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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/ 6/2008

Forecast: Second Shot at Record Highs

By Dan Stillman

Showers, storms late today; Winter returns this weekend

Some stubborn cloud cover kept yesterday's temperatures from reaching record-breaking levels in the metro area. Today, regardless of cloud cover, a stronger breeze from the south will mean a better shot of tying or breaking the record highs of 69 at Reagan National Airport (1938), 66 at Dulles Airport (1965) and 64 at BWI Airport (1965). Showers and thunderstorms, a few of which could be severe, will put an end to our spring-like warmth this afternoon and evening. And a true winter blast is on course to arrive this weekend.

TODAY

Partly to mostly cloudy, chance of p.m. showers and t-storms (possibly severe), near 70. After a mild morning with wake-up temperatures in the 50s, winds from the southwest at 10-20 mph ahead of a cold front approaching from the west will boost highs to near 70, even with partly to mostly cloudy skies. Low 70s are reachable with a few breaks of sunshine. As the front gets closer, there's a 30-40 percent chance of showers in the afternoon, and then a better chance (more like 60 percent) of showers and thunderstorms during the evening hours. A few storms could turn severe, with damaging winds being the biggest threat.

Shower activity should be finished or coming to an end by around midnight, followed by clearing skies and continued breezy conditions overnight with lows in the 40s.

TOMORROW

Sunny, breezy, low 50s. A steady breeze will pretty much be the only similarity to Wednesday. Look for mostly sunny skies and cooler temperatures -- though still on the mild side for early February -- with highs in the low 50s. Overnight, partly cloudy with lows near 30 in the burbs and in the mid 30s downtown.

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend.

FRIDAY

Partly sunny, near 50. A disturbance in the upper levels of the atmosphere could produce a shower or sprinkle. But the main impact may be nothing more than some morning clouds. As of now, I'd call it a partly cloudy morning with increasing sunshine in the afternoon and highs near 50, give or take a few degrees depending on how much sun we get. Overnight, partly cloudy with lows in the low 30s in the burbs and mid 30s downtown.

A LOOK AHEAD

Low pressure passing to the north may clip the metro area with some light rain or snow on Saturday. As of now, the timing of precipitation looks to be midday. If that holds, then little or no accumulation is expected as temperatures should be above freezing with highs in the 40s.

After the low passes off to the northeast, strong winds on the backside of it, blowing from the northwest across the Great Lakes, could spread snow showers as far southeast as the DC area Saturday night into Sunday. A dusting isn't out of the question in some places as temperatures drop to the 20s Saturday night, and probably only manage highs in the mid 20s to near 30 on Sunday. Add to that sustained winds over 20 mph and we're talking Sunday wind chills no higher than the teens. Welcome back, winter.

The cold air should begin to lose its punch by Monday when highs climb back to the 30s to near 40.

By Dan Stillman  | February 6, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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