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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 02/26/2009

Forecast: A Warm, Dry Day, Then Downhill

By Camden Walker

Good part of weekend potentially sloppy

* More Pathetic: Winter or Wizards? | Citizen Science & Global Change *


Today: Partly sunny. Upper 50s. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Low 40s. | Tomorrow: Cloudy and breezy with p.m. showers. Around 60. | Tomorrow Night: Early showers, breezy. Upper 30s. | A Look Ahead


After the brutal wind and cold early in the week, today's warmth and tranquility seems well-deserved. Tomorrow though, a gusty storm system will head toward our area with a round of showers for the afternoon and evening. Then a more complicated storm may form to the south, bringing more precipitation late Saturday and possibly into Sunday. And with marginally cold air seeping southward, rain may not be the only kind of precipitation we have to deal with. Sorry to preview the weekend as somewhat dreary--but at least we'll have today to enjoy, right?

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 (Thursday): Partly sunny conditions will accompany our mild air today. Most of the metro area will head easily into the upper 50s. Perhaps a few spots will touch 60, especially south of town? Winds from the south will lightly be felt, around 5 mph. No threat of precipitation just yet. So get out and enjoy. Leave the heavy coat at home! Confidence: High

Tonight: Clouds move into the area. Low temperatures only get down into the lower 40s by dawn. Winds from the south pick up slowly (to about 10 mph) ahead of our approaching storm system. Confidence: Medium-High

What's the weekend weather scenario, keep reading...

Tomorrow (Friday): By no means will today be a wash out, but there is going to be a strengthening breeze and a threat (70% chance) of afternoon showers. Clouds will remain abundant but high temperatures around 60 will be our consolation. You may only need a wind-proof umbrella on your way home from work, but at least no coat and scarf! Winds from the south could gust up to 30 mph or so. OOof! Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Skies will remain mostly cloudy. Around and just after dinner, there is still a threat of showers. Winds will eventually shift from out of the south to out of the west as a cold front comes through--and they could gust to around 20 mph. Low temperatures will feel a little chilly (with wind), even though they will only dip into the upper 30s (mid-30s in some of the cooler spots). Confidence: Medium


Fairly tranquil conditions are expected early Saturday, although mostly cloudy skies will prevent temperatures from rising much above the mid-40s. There will still be a slight breeze around, making it feel a bit more chilly. The first half of the day should be dry but during the afternoon and overnight, a storm developing to our south may bring some precipitation (40% chance). Rain is the most likely type of precipitation, but some snow or a mix is not out of the question, especially in outlying north and west suburbs (e.g. Loudoun and Frederick counties). Overnight lows should be in the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

As you get up Sunday, Saturday night's potentially dismal conditions may persist. I foresee a continuing threat of precipitation (50% chance), with rain the most likely form, but some snow not out of the question especially as you head north and west. High temperatures may only rise to around 40 (30s north and west). Quite chilly. Dress in layers today to keep warm. Overnight, any precipitation should wind down, with partial clearing possible late at night. Lows will be cold, ranging from 25 (in the colder suburbs) to 30 downtown. Confidence: Low-Medium

The outlook for Monday is a much brighter one. Look for mostly sunny skies! But chilly temperatures in the upper 30s. Get that winter coat back out if you threw it into the back of your closet when we hit 60 a few days ago! Monday night will likely be pretty darn cold with mid-20s downtown, and closer to 20 in spots like Leesburg and Frederick. Confidence: Medium

By Camden Walker  | February 26, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Ugh. Anyone else hate waking up to overcast conditions?? I do.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

CWG - What is the latest guidance on this weekend's potential winter event. Are we talking a period of rain to snow to wintery mix? For the DC metro area. Thx.

Posted by: snowlover | February 26, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse


If you read the post above, it's pretty clear we're forecasting mostly rain, with an outside chance of snow or mixing but mainly in the far north and west suburbs.

One new note: it's possible the precip starts a little earlier on Saturday than previously thought...perhaps Saturday afternoon instead of Saturday night.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

On which models are you basing your forecast? There still seems to be some disagreement between the GFS, the Euro, and others.

Posted by: worldtraveler | February 26, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse


We consider them all. None of them look promising for snow along the I-95 corridor at the moment...the I-81 corridor is another story.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

We consider them all. None of them look promising for snow along the I-95 corridor at the moment...the I-81 corridor is another story.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2009 9:38 AM

I should say...

Posted by: gdennie | February 26, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse


Weather Sunday morning in Berryville, VA and the drive from Centerville to berryville and the lovely Mt Weather?


Posted by: sheepherder | February 26, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I-81 corrider??? What the...???

Any idea what I-81 will be like from Blacksburg to I-66 say between 7pm and 11pm Saturday night?

If winter causes me to miss my trip for the Duke game, that I've waited 2 months for, I'll be furious.

Gawd, I hate winter.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 26, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Things looking interesting for Sunday into Monday...

Posted by: gfp76 | February 26, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The only thing I'm planning on is making sure I have plenty of dry firewood for this weekend.

Posted by: mchristinaw | February 26, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

**BONUS SNOW--Any significant snow event occurring before or after meteorological winter.

The outstanding example of a "Bonus snow" event occurred Nov. 11, 1987, the famous "Veterans Day Snowstorm" [which also qualified as a "thundersnow" here in Baileys Crossroads!]

The question here is whether the period between this Saturday and next Tuesday will include a "Bonus snow" event, or merely another cruddy slush/rain storm. A number of models and model ensembles seem to be hinting at a Bonus snow: specifically a low starting in the Gulf States which moves slowly up the coast. Unfortunately a number of meteorologists, including CWG, are pushing for the nasty ol' cruddy rain. This will ease our dry spell but provide little in the way of winter excitement. How the storm tracks will determine exactly what we get.

Near-term, tomorrow's nasty, windy rain could interfere with my evening Balboa dance plans. Once again, Washington stays dry, except on my dance night! I'm beginning to think there's a conspiracy afoot...

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 26, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@sheephrder and @ThinkSpring

It's too early pinpoint exactly what this storm is going to do. Let's just say the areas where you'll be traveling have a moderate risk of snowy or icy travel, whereas the I-95 corridor has a low (but not non-existent) risk.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

GDennie, thanks for sharing that map. This is very interesting.

NBC25">">NBC25 (Hagerstown) forecast reads:

Feb 28 Another low pressure will threaten the area with a chance of a mix of rain or snow by afternoon and mostly snow by the evening hours. Highs will be around 40. Stay tuned for more on this storm as it could turn into a real trouble-maker.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 26, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

CWG - The HPC seems to be making more of this storm in ther final update today. Thoughts?

Posted by: worldtraveler | February 26, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Re: weekend wintry possibilities ... We're looking at all the latest model data. Still looks like a cold rain with some snow and sleet mixed in late Saturday night and during the day Sunday, with some potential for snow/sleet accumulation as you head north and west away from the immediate metro area. But this is a low-confidence forecast right now and could easily change one way or the other.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I could bring us in conversation casually back to today's decent weather.. not wintry at all!... about to hit 60 degrees in Manassas. Anyone feel, like me, a tad warm today, even inside their offices?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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