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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 12/11/2008

Forecast: Much Colder With Buckets of Rain

By Josh Larson

Rain may end as snow Friday morning

* Flood Watch in effect through tonight; 2-4 inches of rain possible *


Today: Rainy & much colder. Near 40. | Tonight: Rainy. Mid-to-upper 30s | Tomorrow: A.M. snow/rain. Near 40. | A Look Ahead


Get out your umbrella, rain coats and galoshes as you'll surely need them over the next 36 hours! A super wet storm that has produced snow deep into the South on its back side will trek northeastward dumping heavy rain over the metro region. While temperatures will gradually turn much colder here, they won't be sufficiently cold for snow until Friday morning, when most of the storm will have passed us by. Things will dry out pretty nicely for the weekend, with plenty of sunshine but temperatures remaining rather chilly.

Today (Thursday): I can't really think of a more accurate description of today's weather than "washout." We'll experience thick overcast skies with nearly constant showers and occasional periods of moderate to heavy rain throughout the day. Temperatures will, for the most part, be steady near 40, but a wind from the north at 10-15 mph will make it feel quite raw. The heaviest rain will probably fall during the second half of the day into the overnight hours. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Rain continues overnight, heavy at times, with temperatures slowing falling through the upper 30s to the mid 30s by dawn. In the early-morning hours, sleet and then snow may gradually mix with the rain from northwest to southeast. A light accumulation of snow is possible in the outer suburbs (Loudoun and Frederick counties) by morning. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Friday): A period of wet snow, or a rain/snow mix (south and east of town) is possible during the morning hours Friday. Many places may see a coating, while locations quite a bit north and west, like Frederick and Leesburg, may squeeze out an inch or so. Temperatures will be in the mid 30s during this time, but wind chills will probably be in the 20s. We may see some partial sunshine by late afternoon, with highs near 40. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tomorrow Night: Skies will become mostly clear Friday night, but it will feel quite brisk out with temperatures in the upper 20s with a westerly breeze making it feel even colder than that. You'll want to bundle up! Confidence: Medium-High


High pressure building into the area on Saturday will allow for abundant sunshine and dry conditions, but afternoon highs will barely make it above 40 degrees, so it will definitely be a bit on the brisk side. Clear and cold Saturday night with lows ranging from 25-30. Confidence: High

Mostly sunny skies and dry weather will continue into Sunday, though temperatures won't be quite as chilly during the day or at night; I'm thinking the upper 40s for highs, with Sunday night lows, under partly cloudy skies, in the mid 30s in most places. Confidence: Medium-High

The outlook for back-to-work Monday calls for more in the way of clouds -- though some peeks of sun are still probable -- with noticeably milder temperatures topping out in the mid-to-upper 50s and mild overnight lows in the 40s. Confidence: Medium

By Josh Larson  | December 11, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Snow in Houston and Galveston, Texas
Next: Update: Heavy Rain on the Way; Morning Dusting?


What has happened to capweather. Used to be even a storm like this with little chance of snow there would be dozens of comments... Now silence.

Posted by: mandarb77 | December 11, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I think at this point, most have given up on the possibility of any significant snow. I think it will be all rain with maybe some sleet. GFS typically overplays the cold and the NAM keeps the cold more to the west with less precipitation.

Posted by: jb41477 | December 11, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

mandarb77 -- commenting on the number of comments at 8:08 a.m. is a little like judging the accuracy of a forecast before a storm is even halfway through, especially when half the city is still stuck in a rain-soaked commute. That said, this is a primarily rain storm, so I don't know that I'd expect an explosion of comments. Furthermore, comments are a small (but important and highly valued) fraction of our total audience. Hopefully commenters and non-commenters alike are viewing the site today to get the latest weather info to help plan the rest of their week and weekend.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 11, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I know, I just miss the banter this morning :)

Posted by: mandarb77 | December 11, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I have a 9:30 meeting Friday morning at U-Md, coming from Fort Belvoir, VA -- will I have tail-end-of-storm iciness or snow to deal with on the beltway tomorrow early? Enough to make the meeting a conference call instead? ;)

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | December 11, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Although all the forecast models show the close in MD suburbs to remain in the wet rain, it wouldn't take much ( I think ) to bring in cold-er air earlier than forecast. The current temp trend seems to be a few degrees cooler than predicted

Posted by: MDScot | December 11, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I've got 38 degrees and slowly falling on NNE winds in McLean, got to wonder if cold air is pouring in more rapidly than expected? The last few frames of the radar indicate rain/snow line moving close to PA/MD boarder...

