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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 12/ 8/2008

PM Update: Mostly Cloudy, Not as Cold Tonight

By Ian Livingston

Mini warm-up begins Tuesday; late-week wintry threat?

* Where Will Obama Lead NOAA? *

Webcam: Latest view of D.C. from the Netherlands Carillon at Arlington National Cemetery. Courtesy National Park Service. Refresh page to update. See this image bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today is the third straight day the area has been stuck in the 30s for highs, which is very cold, any way you cut it. Morning clouds gave way to brief sunshine during the midday, but clouds have now advanced back across the area. We'll be mostly cloudy and continued chilly into the evening and overnight.

Tonight: Clouds and a south wind overnight will keep temperatures up compared to last night. Look for readings to drop to the low 20s in the suburbs to the upper 20s in D.C. Winds will be light.

Tomorrow: A two-day warm-up begins Tuesday as skies stay mostly cloudy and a chance of rain arrives late. South winds around 10 mph will temporarily displace colder air, allowing most places to top out right around 50 degrees for highs. Some sprinkles or light showers may arrive by evening, though steadier precipitation should hold off till the overnight or on Wednesday.

Late-week Storm: After the potential for rain showers on Wednesday, most modeling continues to show a storm system along or near the east coast late in the week. Timing and specifics are still difficult to nail down, and newer guidance is for a system later (Thursday and/or Friday) instead of sooner (Wednesday night and/or Thursday). Whether it will be a wintry or wet solution remains to be resolved.

See Jason Samenow's forecast for this weekend.

Global Temperature Trend Paradox?: 2008 will be coolest year of the decade AND will round out the hottest decade in recorded history. Oddly, both of these statements are true.

By Ian Livingston  | December 8, 2008; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Bring Back the 60s


I'm crossing my fingers for snow!

Posted by: Yellowboy | December 8, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The slowing trend that I noted earlier this morning with the late week wintry weather threat continues. Latest guidance suggests the greatest impact would likely be the 24 hr. period from 12 am Friday until 12 am Sat.

Several models including the GFS prefer this slower solution. The GFS now gives the I81 corridor from lexington to Winchester generally 4-8 inches of snow with close to a foot in the higher mts. of western Augusta, Rockingham and Highland. East of the BR closer to DC, snowfall amounts would likely taper off quickly as you move east because of issues with available cold air. Perhaps 1-3 inches west side of city and little if any acc. east side.

The 12z ECMWF offers a warmer solution with the storm tracking well inland, which would result in all rain close to DC and perhaps a mix for western areas.

Many uncertainties exist, but one persisting problem seems to be a lack of cold air for sig. acc. east of the mts. We won't likely have the desirable cold high pressure anchored to the north to provide a source. This is especially important this early in the season.

Snowlovers everywhere, don't give up hope and stay tuned to the Cap. Gang for the latest in this evolving situation!!

Posted by: AugustaJim | December 8, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

And it continues...The 18z GFS still shows a moderate sized low coming up the coast spreading wintry precipitation across the DMV area. If the GFS holds this trend we may be in for a early winter suprise! Hoping for snow! What are your thoughts about the latest model CWG?

Posted by: NWDCJesse | December 8, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The 18z GFS is not good news for anyone praying for a sig. snow, but may be good news for DC folks hoping to see at least a little snow late Fri.

This will likely all change with the 00 and 06 runs.

Posted by: AugustaJim | December 8, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Yea, that is about how I interpreted it, it majorly cut snow totals across the board, bringing the storm further east. I am looking forward to the 0z GFS tonight, I have the feeling that it could be very significant.

Posted by: NWDCJesse | December 8, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

For the moment, forgetting the late week threat.

Latest info. suggests a slight threat for freezing drizzle or light freezing rain tomorrow morning in the s.w. areas toward Charlottesville.

Early commuters, be advised!

Posted by: AugustaJim | December 8, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping for a wintery (SNOW) event on Friday. I'd sure like to spend some time at home instead of the office!

Posted by: Jamie66 | December 8, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

should there be snow what type of timetable are we talking about?

Posted by: jenniel73 | December 8, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

There is a little disagreement among the models, but in the recent runs it has turned from a thurs/friday storm more to a friday/saturday storm. The 0z GFS model comes out later tonight, that should be an interesting one, and hopefully give us some more information.

Posted by: NWDCJesse | December 8, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The 18z GFS has a positive of more high pressure to the north of the system which has been lacking on some other runs, though it does not really translate to the surface with colder temps as it should seem to. The track at this range is probably just fine for the area -- the GFS tends to exhibit a backing westward with many storms as things close in. Some think the off-runs of the GFS 6/z/18z are not as good as the 00z/12z, so I'm sure people will be watching intently tonight.

There's just not a whole lot of cold air for the storm to work with, but the marginal setup would be enough for someone.

When combining all the recent models together there seems to be some consensus (which still would have plenty of time to change) that areas a bit N and W of i95 should see some (maybe decent) snow. The big cities are also still at risk for at least a period of wintry weather/snow as the storm moves off to the northeast even if it begins as rain. The warm EURO is hard to ignore though, but it's not far off a pretty good track either... lots of little details make a big difference.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 8, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Look, as much as I would love to buy in to the snow scenario, past history tells us that has hard as we wish for snow, too much has to come together this early in the year for a snow event for the big cities. Although I hope and wish for snow, I am calling for a cool rain with a some mixing, but zero accumulation for areas east of I95 corridor and little to no accumulation for areas 30 miles in any direction from DC N and W.

Posted by: snowlover | December 8, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

CapWX Gang: At what point will you feel confident making a call in terms of snow? Are you waiting for the models to come closer together, or should we have a decent idea by Tuesday night?

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 8, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the quick post and spelling mistakes, but you get the picture

Posted by: snowlover | December 8, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

btw and edit post feature would be much appreciated

Posted by: snowlover | December 8, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse


Just saying Rain for Thursday/Friday so I will be shocked when it actually snows.

Rainman Greg

Posted by: GregRAINMAN | December 8, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Just don't see much of a chance 4 accumulating snow this week 4 the DC area, not enough cold air in place. Temps will also warm up this weekend. Love snow as much as anyone, but just not in the cards this week.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 9, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

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