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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 01/15/2010

Forecast: The thaw continues, then Sunday rain

By Camden Walker

Temperatures aim for 50s today; little cooler tomorrow

* What makes a big snowstorm a blizzard? | Ann at the South Pole *
* Outside now? Temps, clouds & more: Weather Wall *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
7Will feel very comfortable, but not quite as much sun as Thursday.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Partly sunny & mild. Near 50 to mid-50s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. Upper 20s to low 30s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny a.m. Increasing p.m. clouds. Mid-40s to near 50. | Sunday: Rain. Mid-30s to near 40. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


We hit 50 yesterday (at Reagan National Airport) for the first time since Dec. 26 and could do it again today. Temperatures stay above average into early next week -- by then, maybe our memories of highs struggling to get above freezing will start fading just a bit -- except for a brief but rain-chilled setback on Sunday. Fortunately, the rain should clear out in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Webcam: Latest view of D.C. from the Netherlands Carillon at Arlington National Cemetery. Courtesy National Park Service. Refresh page to update. See this image bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Friday): Our warm-ish temperatures continue with partly sunny skies. How high the mercury goes depends on the clouds. The less clouds we see, the more likely we'll make the low-to-mid 50s. Too many clouds and maybe only near 50. Either way, a nice day to get outside! Winds will be fairly light, out of the west. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Partly cloudy with a light wind from the northwest. By dawn, temperatures cool off to the low 30s in town with upper 20s possible outside the Beltway. Confidence: High

When does the rain come? Keep reading for the forecast into next week...

Tomorrow (Saturday): Mostly sunny through much of the day and still on the mild side with highs in the mid-40s to near 50 and light winds. I'll take it! As our Sunday storm system approaches the region, some high clouds are likely to stream overhead during the afternoon. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: We should stay dry through the evening, so your Saturday night plans should be safe. All bets are off after midnight, though, as rain approaches and eventually moves in from the southwest. Lows in the mid-30s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: Rain and more rain. Perhaps an inch or so. It'll be breezy at times with chilly highs in the mid-30s to near 40. Chance of rain is close to 100 percent, so make your indoor plans now. Or get the umbrellas and rain gear ready if you'll need to go outside. Confidence: Medium-High


The rain should taper Sunday night, though damp, cloudy and breezy conditions likely remain through the night with lows in the mid-30s. Ick. Confidence: Medium

Sunshine is expected to increase for Martin Luther King Jr. Day before clouds possibly increase again for Tuesday. We'll avoid the chilly stuff, at least for the time being, as highs both days head for the mid-40s to near 50. Confidence: Medium

By Camden Walker  | January 15, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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aaarrghhh! we've had a solid 1-1/2 weeks with nice cold temps and no precip., then once it warms up....rain....

CWG, when will winter resume? i.e., how long will this horrible "warm snap" last?when is our next confluence of cold and precip.?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 15, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, while sunshine would be great, I love to see the rain too, it can wash away the rest of the snow and salt (bummer it's on a weekend though, unless you work outside for a living during the week). Sorry Walter, I don't care if I see another flake of snow all winter and the warmer the better.

Posted by: soyboy99 | January 15, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

i've wondered how god deals with conflicting weather-request prayers. i imagine just before and during a snowstorm he's recieving lots of conflicting prayers.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 15, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch, If it makes you feel any better, even places like Boston will be seeing only rain (not snow) out of this system. I think colder temperatures, and the potential for snowfall, will return in the last few days of January into February...

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

We were warm last night (low 32.5 at 1850 ft)...

What do you think of the GFS run with some cold air on the back end of the storm? Nothing to get excited about?

Posted by: spgass1 | January 15, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

spgass1, i wouldn't get too excited. that is a classic GFS "favorite" aspect to storms that doesn't always exist behind them. Likely overblown.. sorry

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

CWG - Question re: GFS

I've read here and on other forums of a possible cold "bias" in the GFS models. As Camden says above, sometimes it's on the tail end. There also appears to be possible cold bias in the long-range GFS models as well.

Is this the case, and, if so, isn't this something that should be corrected?

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 15, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

What mystifies me is ALL RAIN on Sunday with temperatures running no higher than forty.

Quite often in such situations we get periods of ice pellets and snow which start mixing in with the rain. Generally there's no ground accumulation.

In addition you said that Boston is getting mainly rain out of this. Does this mean that temperatures at the 850 mb. level are running as high as the mid-forties?

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 15, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Bombo!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse


850s may be as high as the mid-40s if the low cuts as far west as the latest GFS suggests. Up near Boston, it will be closer to freezing, but enough above to probably be all rain for them too.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

josh - CWG,
thanks...oh well...seems like a waste of january to me.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 15, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey "Soyboy" AKA The Snowgrinch, you're spoiling our snow chances with your bad vibes. Please take a hiatus from such, and move to Florida (Where I'm sure they'll aptly appreciate it) lol. :-p

Posted by: TheAnalyst | January 15, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what he said.

Posted by: manassasmissy | January 15, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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