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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 12/23/2008

Forecast: Christmas Eve Rain; Yuletide Warming

By Matt Rogers

Slight chance of a little ice late tonight

* Later this morning: 'Nothing Takes Longer Than Waiting for Snow' *


Today: Clouds return. Slightly warmer. 34-38. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Rain/ice late? 30-33. | Tomorrow: Warmer. Mainly PM showers 50-54. | A Look Ahead


Yesterday's brutal high of only 28 at National Airport was the coldest high temperature of this entire year. Even more impressively, it was colder than any high temperature all of last winter. In fact, you have to go all the way back to the 06/07 winter to find anything close (March 7, 2007 was 29 and Feb. 15, 2007 was 27). The good news is that the cold is leaving us and after today, that departure will be as rapid as flying reindeer.

Today (Tuesday): Clouds are forecast to thicken again today, but warmer winds will slowly return as well. Look for highs to build into the middle 30s throughout the area with lighter breezes from the south and southwest. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Temperatures will mostly hold steady or only dip slightly lower (to around freezing) as a cloud canopy remains overhead. There is a slight chance of light rain, which could be of the freezing variety (30% chance of any precipitation). With the cold ground temperatures, roads could quickly become slick, so be cautious if you're out early in the AM. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend.

Tomorrow (Christmas Eve): is forecast to see showers mainly in the afternoon (70% likelihood), but the big news will be the much warmer temperatures. Look for highs to rebound into the lower to middle 50s under still mostly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium

Christmas Eve Night: Showers chances during the evening hours are around 70%. A cold front should sweep the area late in the night, which will end the remaining showers. Temperatures will be slow to fall and could stay in the 50s all the way up to midnight, before dropping back to near 40 by morning. Confidence: Low-Medium


On Christmas Day, the outlook calls for clearing skies, but slightly colder temperatures compared to Christmas Eve. Highs should be in the middle to upper 40s. Mostly cloudy skies in the morning should become partly sunny by Christmas afternoon. Confidence: Low-Medium

Friday should see a mixture of both clouds and sun as another weather system approaches the mid-Atlantic. There is a 30% chance of late day or evening showers as high temperatures remain in the middle or upper 40s range. Temperatures dip only into the upper 30s and lower 40s Friday night. Confidence: Low

The last weekend of 2008 is aiming for the warm side with highs more likely in the 50s on Saturday and potentially Sunday too (could be upper 40s north and west of town), still with shower chances and frequent cloud cover. The best chance for shower activity right now looks to be Saturday night into Sunday morning as a cold front sweeps the area again. This cold front does not offer nearly the levels of cold we've seen recently though as highs only correct slightly cooler for Sunday. Confidence: Low

By Matt Rogers  | December 23, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: 'Nothing Takes Longer Than Waiting for Snow'


A whopping 8 degrees early this a.m. in New Baltimore. It's bone-chilling out there.

Posted by: weathergrrl | December 23, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, precipitation is forecast, so temps MUST be heading up into the 50s and 60s!

Cold & clear, cold & clear, warm & rainy! Cold & clear, cold & clear, warm & rainy!
Detect the pattern??

Forgive my weary cynicism, and no offense, CWG forecasters (for it's not your fault) but OH, how I *hate* winter in DC...

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | December 23, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

What's scarier?

Water from the sky overnight and into tomorrow, or water from the ground?

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | December 23, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Dumb question time,

If it is currently 31 F in Little Rock AR, where is all this nice warm air coming from?

Posted by: ntrlsol | December 23, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Is it true that washington dc is the most northern US city not to have measurable snow yet???

Posted by: pvogel88 | December 23, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully the chance of light icing in the AM won't cause any flights out to be delayed....

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 23, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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