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Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 01/16/2009

Forecast: Washington Whipped by Near-Zero Chill

By Camden Walker

Bitter cold lasts into early Saturday, then slow warming

Chance of Snow Sunday Night: Snow Lover's Crystal Ball
Report Homeless Persons at Risk for Hypothermia: 1-800-535-7252

* How to Stay Safe & Warm | Inauguration Forecast: Count on Cold *


Today: Sunny. Frigid. Upper teens to near 20. Single-digit wind chills. | Tonight: Likely coldest night of season. Single digits. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny early, increasing clouds late. Mid 20s. | Sunday: Snow showers? Low-to-mid 30s. | A Look Ahead


Just arriving for Inauguration Weekend? Well, welcome to Washington. You made it just in time for the coldest day in about a decade. Fortunately, while traffic will only get worse, the weather will slowly warm starting tomorrow. If you're lucky, you might see some snowflakes during your stay, but no big storm to worry about for Inauguration Day.

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 (Friday): Wind is our enemy. With highs already struggling to reach 20, winds from the northwest around 15 mph will make you forget the sun is shining. Wind chill values will likely be stuck in the single digits all day long. Bundle up with the warmest your wardrobe has to offer. Heck, break out the thermals if you have 'em. Confidence: High

Tonight: Mostly clear with calming winds but lows in the mid-to-upper single digits downtown and low single digits in the suburbs. As we noted before, this is essentially the coldest air we've had in about 10 years. Confidence: High

Any pre-Inauguration snow? Keep reading...

Tomorrow (Saturday): Bundle up for another bone-chilling start. Temperatures will recover more so than today -- to highs in the mid 20s -- and winds shouldn't be much of a factor. But that's still well below our average high in the low 40s. Mostly sunny skies could become increasingly cloudy later in the day. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: The blanketing effect of mostly cloudy skies, which could produce a few snow showers (20% chance) will buoy temperatures from what they were the previous night. Downtown should bottom around 20, while suburbs drop into the teens. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: The chance of snow showers increases to about 30%. Don't panic -- accumulations would likely be a dusting at most. Not worth bringing out the ski boots. The bigger news will be continued moderation of temperatures, with highs this time climbing to the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy skies and a 40% chance of snow showers. This could be our best chance at seeing a dusting, if snow showers materialize and are strong enough. There's an outside chance we could be looking at a higher accumulation threat if a system expected to form off the coast forms closer than currently anticipated. Lows drop to the mid 20s. Confidence: Low-Medium

[Update: Chances of accumulating snow Sunday night/Monday morning have increased. See our Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for the latest.]


Martin Luther King Day -- this year doubling as Inauguration Eve -- is looking partly sunny and breezy with highs probably in the low 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

The latest outlook for Inauguration Day calls for partly cloudy skies, highs in the low 30s with a bit of a breeze, and just a small chance of some flurries. See our special Inauguration Weather Forecast for more details. Confidence: Medium

Lucky enough to be headed for an Inaugural Ball Tuesday night? Evening temperatures will be dropping through the 20s. So bring that shawl and heavy coat. Gentlemen, wear those warm liners in your suit jackets and vests! Confidence: Medium

By Camden Walker  | January 16, 2009; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Inauguration Weather Forecast: Count on Cold
Next: 'My Face Hurts It's So Cold'


Holy moley. -8 windchill in silver spring. What's your windchill in your location??

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 16, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Guys - I need advice on my outside spigots. Back in November, I shut off the inside water valve for the outside spigots. I then let the outside spigots drain of any excess water and then shut them off again. I was told that with extreme cold weather I should leave the outside spigots on (the idea that no water will drip from them but that any water will have a place to expand). A few days ago I did that. A few drips occurred but then stopped. This morning (with temps absolutely freezing) the front outside spigot has a relatively steady stream of water coming from it (and a nice chunk of ice on the dirt as a result). The back spigot is dry. I left it on and therefore left the drip running while I went to work. I don't know what to do! Does anyone have any advice?

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 16, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

It was 3 degrees in New Baltimore at 7:15 a.m. not much wind though.

Posted by: weathergrrl | January 16, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

It's colder than Antarctica, where it's a balmy 26 F at the McMurdo station on the coast. On the other hand, it's 18-below at the Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 16, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

10 degrees in Mount Vernon early this morning. The river is frozen about 200' out, and the geese are huddling on it and looking rather cold. In the distance you can see thick lines of ice chunks on the Maryland shore.

Posted by: Etta- | January 16, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Based on the WeatherBug station reading at Tolbert Elem in Leesburg near our home, the temp has dropped .6 degree over the past hour to 6.1. Windchill -10...

Posted by: csh1 | January 16, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

What's the outlook for skating on the canal? We need to get some info on that asap.

Posted by: iceicebaby | January 16, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

It's summer in Antarctica

Posted by: crumbrye1 | January 16, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

authorofpoetry, it sounds like your inside valve for your front spigot may not be completely shutting off the flow. You could check to make sure it's closed all the way.

all, low temp recorded last night -0.4F in eastern Warren County (elevation 1900 ft).

