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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 12/16/2009

Forecast: Consistently cold through weekend

By Dan Stillman

But not bitter cold... another storm on the horizon?

* Snow hype or no hype? | Snow Lover's Crystal Ball *
* Outside now? Clouds, webcam & more: Weather Wall *

Today's Daily Digit
 
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
 
4Reality bites! Back to winter cold despite plenty of sun. Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Much colder. Mostly sunny. Low 40s. | Tonight: Mostly clear and cold. 20s. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny. Upper 30s to low 40s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Hope those heaters and humidifiers are ready for the long haul. Because cold temperatures -- not super cold, but consistently below average -- and dry winter air are here to stay, probably into at least early next week. As for the weekend, this is now our third straight that has us watching the potential for a storm.

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 (Wednesday): Mostly sunny skies will be more cheerful than yesterday's persistent clouds. The trade-off, though, is a steep drop in temperatures with highs today only in the low 40s compared to yesterday's mid-to-upper 50s. A morning breeze adds to the chill before decreasing some in the afternoon. Confidence: High

Tonight: A cold night is on the way under mostly clear skies. A light breeze, though, should keep the air mixed up enough to prevent temperatures from totally tanking. Looks like lows in the 20s, ranging from the low-to-mid 20s in the suburbs to mid-to-upper 20s downtown. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend....

Tomorrow (Thursday): The weather continues largely unchanged tomorrow with partly to mostly sunny skies, still a little breezy, and highs likely in the upper 30s to low 40s. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Lows settle into the 20s with increasing clouds. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

The big difference Friday should be partly to mostly cloudy skies. Temperatures stay pretty much the same with highs around the upper 30s to low 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

We've mentioned it since Monday and, looking at the latest data, still need to mention the chance of a coastal storm developing and coming close enough to bring wintry precipitation to the area sometime this weekend. There's also a chance the storm tracks too far out to sea to have an impact here. Either way we remain cold with highs probably no higher than about 40. Confidence: Low

See the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for more details on the weekend snow potential.

By Dan Stillman  | December 16, 2009; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: You guessed it: Another weekend snow chance

Comments

First: I have mentioned before that I take less stock in the 06z & 18z model runs since they have less input data going into them than the 12z or 0z ones (so what I'm about to say may sound a bit contradictory...)

Second: I, as all of us at Capital Weather Gang, have said before -- it is unwise to "grab" onto one model run (of one model). It's much more prudent to look at multiple different models (and recent model runs) in concert to gather a more balanced picture of what might happen.

That said, I think the 06z GFS, with the DC area on the western edge of precipitation -- and some snow -- looks very similar to the gut feeling "image" I have in my mind in terms of how this weekend storm situation may evolve. I think we split the middle between a total miss and a nice storm. I personally think that most of us, especially those south and east of DC, see at least some flakes on Saturday...

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2009 5:15 AM | Report abuse

My Apple Safari browser and CWG aren't getting along at all. In fact, when I try to get into CWG these days, I get the "spinning beachball of doom" and have to shut down the browser. Certainly can't go from one page to another within CWG- no extended forecasts for me! Mozilla is working fine, so I assume it's a problem with Safari- anything you guys can do to get this fixed- or is this strictly a Cupertino problem for Steve Jobs and his pixies?

Posted by: ChevyChase3 | December 16, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure the local retailers are hoping for a total miss. The last 2 weekends have been marred with snow and rain. Really hurting Christmas shopping.

I'm with the retailers. Hoping for a total miss. We don't need the precip.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 16, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

@chevychase

What sort of action do you get when you go to washingtonpost.com and other washington post blogs? I wonder if safari has a problem with the post's template.

Also, what version of safari are you on?

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Seems like winds kept temperatures from getting as low as they could have last night. 32 low at Dulles and 33 at DCA -- if I'm not mistaken. In my experience, generally the lower the winds (though clouds obviously also play a huge part), the greater the difference in overnight low temperature between the two airports. Last night they were, effectively, the same temp which is highly suggestive of the wind's effect (especially on Dulles)...

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

ThinkSpring -

Actually retailers like snow around the holidays. It has been shown to get people in the "Christmas spirit" and actually increases Christmas shopping/spending. Granted, they do not want a paralyzing storm, but a lighter event is a good thing for them.

Hoping Fair Lakes isn't too far west for this event, if it takes shape...

Posted by: jahutch | December 16, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

NAM is showing about 1-2 inches of snow where, the GFS is showing the storm just missing us to the south! Hopefully things will trend westward just a bit.

Posted by: snowlover | December 16, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Low temp last night on the mountain was 22.5F, but the previous two days wiped out our snowpack. Just a few spots remain. As of Sunday, the wet weather and snowmelt had closed the Morgan's Ford Shenandoah River crossing.

Regarding the Accuweather discussion from yesterday, I guess I can't really blame them for a little hype in the headlines so long as they present a balanced picture in the article. There was an interesting article in the Nov '08 Trains magazine about how some railroads subscribe to WeatherData (a subsidiary of Accuweather). There are instances of them issuing warnings ahead of what the NWS issues which has prevented accidents. If interested, part one and part two of the article.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 16, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Snow Lover's Crystal Ball just posted

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I have issues with CWG and Safari as well... Not sure what is going on..

Posted by: where_is_snowmonster | December 16, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Following up on previous post about Safari and CWG not getting along:
CWG is the only Post blog with which I have trouble. Everything else loads and runs just fine.
I'm using Leopard- OSX 10.5. Haven't loaded Snow Leopard yet.
CWG is one of the best services provided by the Washington Post, and I would hate to continue having problems with it! You guys are great!

Posted by: ChevyChase3 | December 16, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Where is the SLCB?

Posted by: snowlover | December 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@snowlover

on CWG, top post.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@chevychase3 & @where_is_snowmonster

I'd love to get this straightened out, feel free to email me at jjones@capitalweather {dot} com and i can work through these issues offline.

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@jahutch

Completely disagree. It may put people in the spirit, but it doesn't put them in the stores. It keeps them home in front of the fire.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

In terms of the "Daily Digit," how can today be a 4? All I saw outside was sun, and we reached the 40s. That sounds like a 7 to me for mid-December.

Posted by: Stephen1617 | December 16, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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