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* High wind watch on Friday north of the District for gusts up to 55 mph *

Thursday morning update: The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for Loudoun, Montgomery, Howard and Anne Arundel counties and locations to the the north and west starting Friday morning and continuing until late at night for wind gusts up to 55 mph.

“Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines,” the Weather Service cautions. “Widespread power outages are possible.”

The Weather Service project gusts of around 30 mph beginning early Friday morning before reaching their maximum in the late afternoon The strongest gusts will probably top 40 mph in most of the region, even over locations not included in the high wind watch. The gusts closest to 50 mph or a bit higher are most likely near the Mason Dixon line and over the northern Delmarva.

Winds should slowly ease Friday night into early Saturday.

Today’s daily digit

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

7/10: A slim chance of a shower at any hour; but still a struggle to defeat the heat.

Express forecast

  • Today: Partly cloudy, maybe a shower. Highs: 79-84
  • Tonight: Showers possible, gusty winds. Lows: 56-60
  • Tomorrow: Clearing but isolated shower possible, strong winds. Highs: 68-72

Forecast in detail

Showers are few and far between today, allowing it to still feel more like early summer. Strong winds scour out the heat by tomorrow but send forth clouds of pollen. Don’t get used to the cooler reprieve as another summery surge returns on Sunday and Monday.

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Today (Thursday): Clouds are in abundance but the sun still breaks through often enough to warm things up. Highs top out in the lower 80s. A shower is possible at any time or even a thundershower in the afternoon but many areas stay dry. Winds from the southwest gust to 25 mph at times to fan the pollen around. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Scattered showers and perhaps a rumble of thunder are possible through the night but don’t amount to much. Winds pick up from the west especially late night. Lows are mainly in the upper 50s under mostly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium-High

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Tomorrow (Friday): Strong winds, with gusts topping 40 mph and even 50 mph north of the District, blast the area all day long as skies partially clear. We can’t rule out a pop-up shower as cooler air piles into the area. Despite the mild start, highs only reach the upper 60s to lower 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Northwest winds continue to howl through much of the night bringing in significantly colder temperatures. Overnight lows in the low to mid-40s, with wind chills in the 30s, are attention grabbing. Confidence: Medium-High

A look ahead

Winds gradually calm down on Saturday. Despite plenty of sun, highs only reach the mid- to upper 60s. Skies remain clear overnight and lows are still on the chilly side, mainly mid- to upper 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday warms up in a hurry as southwest winds pick up once again. Skies remain mostly sunny and highs top out in the upper 70s to lower 80s. Overnight lows ratchet back up to the upper 50s to lower 60s. Predawn risers are treated to a line up of the half-moon, Saturn and Jupiter. Confidence: Medium-High

Clouds increase on Monday but highs still peak in the upper 70s to lower 80s. A few light showers are possible mainly later in the afternoon from a storm headed up to New England. Confidence: Medium