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Posted at 9:45 AM ET, 12/24/2008

Forecast: Warmer Weather is Welcome Gift

By Dan Stillman

Evening showers clear out for Christmas Day

* Travel Forecast | 'Nothing Takes Longer Than Waiting for Snow' *


Today: Cloudy. Increasing shower chances late. Near 50. | Tonight: Showery, breezy and low 50s early. Showers end around midnight. Near 40 by morning. | Christmas Day: Mostly sunny. Upper 40s. | A Look Ahead


It may be too late to salvage the season for struggling local retailers, but the makes-you-want-to-stay-inside cold of the past couple days is replaced today with temperatures more conducive to getting out and about. The catch is a chance of showers, which won't cause a washout locally, but could impact travelers headed north or west of D.C.

Today (Christmas Eve): We stand the chance of a passing shower or two through the day. But the potential for more significant shower activity probably won't come until late afternoon and evening (60% chance). An increasing breeze from the south should lift afternoon temperatures to near 50. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: The evening starts out breezy and mild -- temperatures could pop into the low 50s -- with a good chance of showers (60%). The passage of a cold front puts an end to the showers by around midnight, followed by clearing skies toward morning. The air behind the front isn't all that cold, so morning lows won't be very low -- near 40. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast for Christmas Day through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Christmas Day): Not exactly the Christmas weather you see in movies, but also not unusal for Washington. No snow, no rain, and not even cold really. Skies should be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 40s and a diminishing breeze from the northwest. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: High pressure keeps us precipitation-free. Winds will be light and skies partly cloudy as lows range from the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Medium-High


Friday won't be fantastic, but should be a somewhat decent one to have off (should you be so lucky). Under partly to mostly cloudy skies, highs are likely to top out in the 40s. A few showers might pop up later in the day or Friday night (30% chance). Confidence: Medium-High

Shower chances increase to around 40-50% on Saturday as the next cold front slowly approaches from the west. Winds from the south will probably boost highs to the 50s. Confidence: Medium

As of now, the best chance of rain this weekend may be Saturday night into early Sunday, when the front is scheduled to come through. But the timing isn't nailed down quite yet. Confidence: Medium

The forecast for Sunday is a little up in the air until we get a better sense of how slowly or quickly the cold front clears the area. For now, let's go with a chance of morning rain followed by partial clearing in the afternoon and highs near 50. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Dan Stillman  | December 24, 2008; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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I've been looking at 8-12 day GFS runs & cold air looks to really sink in 1st week of January on top of a few snow chances...

Posted by: StormChaserMan | December 24, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I've been keep an eye on the long range GFS as well and have to admit I'm keeping my fingers crossed that those 'snow chances' do materialize...

Posted by: tnewton726 | December 24, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I think the folks at NWS must be hitting the egg nog a little too hard. Their 10 a.m. forecast is still showing an 80% chance of precip, while a look out the window shows different.

I would've ridden my bike if their predictions hadn't been so dire!

Posted by: lhaller | December 24, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

lhaller -- Can't say I disagree ... you'll note our forecasts here have been less bullish on the prospects for rain during the main part of the day today.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 24, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dan. As a Fed, I tend to trust NWS over the usual TV hype. Now I know that the CWG should get equal weight!

Posted by: lhaller | December 24, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

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