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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 12/ 1/2009

Forecast: Sun today, stormy Wednesday

By Matt Rogers

Small chance of some Saturday snow

* 'Seasons of Washington 2010' Calendar | Weather Wall *
* Snow Lover's Crystal Ball winter 2009-2010 debut *

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly sunny, breezy. 51-55. | Tonight: Clouds return late at night. 32-40 | Wednesday: Rain gradually develops. 49-53. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

While your calendar does not say this quite yet, meteorologists consider today (Dec. 1) to be the first day of winter. And wow is winter starting off rocky. Today is the exception with sunshine and slightly warmer-than-normal high temperatures. But then the next few days will feature more rain, some brief mild weather, maybe some thunderstorms, and then the first notable cold push with a chance of some weekend snow. It's a mouthful, so let's try to go through the roller coaster step-by-step...

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 (Tuesday): Breezy conditions (winds from the west) with sunshine today should push temperatures up into the lower-to-mid 50s. This is shaping up to be the nicest day of the week. Confidence: High

Tonight: Clear skies and calming winds this evening should allow temperatures to drop off, but an increase in clouds after midnight could stabilize readings or even warm them some toward dawn. Look for lows ranging from around the freezing mark in the outer suburbs to near 40 downtown. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the first weekend of meteorological winter...

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Cloudy skies will be back to dominate the D.C. scene along with morning shower chances (30%) and then likely mid-to-late afternoon rain (70%). Highs should cap out somewhere in the upper 40s to low 50s throughout the area. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Wednesday afternoon temperatures are expected to hold steady into the evening hours, and the rains (90% likelihood) could get heavy at times with a chance of thunderstorms as well. Late at night, a surge of warmer air should push temperatures higher than Wednesday's highs (mid-to-upper 50s). Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday should start off on the warm side with 50s and even some low 60s possible in the morning along with early-day showers and possible rumbles of thunder (chance of morning rain is still 80%, dropping to 40% by midday). Variable clouds and breezy conditions are expected by the afternoon with temperatures steady or slowly falling. Much colder Thursday night, with lows in the 30s and a gusty wind. Confidence: Low-Medium

Friday morning should see lows in the 30s with partly sunny skies during the day and highs in the mid-to-upper 40s. Clouds could start to increase again Friday evening or Friday night. Confidence: Low-Medium

The weekend is looking interesting for Saturday as there is an increasing suggestion of a coastal low pressure forming. By that point, we'll have our coldest air of the season (so far) along with our first chance of snow (just 30%). Refer to our Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for more commentary. Look for highs only in the 30s on Saturday and 40s on Sunday. Lows should range in the 20s to 30s. More sunshine is foreseen on Sunday, at least for now. Confidence: Low (especially on the snow!)

By Matt Rogers  | December 1, 2009; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Comments

"Increasing suggestion?"

Haven't heard that one before, but we love the sense of possibilities!!

Posted by: jaybird926 | December 1, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Low of 25F recorded this morning in the mountains. I believe that's the lowest this season thus far.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 1, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

That repetition of the final word on Line #1 has recurred again in spgass1's post! Any way to program a "fix" here?

Now here's the Bombo-grade for the month of November and for meteorological autumn. In both cases, I'm grading the month AND the season both at C-minus. The main problem: Too darned many of those raw coastal nor'easter drenchings [courtesy of your friendly Much-Needed-Rain crowd!] to suit me this fall. If we're gonna start spinning up coastal nor'easters, we had better make sure that sufficient COLD AIR IS IN PLACE to ensure a decent snowstorm with each one! No more of this raw, foot-soaking wetness, please. Unfortunately, we seem to have another such mess, with nasty winds yet, heading our way tomorrow night.

The mid-October storm, which came in about ten degrees colder than it should have [but not cold enough to snow here] is an illustrative case in point. Not only did it knock off a lot of leaves, particularly at what was supposed to be peak color in the Shenandoah Valley, but it killed off a large number of singing crickets and katydids down here with its November-like "boring forties" blasts. This storm was clearly a month or so premature. Otherwise we did have a few warm enjoyable days this fall.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 1, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Lightning update.

Vaisala has detected a couple of recent strikes at the eastern tip of Lake Ontario. Could the lake-effect machine be starting to wind up?

Otherwise, most lightning is where it usually occurs this time of year, in the Gulf of Mexico. This is related to the system expected around here in about 30 hours.

StrikeStar U.S. has a rate as high as 6 per minute, chiefly with the Gulf action. NALDN, mainly "isolated". WWLL shows lightning in the favored regions, primarily the ITCZ, Southern Hemisphere continental landmasses, and a few strikes off the U.S. East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

BTW Kim Martucci shows us only one flake, late Saturday, with a high that day at 40F. Could this mean a sort of "wintry mix" bust???

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 1, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Fellas -- you had to go and get us all excited, but... I see the 540 line being far enough east for snow, but the surface graphics don't show temperatures cold enough to support snow. We're far too close to the 10deg line for snow...

Posted by: Registration1982 | December 1, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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