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Posted at 8:45 AM ET, 03/11/2009

Forecast: Last Taste of Spring for a While

By Dan Stillman

Today's warmth gives way to cool weather into next week

* March Temperature Swings | Later: Dueling Climate Change Meetings *


Today: Partly to mostly cloudy. Sprinkle/light shower. Breezy p.m. Near 70. | Tonight: Becoming mostly clear and cool. 30s. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny and much cooler. Near 50. | A Look Ahead


If you're a carpe diem kind of person, then today is your day to seize. Get out and enjoy highs near 70 -- something we've gotten used to as of late, but which we may not see again for at least a week and probably more. There's no bitter cold in the forecast, but cool enough to remind us that, astronomically speaking, spring has yet to officially arrive.

Radar: Latest D.C. area radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past two hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here to see radar bigger. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Wednesday): A lot of clouds. A little sun. An occasional sprinkle or light shower. And breezes, around 10 mph from the south/southwest in the morning, and around 15-20 mph from the west/northwest in the afternoon. That's what you can expect today. Oh yeah, and delightful temperatures reaching highs near 70. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Skies become mostly clear, some breeziness lingers, and after comfortable evening temperatures dropping through the 60s and 50s, overnight readings take a tumble in the wake of a cold front that will have passed through earlier in the day. We're talking morning lows in the 30s -- more than 30 degrees cooler than daytime highs. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend, and visit us anytime at

Tomorrow (Thursday): Just like that, highs near 70 are no more. Thursday is looking partly sunny and much cooler, with light winds from the north and highs near 50 . Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Dinnertime tomorrow night will be cooler than dinnertime tonight as evening temperatures drop through the 40s. Under partly cloudy skies, overnight lows bottom out near 30. Confidence: High


During the day Friday, high pressure should be able to keep an area of precipitation to our south at bay, leaving us partly sunny with highs in the 40s. Confidence: Medium

That precipitation to the south tries to clip the area with its northern fringe Friday night, but it's unlcear whether it'll succeed. For now I'd put the odds of rain showers (possibly mixed with some snowflakes) at 30%, and they'd probably be on the light side. Lows in the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Hmmm... settling into a somewhat monotonous pattern here, as Saturday brings another partly sunny day with highs in the low-to-mid 50s and Saturday night lows in the the low-to-mid 30s. Can't rule out the chance of a passing shower or sprinkle through the period. Confidence: Medium

We could see some rain arriving from the south during the day Sunday, or maybe not until Sunday night. Sorry, I know, not so helpful if you're trying to plan out the second half of your weekend. But hopefully we can nail this down a bit more in the next couple days. Confidence: Low

By Dan Stillman  | March 11, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Dueling Climate Meetings Aim to Steer Policy


Brian Vandegraf (sp?) said on WTOP this morning was saying a cold front was coming in, bringing some possible showers, but after it went through, temperatures would climb to near 70 this afternoon. Then apparently temperatures would drop tonight. If this is true, how can a cold front lead to warmer temperatures after it goes through? Or did I misunderstand what Brian said?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | March 11, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Dougmacintyre: Sometimes cold fronts push out cool, marine air with an air mass that is actually warmer. Down sloping winds over the mountains can also warm air a bit behind a cold front. With today's cold front, the air behind the front looks pretty cold, judging by surface conditions in Ohio. I'm thinking the 70 degree temps occur before, or at the time of the cold front passage.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | March 11, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse


Looks like the cold front won't come through until the afternoon. And sometimes cold air can be slow to filter in behind a front. In this case, it may not be until late evening and overnight that the much colder air mass starts to settle in.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | March 11, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

gotta love the 06z NAM.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | March 11, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Does this warm air/cold front mean unstable/stormy weather today?

Posted by: manassasmissy | March 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kevin and Dan!

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | March 11, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

manassasmissy -

No, the mountains are squeezing out what little moisture is associated with the front. Just some added cloud cover and breezes is about it w/this evenings front. A 20+ degree temp. drop tomorrow!

Hey CWG -

Any comments on the [06Z & 12Z] which appears to be tracking to our south? A few snow showers perhaps?

Posted by: HomantheSnowman | March 11, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a raw, rainy, breezy day next Tuesday...another dance night though I've got this Civic Association conflict closer to home, anyway that night. If it rains, I'll just stay at the Civic Assn.

Last night's dance was rather "dead"; there was more action Monday night at Chevy Chase. If DST were a factor as some said, it should have been a bigger issue on Monday night.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 11, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

12Z Euro has over 1.5" liquid at 156 hrs. with 850 line way south.

Are we staring at a mid-March MECS?

Posted by: gdennie | March 11, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse


Yep 12z ECM was nice. The model flip flopping continues. Don't buy into it just yet. MECS is possible but very difficult this time of the year.

If the blocking is in place 1036+ Canadian Arctic High pressure does not result in warm weather. We are talking a Greenland Block. Models have come further south with the low pressures due to this blocking and confluence...
Confluence is caused by blocking which bleeds into the lower levels...
I have been hearing that surface temps will be a problem and etc..If this blocking is realized we will get colder at the surface the closer we get to the event..

All of this is a BIG IF but if everything comes together then sure a MECS is possible.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | March 11, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I'll take the calendar over the models once we're into the 2nd half of March.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 11, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse


I will to but don't let something surprise you! Thats all i'm saying :)

Posted by: clintonportis17 | March 11, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I'll take the calendar over the models once we're into the 2nd half of March.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 11, 2009 3:18 PM

Me thinks models (particularly Euro) trump calendar even in March. Sun angle will be a factor, but if QPF hits at night, that influence is erased.

We're at or below freezing next three nights, so it's not exactly spring-time just yet.

Posted by: gdennie | March 11, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Keep dreaming snow lovers, keep dreaming. Spring is here, time to move on...

Posted by: steske | March 11, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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