Posted by: spgass1 | January 16, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Has anybody looked at the 0z Euro for early next weeks? Any thoughts? Is it out to lunch? Timing seems interesting.

You know it has been a lame winter(e.g. no sig snow) when Henry M. says he won't believe it will snow in the mid-Atlantic states until he sees flakes falling from the sky.

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 16, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Thanks spgass1! I am a novice of these things. I appreciate the advice and will look into it.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 16, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

yes, authorofpoetry, you're doing the right thing (you should actually leave the outside faucet/sillcock on/open all winter anyway). That inside valve may have a problem. Also check to see how warm/cold it is there in your basement to make sure the pipe hasn't frozen all the way back to the valve, which is unlikely but possible.

FWIW, if it's dripping, I wouldn't worry too much anyway, since that means water is flowing any any freezing water will have a place to expand to.

Posted by: ah___ | January 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Late-Sunday chances of accumulating snow increasing. Snow Lover's Crystal Ball to come.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 16, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It's like Syracuse without the snow!

Posted by: lawgirlguru | January 16, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I would have to agree with Lawgirl. It's just like home. (sigh)

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The 12z GFS is digging the trough axis deeper to our west, resulting in inland cyclogenesis over eastern NC Sunday evening, intensifying to off the coast near Norfolk overnight.

If this verifies, parts of the DC area could receive 2-4 inches of snow Sunday night into Monday, with lesser amounts to the west.

Posted by: AugustaJim | January 16, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Global Warming!!

Posted by: Phil6 | January 16, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

When I read the top alert about possible snow, I actually thought the cold made me hallucinate for a second.

Posted by: kallieh | January 16, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse


It looks like previous posters have you covered. Whatever you do, ensure the water is shut off from the inside. You can also place insulated caps on the spigots. They're inexpensive and you can find them at Home Depot or Lowes.

I don't need to report any temperatures when it gets like this. It all feels the same to me....FRIGGIN COLD! Where is global warming when you need it.

Posted by: suntan | January 16, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Good call, A Jim. If the s-word hadn't been so abused here over the last several months, this credible threat would be more plausible.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | January 16, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Its going to be nice to see the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for once! I mean if we got 2-4 inches, D.C would be crippled lol. I honestly have forgotten what 2 inches even looks like! Lets all hope!!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 16, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Pravda can report more worthy news articles than the "Cold temperatures".

Isn't this January???? What do you expect? Summer brings a heat wave!

New worthy articles:
1) Heating bills - are you really being billed for every therm or are utility companies passing on their lost [from those non-paying customers] unto your "BILL"?

2) Illegal City Council legislation that requires Utility companies to impose surcharges [disguised D.C. taxes] on consumers' monthly energy bills.

Only a government can impose taxes...but now Incompetent, immature Adrian Fenty and this monkey council devilishly are inserting “SURCHARGES” AS THE NEW TAXES THAT ARE COLLECTED FOR THE DISTRICT AS
found in your monthly utility bills.

Well, this issue means nothing for you rich and well to do folks…however, why can’t this government be HONEST AND stop squeezing every penny from its citizens.

Adrian Fenty and this monkey council are heartless and don’t have the manhood to demand from the U.S. Congress the rightful share of federal funds to operate this city as a Nations Capital.

Instead, Fenty, Vincent Gray and his council steal, cheat and lie to to take every penny from the same TRUSTING CITIZENS WHO VOTED THEM INTO OFFICE.

D.C. Trusting Citizens when are you going to wake up ….from this game being played on you by this Mayor and Monkey Council???

I guess you have accepted being lied to and cheated...or are you in denial - this can't being happening???

Stay warm this winter Spring is on its way. Chg.

Posted by: CalvinGurley | January 16, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

CapitalClimate -- Not sure if you're comment is directed at us. But I don't think we've predicted much more than a dusting of snow at any point this winter (at least until now, that is).

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the helpful info everyone! I ran home at lunch and was able to turn the inside valve a little tighter towards off which seems to have stopped the outside drip! I appreciate all of your knowledge and advice...

Stay warm everyone.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 16, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Oymyakon, Siberia, 49 below to mid-60's below zero, Fahrenheit in recent days. Figures for Verkhoyansk are hard to find. Only other really cold spot in Siberia is Anadyr at ca. 25 below, F....From my mom: Eau Claire, WI: 17 below this morning.

By the way, Hardy County and Mineral County WV closed schools today while Eau Claire, Dunn, Chippewa and Barron Counties back home in western Wisconsin have kept their schools open all week in spite of the colder temperatures up there! Only a complete heating failure closes individual schools for the day up there!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 16, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

To make up for the cold eastern weather, Southern California is currently experiencing a heat wave in the upper 80's and a drought.

Obama inauguration pool party anyone? Tan lines are optional.

Global Warming is indeed alive and well, unfortunately.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | January 16, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

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