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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 01/ 9/2008

PM Forecast: Not as Hot

By Steve Scolnik

Becoming cooler, some rain later

As expected, the cold front went through the Washington metro area around 8 or 9 this morning, as a strong southerly breeze became westerly and then northwesterly. Humidity dropped dramatically; dewpoints fell as much as 16° in one hour. Temperatures rose, however, hitting a morning high of 68 at National Airport. Although this is well short of the 76 observed downtown in 1937, it appears to be a record for the airport location. Dulles' 64 was enough to break the 62 which was the fourth consecutive daily record set in 1998.

Even by mid afternoon, temperatures are holding in the low and mid 60s. In a phenomenon not very well handled by the forecast models, the warm temperatures are the result of the air, originally of Pacific origin, being heated as it is compressed from flowing downhill over the mountains to the west of us.

The northwesterly flow from a strong low pressure area now southeast of Hudson Bay will bring in cooler temperatures, to be followed by a series of disturbances that will reinforce more seasonable temperatures in the coming days.


Mostly clear, cooler, mid 30s to near 40. Skies will remain mostly clear tonight with gradually decreasing winds. Temperatures will be cooler, but still mild for the season: 39-42 in the city ranging to the low 30s in the outer 'burbosphere.


Increasing clouds, near 50. Skies will become cloudy by tomorrow afternoon, with highs 48-53. There's a 50% chance of showers by evening, with a better chance at night.

See Dan's post for the rest of the forecast, including a weekend outlook.

Stay tuned for News&Notes later, featuring the upcoming local appearance of a weather rock star.

By Steve Scolnik  | January 9, 2008; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Does anybody know a good source for the ECMWF model?

Posted by: Mike | January 9, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

If you missed it in the earlier comments, here's a good model link from the Bucket O' Bookmarks.

Posted by: Steve, Capital Weather Gang | January 9, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The spring-like highs:
National 68
Dulles 64 (record, previous 2006)
BWI 64
Although BWI, like National, failed to break the 1937 city record, that's probably a record for the airport location.

Posted by: Steve, Capital Weather Gang | January 9, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hm, I see by the almanac that BWI was 64 in 1998, so it's a tie.

Posted by: Steve, Capital Weather Gang | January 9, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

looks like another rain storm for sunday/monday. theres always next winter.

Posted by: josh | January 9, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Steve's mention of a weather rock star . . . it's January, so could it be Paul Kocin?

Posted by: Jamie Y (Potomac) | January 9, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

That wind that brought in the front last night was pretty wicked. Even though it was still relatively warm (at midnight, no less), you could definitely feel a change in the air. Ditto this morning when I left for work - it was still balmy, but the sky told a different story - dark steely wind clouds overhead in Western Prince William.

Sadly, I have a windowless office, so I have no idea what happened outside after I got to work.

I'm not as much into the science of the weather as some of the rest of the posters I've seen here, but I do enjoy watching it from a layman's perspective. As a kid I loved to watch thunderstorms roll in. My sister's the crazy one though - it is her dream to go chase tornadoes some day out in Oklahoma. I, on the other hand, have a deathly fear of tornadoes, particularly ones that form at night. Glad I wasn't in Wisconsin a few days ago...

Posted by: Jaradel | January 9, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on the 12z ECMWF? Sterling says it would mean mostly rain for the metro area (based on the 12z ECMWF). Of course Joe B. has been insisting that it would be a rainstorm from DC from the get go... I tend to agree with him this time.

Posted by: Mike | January 9, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The 12z EURO takes the storm over Lynchburg, DC to s.e. Pa. which could mean a good dumping of snow for the I81 corridor and west into W.Va. with mainly rain for DC. The 18z GFS still keeps the storm off the coast. We need a compromise between the two, which is quite possible.

A lot of cold air seems to be building, which could make the last half of Jan. quite interesting!

Posted by: Augusta Jim | January 9, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

*Jaradel-Nice posting today, welcome aboard and keep it up!
*Augusta got the same thoughts i do....let's hope we get some huh? I'm about 10 miles east of 81 as the crow flies!

Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | January 9, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Jaradel - I spent 13 years in Oklahoma chasing every time I didn't have homework due or a midterm/final. It was fun... when you are hunting the tornado, you have little to fear (except for bad drivers). (Stay on the SW side, for one thing!)

But at night, I often felt like the hunted...

Posted by: Bikerjohn | January 9, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I am concerned this will be a rain storm Sun - Mon. The models seem to underplay the strength of SE ridge (did same thing all last year too) which will probably force the storm to take a somewhat inland track rather than a coastal track. Also, most weather outlets are forecasting marginal temps at best (upper 30s to low 40s for highs on Monday). I'm sure that depends on the storm track regarding how much cold air gets eroded, but unless i am missing something i don't see a big cold high building on Sat and Sun before the storm to drain the cold air SE. Saturday is foreacst to be in the 40s to near 50 and Sunday is not much cooler. Now keep in mind i am not one who analyzes the models very well so maybe i am missing something. Please help - i am desparate for a good snowstorm!!

Posted by: Mike in Ashburn | January 9, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Just kidding! All the Mike's are coming out of the woodwork!

Let it snow.


Posted by: Mike in Manassas | January 9, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

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