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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/ 3/2010

Forecast: Frigid winds won't let up yet

By Brian Jackson

* Wind advisory until 6 p.m. today *
* Outside now? Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
3Wicked winds and continued cold mean a good day for a lazy Sunday inside. Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Cold and blustery, 26-30. | Tonight: Partly cloudy, chilly, 15-19. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny, 30-34. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Yesterday's winds had me chasing the tarp covering the bikes on my balcony all the way down the street. Unsecured items may fly away again today. And it will be cold. Wind chills will make it feel like it's in the teens for the majority of the day. Once the winds begin to slacken on Monday, improvement will be slow to occur with temperatures staying well below normal.

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 (Sunday): Not much change in the forecast today relative to yesterday. Continued cold and bitter winds will batter those who step outside. Patches of sun will do little to warm the skin. The morning hours may see wind chills approaching in the low single digits! Afternoon temperatures will again struggle into the upper 20s. It won't be quite as gusty but winds will continue to whip in from the west-northwest at 20-25 mph, with higher gusts. Brr! Confidence: High

Tonight: Our winds will finally begin to wind down, but it will still be quite chilly out there. Skies will begin clearing overnight and temperatures will drop to the lower 20s downtown and the upper teens elsewhere. Winds begin to abate but will still blow in from the west at 5-15 mph. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the mid-week....

Tomorrow (Monday): Don't expect any drastic warm-ups. Under mostly sunny skies, temperatures will moderate only slightly with highs in the low 30s. Winds will abate some, blowing from the northwest at 10-15 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Chilly nights remain the norm for now. Mostly clear skies overnight will allow the mercury to dip once again to near 20 degrees (teens in the colder suburbs). Expect winds from the northwest at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High


Tuesday and Wednesday will remain well below average temperature-wise. Other than the cold, there's not much to complain about though as we'll remain under partly-to-mostly sunny skies with generally light winds. Daily temperatures will reach the mid-30s. Overnights will be clear to partly cloudy, with lows around 20. Confidence: Medium

By Brian Jackson  | January 3, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: The cold keeps coming


14.6 here in Silver Spring! Yikes its cold outside!!

Jamie C in Silver Spring

Posted by: Jamie66 | January 3, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

16 degrees here in Mount Vernon, and the wind is just howling. Can't imagine what the wind chill must be.

Posted by: dixiechick1 | January 3, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Here in Winchester, the wind chill is minus three, temp is 11, and I recorded a wind gust of 38 mph shortly after 5 am. Can't imagine what it is like for birds this morning!

Posted by: refrep | January 3, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

The only good thing about this cold snap is that a lot of bug larvae are dying in the frozen ground.

Posted by: Jacknut | January 3, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Where are all the global warming idiots now?

Posted by: ItsOver2 | January 3, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

What global warming idiots? Climatologists know that a single weather event (e.g. a month of below average temperatures) in a single region (e.g. Eastern US) has no bearing on an overall global pattern of decades or centuries. The idiots are the ones who hold up a single snowshower in Houston as proof that global warming isn't happening. Well, last time I checked, Houston was not the whole world. You know those round things that show all the oceans and countries of the world? They're called globes, not houstons. Global warming concerns the whole world, not just Houston.

Posted by: beetsnotbeats | January 3, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Well said, beets. But you can't expect the anti-climate changers to listen to reason, or rational argument. The last time I checked, polar ice was disappearing faster than orange sorbet on a hot plate.

Posted by: wrytous | January 3, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

CWG, has some sort of heat island developed over Leesburg over the last few months. Leesburg always used to be at the lower end of temperatures for the region but I have noticed lately that it is always 2 degrees above what the rest of the area is reporting. This has been fairly consistent since I noticed it during the heavy snowstorm last month. It must be some calibration or something because it just doesn't make sense.

Posted by: rocotten | January 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Brutal cold and winds out there. We've lost shingles and neighbor has lost his fence. Once again, winter causes damage. I hate all of it.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 3, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

For you weather trivia buffs: When was the last time you saw 20 degrees in Washington and 35 degrees in Bangor, Maine at the same time? The big storm in the Gulf of Maine has been spinning around for so long now that its warm front has rotated completely around to its northwest pushing milder ocean air inland. The storm is actually retrograding somewhat southward.

Don Lipman, Contributing Capital Weather Gang staff writer

Posted by: Weatherguy | January 3, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Don, you are right about the uniqueness of this storm. Here near Logan Circle & the dc Convention Center, I know it has been a while since we've hit 15 degrees for a low. Downtown! Ugh, gusty winds still up to 38mph. Windchills have hovered around 0.

rocotten: Leesburg's thermometer could have a nearby influential heatsource or building. Or the thermometer could have been installed at a slightly different elevation from surrounding weather stations (standard is 2 meters). So these tiny variables could explain what you are noticing. Unless Leesburg has become more developed & urbanized around the reporting weather station? :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

ThinkSpring, one of my neighbors has lost several sheets of siding due to the wind.

My sump pump outlet seems to be accumulating ice, so I have wrapped it to keep it "warmer" so the water keeps flowing. Cold, windy weather like this is certainly dangerous and damaging.

