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D.C.-area forecast: Chilly start to December before it turns milder but rainy on Saturday

The first day of meteorological winter feels more like midwinter

Sun-kissed clouds near sunset on Wednesday. (Emma K Alexandra)

Today’s daily digit

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

3/10: Winter chill comes on cue under skies of blue.

Express forecast

  • Today: Sunny with gusty winds. Highs: 42 to 46.
  • Tonight: Clear and calming winds. Lows: 22 to 28.
  • Tomorrow: Sunny, light breeze. Highs: 48 to 52.

Forecast in detail

The first day of meteorological winter, which runs from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, will get your attention with highs more typical of the heart of the season. Temperatures zip back up to mild levels by Saturday but showers dampen much of the day. The yo-yo continues with chilly conditions returning Sunday.

Today (Thursday): Sunshine is plentiful but no match to the cold air settling into the area. Highs only reach the low to mid-40s. Gusty winds from the west make it feel at least 10 degrees colder. Confidence: High

Tonight: Winds calm quickly and, with clear skies, lows drop to the low to mid-20s with a shimmer of frost likely. Confidence: High

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Tomorrow (Friday): Sunny skies and light winds from the south allow a little more warming than the previous day. Highs are almost seasonable in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: Clouds gradually increase in the evening and a few showers are possible by dawn. South breezes build as well, helping to keep temperatures fairly steady with lows mainly in the mid-40s. Confidence: Medium-High

A look ahead

Light showers are a nuisance throughout Saturday but are likely to only amount to a quarter-inch or so. Brisk south winds push highs all the way up to the upper 50s to low 60s. Cold air returns overnight, clearing skies and pushing lows down to the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday is mainly sunny but cool, with highs no better than the mid-40s. Overnight lows fall to the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday is only slightly warmer, highs mainly in the upper 40s, under partly sunny skies. Confidence: Medium