* Wind advisory through 7 p.m. *
Updated forecast, 2:15 p.m.
Storms have departed the region and so has the cold front which triggered them. The severe thunderstorm watch previously in effect has been discontinued.
But it’s really windy, and will remain so through the afternoon. The National Weather Service extended the wind advisory from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., when we can expect the continuation of gusts up to 40 to 50 mph, and locally a little higher (especially in the high terrain).
At 2 p.m., winds were gusting to around 40 mph over many parts of the region, with a few 45-plus mph reports.
This is our last update in this post. Stay tuned for our PM forecast update which will be available by 5 p.m. or so here.
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.
3/10: Temperatures aren’t bad, but howling winds follow a rocky, stormy start.
- Today: Showers and storms possible through midday. Windy. Highs: 65 to 70.
- Tonight: Breezy and much colder. Lows: 36 to 40.
- Tomorrow: Partly sunny, blustery. Highs: 50 to 55.
Forecast in detail
Gusty showers and storms are likely to kick off the day and are followed by windy conditions through the afternoon. Temperatures tumble tonight into Friday, which feels more like March. Saturday and the better part of Easter Sunday look good before stormy conditions return Sunday night into Monday.
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Today (Thursday): We’re likely to see a round of showers and storms between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., sweeping across the region from west to east. Locally, heavy rain and strong winds are possible, although the activity may lose some intensity as it barrels eastward. Through early afternoon, some additional scattered showers and storms could also flare up. Temperatures may come close to 70 through midday, but then fall off during the afternoon as winds crank up, gusting in the 40 to 50 mph range. Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: Partly cloudy, windy, and noticeably colder. Temperatures steadily fall to between 35 and 40, and it feels colder with winds from the northwest gusting up to 30 mph. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Friday): A storm gathering strength over Maine continues to drive strong winds from the northwest through the region, along with chilly air. Highs only reach 50 to 55, and it feels like the 40s, despite plenty of sun. Those winds are sustained at 15 to 25 mph, with some gusts over 30 mph. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow night: Skies are clear and winds diminish somewhat. Our colder areas are likely to fall to near freezing, while mid- to upper 30s are likely elsewhere. Confidence: Medium-High
A look ahead
The forecast for most of the weekend is favorable. After a cold start on Saturday, highs shoot for 60 under sunny skies, and winds are light. Some increasing clouds Saturday night, with lows near 40. On Sunday, despite considerable cloud cover, most of the day should be dry. However, we can’t rule out some showers or storms late in the day, with highs near 65. Confidence: Medium
Sunday night into Monday is potentially stormy with the chance for waves of heavy rain and/or strong to severe storms. The details are still coming into focus, so stay tuned for updates. Confidence: Low-Medium
1:15 p.m. — Front has cleared area as storms push off to east. Winds cranking up.
Radar shows the last of the storms pushing through Southern Maryland toward the Bay and, in much of the region, skies are clearing.
The cold front is now east of the immediate area and, in its wake, winds are increasing.
At 1 p.m., gusts approached 30 mph at both Reagan National and Dulles Airports, while they were near or even exceeding 40 mph along the Interstate 81 corridor; Winchester gusted to 46 mph, and Martinsburg 40 mph.
12:35 p.m. — Strong winds likely to begin over next hour in immediate D.C. area and eastern suburbs
The severe thunderstorm warnings for the strong winds to the west have been discontinued (as winds are generally below the 58 mph necessary for a warning). However, the strong cold front continues to plow eastward, and will bring a sudden onset of very gusty winds to the immediate area and its eastern suburbs over the next 60 to 90 minutes. Gusts in the range of 40 to 50 are likely at times through the afternoon.
We do have one active severe thunderstorm warning for our eastern suburbs, east of the Beltway along Rt. 50 from around Bowie to Annapolis. Heavy downpours and some wind gusts of 50+ mph are possible with this storm over the next 20 to 30 minutes.
The thunderstorm potential over the region should wane over the next 30 to 45 minutes as most of the scattered activity along and east of Interstate 95 races off to the east.
12:00 p.m. — Severe thunderstorm warnings west and northwest of Washington for damaging wind potential
Scattered showers and thunderstorms are sweeping through Washington’s north and west suburbs. While they are producing some localized downpours, they are not particularly intense.
However, along the cold front, currently near Frederick and extending south through western Loudoun and northern Fauquier county, there is a sudden burst of winds, up to 40 to 60 mph, which could cause some tree damage as it passes. The front is likely to arrive in western Fairfax and Montgomery County around 12:30 p.m. and through the District by around 1 p.m.
Severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued not because of intense rain, thunder and lightning, but the sudden onset of winds associated with the front.
Even after the front passes, strong winds to 40 to 50 mph are likely through the afternoon.