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Posted at 9:20 AM ET, 03/ 3/2009

Forecast: Freezing Today, Then Steadily Warmer

By Matt Rogers

* Closings/delays | Recap/Photos | Submit Your Photos | Chat Transcript | Deicing Tips | Winter Weather Driving Tips *

* View/Report Snow Totals - Map | Snow Totals from NWS *

* CWG on: Twitter & Facebook | Later: We Assess Our Own Forecast *

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Sun and cold combo. 27-31. | Tonight: Mostly clear and cold. 8-18. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. 38-42. | A Look Ahead

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Our newly acquired blanket of snow will not melt away too quickly as temperatures remain below freezing in many spots today. As the week goes on, though, the snow cover starts to lose the battle as highs approach 40 tomorrow and rise to near or above 50 Thursday and Friday. How about the weekend? That's when we're set to soar into the spring-like 60s. By then, snow lovers will be hunting for those remaining piles of snow in the parking lots.

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 (Tuesday): The March sun will do its best today. But after a numbingly cold early morning with wind chills starting out near zero, temperatures will probably only manage highs in the upper 20s to near 30 throughout the area. A cold breeze from the north, around 10-15 mph with some higher gusts, will keep wind chills below 20 for most of the day. Confidence: High

Tonight: Clear skies and calming winds will provide optimal conditions for cooling. Lows will likely bottom in the teens downtown and in the close-in suburbs, with single digits possible as you go further out from the Beltway. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...


Snow-covered cars line the streets in Northwest D.C. yesterday morning. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): The thaw begins in earnest with temperatures pushing toward highs in the upper 30s or low 40s. Look for mostly sunny skies to continue. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Partly cloudy and not as cold as tonight with lows in the 20s. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday and Friday are probably a pair of similar days with partly cloudy skies and highs in the low 50s. Lows Thursday and Friday night should be in the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Medium

The weekend is setting up to be the opposite of this past weekend: a real taste of spring rather than a raw blast of winter. Highs could very well reach the 60s both days -- a treat for everyone except the snowmen -- with Saturday and Sunday night lows in the 40s. For now, the weekend looks mostly dry. But a warm front to our north and cold front to the west have to be watched in case they try to throw any showers our way. Confidence: Medium

By Matt Rogers  | March 3, 2009; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Comments

Bundle up-- current wind chills range from 0 to -2 at the area airports. Morning lows (unofficial) were 14 at DCA, 13 at IAD, and 10 at BWI (new record low)

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 3, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

March comes in like a lion...

Posted by: --sg | March 3, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Man, it's chilly out there.

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | March 3, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

My big question is whether yesterday was the end of our winter in terms of snowfall. The long-range weather models are suggesting another colder-than-normal period arriving at the end of next week toward mid-March. There may be one more opening yet... Matt, CWG

Posted by: mrwx1 | March 3, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

mrwx1:
is there any moisture coming with that cold?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 3, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

When was the latest snowfall with accumulating snow in this area? With snow over an inch?

Posted by: wiredog | March 3, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Nothing is gelling yet, but of course, we didn't see the emerging threat from the previous storm until about a week out. This next Polar punch is still about ten days away. -Matt, CWG

Posted by: mrwx1 | March 3, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Are we expecting more melting/refreezing into black ice tonight?

Posted by: JedinBethesda | March 3, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Good question wiredog. For Washington DC National Airport, the latest accumulation of an inch or more was on April 12th (2"). Matt, CWG

Posted by: mrwx1 | March 3, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Wire, from what I see on the Sterling NWS office's climo page, during the winter of 2001-2002, BWI and DCA recorded a trace of snow during the month of June. I dont' have a date to go along with that but that is the latest that I can find for this area.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 3, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

JedinBethesda, we should again see a hard freeze tonight so any untreated wet surfaces will refreeze...although the only melting today will be directly from the sun as temperatures will probably stay below freezing in Bethesda. Matt, CWG

Posted by: mrwx1 | March 3, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Matt! :-)

Posted by: JedinBethesda | March 3, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

10.6 overnight low in Wesley Heights last night . . .

Glad to see the warm -- snow after 3 days is disgusting. Might as well let it melt away.

Posted by: ah___ | March 3, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

A bone chilling 1 degree at 7 am.

A preview of spring late this week that may last close to a week, but winter is not over.

Re. late snowfall, In my area, April has provided accumulating snowfall on several occasions during the past 40 years. Most recently was on April 7, 2007 when 1.5 inches fell. April 7, 1990 dumped 7.0 inches on the 7th. April 4th and 5th of 1987 brought 6 inches. April of 1971 witnessed 8 inches from one storm.

The D.C. area was surprised by 5 inches of snow, way back on March 30-31, 1964.

Posted by: AugustaJim | March 3, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I think Brian asked last night why some school districts decided to close today. Here is the reason given by PWC:

"Due to the expected extremely cold temperatures in the morning and the resulting ice on roads and sidewalks and at school bus stops, PWCS will be closed on Tuesday, March 3 with a Code Green to protect student safety. "

Meanwhile...I'm freezing! And I'm not used to the snow sticking around this long. Usually this long after a storm, all that's left is an inch of slush on everything.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | March 3, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I lived in Cedar City Utah for 10 years.

We got snow every month I was there except for July and August. I was very surprised one fine day in May to walk out of class at SUU, wearing shorts t-shirt and Tevas, to heavy snow falling.

Old timers in that town still talk about the 4th of July Parade that got snowed on.

Posted by: wiredog | March 3, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: Axel2 | March 3, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The GFS chart for Mar. 13 showed a possible snow event here around that date--the "540" thickness line is south of DC but it looks more 'zonal' than the last storm to me.

Looking ahead here, the 3-7 day period looks milder and unsettled, with cloudy periods/possible showers. A frontal boundary should settle to our south; it may be a warm front moving toward us Monday and Tuesday.

The other prominent feature near-term is a dryline stretching from Kansas to Mexico on the 48-hour chart. Normally that should foretell severe weather in East Texas, but that area is in the grip of a severe drought. It may be interesting to follow that area in the next few days. West Texas will be in a fire-risk area.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 3, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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