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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 02/24/2009

PM Update: Clear Skies, But No Warmth Yet

By Ian Livingston

Mostly sunny, warmer with light winds, Wednesday

* Dry Fall & Winter a Prelude to Drought? | Warming Projections Rise *

Today started off quite cold and has remained that way into the afternoon. On the bright side, winds have substantially decreased over the last 24 hours meaning actual temperatures are now pretty close to wind chill values. Highs that reached the mid-to-upper 30s will quickly tumble back through the 20s as we head through the evening.

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.

Tonight: Get ready for another very chilly night across the area. Light winds, low dew points and clear skies equal perfect radiational cooling conditions. Lows should fall further than last night in most locations, with mid teens expected in the colder suburbs to around 20 degrees downtown.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): A several-day warm-up begins tomorrow as temperatures rise to near or slightly above average (which is 49 at DCA and 48 at IAD) in most locations. Lots of sun and light winds from the south and southeast will mix to help temperatures rise off extra-chilly morning readings to highs in the upper 40s to low 50s. Layers may be appropriate if you are planning on spending time outside!

See Matt Rogers' forecast through the weekend.

Carbon "Sniffing" Satellite Crashes: NASA's new $278 million satellite, designed to monitor carbon dioxide, failed to reach orbit and crashed this morning. Investigations into what went wrong are beginning, but early speculation focuses on a weighty protective nose cone that failed to separate from the satellite, possibly helping it to fall into the Indian Ocean.

Snow?! Meteorological winter has not been kind to us in the snow department, so maybe spring can be? It appears there are growing but still very uncertain signs of a weekend wintry threat. To get significant snow in the D.C. area this late in the season a lot of things have to go right. Can we buck the trends of the season and pull one out of the hat? The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center seems to think it is possible ... How about you?

By Ian Livingston  | February 24, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Getting Warmer. Wetter, Too?


Stock market has a better chance of gaining 4000 points in that time period.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 24, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

HPC seems to be rather uncertain to me. It looks as though Friday's dance-day showers may tend to be rather light as the cold front stalls & fizzles just to our east. After that, HPC seems a bit uncertain on the track of any SE U.S. cyclones during the weekend. Temperatures could be a bit too warm for sustained snow over the weekend even if a low tracks right for precip here. There's further talk of a very deep low off New England as the weekend ends. That means nothing but more of this desiccating cold NW wind we've been having so much of.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 24, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

what?! really? i donn't understant that cool map or the "weenie" thing. is there really a chance of snow, or will it be 50 degrees?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 24, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Right now the GFS is painting a cold rainy solution for the time period in question. However, the medium to long range models have not done too well this winter. As the event gets closer (within 3 -4 days) we should begin to see a focusing of the forecast.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 24, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Well seeing as how we've gotten ripped off in both the stock market and the snow realm this winter, I think we at least deserve one or the other to come through for us this week.

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 24, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Bombo, if nothing else, the map shows HPC thinks there will be a low off the East Coast in the timeframe.. And depending on cold air (which looks mainly like a timing issue in many models runs), the track is somewhat favorable. It is going to be March and temperatures could very well be too warm or the storm doesnt come together at all. It's one of the more interesting threats of the season in my opinion, if it plays out... we've been northern stream dominant almost throughout (maybe entirely?) and this one is modeled to pop from southern stream energy. Yesterday's models were trying to fully cut the storm off from the mean flow -- a sign of spring for sure!

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 24, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

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