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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 04/13/2008

Forecast: Winter Weather Briefly Returns

By Jason Samenow

The next three days will provide quite a contrast compared to the last three days. Instead of 70s and 80s, high temperatures will likely be stuck in the 50s due to a big dip in the jet stream over the East Coast. Today, there is even the possibility of some sleet mixing with afternoon showers.


Mostly cloudy, p.m showers and sleet. 54-58. We may have some sunshine in the morning, but considerable cloud cover will develop during the afternoon. Scattered rain showers are likely (60% chance) and some of the showers could contain some sleet, especially north and west of the beltway. With temperatures way above freezing, no sleet will accumulate or cause any iciness. Highs will be in the mid 50s, but will drop into the 40s when showers pass by.

Some widely scattered showers may continue into the evening hours, with partly cloudy skies after midnight. Lows should range from the mid 30s in the colder suburbs to near 40 downtown.

Keep reading for the forecast for early next week. See NatCast to view forecast conditions for today's game.


Partly to mostly cloudy and cool. 51-55. Monday may give us our coolest day until some time next fall -- November perhaps? Under partly to mostly cloudy skies, temperatures will only rise into the low to mid 50s.

Partly to mostly cloudy overnight, with chilly lows from near freezing in the colder suburbs to the mid to upper 30s inside the beltway.


High pressure will begin to build in from the west Tuesday, resulting in increased sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures. Highs will likely near 60 -- a bit below average, but an improvement from Sunday and Monday. Confidence: Medium-high

Wednesday will feel like spring again. We should have lots of sunshine, with temperatures rising into the mid 60s. Confidence: Medium-high

By Jason Samenow  | April 13, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: April 1994: Spring with a Vengeance


Thank you, Weather Gang!

This is one of my favorite WaPo blogs.

Posted by: Fairfax | April 13, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

A feature that would be great for us gardeners would be a spring forecast like what you worked up for the winter, where you look for the most similar springs from years past and state when the last frost date was. That way we could get a better estimate of when we could put out our more tender plants without fear.

Posted by: Patrick | April 13, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Having laid in two days worth of food, beer, and toilet paper I have been huddling behind my drapes since noon waiting for this sleet. Still watching, no sleet, temperature 54.

Posted by: No sleet | April 13, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Weather Gang - how can it sleet with temps in the 50's?

Posted by: mickb | April 13, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

It CAN sleet with temperatures well above feeezing if the warm layer next to the ground is very shallow, the cold layer above deep, and the temperature contrast stong enough. In addition, this natural instability creates cumulus clouds with vertical mixing, accentuating the possiblilties of sleet even more by blowing raindrops up and down high into even colder temperatures.....and more possiblilty of freezing. When these ice pellets hit the relatively warm layer next to the ground, it isn't thick enough or warm enough to melt them before they hit the ground. That is what happened last Thursday.

In extreme cases, this instability can cause cold-air thunderstorms and even cold-air funnels behind the front, well into the cold air. One of the most significant thunder/hailstorms I've seen in this area was in October, in a strongly unstable cold Arctic air mass well behind the surface front.

Posted by: Mike | April 13, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Mike-- Another nice explanation. Thanks for contributing

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | April 13, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

mickb -- How quickly we all forget the reports of sleet across the area when surface temperatures were in the 50s just 10 days ago. As Mike says above, it's not just temperatures at the ground that determine the type of precipitation. Temperatures higher up in the sky -- where the precipitation is created -- are just as important, if not more so.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | April 13, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

If this type precipitation falls with lightning and thunder, I'd tend to record it as "HAIL" rather than "sleet". As any severe weather expert knows, hail can fall with the temperature well above freezing at the surface.

Posted by: El Bombo | April 14, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

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