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D.C.-area forecast: Sunshine returns today before rain moves in on Wednesday

Brief wintry mix possible north and west early Wednesday. Final weekend of January looking warmer and mostly dry.

Georgetown and the Key Bridge on Jan. 18. (Diane Krauthamer/Flickr)

Today’s daily digit

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

7/10: Insert sun and delete wind today, then ctrl-alt-delete a messy Wednesday.

Express forecast

  • Today: Sunny, lighter winds. Highs: 47-53.
  • Tonight: Increasing clouds. Lows: 29-35.
  • Tomorrow: Rain, maybe starting as wintry mix. Highs: 42-47.

Forecast in detail

Our active pattern continues with only brief periods of welcome sunshine between storm systems. After Monday’s mostly modest muck, Wednesday’s activity could feature stronger moderate to heavy rain (which is needed) with a slightly longer drier period starting Thursday into most of the weekend. We need to watch the next chance of rain by late in the day on Sunday.

Today (Tuesday): Sunshine bursts onto the scene with temperatures lifting above normal for this time of year. Morning temperatures rise through the 30s into the low 40s with afternoon highs reaching the upper 40s to maybe low 50s. Winds settle down with a midday breeze from the west only up to around 10 mph. Confidence: High

Tonight: Clouds return as temperatures fall to lows mainly in the lower to middle 30s. Light winds. Confidence: High

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Tomorrow (Wednesday): Another system arrives to darken our day with clouds, precipitation and some colder temperatures. If the precipitation starts early enough Wednesday morning (rush hour to mid-morning), some western and northern areas could briefly start as a mix of rain, sleet and snow. Rain could be heavy at times during the afternoon into evening. Highs range through the 40s (western to northern areas could stall in the low 40s). Light winds from the east and northeast around 5 to 10 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Evening rain could be moderate to heavy at times, but it should start to end by late evening to around midnight. Skies continue mostly cloudy overnight as lows range from the mid-30s to low 40s. Total rainfall of a half-inch to one inch is possible. Confidence: Medium

A look ahead

Thursday returns sunny skies, but gusty winds make highs in the mid- to upper 40s to feel much colder. Gusts could even exceed 30 mph at times. Thursday night is partly cloudy with gradually weakening winds and colder lows from the mid-20s to mid-30s. Confidence: High

Friday features partly to mostly sunny skies with highs ranging mainly in the mid-40s. Partly cloudy Friday night with lows from near freezing into the mid-30s. Confidence: Medium-High

The weekend is looking warmer and mostly dry. Saturday is our best chance for sunshine with partly to mostly sunny skies favored as highs reach the low 50s. Partly cloudy skies on Saturday night accompany lows in the 30s. Sunday could see increasing clouds with highs about the same, in the low 50s, but we need to watch for some showers possible by Sunday night. Confidence: Medium