weekend.
Today (Saturday): Sunshine rules the day. Much of the time could be totally cloud free. Despite what amounts to full sunshine in March, temperatures struggle mightily under the weight of a frigid Arctic air mass. Many spots could spend most of the day in the 20s, with temperatures only briefly rising to near 30 in the coldest locations and perhaps the mid-30s or so in the warm ones. Add in a feisty breeze out of the northwest, sustained around 15 to 20 mph and accompanied by higher gusts, and you’ve got wind chills topping out mainly in the 20s. Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: Quite a bit of clear sky should last into the evening and early night. A little wave of low pressure passing way to our south could send us a few clouds. Not enough to stop temperatures from falling rapidly in the evening, back into the 20s and ultimately the teens in many outlying spots. A range of lows is about 16 to 24. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Sunday): Clouds may linger into the morning. If they do, plan on them departing pretty quickly. We’re left with a mostly sunny day that is slightly milder and less windy than today. Every little bit helps. Temperatures may not get out of the 30s west and north of town in particular, with other locations rising to around 40. Confidence: Medium
Tomorrow night: Winds are much calmer by this point, and with a cold air mass still in place, that means another hard freeze is on the way. Temperatures range from the upper teens to mid-20s once again. Confidence: Medium
A LOOK AHEAD
We should see rays of sun Monday morning and perhaps into midday. But clouds are on the increase with time. First they are thin and high level, but as we get through the afternoon they’ll lower and the sky takes on that fuzzy “pre-storm” look. Highs mostly reach the upper 30s to lower 40s. Light snow, or perhaps rain turning to snow, could enter the region by sunset or so, from south to north. Snow then overtakes the area heading into the night. At first it’s probably light to moderate, but it should start piling up readily. By late night, periods of heavy snow become a risk, and that lasts into sunrise while potentially mixing with some sleet and rain, especially near and east of Interstate 95. Confidence: Medium
There’s some question as to how long the winter storm lingers around here Tuesday. It’s a decent bet that the brunt of it comes late Monday night into Tuesday morning, and then anything the rest of the day is lighter by comparison. It could also end near or shortly after sunrise. Either way, plenty of “damage” is likely to be done as we rise. Delays and closures are certainly a risk if the storm comes together, as are plenty of downed tree limbs and even trees, thanks to a number having already started to green up. The thing about March, though, is melting gets underway quick — usually as soon as the snow stops. High temperatures rising to near 40, should get it started. Confidence: Medium
We will have updates on the storm during the day.
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.
7/10 (↑): Snow lovers have waited all winter for snow. It appears to be coming in a big way Monday night into Tuesday.