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Posted at 9:40 AM ET, 04/30/2009

Forecast: Cloudy, Unsettled Weather Grips Region

By Josh Larson

See-sawing temperatures amidst periodic showers

* NatCast | Climate Poetry | Later: Sunrise Photo Shoot *


Today: Cloudy & cool. Shower? Near 60. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy; shower? Mid-50s. | Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy & warmer. PM storm? Near 80. | Tomorrow Night: Mostly cloudy. Shower? Mid-60s. | A Look Ahead


A series of indecisive frontal systems (cold fronts pushing south; warm fronts pushing north; some fronts stalling nearby) will bring highly changeable, unsettled and rather cloudy conditions to the area today straight through early next week. Because timing the exact movement and placement of these fronts is a bit tricky, the forecast over the next 5 days is one of lower-than-normal confidence -- both in regards to temperatures and precipitation. But it does look likely that occasional periods of at least light precipitation are possible every day through Monday. Make sure you've got your umbrella handy.

Radar: Latest regional 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 (Thursday): Today will have a similar feel to yesterday, but not as showery. That means: overcast skies; continued chilly highs only near 60; and a stray shower or area of drizzle (40% chance). You may also notice an occasional breeze from the east or southeast of 10-15 mph, mainly during the afternoon. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: We hang onto cloudy conditions tonight with a slight chance (30%) of a stray shower or sprinkles as a warm front pushes north. Temperatures will be nearly steady in the upper 50s in most spots. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the dreary forecast through early next week.

Tomorrow (Friday): With a warm front through the region, winds from the south will help draw in much milder air on Friday. Though there is some model disagreement just how warm it will get: low 70s or all the way up to 80? I think mid-70s are a good bet with some spots, especially south of D.C., approaching 80. This air mass will be rather unstable, though, so there's a chance (40%) of afternoon and evening showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Have an umbrella handy if you're going out Friday evening as scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm (40% chance) are on the menu. Overcast skies will stop temperatures from dropping much below the mid-60s. Confidence: Medium


A cold front will slide through the area on Saturday, bringing with it continued mostly cloudy skies along with a pretty good chance (60%) for showers and isolated thunderstorms, especially during the afternoon. Highs will probably make it into the mid-70s once again. Lingering showers or a thunderstorm thunderstorm (40% chance) are possible Saturday evening with lows eventually dropping to the mid-50s. Confidence: Medium

Clouds abound once again on Sunday, and we turn noticeably cooler. Also, a nearly-stalled cold front to the south of the region will allow waves of low pressure to "ride" up it, bringing a 50/50 shot at showers and perhaps some periods of moderate, steady rain. I don't think highs will make it out of the low 60s, while overnight lows will drop to the mid-50s along with a continued chance for showers. Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday's weather is a bit of a crap shoot. High pressure building in from the north may push the nagging front far enough south to end the rain threat, or the front and the rain may linger (30% chance). Temperatures should end up a bit milder, though, probably near 70, with overnight lows in the 50s. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Josh Larson  | April 30, 2009; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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I have a beach wedding to go to in OC Md on Saturday evening, do you think the rain will be that far east by then or do you think we'll luck out and it'll hold off until later in the evening? Looking at the frontal movements and models it's hard to tell how this is going to be moving.

Posted by: paul-Sterling | April 30, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The winds today are calmer than they've been in a while. Did you all see the sun try to shine through on downtown DC last hour? It was nice filtered sunshine :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | April 30, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Drought conditions continue to spread.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | April 30, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Cloudy but dry this morning. Rain chances seem greatest on Saturday but are present through midweek next week.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | April 30, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I tend to disagree with CapitalClimate. How can drought be "spreading" when we keep getting recurrences of this cloudy, raw weather.

Seems to me we had three or four days of warm, dry weather preceded by over a week of raw, wintry and rainy weather, and now followed by another week of raw, messy weather. We seem to be in a bit of a lull now, but rain is in the forecast every day through next Tuesday. Only good sign now is that temperatures seem to be a bit higher this week.

In addition the barometer has been reading high despite the rain. Usually fronts don't run through high pressure, but occupy a trough between anticyclones.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | April 30, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how facts can get in the way of opinions; the drought data are what they are, like it or not.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | April 30, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

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