Washing windows in Crystal City, Va. (Rex Block via Flickr)

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

6/10: Pretty standard mid-December. It is a Saturday, though!

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Partly-to-mostly clear. Highs: 42-47.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows: Mid-20s to mid-30s.
Tomorrow: Increasing clouds. Highs: Mid-40s to near 50.

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FORECAST IN DETAIL

It’s now been more than a week straight of almost entirely below-normal temperatures, including yesterday, which was our first day it didn’t rise above freezing of this winter season. It looks like we’ll see at least partial payback for that in the days and week ahead. The pattern across the country remains active and changeable on the whole, so any forecast outside a few days is somewhat low-confidence. For now, the days leading up to Christmas seem relatively tame, at least around here. Fingers crossed it doesn’t change too much.

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Today (Saturday): It’s a very cold start, with some aid in overnight chill thanks to a little bit of fresh snowcover. If you factor in that low beginning point, we see temperatures “rocket…” toward the mid-40s. Warmer than it has been, at least. If you’re looking for a thaw, you’ve got to start somewhere. Skies should feature plentiful sunshine, along with some clouds. Winds are out of the west and southwest around 5 to 10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Skies remain mostly clear and winds are light. Usually this is a good recipe for deep cold in winter, but we have already started bringing slightly milder and more moist air into the region, which keeps readings up somewhat. We’re still talking below freezing in many or most spots, with mid-20s to mid-30s the range. Mid-30s mainly only in the city. Confidence: Medium-High

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Tomorrow (Sunday): We should try to take advantage of this warmer regime by bumping daytime highs up another notch. Once around mid-40s, the questions start to revolve around the arrival of clouds. If it’s early enough to cut down on warming, mid-40s might be all we do. If we see as much sun as possible, nearer 50 seems likely. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Skies are mostly cloudy through the night. There could be a sprinkle, or perhaps a flurry. Most of the area may stay above freezing for the night, so worries about precipitation are minimal. Lows range from near-freezing to near 40. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

High pressure is largely in control to start the work week on Monday, but it’s a bit of a dirty high, something that might be standard in the time ahead. There’s still plenty of jet stream not far off, and we’re kind of near where the two meet up. For now, tranquil should tend to win, but expect some clouds, and perhaps even a shower. Highs are right around 50 and winds are light. Confidence: Medium

It’s not much different by Tuesday. We still are mostly under the control of high pressure, but periodic cloudiness remains a risk. It seems like one of those air masses that will feel a little stagnant on the ground as well. There’s more of a signal for warmth by this point, with temperatures headed at least for the mid-50s and perhaps higher. 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 (↓): No apparent notable snow risk over the next week, but there are a couple systems to watch with cold air not super far off.