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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/15/2008

Forecast: Flip Flopping Through President's Day

By Camden Walker

WeatherCamChangeable conditions will define the holiday weekend. After quite mild weather today, temperatures take a dip to start President's Day weekend on Saturday. Temperatures gradually warm starting Sunday before cooling back down by Monday evening. Outside of a rainy Sunday night and Monday morning, most of the long weekend should be dry.


Very mild mid 50s, afternoon clouds. A pretty nice day today, overall--we just won't get a lot of sunshine. Ahead of a cold front we will experience southwesterly winds ushering in our semi-warm air. Morning sunshine will quickly give way to mostly cloudy skies. Precipitation chances are low.

Overnight, winds will shift to the northwest behind the cold front. Temperatures will dip below freezing, especially as the sky clears of insulating clouds. Inside and around the Beltway expect temperatures around 30. Loudoun and Winchester could dip to 22-24 degrees, however that depends on if the winds calm briefly around dawn.


Cooler but sunny, upper 30s. It will be a splendid crisp day for those of you who like a bit of chill in the wintertime. The wind will keep temperatures feeling closer to 30 for a good portion of the day, but the sun will help to ameliorate the wind I think. Overnight the wind will calm, skies become partly cloudy, and temperatures should bottom around 25 degrees in the immediate metro area. Out around Dulles and points well north of the city? Around 20 degrees a likely bet.

Keep reading for the forecast through Sunday & beyond. And check back later this morning for a self-assessment of our forecasting of Tuesday's ice storm.


PM clouds, evening shower? Low to mid 40s. We will have a decent morning but increasing clouds in the afternoon will announce the approach of a large area of low pressure from the southwest. An evening shower is possible, with more substantial rain overnight. Expect low temperatures in the mid to upper 30s.


President's Day will be raw to start with for early risers. Rain should quickly relent as the morning wears on with some afternoon clearing possible. The afternoon will be breezy with temperatures near 50, but falling after dark.

Tuesday temperatures will definitely fall in-line more with average: temperatures from 36-41 over most of the metro area. I would grab a scarf and gloves if you are out of town and landing back here on Tuesday... that wind chill could be nippy waiting on the DCA (Reagan National) metro platform!

By Camden Walker  | February 15, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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All the models have honed in on the next system being a "lakes cutter". Rainfall amounts are in question for us because of the far westward track.

Stay tuned regarding late next week. Several of the models are hinting at what could be a wintry precip. system.

Looking at the long term, there are some indications of a pattern change as we head toward the early part of March. Sure, we all know that time is of the essence regarding winter storm potential as we exit Feb., but some of the greatest snowstorms of the twentieth century in my area, occurred during March.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 15, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, the holiday is called Washington's Birthday, not "President's Day."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Save for a quick look at the day's forecast on CapWx and NWS sites, I've given up the daily ritual of poring over the models. Why continually set myself up for disappointment? They always show "indications of pattern change" in the coming weeks. There are occasional signs that the NAO will go negative. And guess what -- none of this ever really transpires! It's always warm air advection when precip of ANY kind comes our way, and absolutely beautiful, cloudless skies when the temp's below freezing. Packing up my snow hopes for THIS season and looking forward to November...

Posted by: DCWinterHater | February 15, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Monday Feb 18 is "President's Day", Friday Feb 22 is "Washington's Birthday".

Posted by: HEELS | February 15, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

DCWinterHater: a wise choice. Folks say some of the greatest storms ever happen in March, and often they refer to the "Storm of the Century" as evidence. But it was called the storm of the century for a reason. Folks counting on a huge storm in March are hoping against the odds...

Posted by: steve takoma park md | February 15, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

DCWinterHater [and others], and keep up for that habit of checking the site, because as we continue to settle into our new digs, we will begin to provide better and more indepth coverage of the non-day to day forecast content. The content will be relevant to all, no matter how warm it's getting ;)

Posted by: Jamie Jones, Capital Weather Gang | February 15, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

It's called President's Day because the Feds made it a Monday Holiday. Back in the old days BOTH Feb. 12 (Lincoln) and Feb. 22 (Washington) were Federal holidays. The Feds actually CHEATED us by moving "Presidents Day" to the Monday in between the two birthdays!

Same with Veterans Day. It doesn't need to be on "Armistice Day", Nov. 11. Frankly I'd prefer the Monday Veterans Day on the fourth Monday in October. The reason? Generally our leaf color peaks around that time here in town, though recently the color peak has moved with "global warming" into November.

As for this weekend's weather, I already posted about this "downpour outbreak" scheduled for my dance night on Presidents Eve. We need better dance attendance by NOT having to have inclement weather every time we schedule a dance! Perhaps the "lake cutter" will give us a break but I doubt it!

Posted by: El Bombo | February 15, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, and February 12 is Lincoln's Birthday and February 19 is Missy's birthday and rain again? :(

Posted by: missy | February 15, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of poring over the models, I'm eyeing the event late next week. Think this could be a snowmaker for the mountains of WV? I've got a ski-trip planned to Snowshoe and I'm hoping for some nice fresh powder while I'm there.

Posted by: ForTheShorties | February 15, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Technically......the Federal Government still refers to THIS monday as "Washington's Birthday." Need proof?

* This holiday is designated as "Washington's Birthday" in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | February 15, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

My GOd....look at us.....February 15 and we are squabbling about names of we need snow.........

Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | February 15, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Sunrise was at 7am this morn. Tomorrow, we move into the 6am hour for sunrises and those continue until we "spring forward" on March 9th.

Spring is coming.

Posted by: Ivan | February 15, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"man we need snow"

No we don't!!

Posted by: Murre | February 15, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah we do...think snow.

Posted by: missy | February 15, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit; there's some promise of snow. But we've just passed Presidents Day. By now we can start expecting spring as the sun's incident angle is getting high enough to melt a lot of the snow which comes down.

Of course, we could always get the snow overnight...

Posted by: El Bombo | February 19, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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