10:40 a.m. — Rain mixing with and changing to wet snow in some areas
As expected, with colder air pouring into the region, rain is mixing with and changing to snow in some areas as precipitation departs. Temperatures are near 40 degrees and might fall into the upper 30s, but that’s much too mild for any accumulation on paved surfaces. Additionally, the precipitation should taper off over the next hour or so as the Arctic front pushes southeast, meaning the flakes have a very short window to fall.
While these flakes are inconsequential, they are a sign winter is just around the corner. Stay tuned for our winter outlook, being released around 1 p.m. today.
Original forecast from 5 a.m.
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
1/10: Big Arctic cold front’s brutality revises our reality.
Today: Rain-snow mix, turning colder. Highs: 40s early, then falling
Tonight: Windy, much colder. Lows: 19-26
Tomorrow: Sunny, cold. Highs: 35-40.
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FORECAST IN DETAIL
A rather abrupt shift to winter hits this morning, with falling temperatures, rain mixing with snow, followed by a blustery, cold afternoon. A very cold Wednesday at least features some sunshine and calming winds, but it takes until Thursday to reach the 40s again, and then more comfortable 50s by Friday. The weekend is on the colder side, and we need to watch for some possible coastal storm activity (clouds/rain) Sunday.
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Today (Tuesday): Morning light rain could mix with snow during the mid- to late morning before ending around midday. Snow could accumulate some on colder surfaces (like car tops and trash cans), but no pavement accumulation is anticipated. This is a “backward” day since, as you read this, we will have already hit our high temperature. Expect a falling thermometer through the 40s during the early to midmorning, reaching the upper 30s by late morning to midday under cloudy skies. Winds pick up from the northwest at 15 to 20 mph, with higher gusts at times up to 25 to 35 mph. Wind chills in the 20s in the afternoon will make it feel like a cold January day, while we might see some sun peeking back into the picture toward late afternoon or evening. Confidence: Medium
Tonight: Cold and breezy, with lows plummeting to the upper teens in the western to northern suburbs and mid-20s in the city. Winds from the northwest at 10 to 15 mph, with some higher gusts early. Dulles International Airport is likely to break a record-low temperature, as it should dip below 21 degrees there. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Wednesday): Mostly sunny skies cannot overcome this cold air mass, as temperatures only top out in the mid- to upper 30s. Winds at least lighten up to about 5 to 10 mph from the northwest. The air is very dry, with dew points dropping to about 8 to 12 degrees in the morning. Confidence: High
Tomorrow night: Just a few clouds around, with very light to no wind, as temperatures dip to the mid- to upper teens in the outer suburbs to the mid- to upper 20s in the city. Confidence: High
A LOOK AHEAD
Thursday will feature partly sunny skies, with highs slowly creeping higher, into the mid-40s (still at least 10 degrees below normal). Thursday night should be partly cloudy, with lows ranging from the upper 20s to the mid-30s. Confidence: High
Friday runs partly to mostly sunny, with highs into the low 50s, which is still slightly cooler than average. Friday night sees a few clouds, with lows mainly into the 30s. Confidence: Medium-High
The weekend takes a step back to the colder side, with highs in the 40s and lows Saturday night into the 20s to 30s, under partly cloudy skies. Saturday should be mostly sunny, but Sunday is still a wild card, as a coastal low-pressure system could get close enough to the area to produce a cold light rain. Right now, the odds favor that the system will stay just far enough to our east to keep us on the drier side, under partly to mostly cloudy skies. 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 (→): Look for some patchy cold surface slush in the western to northern suburbs today, but insufficient for an inch.