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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 10/ 2/2008

Forecast: Ahhh...That Fall Feeling

By Josh Larson

After a warmer than normal end to September, as Dan mentioned yesterday, you'll notice a distinct fall-like chill in the air over the next few days as temperatures return to normal to slightly below normal levels. The pattern, for the most part, will be dry with most days featuring at least partly sunny skies as well as noticeably chilly, jacket-worthy, overnight and morning temperatures. My personal suggestion for you: play hooky today or tomorrow, (but don't blame the Capital Weather Gang!), and make sure you get out this weekend!


Partly sunny & breezy. Upper 60s. A dip in the jet stream over the eastern U.S. will allow cooler air to filter into the region on the heels of breezy wind from the northwest at 10-15 mph. A lot of ("self-destructive") sunshine is on tap for today, but with cooler air aloft we may see some puffy clouds by afternoon. Highs should top out in the upper 60s, though they'll likely feel cooler than that in the shade.

Clear skies will prevail tonight, with widely ranging overnight lows from possibly as cool as 40 degrees (if the winds completely die down) in places like Vienna, Va. and Damascus, Md. to near 50 downtown.

Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the beginning of next week.


Sun and clouds. Low 70s. The last day of the work week will treat you to a reasonable blend of clouds and sun with temperatures just a few degrees warmer than today's highs in the 60s. I'm thinking the low 70s for highs with an occasional light breeze from the west at 5-10 mph.

Though clouds may thicken up a bit for the evening and overnight hours, rest assured that there's no chance for precipitation. It won't be quite as chilly, either, with lows ranging from the upper 40s in the coolest spots to the mid 50s downtown.

Confidence: High


If you can't get outside much during the day Thursday or Friday, because perhaps you were reasonable and didn't follow my suggestion to play hooky, fear not: I can say with high confidence that mostly sunny and pleasant conditions will extend into the weekend.

Saturday will serve up a mix of clouds and sun with comfortable afternoon highs in the low 70s. Just perfect for an early fall bike ride or hiking trip. We'll hold onto mostly clear skies Saturday night with overnight lows ranging from 50-55.Confidence: High

Missed Saturday's nice weather? You're in luck, since more of the same is expected on Sunday. That means quite a bit of sunshine with a few clouds here and there and afternoon high temperatures in the low-to-mid 70s with overnight lows, under clear skies, ranging once again from 50-55.Confidence: High

What might back-to-work Monday have in store for us? I'd be prepared for an increase in clouds -- to partly to mostly cloudy skies -- with cooler afternoon highs somewhere in the mid or upper 60s. Showers are in the realm of possibilities late in the day, though they very well may hold off until Tuesday or later in the week. Confidence: Medium

By Josh Larson  | October 2, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Anybody go outside yet? It's BEAUTIFUL!

Posted by: Sterling | October 2, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Josh, why is the sunshine "self-destructive"? Maybe I just need another cup of tea to get it....

Posted by: ~sg | October 2, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"self-destructive" sunshine refers to sunshine that heats the surface, causing to air to rise. When this warm air rises into cold air aloft, it condenses and forms clouds, blocking sunshine -- and so the sunshine is self-destructive.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | October 2, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jason!

Posted by: ~sg | October 2, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

wow, brrr, quite a chilly breeze out there. Anyone else get outside for lunch and feel the surprise?! :-)

Posted by: Camden, Capital Weather Gang | October 2, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Camden, et al...

Not at all surprised! That's what northwesterly flow will do. Must feel especially chilly in the shade. (It's almost 80 at the moment in sunny, downtown Denver -- where I am; but we have a much larger daytime-nighttime temperature difference so it will probably be cooler here tonight than in DC )

Posted by: Josh, Capital Weather Gang | October 2, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@Camden -- I was surprised. Fortunately I had brought my windbreaker with me so I didn't freeze to death.

Posted by: Murre | October 2, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to make a guess at local area airport lows tonight? The GFS/ETA guidance gives the following numbers for:

DCA:49/51; IAD:44/44; BWI:46/41.

The main factor will be whether the wind completely dies down tonight. My feeling is no, so here are my predictions:

DCA:52; BWI:48; DCA:45.

Regardless of where they actually end up, they'll likely be the coolest temperatures yet this fall.

Anyone else care to take a stab?

Posted by: Josh, Capital Weather Gang | October 2, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@Josh, I suppose I'll take a stab.

DCA 54
BWI 46
IAD 46

Posted by: Murre | October 2, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

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