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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 10/23/2008

Forecast: The Proverbial Calm Before the Storm

By Josh Larson

Dry today but rainy & breezy late Friday and Saturday

You might think of today's weather as the calm before the impending weekend storm system. But a vigorous storm system approaching from the west will tap moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and bring a good deal of rain along with breezy conditions late Friday through all of Saturday. Sunday's weather, while uncertain, looks salvageable.


Temperatures: Current area temperatures. Powered by Weather Bonk. Map by Google. Hover over and click icons for more info. Click and hold on map to pan. Refresh page to update. See map bigger on our Weather Wall.

Mostly sunny. Upper 50s. If you liked yesterday's weather, you'll probably like today's even better. That's because we'll have mostly sunny skies and similar temperatures to yesterday's -- reaching the upper 50s. As a bonus, wind will be much calmer -- only 5-10 mph from the northeast.

Mostly clear skies tonight with overnight lows ranging from the mid 30s across typically colder locations like Gaithersburg and Vienna to the low 40s downtown.

Confidence: High

Keep reading for the (unsettled) forecast through the beginning of next week.

Clear skies but cool temperatures yesterday evening in Leesburg, Va. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Ian Livingston.


A.M. sun; P.M. clouds. Low 60s. While we may squeeze out some degree of sunshine during the first part of the day, clouds will quickly overspread the area as the day wears on. Highs will likely reach the low 60s, but this is somewhat dependent upon how much sunshine we see.

Friday evening looks dry -- though cloudy. If you'll be out late, take an umbrella with you since rain may move into the area by around midnight and should continue the rest of the night. Lows will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.


Let's just get it out in the open: Saturday will very likely be a windy washout -- much to the chagrin of those hoping to do outdoor activities. But, look on the bright side, it will be a boon to our dry soil. High will reach the mid 60s with periods of pouring rain and winds from the southeast at 15-25 mph. The rain will likely linger into the evening hours Saturday, with eventual overnight lows -- propped up by cloud cover -- in the low-to-mid 50s. Confidence: Medium

If all goes to plan, a strong cold front sweeping by should push moisture away Sunday. That means we'll probably see a good deal of sunshine, especially during the latter part of the day, with afternoon highs reaching the mid 60s and a gusty northwest wind. Partly cloudy Sunday night with cooler overnight lows in the mid to upper 40s. Confidence: Medium

Despite mostly sunny skies, temperatures will drop once again on Monday, thanks to much cooler air aloft filtering into the region from the north and west. It may also be rather breezy, with afternoon highs in the upper 50s and cooler overnight lows from the mid 30s in the cooler spots to the low 40s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

By Josh Larson  | October 23, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Holy mackerel...what was going on in Leesburg yesterday that there were THAT many people in the streets? The only thing I know of was an Obama rally, but wasn't that earlier in the day?'s 35 here according to weatherbug with 1023mb pressure and a 48% indoor humidity. Of course the last one doesn't matter to anyone else much ;). This is borderline jacket weather for me. Yes, I'm that much of a cold weather freak.

A little unrelated sidetrack a 1730 a good SAT score? The highest is a 2400. Either way, I'm not going through the 6.5 hour test again, so it had BETTER be a good score, darn it! Hahaha.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | October 23, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

WeatherDude, this might help:

The real answer to your question is that whether your scores were good enough depends mostly on what colleges you're interested in, as well as your overall GPA and involvement in 'extracurricular' activities.

I'm not sure what temp it was this morning where I was riding to and from (35-40, I'm guessing), but it was comfortable on the bike in a long sleeve t-shirt and unlined windbreaker. I'm a wimp when it comes to the cold, but there is something to be said for working the internal combustion engine...If only that kept my feet warm too.

Posted by: Deb | October 23, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

We got down to 31.7 for a little while and the car iced up again this morning...winds picked up just a tad around 530am or so and the temp went back over freezing. I still have Dec. 5 in the snow pool...we really should have a contest here for the date of first snow over an inch and the exact amount for the tiebreaker with the winner getting a free post on the blog! Anyone? I mean, the vast majority of us on here think that the weather goes away from April to November and that snow is the king around here.

Posted by: Dulles ARC | October 23, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Would anyone care to speculate on how much wind that Sunday cold front might bring as it sweeps through? I'd love to get another sailing day in if there's no small craft advisory.

Posted by: ~sg | October 23, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

How much confidence can I place in the timetable for Friday? I have plans to go visit the monuments after dark (I've never done that in five years here!!). Probably from 7-9 or so, maybe later.

What do you think? Is it risky not to shift my plans to tonight if possible? Or do you think I can assume with confidence that the rain won't start until midnight?

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | October 23, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

SO, what are we thinking for Sunday morning, around the start of the Marine Corps Marathon? Looks tentatively better than earlier this week, when rain was likely. Do I need to bring my rain poncho to wear before the starting gun?

Posted by: KEBV | October 23, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Laura: There's probably just about 20% chance of rain right now during that window. It increases to about 40% by midnight.

KEBV: We'll provided more Marathon forecast details in the coming days, but right now it looks mostly sunny and breezy with temperatures rising through the 50s.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | October 23, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Although the predicted storm of this weekend will provide needed rain and likely be more helpful than harmful, late October can bring severe nor'easters and an occasional tropical cyclone. On this date in 1878, for example, a hurricane made landfall in eastern North Carolina and raced through the Middle Atlantic states, tracking close to Washington. Hurricane-force gusts on the Chesapeake Bay sunk the passenger/freight steamship Express, drowning 16 people. The sinking remains one of the worst tragedies on the bay. According to the book, Hurricanes and the Middle Atlantic States, the storm went on to severely damage or destroy 700 buildings in Philadelphia and mauled several thousand other structures near its track through the Mid-Atlantic and New England. --Rick Schwartz

Posted by: ricschwartz1 | October 23, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

weatherdudeVA, that picture was just after the rally as people were headed back to their cars, etc. Obama spoke around 5:45.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | October 23, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

~sg, though the forecast now is a bit uncertain -- hopefully Camden will have a better handle on things in his forecast -- I think that winds of at least 10mph are possible during the day. A small craft advisory, however, appears possible rather than likely.

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | October 23, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks! I'll bring an umbrella with me on Friday to ensure that it won't rain.

I had to sign in and get a user ID in order to post this. I didn't have to do that earlier this morning when I posted!

Is this a new measure to keep the hurricane trolls out? If so, hooray!

Except that it wouldn't let me use the space bar in my user ID.

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | October 23, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

You know I didn't mind the sunny weather. Although I could have done without the fire warning.

Posted by: epjd | October 23, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Rain, rain, go away!

Posted by: 44west | October 23, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

LaurainNWDC -- All blogs are moving to a registration requirement for comments, as has long been the case with regular "non-blog" articles, in order to fight against comment spam which can slow down the entire site.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | October 23, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Deb and Ian!

I'm really liking this new comment system. I often wondered why the WaPo didn't make us sign in to comment. I'm sure this will help protect against spammers and "screenname jacking" as I call it (for instance, someone else besides me using 'weatherdudeVA' to post comments). I just hope the site isn't temperamental and makes you sign in every 2 seconds...

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | October 23, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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