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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 03/19/2008

Forecast: Showers, Storms as Seasons Clash

By Dan Stillman

Storms could be strong late this afternoon or evening

We've come to the last full day of winter, as spring officially begins at 1:48 a.m. tonight. Appropriately, today will be one of those days where you can almost feel the clashing of the seasons, with warm air riding up from the south and a cold front closing in from the west. The collision of warm and cold could make for showers today, and a stormy entrance to spring this evening.


Increasing chance of rain. Windy. Chance of p.m. thunderstorms. Upper 60s. Some spotty showers are possible during the morning and early afternoon as low pressure and a strong cold front approach from the west. A 15-25 mph breeze from the south, with afternoon gusts near 30-35 mph, will help warm temperatures to highs in the upper 60s, despite partly to mostly cloudy skies. Steadier rain is likely for the late afternoon and evening, along with a chance of thunderstorms that could produce damaging winds.

Overnight, showers and thunderstorms could last until after midnight. Winds are likely to continue at 15-25 mph, with gusts to 40 mph or higher. Clearing skies move in toward morning as lows drop to the mid 40s.


Mostly sunny. Windy. Mid 50s. Mostly sunny with highs in the mid 50s doesn't sound too bad. Until you add in winds of 20-30 mph (gusts to 40 mph or higher) from the northwest, which will make the slightly below-average highs feel rather cool. Overnight, mostly clear with diminishing winds, but still breezy, and lows ranging from the low 30s in the burbs to the mid 30s downtown.

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend. Check back later this morning for our assessment of the potential for strong or severe storms this late afternoon and evening.


Partly sunny. Mid 50s. A quiet weather day for the end of the work week, as highs reach the mid 50s under a mix of sun and clouds. There may still be somewhat of a breeze, but not nearly as windy as the previous two days. Overnight, cloudy with a chance of sprinkles or some light rain (maybe a few snowflakes mixed in north of D.C.) depending on how much moisture is generated by an approaching area of low pressure. Lows from the mid 30s in the burbs to near 40 downtown.


Signs of spring yesterday in Oakton, Va., by Capital Weather Gang photographer Kevin Ambrose. Spring officially begins at 1:48 a.m. tonight.

Low pressure passing nearby could mean a chance of some showers Saturday with highs near 50. Any precipitation should end Saturday evening, followed by clearing skies and breezy winds from the northwest overnight as lows drop to the low 30s downtown and the upper 20s in the burbs.

Mostly clear and breezy Sunday with highs in the 40s. If winds lighten up and skies stay clear, lows Sunday night could drop to near 30.

At this point, the Monday into early Tuesday forecast is pretty much a crapshoot. Some models have a storm coming up the coast, which could mean cool temperatures and rain, even a chance of snow. Other models show the storm staying well off the coast, or no storm at all, which could mean dry weather and near-average temperatures.

By Dan Stillman  | March 19, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: In Focus: Timeline for Storms and Strong Winds



Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | March 19, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Grrr... Saturday highs near 50, chance of rain? What a way to open Nationals Park. Hopefully will be better when the Nationals roll into town on the 29th.

Posted by: Alex | March 19, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Mike-- Thanks for posting that. I'm skeptical just due to climatology (time of year) and all the things that need to come together. But the pattern gives us a chance and it will be fun to watch.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | March 19, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm also skeptical of a major snowstorm here early next week though we could get three hours or more of snow that keeps melting as it hits the ground if the right conditions hit.

Actually we've had little or no snow thus far, even on the tail ends of these rain events though it often gets included in the forecasts for some reason.

As I've said, my main concern is with wind and rain late this afternoon. It could really mess up my personal errands the rest of this week.

Dance note: For some reason the Clarendon Ballroom has cancelled the swing dance for Tuesday, April 1 due to some sort of "private event". This is an issue since King Teddy was the band scheduled to perform that evening. It ceases to be an issue, however, if we get severe weather for April Fools Day. The threat of severe weather has already become TOO MUCH of an issue this spring on dance nights.

Posted by: El Bombo | March 19, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

still one of the best setups ive seen all winter on the euro especially with the NAO goin negative. too bad its almost april :) climatology is against us.

if we can pull out a miracle snowstorm this easter, it will make this winter bearable for me. Not getting my hopes up though

Posted by: ccwx | March 19, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Bombo please clarify something. Why and how would severe weather warnings affect a dance held in the third week of March? Are these dances outdoors?

Posted by: NTOMB | March 19, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Alex, you are a week early. Nats open March 29-30.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 19, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised to see yet another reference to the "First Day of (Astronomical) Spring" when I would think meteorologists would use meteorological spring (March 1st), instead. Given that spring is well upon us already (see above photo of cherry blossoms), shouldn't we simply ignore this date?

Posted by: Mike in Bethesda | March 19, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Mike in Beth. -- I think it's worth mentioning both the astronomical and meteorological dates for the seasons from time to time. And I definitely wouldn't ignore the official (astronomical) first day of spring in favor of the meteorological date. It's the astronomical date which is directly related to Earth's orbit around the sun, while meteorological seasons were created by our culture in part for the purposes of easier statistics-keeping.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | March 19, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Hello Weather Gang, Are you planning to discuss the equinox a little more? On the night of the next full moon, does the sun set and the moon rise at about the same time?

Posted by: river girl | March 19, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

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