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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 10/17/2009

Forecast: Woefully Wet Weekend

By Jason Samenow

Record cold afternoon temps, flakes tonight N & W?

* Soggy Sports: UnitedCast, SkinsCast | Current Temps: Weather Wall *


Today: Rain and breezy. Cold. 40-45. | Tonight: Rain, possibly mixing with snow. 33-37. | Tomorrow: A.M. Rain/Mix, P.M. Drizzle. 44-48. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


The stunning streak of record cold, sopping wet weather continues. Yesterday's high of 45 degrees at Reagan National was six degrees colder than it has ever been on that date since records began in the late 1800s -- 23 degrees below average. Today probably won't be any warmer and even tomorrow will struggle to exceed 45. Meanwhile the precipitation will keep coming. Interestingly, enough cold air may wrap into the region for some snowflakes to be seen tonight, mainly well north and west of town. Not to fret, this miserable weather will end -- with much milder air returning during the work week.

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

Today (Saturday): The rain keeps coming. Another half inch of rain or so is possible. A record low maximum temperature is basically a done deal, as highs will only be in the low-to-mid 40s. The previous record low max at Reagan National: 54! a nasty breeze from the north at 10-15 mph will further chill the air. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Rain (probably 0.25-0.5") yet again. But as the night wears on, the rain may (50% chance) mix with or even briefly change to snow north and west of the city (places like Germantown, Md. and Ashburn, Va.). Inside the beltway and in town, precipitation should remain rain -- but I'll give 30% odds some flakes are spotted by early risers. Any snow that falls N & W won't likely accumulate, with the possible exception of grassy areas. Lows will range from 32 or 33 in the normally colder north and west suburbs to 37 or 38 downtown. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast for tomorrow and into early next week...

Tomorrow (Sunday): The good news is that precipitation will diminish in coverage and intensity during the day. The bad news is that it will remain cold, damp and breezy for the duration. Light rain (or rain/snow mix north and west) in the morning will probably gradually taper to drizzle in the afternoon. Highs will generally be in the mid- to maybe some upper 40s, cold enough to likely be another record low max. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: After evening clouds and some lingering drizzle, skies may slowly clear late at night night and we'll start drying out. It will remain chilly though, with lows ranging from the low-to-mid 30s in the suburbs to the upper 30s downtown. A light freeze is possible in the normally colder north and west suburbs. Confidence: Medium-High


Though I can't rule out some cloud cover in the morning, prospects look good for some sunshine by Monday afternoon. The sunshine will help temperatures recover, all the way back up into the upper 50s -- still almost 10 degrees below average, but progress. Clear and cool at night, with lows in the low-to-mid 30s (suburbs) to the low 40s (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

Tuesday and Wednesday's weather will be sweet payback for the current stretch. Under full sunshine both days should see the mercury return to the mid-60s Tuesday and all the way to near 70 Wednesday. Nice! Confidence: Medium-High

By Jason Samenow  | October 17, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: SkinsCast: Damp Chill for Skins-Chiefs


Are we seriously talking about snow in October, or has being out in the cold for too long numbed my brain?

Posted by: Havoc737 | October 17, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Snow is not unheard of in October. I recall trick or treating in the snow when I was a child. Also we had the heavy wet snow in mid-October in 1979. I think that we had 11 inches in NW Montgomery.

Posted by: MKadyman | October 17, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

On average, we're supposed to have a trace of snow in October.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 17, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

4 1/2" in the rain gauge here in Mt Vernon since Wednesday.

Posted by: Etta- | October 17, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Regarding earlier posting on NOAA's winter outlook and El Nino outlook. Please read the discussion here:

Nowhere does it say that "EL NINO WILL REMAIN AT MODERATE STRENGTH THROUGH THE WINTER." If you can find that sentence, I'll seek you out and give you $10. ALL it says is that El Nino will strengthen, that the PEAK strength will most likely be moderate (i.e. historically in the Nov-Dec-Jan season) and that EL NINO will last through the winter. Believe me when I say that NOAA is quite aware of the seasonality of El Nino. Also be aware that Accuweather is splitting hairs and trying to perpetuate a falsehood that surprisingly got traction in this most respectable blog.

Posted by: anonymous678 | October 17, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

In the Blue Ridge Mtns (Warren County, elevation 1900 ft), we've picked up almost half an inch of snow so far tonight.

Current conditions: lightly snowing, 32.2F

Posted by: spgass1 | October 17, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mmurphy70 | October 17, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Bedtime report:

1.25" snow accumulation, still snowing, 32.0F

Posted by: spgass1 | October 17, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Must be global warming.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | October 18, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

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