TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
2/10: We don’t often experience dangerous (as low as -10F or so) wind chills. Take care. But also try to enjoy the sunny Friday for a couple moments.
Today: Dangerous wind chills below zero. Highs: teens to around 20.
Tonight: Slight wind decrease, but be careful. Lows: near 0 to 10 degrees.
Saturday: Still burning cold, windy. Highs: teens to around 20.
Sunday: More sun than clouds. Highs: mid-20s to near 30.
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FORECAST IN DETAIL
Please limit your skin exposure and perhaps overall time you spend outdoors over the next couple of days. With wind chills bottoming out around -10 or worse, and only rising to near zero during the day, hypothermia and frostbite are serious concerns until perhaps Sunday. Stay tuned late this weekend as next week’s potential storm comes into focus ahead of a warm-up.
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Today (Friday): Air that slaps you in the face and must be respected. That’s the case here, with wind chills near zero to perhaps -10 at times this morning. Despite sunshine, west-northwesterly wind starts increasing again, gusting toward 35 or 40 mph. High temperatures only manage the teens to around 20. Please take care. There’s at least a slight chance we set records for cold high temperatures (21 at Dulles, 18 at BWI and DCA). Confidence: High
Tonight: Northwesterly winds could slowly diminish, but only a bit. Gusts toward 25 mph are possible. Wind chill values around -10 are again possible toward dawn, especially north and west of the Beltway. With clear skies allowing for easy cooling overnight, we could see some single digits — perhaps approaching the zero mark well north and west of town — with nearer to 10 degrees more likely downtown. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Saturday): More of the same. Potentially dangerous cold via our direct connection of air out of the Arctic, with wind gusts near 25 mph again, adding serious burn to the face. High temperatures eye the teens again as their maximum, perhaps around 20 downtown, if we’re lucky. At least it’s sunny? Confidence: High
Tomorrow night: Winds may calm, woohoo, but it’s a slow process, so bundle up if going out during the early evening. Clear skies again allow for a ridiculously cold night. Zero to 10 degrees still seems like a fair range at this time. Confidence: Medium-High
A LOOK AHEAD
Sunday: A marked change in wind direction should take hold by late day, out of a warmer, south-southwesterly direction. Wind chill values may slowly rise in the afternoon, perhaps almost matching the actual air temperature maximums, in the mid-20s to near 30. Still bundle up, but at least frostbite danger is vastly reduced. Clouds could move in late in the day. Confidence: Medium
Sunday night: Clouds may slowly continue to increase. This helps buoy low temperatures a bit in the “warmer” upper teens to perhaps mid-20s downtown. In effect, the clouds would not allow the temperatures to go down much, if at all, overnight. Light southwesterly winds could also help keep temperatures steady or rising a degree or two. Confidence: Medium
As a storm perhaps approaches Monday into Tuesday (early morning perhaps), temperatures start rising toward at least the upper 30s Monday. Perhaps even mid-40s, more likely by Tuesday, though. Even if we can’t yet pin down exact timing and type of precipitation, it doesn’t look like a snowstorm is likely. It bears watching because a mix of precipitation or even rain could be freezing rain, especially if our cold ground temperatures have anything to say about it. Many question marks. Check back late this weekend. Confidence: Low
SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX
A daily assessment of the potential for at least one inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.
1/10 (↓): Brief mix with some flakes late Monday or so? All snow looks very unlikely. Rain or ice is the main risk.