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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 05/19/2008

Forecast: Warm Weather Eludes Washington

By Jason Samenow

Make no mistake about it, today will be nice and so will the second half of the week through Memorial Day weekend. But the 80-degree warmth many of us look forward to in late May will be nowhere around. Afternoon temperatures will generally range from the upper 60s to mid 70s all week long -- except Tuesday when clouds and rain may hold temperatures in the low 60s.


Sunny and breezy. Near 70. Cool high pressure will hold temperatures about five to seven degrees below average. But in the abundant sunshine, it will feel pleasantly mild. A 15 mph wind from the northwest will make you glad you wore your jacket, especially when you're walking in the shade.

Tonight, clouds rapidly increase with showers likely after midnight. Lows dip down to near 50.

Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the work week and upcoming weekend. See NatCast for the outlook for tonight's game.


Morning rain, cool. 60-65. An area of low pressure will race through central Virginia producing a batch of rain during the first half of the day. Rainfall totals should generally be about 0.25-0.5" in the metro area (highest amounts in the southern suburbs) with lesser amounts to the north (Baltimore, Frederick) and up to 0.75" to the south (Fredericksburg, Charlottesville). The rain should end by early afternoon with slow clearing by evening. Some peeks of sun late in the afternoon should nudge temperatures above the 60 degree mark.

Skies should be mainly clear Tuesday night although some high clouds may increase by morning. Lows will likely range from the mid 40s in the cooler suburbs to the low 50s downtown.


A weak cold front passes through the region Wednesday, increasing clouds and possibly (40% chance) triggering a shower or two. Highs should be in the mid 60s to near 70. Confidence: Medium

Cool high pressure builds in from the northwest starting Thursday and should hold through the holiday weekend. This means partly to mostly sunny skies each day with slowly warming temperatures. Highs Thursday and Friday will likely be near 70. Saturday's high temps rise to 70-75. By Sunday, mid to upper 70s are possible. On Memorial Day, we may finally reach the elusive 80 degree mark. Confidence: Medium-High

By Jason Samenow  | May 19, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Glad to hear we'll finally have a long stretch of dry, sunny days starting Thursday through the weekend. We need to dry out!

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 19, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

A brisk 44 degrees at 7 am with clear skies and a light westerly breeze.

As Jason indicates, generally .25-.75 rainfall upcoming 24-30 hrs. depending on location. One caveat,the GFS has dried somewhat with the latest run.

This will be followed by perhaps a week of dry weather!! Memorial Day weekend looking to be beautiful with temps. close to 80!

The GFS still likes the idea of a tropical system threatening the southeast US during the first week of June.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | May 19, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Augusta Jim, can you post a link from where you get that GFS data? Thanks!

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 19, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Great forecast! I'm eager to hear about what is causing these below average temps. and is the weekend's slow warming trend the sign of a pattern shift?

Posted by: Rishi | May 19, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday's rain fell mainly around noon in Arlington County and amounted to about 0.05 inch at DCA. Southeast of us there were heavier storms and showers.

Hopefully it won't get warm too soon since my A/C at home is out and I don't know when the new unit will be installed. As I posted earlier, rain and hot weather is likely to be held way to the south for our Memorial Day weekend, but we always have to watch for the cool cruddy easterly/northeasterly "surprise" at this time of year thanks to back-door fronts, marine flow, etc.

Posted by: El Bombo | May 19, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Jason - Any thoughts on the sailing forecast for the Memorial Day weekend? (i.e., wind conditions in the Annapolis area) Hoping your temperature forecasts hold! Thanks for the blog--my #1 weather source--and keep up the great work guys!

Posted by: Josh | May 19, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Hiya Gangsters (lol), I'm home from Georgia.

On our way home yesterday, we came through some really, really nasty storms in North Carolina near Greensboro. We almost hydroplaned off the road because I-85 was covered in about an inch of water across all 3 lanes. That was fun. The temperature also dropped 20 degrees in 3 miles once we got into the rain. That cold front was kick-butt.

I'm glad to see that we're having nice weather up here. Nice to see we're getting more well-needed rain tomorrow.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | May 19, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Josh: Over the weekend probably will have a light wind from the north around 10-15 mph in Annapolis -- though diminishing a bit towards Memorial Day and becoming more variable (direction)

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

Perfect weather for graduation weekend. Let's hope it comes through.

Posted by: ep | May 19, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

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