I like the sun today, but the cold and wind are unbearable. Two and half months until spring......

Posted by: david_in_stafford | January 3, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Felt I would chime-in on the Leesburg temp readings - I too noticed the higher-than-expected numbers for Leesburg many weeks ago. No way Leesburg is routinely warmer than points to the east. I've been ignorning the figures and relying on my own temp guage or the Accuweather website posting for one of the local elementary schools.

Posted by: TerpInTime | January 3, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

...sorry, meant to say Weatherbug site for the local Leesburg area. That website right now is showing 18.2 degrees, my own temp guage reads 23 and the CWG Live Conditions above reads 26 degrees. I'll take the average.

Posted by: TerpInTime | January 3, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm increasingly confident we will see some snow late in the week. It does appear there may be a better chance this is a storm that hits areas to our north harder but with plenty of cold and a vigorous disturbance as modeled it looks like we stand a good shot at seeing something.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Even the tree-climbing feline has given up on going outside.

Posted by: chunche | January 3, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

hey its0ver2, they are nut cases and it needs to run its course. its the church of climatology and there leader is al gore. you have heard of the moonies,Davidian religious sect, the halebop loonys, jim jones etc. the goreys are just followers of the new for profit false prophet. its down right shamefull i say.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | January 3, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

CWG what are you thinking for the late week storm; 3"-6"? In addition, what's the timing and duration of the storm looking like?

Posted by: snowlover | January 3, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I hear that if this storm pans out that the ratios may be 20:1 to 30:1. SLCB coming this afternoon?!?!?!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

@snowlover and stinkerflat1

We post an SLCB as soon as we think there is at least a 30% chance of at least an inch of snow. We're probably getting close to that point, but not there yet. If the set up continues to look good will probably go up then...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

A Friday storm would be rather ill-timed for my VIP Dance Jan. 8 at the Elks Lodge...but they DO tend to cancel if the weather gets bad. Gottaswing doesn't cancel their Tuesday night dances at the Clarendon Ballroom even for ice storms, since the Clarendon Ballroom doesn't care for weather cancellations. They even held a dance that evening in February a year or two ago when the "Mixing Bowl" overpasses iced over...though the crowd was sparse. This Tuesday, there's no dance at the Clarendon Ballroom, but I have dances tomorrow night and Friday. Right now weather seems to be less of a threat to my dance attendance than John Catoe & his Metro service cuts. It takes quite a while to get home from Friendship Heights when I leave after 10 PM when the trains are running thirty minutes apart.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 3, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Still liking the 7th, potentially. Still a negative NAO and overwhelming cold air present. This time the problem might be that the cold high is too strong and it remains a purely Southern snow. It will be a fun week to model watch. 13.3 degress this morning in Darnestown, yikes!

Posted by: curtmccormick | January 3, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

All pray at the altar of Al Gore. Hail the Goracle! Unlike the oracle at Delphi the Goracle resides in a 10000 sq ft+ house, travel by limo and private plane. Thank God the Supremes had some common sense and gave the presidency to a man who could throw out a first pitch. The Goracle couldn't throw the ball over home plate with an assist from the gods.

You all don't know what cold is it was 4 degrees out here and the wind was howling at 0635hrs as I went out to check on my pregnant ewes and lambs. My livestock guardian dogs love this weather and stayed outside in their dog houses when not patrolling. They have gotten 3 coyotes since Christmas. Recorded several wind gust in the last 36hrs of 50mph+.

All hail the Goracle and his followers for they are right! So says the MSM and the WP!

Posted by: vaherder | January 3, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

>Can't imagine what it is like for birds this morning!

I can ... they were out foraging, in protected areas, trying to find food. I also came across a large group of ducks and geese along the Potomac that were huddled in a protected area, not doing anything besides floating.

Posted by: Murre | January 3, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, 38F on Thursday? Where's the bikini?

Posted by: chunche | January 3, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I am hoping to see another big snowstorm since I missed the December 19th snowstorm!!! I was so *bummed out* about that fabulous snowstorm-- all of my DC friends were tormenting me with the snow pictures sent from their cellphones! But I got my revenge-- pictures of a pink sunset at a beach with me in a tank-top and shorts. >:-)
I flew out to San Diego two days prior-- good timing because if I stay longer, my flight would have been cancelled!
Back to the snow-- keep us posted about the snow later this week! I will be back in town this Wednesday, all raging up for some fun in the snow!

Posted by: SanDieganLostinDC | January 3, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

25.5 in Sterling with a painful wind. Grab your car doors when you open them!

Anyone know if there's ice on the Potomac?

Posted by: Sterlingva | January 3, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I have been outside in this weather since roughly 4:30 this morning. What was I doing out all day in this weather? I was counting birds. As of 4 PM I have counted over 4,000 individuals in over 60 species. Some of the time was tough, what with the wind in my face and the smart birds hunkered down where they were warm and hard to see. Parts of the Potomac do have some ice but we need a few more days of below freezing weather to start to get real ice patches on the river. The river is where I had over 2000 of the birds I have seen. Even had a Bald Eagle catch and eat a Coot! Ugly but cool to see.
Looking forward to some snow late next week!

