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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 12/28/2008

Forecast: Spring Warmth Stays For One More Day

By Brian Jackson


Today: Warm and windy. Chance of p.m. showers. 65-68. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy. 34-37. | Tomorrow: Sunny, a bit cooler. 49-52. | A Look Ahead


It will feel more like springtime today than early winter as temperatures soar to near 70 ahead of a cold front. Along with the front comes a chance of afternoon showers. Any scattered showers that develop won't affect the region for more than a couple hours so there should be plenty of time to enjoy the warmth. Into the work week we'll cool down, but not drastically, with temperatures still above average.

Radar: Latest D.C. area radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past two hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here to see radar bigger. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Sunday): When did April get here? It definitely won't feel like a late-December day. Our warmth will come at a price however as a cold front crosses the area and brings a fair chance (50%) for showers during the mid-afternoon. It might even feel a bit, dare I say, muggy outside as highs reach the mid-to-upper 60s. Some southern locales may even top 70. We'll also notice a warm southerly breeze blowing at 15-20 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: We'll be drying out by later in the evening and a few stars should be visible overnight as the clouds gradually clear. Temperatures will be turning cooler, but don't expect another deep freeze as overnight lows will only drop into the upper 30s downtown, to near freezing in the colder suburbs.. Winds will become from the northwest at 10-15 mph. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through New Year's Eve...

Tomorrow (Monday): While it will be cooler and drier behind the front, for this time of year, I'm calling it pleasant. Skies will continue clearing and we'll see mostly sunny skies for the majority of the day. Afternoon highs will be mild with temperatures reaching the lower 50s. Winds from the west will blow at less than 10 mph.

Tomorrow Night: Clear skies will allow to cool down. Beneath starry skies, temperatures will fall to just above freezing for most of the metro area. For those in the 'burbs, you may wake up to a bit of frost by morning.Confidence: Medium-High


Tuesday looks to be almost a carbon copy of Monday. Sunny skies and mild highs in the lower 50s will be with us during the afternoon. Clear skies again Tuesday night, with lows 30-35 (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium-High

New Year's Eve will see a weak cold front moving overhead. It won't have much moisture to work with so I'm going to keep the forecast dry, with an outside shot of a sprinkle or two. Skies will be partly sunny, with an afternoon high in the upper 40s. Confidence: Medium

By Brian Jackson  | December 28, 2008; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: A Gradual Return to Winter


I am moving! Winter is over.

Posted by: GregRAINMAN | December 28, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Record high today is 75... we won't reach that, but it's WARM. And windy.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 28, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Sure does look like things will interesting around here on 1/2-1/3 acoording to 12z.

Posted by: StormChaserMan | December 28, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse


Interesting if you like rain,then wind...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Amen, GregRAINMAN. I think winter 2008-09 in D.C. will = epic FAIL.

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | December 28, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Why no mention of thunder this afternoon with the front? Conditions are ideal (more or less) for a squall line, even with the cloud cover. Strong winds aloft with shear, plenty of warm, humid air ahead of the front, and a fairly big temperature difference across the front. Don't think that just beause it's winter, you can't have what happened west of the mountains yesterday proved. In fact, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are quite common in Florida and on the Gulf Coast in wintertime....even up into the lower Midwest. They are often worse than summer thunderstorms there, because of strong cold fronts that are lacking in the summertime.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | December 28, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse


We mentioned the slight possibility of a thunderstorm in yesterday's forecast, but the upper level dynamics are pretty weak (weak vorticity, weak lift) and the instability -- as you mentioned-- is unimpressive due to cloud cover. So we felt no need to mention. We may be hard pressed to even get a shower.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 28, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Most likely it's rain & wind, but 132 hour plots look borderline "at this run" with near freezing/steadily falling surface temps & moisture still pushing west to east....

I'll hold my thoughts until models are more reliable....

Posted by: StormChaserMan | December 28, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse


Do agree it looks like a potentially dynamic situation worth watching...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 28, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Temps will b above average thru at laest Jan 8. Chance of any accumulating snow, 1%. This winter is once again shaping up as warm with little if any snow. I originally thought this winter would b sesason with 14-18" of snow, now looking above av. with less than 6" of snow, unless we luck into a big coastal storm. Guess this is what future winters will b like.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 28, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I blame the lack of Snow on the fact that CWG moved over to the Post!

Posted by: GregRAINMAN | December 28, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse


It hardly snowed before the Post either. We launched in 2004 and all the winters have been pretty lame since :(

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 28, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I think I just heard a rumble from the west here in Western Alexandria... the sky looks VERY dark... but the radar on your site still sweeps clear...

Posted by: AnneinSand | December 28, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

70 degrees in Lake Ridge. It is PITCH BLACK up to our north (southern FFX county). Radar doesn't show anything, but if you live in Fairfax, be prepared for something to pop up with the looks of the sky. Dark clouds appear to be moving NNE.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | December 28, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I am loving this weather - winter should never be colder than this. Bring on spring and summer!

Posted by: rumbly45 | December 28, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Why does it have to be MUGGY? I rolled down my car window to catch some breezes. The cool April temperatures, that's fine, but- Please. No. Humidity. Is it like some unwritten code that DC has to be humid over 60 degrees?
I called my mom-- "Mom, guess what? It is over 60 degrees!" her reply: "I thought it was cold there, you told me it was subfreezing..."
Perplexing, I know Mom, it is OK... DC is just jacked up.

Posted by: FormerSanDiegan | December 28, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse


You have hit on something I have noticed living in the East. In the spring and fall, temps in the 50s and 60s and 70s are generally very nice. Very dry air, clear skies. This is because, in the warmer months, these temperatures are the result of cool fronts - of NW flow.

But in winter, 50s, 60s, and 70s are often the result of WARM fronts - SE flow - and therefore are generally very humid. A good rule of thumb in this area is that, in winter, above average temperatures are usually (not always) associated with more moist SE winds, and therefore the humidity rises.

Posted by: jahutch | December 28, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, Jason, neither of us were right. Not only did we not get thunder, but the whole band of showers with the front dissipated as it came East of the Blue Ridge. Seems like it was somehow affected by a downslope component that somehow overruled the surface convergence.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | December 28, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

MMCarhelp -- hmmm ... Jason said "We may be hard pressed to even get a shower," and our forecast put the chances of showers at 50%. So actually he/we kind of were right.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 28, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Ants!!! This happened around Thanksgiving or early Dec as well with rain accompanied by a freak warm-up. Hate it. Never had them before, but since I removed my front tree in May, have had these 2 incidents. I know it's weather-related, used to happen at my mom's house all the time - a quick warm up or rapid weather change, usually with rain, and they come get in the house. I've sealed up whatever I can along the front of the house, but once again, I had to vacuum and mop down the floor and walls where I found them to remove their scent trail.

I absolutely hate mild winters. The bugs will be out like nobody's business in the spring if we don't get enough cold weather to keep the populations down.

I walk in all kinds of weather, as long as there is no thunder, etc., and I admit I enjoyed the break from bundling up the last two days, but I know we pay a price for the warmer days at this time of year.

Can't wait for the temps to get back to normal.

Posted by: bobosnow | December 28, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who doesnt like winter weather, well you in luck b/c i don't think there will be any to speak of at least the next week and maybe week and a half. The way its looking as of now, January is on the verge of going either way with temps and precip. Stay tuned! Of course if you like winter weather!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | December 28, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

DCA hit 70 today. Hard to believe the high was just 28 six days ago.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 28, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

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