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Posted at 9:50 AM ET, 11/19/2009

Forecast: Some showers today, much nicer Friday

By Josh Larson

Sunny, dry Friday & Saturday; rain to return Sunday?

* Record temps reveal shifting climate | Ida difficult to forecast *


Today: Cloudy with occasional showers. Near 60. | Tonight: Showers taper around midnight. 48-52. | Tomorrow: Some a.m. clouds. Sunny by afternoon. Near 60. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


We're back-and-forth between weather systems over the coming days: clouds and some showers are with us today as a cold front approaches from the west; however, we're quickly back to sunny and dry weather by midday (or perhaps earlier) tomorrow as high pressure builds in. Plenty of sun and dry conditions remain with us on what's sure to be a very nice Saturday. Alas, an area of low pressure getting organized to our south is likely to pump clouds and (potentially) moisture back our way by the second half of Sunday into Monday.

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

Today (Thursday): As a cold front inches toward our area from the west, we'll have to contend with overcast skies and an increasing chance of showers. They'll be scattered in the morning but potentially steadier in the afternoon, with generally more showers west of D.C. and less to the east. Rain totals should be around 0.25" or less (higher amounts possible for far western suburbs). Afternoon highs will be within a degree or two of 60. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: We could see a more solid line of showers this evening -- and perhaps even a few rumbles of thunder. After midnight precipitation will probably taper off as winds shift to out of the southwest. Overnight lows range from the upper 40s to low 50s downtown. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the full forecast through the start of next week...

Tomorrow (Friday): Though I can't totally rule out lingering clouds Friday morning (mainly east of town), as the day wears on sunshine will rapidly show its face. In fact, it may be difficult to spot clouds by the afternoon. High temperatures will once again be around the 60 degree mark -- a few degrees above average. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Clear skies and light winds will contribute to a cooler evening than the previous two, so make sure you have that in mind if you head out for Friday night activities. Overnight lows will eventually bottom out in the upper 30s in the coolest spots to the low-to-mid 40s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High


Do get out and enjoy your day outside Saturday since Sunday might not be nearly as nice. Back to Saturday, though: high pressure overhead will help to deliver a nearly cloudless sky, with afternoon highs ranging from the upper 50s to the low 60s -- still a few degrees above average for this time of year. We'll see partly cloudy skies Saturday night with lows ranging from the low-to-mid 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

As an area of low pressure to our south tries to get its act together on Sunday it's probable that we'll return to mostly cloudy skies (though this is not a sure bet), with cooler afternoon highs in the mid-50s. It's too early to know if rain will develop, much less when it might arrive, but I'd suspect it will hold off until the afternoon hours or later. Cloudy with a 50% chance of rain Sunday night, with lows primarily in the mid-40s.Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday's forecast is very much dependent on how and where the aforementioned area of low pressure develops. I'll call for mostly cloudy skies with a 50/50 chance of rain throughout the day. Highs will probably top out in the low-to-mid 50s, with overnight lows in the 40s accompanied by the continued chance for rain. Confidence: Low

By Josh Larson  | November 19, 2009; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Feeling under pressure by air pressure?


Current observations: Thunder on the Blue Ridge.

Posted by: spgass1 | November 19, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm somewhat mystified by the thunderstorm activity.

Although the K-index @ 33 supports a 50% thunderstorm chance, and the Total Totals Index is aoa 44, the CAPE reading is at a rather anemic 33 J/kg. Normally you need a triple-digit CAPE for significant thunder and around four digits for severe weather.

Perhaps the CAPE figure accounts mainly for heat of condensation/evaporation within an air parcel and doesn't take into account the energy of mechanical lifting. Would be interested in the details, if any. At any rate, the occluded-front scenario is generating airmass lift, a common factor in Wisconsin thunderstorms.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | November 19, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

So, I'm leaving this Saturday to spend Thanksgiving in Hatteras, NC. NWS mentioned last night in the long-range discussion the possibility of a Miller Type B forming late Sunday into Monday and working its way up the coast. I know it is way too far out for specifics, but does CWG care to speculate? That area got destroyed by the Ida remnants, and NC-12 just reopened yesterday. Any chance for a faster moving repeat?

Posted by: ParkerGP | November 19, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

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