Calm early-evening waters near the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday. (George Jiang via Twitter)

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

5/10: 40s to near 50 a definite downgrade from yesterday’s highs near 60. But otherwise a pretty average December day, with some sun to show for it.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Showers depart early, becoming partly sunny. Highs: Mid-40s to to near 50.
Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy. Lows: 30s.
Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs: Mid-40s to near 50.

View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post headquarters.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Our first extended stretch of wintry weather begins somewhat gradually, with colder–but not unseasonably cold–temperatures today and tomorrow. Friday through Sunday brings a more potent punch of cold air, and maybe some snowflakes to set the mood.

Listen to the latest forecast:

Get our daily forecasts on your Amazon Alexa device. Click here to find out how.

Today (Wednesday): Showers depart to our south and east early this morning, giving way to a partly sunny midday, with clouds increasing again late this afternoon. We start out fairly mild with morning readings near 40 to the mid-40s, with a bit of a gusty breeze. But afternoon highs only reach the mid-40s to near 50, with mainly light winds from the west around 10 mph. Much drier air continues to filter in throughout the day, as dew points drop into the low 20s to upper teens. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: We’re definitely colder tonight than recent nights. But I wouldn’t call it unusually cold. In fact, we’re still near to a bit above normal, with lows mainly in the 30s, perhaps some upper 20s in our coldest outer suburbs. Winds are light from the west-southwest under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Confidence: 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): We’re off to a colder start than today, with morning temperatures rising through the 30s. But with partly to mostly sunny skies, we’ll see afternoon highs similar to today, in the mid-40s to near 50. Winds should be light from the west. Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: We continue to trend colder, but only by a few degrees compared with tonight. Look for lows in the upper 20s to low 30s, or just about average for this time of year, with partly to mostly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

A reinforcing shot of cold air settles in Friday and Saturday with highs only in the low 40s, while Sunday highs may only manage the upper 30s to near 40. Can’t rule out flurries or a touch of light snow Friday night and again Saturday night, though right now neither looks to be of much consequence. Friday night and Saturday night lows dip to the mid-20s to near 30. 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.

1/10 (→): Friday/Saturday night flurry or light snow potential doesn’t look like anything more than that. Maybe a shot at more flurries or light snow next Tuesday-Wednesday.