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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/17/2009

Forecast: Freezing Temps, Fickle Snow Chances

By Jason Samenow

Report Homeless Persons at Risk for Hypothermia: 1-800-535-7252

* Inauguration Weather Forecast | Later: Sunday Night Snow Update *


Today: Mostly sunny and cold. 22-26. | Tonight: Increasing high clouds late. 17-22. | Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy -- not as cold. Chance of snow late. 32-37 | A Look Ahead


Cold continues today, but it will be about 5-7 degrees warmer than yesterday and with less wind. Ignoring the cold for a moment, I bet the questions on most people's mind are 1) Will it snow Sunday night? 2) If so, how much? 3) How is the weather shaping up for the inauguration? Here are my answers: 1) Maybe. 2) Probably not much. 3) Cold, with low snow chances.

If those answers fail to satisfy, keep reading, because I have more details to share...

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 (Saturday): While the worst of the cold was yesterday, it'll be no picnic outside today. Single digits to start the day will climb to around 20 by noon and probably into the mid 20s for mid-to-late afternoon highs. Calm winds in the morning will become from the south at about 5-10 mph during the afternoon. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Mostly clear skies for the first half of the night will allow temperatures to drop off a little. But the combination of a wind from the south and an increase in high clouds will prevent temperatures from truly tumbling. Lows will range from the high teens in the colder suburbs to the low 20s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast into early next week.

Tomorrow (Sunday): Headed to the Mall for pre-inauguration festivities? Most of the daylight hours should be dry but chilly. Clouds should gradually increase throughout the day as our next weather system approaches. A little light snow can't be ruled out before dark (25% chance), but is not likely. Temperatures will be milder as winds from the south tap modestly warmer air -- likely reaching the mid 30s or so. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: As discussed in yesterday's Snow Lover's Crystal Ball, we need to watch to see if the low dropping south out of Canada redevelops off the Carolina coast, throwing back significant moisture and snow. The latest guidance is trending towards less snow rather than more. Right now, I'll call for a 30% chance of snow with lows 25-30. Stay tuned for an update on this situation later this morning. Confidence: Low-Medium


Some snow showers or flurries could linger into Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) morning (30% chance), then we'll probably see some partial clearing. But it will become windy (out of the northwest at 15-25 mph) and quite cold, with highs only 28-32. Factoring in the wind, it will feel like the teens and 20s. Remaining variably cloudy, breezy and very cold Monday night, with lows 15-20 (suburbs-city) and wind chills dipping as low as the single digits. Confidence: Medium

Inauguration Day will be variably cloudy and quite cold, with a slight (20%) chance of snow or flurries . Highs will probably be 29-33. For more details, see our complete Inauguration Weather Forecast. Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | January 17, 2009; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Sunday Night Snow Chances Down, Way Down


Temperature is zero outside my house at 5:40am. I can't remember a colder morning.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | January 17, 2009 5:43 AM | Report abuse

Less snow tomorrow night = me at my favorite spot in Bethesda to watch the playoffs. More snow = me scrambling to find a place more local to me in NoVA. GO STEELERS and EAGLES!

Posted by: --sg | January 17, 2009 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Just broke below 9 here in Oxon Hill to 8.8 degrees. Maybe one more degree to go before the slow warm up begins today.
Bummer about the snow even though we were only expecting (wishing) for a small amount at best. Winter is only half over. The traditionally snowiest half is coming up!

Posted by: pjdunn1 | January 17, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

My weatherbug showed 1F in Ashburn first thing this morning. Now we're up to a whopping 3F!

Posted by: natsncats | January 17, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

wow david, stafford was zero? I saw that Fredericksburg got down to 1. Silver Spring was a balmy 5, at sunrise. GAH. it is still painful :-)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 17, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Low temp in Eastern Warren Co. (elevation 1900 ft) last night: -2.6F

That is the coldest in the three year's I've had my weather station.

Power was going on and off this morning. I'm not sure if it was due to demand or other problems. Allegheny Power is currently showing 7100 customers without power in VA.

Posted by: spgass1 | January 17, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse said we were at -1degrees at 7:30am, but I don't know how accurate they are?

Posted by: snowlover | January 17, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

This morning's lows: IAD-0!, DCA-8, BWI 2

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 17, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Camden, we are between the "heat islands" of DC and Fredericksburg which allow our temps to plummet.

I agree the cold is painful. I am considering the possibility of jogging outside today if temps "warm up" sufficiently to 30 or so.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | January 17, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Hi spgass1,

In the middle of Warren County (ele 600) we got down to -4. The lowest it has been at this location in the past few years is -5 (with snow cover and radiational cooling)

Posted by: eric654 | January 17, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Lake Ridge hit 0 degrees this morning. WOW!

It's 22 right now.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 17, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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