The Anacostia River Sunday. (Jim Havard via Flickr)

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

9/10: Today’s warmth will be fleeting; by Saturday night it could be snowing and sleeting.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Plenty of clouds, but a brief shower possible late. Highs: 68 to 74
Tonight: A few light showers mainly late, breezy. Lows: 52 to 58
Tomorrow: Mainly morning showers. Then gusty winds and turning colder in the afternoon. Highs: 62 to 68

View the current weather at The Washington Post headquarters.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Real spring warmth comes to pay a short but welcome visit today, with highs probably above 70 for the first time since November. Soak it in, because the cold comes surging back starting late Friday afternoon. For the snow-deprived, there is a chance for some accumulation Saturday night, but this is far from certain, so stay tuned.

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Today (Thursday): Overnight showers should be out of the area by dawn, and any return of showers is likely to be late in the day, if at all. Despite a healthy dose of clouds, temperatures surge higher. While the records at Reagan National Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport (77) look safe, the 68 at Dulles International Airport could fall as most highs reach the lower 70s. Winds are fairly light from the southwest. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: There could be a shower any time, but late night looks most likely. In any event, amounts should be less than a quarter inch. Southwest breezes keep temperatures quite mild through the night, with lows only in the mid- to upper 50s. Confidence: Medium-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 (Friday): Walking out in the morning should be a pleasant surprise, with readings heading into the 60s, but you might get rained out. Brisk winds shift from southwest to out of the northwest midday, and temperatures start a long descent. Clouds are plentiful much of the day, but showers are most numerous between morning and midday when the cold front pushes through. Rain amounts should remain quite light, mainly less than a tenth of an inch. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Evening readings quickly fall into the 40s, so don’t forget the jacket if you go out, especially given the gusty northwest winds. Skies clear quickly, and lows sink to the mid-20s to lower 30s. Confidence: High

A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday clouds up quickly, but precipitation is likely to hold off until late afternoon or evening. Highs only reach the upper 30s to lower 40s. Light rain, ice and/or snow are all on the table through Saturday night, ending during the predawn hours Sunday. Overnight lows should be in the upper 20s to low 30s.

A weaker storm and/or one tracking too far north and west would favor rain or a mix of precipitation, and probably not much snow or ice accumulation. But, if the storm tracks just to our south and is strong enough, and the cold air holds in place, several inches of snow would be possible. There remain several possible scenarios as noted in our update Wednesday afternoon. Confidence: Low

Programming note: A detailed update on the Saturday wintry weather will be posted midday to early afternoon on our front page.

Skies clear Sunday morning and stay that way through the day. Highs should be in the upper 40s but could make mid-50s if there is no snow. Overnight lows should hold in the 30s. Confidence: Medium

Presidents’ Day (Monday) clouds up quickly, and some showers are possible by late in the day. Highs climb into the 50s. 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 (↑): Snow chances rise Saturday night, but still a lot of variables (cold air supply, track, timing) to get worked out. Rain could still win.