9:40 a.m. update:
1) Dulles Airport dropped to one degree this morning, smashing the previous record low of 8 degrees set in 1979.
2) The National Weather Service has issued a potential winter commuting hazard statement for Thursday morning due to the potential for snow to cause slick conditions, with the highest risk near and east of Interstate 95.
3) Calvert and St. Mary’s County are under a winter weather advisory from 10 p.m. tonight to 11 a.m. Thursday for the likelihood of 2 to 4 inches of snow.
4) We will post a full update on expected snowfall tonight and Thursday around midday.
Original post from 5 a.m.
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
5/10: It’s a sad state of affairs when highs in the low-to-mid-30s seem like a treat, but alas this is where we are.
Today: Partly sunny, not quite as cold. Highs: Low-to-mid-30s.
Tonight: Light snow possible. Lows: Upper teens to mid-20s.
Tomorrow: Chance of light AM snow, gusty winds. Highs: Mid-20s to near 30.
View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post headquarters.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
After a slightly less frosty day today, our cold snap kicks into an even higher gear late tomorrow through Saturday. In fact, Friday and Saturday highs may have trouble reaching 20 degrees, amid an extended stretch of wind chills in the single digits to below zero. And for all this cold, it doesn’t look like we’ll have much snow to show for it, although a coating is possible tonight.
Today (Wednesday): Partly sunny skies and light winds from the south-southeast provide what could be the warmest day of the week. We’re still plenty cold, with morning temperatures rising through the teens. But we might as well try to enjoy afternoon highs in the low-to-mid-30s, before the next punishing Arctic blast arrives. Confidence: High
Tonight: Skies turn mostly cloudy by evening, and we could see some light snow develop after 10 p.m. or so, as a monster storm intensifies off the coast. As of now we should see no more than a dusting to maybe an inch, with the higher end of that range more likely east of D.C. and I-95, and more significant accumulations possible in Southern Maryland and areas along and east of the Chesapeake Bay. But we are of course monitoring in case the storm tries to track a bit closer to us. Confidence: Low-Medium
Tomorrow (Thursday): Light snow remains possible through 10 a.m. or so. Again, unless the storm tracks closer than anticipated, we probably won’t total more than a dusting to maybe an inch, with areas east of I-95 having the best chance of seeing the higher end of that range. But Southern Maryland and areas along and east of the Chesapeake Bay could see more significant accumulation, and a slight shift in the storm track could still increase our accumulation potential here in the metro area, so check back for updates. Otherwise afternoon highs only reach the mid-20s to near 30 under partly cloudy skies, with fierce winds gusting from the northwest near 40 mph. Confidence: Low-Medium
Tomorrow night: Winds continue gusty from the northwest as temperatures plummet toward lows mainly in the single digits, perhaps holding up near 10 degrees downtown. Wind chills spend much of the night in negative territory. Confidence: Medium-High
A LOOK AHEAD
Friday and Saturday are absolutely frigid with highs only in the upper teens to near 20, despite a good deal of sunshine. Winds shouldn’t be as bad as Thursday, but probably still breezy enough to keep wind chills down in the single digits. Friday night and Saturday night lows range from the single digits to low teens. Confidence: Medium-High
Sunday temperatures should finally improve to really cold versus ridiculously cold, with highs heading for the mid-20s to near 30 under mostly sunny skies. Confidence: 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.
4/10 (↑): Not a sure thing. But if Wednesday night into Thursday morning coastal storm tracks close enough, some spots in metro area could squeeze out an inch, especially east of I-95.