Posted by: pjdunn1 | January 3, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Forecasted temps in the teens is "chilly"? Hmpf. We're not in anchorage here. I'd say that temps in the teens are at least "cold" maybe even "frigid".

@Stirlingva - I drove past the potomac yesterday morning, and I didn't see any ice, even at the edges. Might be some in places, but overall it seems to be clear.

Posted by: debiguity | January 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Sterling, I don't know about the Potomac but some of the bays and inlets near the bay bridge have some ice. In fact, the marina on the right hand side of the bridge heading towards the eastern shore had some pretty extensive ice cover today.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe I am going to Tahoe tomorrow and it is going to be warmer there than here!!!

I look forward to the forecast for Friday since that is when I am returning. I blew a rear tire on 29 Thursday and have been driving with a donut until the replacement can arrive, which means when I return from Tahoe, I will still have the donut...which makes me worry about any snow, much less a lot of snow.

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | January 3, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm neither a climate-warming advocate or one in denial, but, if you look at the facts, over and above the rhetoric, it's getting harder and harder for the classic Al-Gore supporters and "Greenhouse-Warming" advocates to make their case. The current bitter-cold weather over most of North America, the fact that most of 2009 was below normal, temperature-wise, three huge December blizzards in a row (one here, one in the Plains, and one in New England/Canadian maritimes). And, of course, the E-Mails that exposed the corruption and cover-ups on the parts of a number of Greenhouse-warming advocates. The shrinking of the polar ice cap (and its effect on polar bears)is being matched by an equal if not greater expansion of the Antartic ice/snow-pack. Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder for Gore & Co., and conventions like the recent one at Copenhagen, to make a credible case. I say this not as a global warming "denialist" myself, but simply at someone who is looking at the facts.

Back to the current issue, while I agree the winds may die down a little tomorrow, I'm not expecting much improvement......the storm over the NE is still quite strong, and the center of the cold arctic high over Ontario is still a long way off (and doesn't appear to be moving very rapidly).

And there may be a reason why it is not moving rapidly. This whole system is showing some preliminary signs of a classic Omega block....a big low/trough over the extreme west (Pacific Coast), a big high/ridge over the middle of the continent (Ontario), and, of course, the big low/trough over the NE. The sharply amplified polar jet also shows a strong similarity to the classic cold pattern of January 1977 (I'm sure some of you old-timers, like me, will remember that), where it runs clear up to Alaska/Yukon, drops like a rock East of the Rockies all the way down to Florida, and brings severe cold even to the Gulf Coast.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | January 3, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

According to my weather monitor, our overnight low last night was 6.4F here on the Blue Ridge east of Front Royal. Currently 13.6

Got some new snow tires today for the Subaru.

Posted by: spgass1 | January 3, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Sterlingva: There is ice in my slip at the marina on the Potomac, just south of Reagan National Airport. The 'bubbler' on my dock had failed overnight; I'm told it's working but I'm still worried. Water depth is 10'-12' there, and even with this wind it iced up.

This is indeed too much wind. The lines on my boat are holding, but they're taking a severe beating with the wind jerking the boat around in her slip. I wanted to double them up, but the wind was so violent that I did not think I could do the job fast enough to keep from freezing. Marina staff were worried about me getting blown off the dock in a gust - for real. I saw the birds on the river too, huddled together on shoals exposed by the wind literally blowing the water out of the little cove by the marina.

Posted by: --sg | January 3, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap, the winds are picking up even more! It's 19 and these winds must be gusting over 20 mph. How long is this gonna go one????!!!!

Posted by: weathergrrl | January 3, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

@ Brian: Interesting about the ice on the bay. I assumed the salt content of the water would inhibit freezing, but I guess it's more fresh up near the bridge.

I always look forward to the ice chunks floating down the river; it makes for some really nice pictures and sights. We just need the winds to die down, some cold nights, and some more January.

22.2 with continued breezes attm.

Posted by: Sterlingva | January 3, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing compared to what -sg talked about, but I was sitting at a traffic light earlier today and I was certain that the lights would fall off their wires and onto our cars; they were just blowing around so crazily that it seemed possible.

Posted by: natsncats | January 3, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Brutal cold and winds out there. We've lost shingles and neighbor has lost his fence. Once again, winter causes damage. I hate all of it.

Because we've never had damaging winds during other seasons around here.


Posted by: mason08 | January 3, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

ThinkSpring, maybe it's already been asked and I haven't seen it, but I have to ask the obvious question ...

If you hate the winter season and the weather it tends to bring to this area so much, why are you living here? Maybe it's time to consider a move to the southwestern U.S. or maybe southern Florida?

Posted by: joshnva | January 3, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

weathergrrl, hey! Yes, still brutal here in downtown NW dc, too. 21 with gusts to 28mph = 3 degree windchill. ugh!! It just doesn't stop.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 4, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

00Z GFS looks horrible for the Friday snow event guys =/

Posted by: HomantheSnowman | January 4, 2010 4:01 AM | Report abuse

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