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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 03/26/2008

Forecast: Stalled Front to Bring Spring Showers

By Dan Stillman

Mild and dry today, then shower chances into Saturday

As Matt pointed out yesterday, it's that time of the year again when cold fronts begin to lose their punch, and in the process they tend to stall out in our vicinity. The models meteorologists rely on to guide weather predictions have trouble pinning down exactly where a front will stall, and thus where clouds and precipitation will form, which makes the forecast beyond today rather uncertain. But forecast we will ...

TODAY

Partly sunny. Low to mid 60s. Wake-up temperatures in the mid 40s will be a noticeable improvement from yesterday's crisp morning lows in the mid 20s to mid 30s, though can't rule out the slight chance of a morning sprinkle or shower. The sun will likely be in and out of clouds throughout the day. How high the temperature goes will depend on exactly how much sun we get, but low to mid 60s seems like a good bet, with a bit of a breeze from the west.

Tonight, partly cloudy through midnight, then becoming mostly cloudy with a shower possible toward morning and lows in the mid to upper 40s.

IMG_2025.jpg
The sun sets yesterday on the Washington National Cathedral. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Ian Livingston.

TOMORROW

Cloudy. Chance of showers. Mid 50s to near 60. A stationary front setting up shop across the mid-Atlantic will mean cloudy skies and a chance of showers. The exact location of the front, which is quite uncertain, will determine how numerous the showers will be. At the moment, I'd put the chance of any given location seeing a shower or two at 60%, with a 40% chance that the area (especially north and west of D.C.) will see the development of steadier and more widespread showers. Highs should make it to the mid 50s to near 60.

Overnight, a chance of showers and mild with lows in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend.

FRIDAY

Partly to mostly cloudy. Chance of showers, maybe a thunderstorm. 60s. Low pressure developing along the stalled front will help sustain a chance (30-40%) of showers during the early part of the day as highs climb into the 60s under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Then, a 50-60% chance of showers, and maybe a thunderstorm, for the afternoon and evening.

Overnight, a continued chance of showers with lows in the 40s.

A LOOK AHEAD

Models are having trouble deciding whether the front will hang around on Saturday, or be pushed to the south by high pressure trying to build in from the northwest. For now, my best guess is a partly to cloudy morning with a chance of showers, then clearing skies in the afternoon with highs in the 50s.

Mostly clear and cool Saturday night with lows in the 30s.

Odds are that high pressure will keep a storm system trying to approach from the west at bay, giving us a good amount of sunshine on Sunday and highs in the 50s.

By Dan Stillman  | March 26, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Comments

So help me out here. it looks like the best time to get cherry blossom shots would be Saturday or Sunday at sunrise?

Posted by: Sara in Oakton | March 26, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Jet stream data (CRWS): Still sitting over us. Looks as though a weak subtropical jet south of us in the GOM will dissipate then reform. Southern Hemisphere jet is beginning to reactivate with the comming of autumn down under. There are now subtropical jet streaks over southern Australia.

Canadian lightning data: No activity anywhere this morning.

Stalled out fronts just south of us are definitely NOT welcome! They only set up long term rainy weather. This seems a bit too early for shenanigans of this type which seem more typical of May with its upper air blocking patterns. Why can't we get a stalled out front south of us in midwinter when we could use the 8 inches of snow per day, and the associated Fed shutdowns??? Other than that infamous 1770's era Washington-Jefferson three-day snowstorm and possibly the more recent multi-day blizzard here in 1967, I can't think of any midwinter stalled out frontal patterns in the D.C. MD VA area which set up south or southeast of D.C.

Posted by: El Bombo | March 26, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Sara -- Saturday sunrise is a little iffy ... maybe clouds and a shower hanging around. But it could end up being ok. Sunday is looking like the better bet.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | March 26, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Icy cold morning temperatures like yesterday are definitely NOT welcome! They only continue my closet-space dillemma by requiring me to keep out those heavy coats. Plus, I have to keep my ice scraper in the car!!! This seems a bit too late for shenanigans of this type which seem more typical of February. Why can't we get consistent morning lows in the 40s, like today?

Posted by: El Wishing it Were Spring Already! | March 26, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

March is not a spring transition month in DC--we can have a few warm days, but the weather we are having is not that far off from what we usually see here. The real, consistent warm-up often does not appear until mid-April, and in some years it can be pretty cold after that as well.

Posted by: steve takoma park mdz7 | March 26, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm no meteorologist, but I'm thinking we need RAIN ... we're still too dry and with no appreciable snow this winter (much to my dismay), we're going to be in a world of hurt soon.
The drought map may be looking better than it has in past months, and I'm sure rain might not be everyone's wish, but we need a good, soaking rain for a couple-three or more days each month.

Posted by: Christine | March 26, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

March is running only about 10% below average and thanks to the soaking in February, the year so far is down by just 6%.

Posted by: Steve, Capital Weather Gang | March 26, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Already approaching 70 in DC as of 2 p.m. with a temperature of 69.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | March 26, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dan. Looks like Sunday works better for me anyhow. Although, apparently, I am going to have to walk pre-sunrise from Hains Point to the blossoms because THIS YEAR they decided to close down the parking by the pedal boats and the shuttles they decided to run don't run until 10AM...sigh...where is my pepper spray........

Posted by: Sara in Oakton | March 26, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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