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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 12/ 2/2008

Forecast: Indecisive December

By Matt Rogers

Some warming, then Polar blast this weekend

* Later this morning: Climate Confusion in the Media *


Today: Some sun and some clouds. 45-49 | Tonight: Partly cloudy. 25-30 | Tomorrow: Sunniest day of the week. 48-52 | A Look Ahead


What does December want with us? We are expecting this month to be colder than normal for the Washington DC area and I believe we are still on track to do that, but the day-to-day details in the current forecast suggest December does not know what it wants. Over the next five days, we'll see temperatures in the 30s, 40s, 50s. We'll see sun, we'll see showers, and dare we say a few flurries this coming weekend? So get ready for a little bit of everything.

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.

Today (Tuesday): A large upper level low pressure will be swinging through the area. The air mass with it is relatively cool so temperatures should be below normal today with scattered cloud cover. Winds from the west at 5-10 mph will add to the chill. Confidence: High

Tonight: Partly cloudy conditions are anticipated tonight, but winds will turn toward the calm side. This will allow for freezing temperatures around the area. Look for a suburb to city range of 25-30. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): High pressure and a moderating air mass should make Wednesday the best day of this week. Look for temperatures to return to near normal levels, lots of sunshine, and gentle breezes. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Winds will shift more from out of the south and clouds will make a re-appearance. Look for warmer low temperatures in the 30-35 range (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium-High


Thursday is our "fropa" day. Impress your friends by telling them that "fropa" means frontal passage. We'll be watching a cold front come through in the afternoon hours and that could mean showers (30% chance right now) with a near 100% likelihood of cloud cover. Highs should still get to normal levels. Look for a 49-53 range. Chillier weather moves in that night with lows 24-28 (suburbs-city) with some wind chill. Confidence: Medium

Friday is our coldest day of the work week as I doubt we'll even hit 40 degrees in most locations. Look for a realistic range of 35-39 for high temperatures with intermittent cloud cover too. Lows Friday night should fall in the lower to middle 20s (suburbs-city). Confidence: Low-Medium

The weekend is setting up to be very cold as we remain under the influence of a Polar air mass. Highs should mainly be in the 30s with lows deep into the 20s and probably some teens in the outer suburbs. Mostly sunny skies are expected on Saturday, but a disturbance Saturday night into Sunday morning could trigger a few flurries. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Matt Rogers  | December 2, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Politico Falls Into Climate Coverage Trap


OK, I just heard something interesting on All Things Considered last night that is not weather-related in itself but is relevant to some weather-related speculation that has been going on here.

Apparently the oak trees in our region aren't producing many acorns at all. Like this is the lowest production year people have ever seen. Some trees are producing zero acorns.

Which means that the squirrels in this region are in desperate need of other food sources.

There have been comments on here about whether or not the increased number of squirrels dead by the side of the road means something about this winter. Or why they ate so many pumpkins this year and if that has something to do with the coming winter.

I think it has to do with squirrels desperately looking for something else to eat!

Apparently this is going to be a tough winter for squirrels. Maybe we should all leave out nuts through the winter to help our neighborhood squirrels make it through.

(Oh also apparently oak trees just go through cycles like this. While this is the lowest production year on record, oak trees are known for fluctuating dramatically in their acorn production)

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | December 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

LaurainNW: I read the same article (It made's front page actually). What I wonder about said oak tree cycles is if the cycles correlate with anything else climate wise (IE: Snow, dry weather, etc).
What strikes me as odd is that the fact that oak trees aren't producing at all is almost a 100% mystery as to what causes said cycles.

Posted by: Havoc737 | December 2, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

White oaks here in NW Spotsy. had a fair # of acorns. Fluctunations in oak trees is common, Red oaks produce acorns everyother yr. & last yr was their yr, White oaks generally produce acorns every yr. The drought in 07 caused the trees to over produce acorns which can stress the trees somewhat, & affect their ability to produce acorns the following season. During times of low mast crops, squirrels will migrate to areas where mast is more plentiful, resulting in alot of road kill. Because of the poor mast crop, squirrels & other animals that depend on them will produce fewer off spring next yr. While it is unusual 4 oaks not 2 produce acorns, they will probably make up 4 it mext yr. This is probably just a natural cycle in nature.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 2, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Matt, why did you write, "* Later this morning: Climate Confusion in the Media *"???

That doesn't seem to be at all related to your forecast. Not even remotely.

And Andrew reciprocated with a link to your forecast (which didn't last long as Ian bumped you).

What gives? Some sort of mini-Google bombing or search engine link manipulation???

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | December 2, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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