Posted by: gfp76 | December 11, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Woody from LWX commented in the AFD early this morning that this is one of the most mentally challenging shifts he can recall during his 14 years at Sterling, because of the myriad of unfolding scenario's.

We should witness an area wide average of 1.5 -3.0 inches of cold rain today and tonight. The chill will be compounded by north to northeast winds. Temps. should hold steady or slowly fall through the day. Overnight, temps. aloft will fall to critical levels as cold air wraps in from the west as the center passes to our east. Many areas, especially west of D.C. will see a transition to mixed precip. and perhaps a burst of wet snow. This could be enhanced as a cold, upper level bundle of energy giving snow to parts of La. and Miss. this morning approaches and passes over our area.

This closed 500mb low is forecast to relax and open as it moves over our area late tonight and early Fri., but could support and enhance a period of snow even though surface temps. are above freezing, if it can retain some of it's integrity.

41 degrees with light rain in the Valley at 9 am. Northeast breeze at 5-10 mph with .26 rain last 6 hrs.

Posted by: AugustaJim | December 11, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

This is such a waste of perfectly good precipitation. Rain is for spring. Snow is for winter.

Get it right, DC.

Posted by: kallieh | December 11, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

TOTALLY agreed, kallieh! Starting to see a repeat of the last few winters lining up for THIS winter already...

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | December 11, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

mandarb77: Just because people aren't commenting doesn't mean they're not here!

Temp is falling here too, it was holding at 40 since 5 a.m. and is now 39. However we're just not getting the rain others are. It's misting, I think we're too close to Bull Run Mountain. Seems to happen a lot here. (The Plains/New Baltimore)

Posted by: weathergrrl | December 11, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

whats with all the comement total commenters lately? I certainly dont come here to view 50 comments on the style of rain today, I come here for the authoritative forecasting. Still hoping for some of the white stuff later

Posted by: asimo | December 11, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

It is PATENTLY unfair that places like Houston, Galveston, New Orleans & Baton Rouge are getting anywhere from a dusting to INCHES and as usual, DC is dealing with its usual cold rain-based winter storm...

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | December 11, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Great view of the heavy SNOW in New Orleans.

Please give me props as I was calling for a RAIN event even when others were "wishcasting" for snow.

The trend continues ---- Rainman Greg!

Posted by: GregRAINMAN | December 11, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I still think that our hopes for snow aren't over! Maybe a quick 1-2 inches of snow as the head of storm moves through our area tomorrow morning. My temperature in Fairfax City has dropped from 41 to 40 in the last hour our two. The temperature to the west in Leesburg is 39. I think the cold air is being pulled gradually into this storm.

Posted by: oregonnative1 | December 11, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

mandarb77 its kinda sad isn't :( the guys are in denial about this. but its the host site and the pop ups,and the al gore agenda. the days of 100+ posts is over :(> only the libs are shouting with glee. anyway if it turns to snow the chance that c-ville,madison,culpeper geting some is nil i bet. but me and my snowmobil are waiting.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 11, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The snow in New Orleans looks to be a historic one. Some of the suburbs there are reporting up to 4" already.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 11, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I will wishcast 'till the day I die.
I can't help myself.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 11, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you ALWAYS forecast rain. No props for you. Even though you're usually right.

I say we get a burst of cold air right after rush hour and we get a surprise blizzard. 12" overnight.

Who's with me??

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | December 11, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

That my extended family, just north of New Orleans, is shoveling snow, while WE have a flood watch is just PAINFUL. Moving from New England to the MidAtlantic (over a decade ago), I knew there would be less snow, but this is depressing.

I love the site, like the comments. Quantity is not nearly as important as the quality of the commentary, which is usually exceptional.

Well I am going to go throw some more ice cubes on the back lawn and hope for some flakes.

Posted by: dprats21 | December 11, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

LaurainNWDC: COUNT ME IN! I'm all for using mind power to bring in the blizzard! THINK SNOW.

Posted by: manassasmissy | December 11, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

kallieh -- nice comment, I used it in the new post.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 11, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I sympathize with those snow lovers out there who see this storm as several inches of "wasted" precipitation. The what ifs seem to torment people sometimes. I think that if you're patient (this winter), your snow hopes should be satisfied!

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | December 11, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Rain, snow, doesn't matter to me right now. Just please let it be dry tomorrow afternoon when I take a pick-up truck full of boxes to UPS tomorrow.

Posted by: magicdomino | December 11, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@magicdomino It will be dry tomorrow afternoon -- fear not.

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | December 11, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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