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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 01/13/2010

Forecast: The warm-up we've been waiting for

By Dan Stillman

Storm could disrupt second half of MLK weekend

* A virtual tour of the cold | Canaan Valley's incredible snow cover *
* 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.
6Let the defrosting begin: Some sun as highs finally approach average.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Partly sunny. Upper 30s to near 40. | Tonight: Mostly clear. Upper teens to mid-20s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Mid-40s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


It won't be terribly impressive today. By tomorrow and especially Friday and Saturday, however, our January thaw will be in full gear. Granted, we won't be seeing the 60s and 70s brought by some January thaws (for example, D.C.'s record high for today is 75, set in 1932). But given the longevity of our cold snap, I imagine many will welcome highs in the 40s to near 50 with open arms. The chance to defrost lasts into Saturday, before a storm threatens some sort of precipitation Sunday into early Monday.

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): Winds won't be too strong (around 10 mph) and the change in their direction may not sound so significant -- shifting from out of the northwest yesterday to out of the west today. But the warmer direction means that we're finally starting to emerge from this stubborn stretch of cold. The recovery begins today with partly sunny skies helping highs to the upper 30s to near 40. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Despite today's slightly warmer afternoon highs, mostly clear skies and light winds will still allow temperatures to drop considerably tonight, with lows in the low-to-mid 20s, maybe some upper teens in outlying spots. Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow (Thursday): Temperatures finally get back to around or just above average, with highs likely in the mid-40s for the first time since Jan. 1. Mostly sunny skies will make the warm-up feel all the much better. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Partly to mostly clear and noticeably warmer than recent nights with lows in the mid-20s to low 30s. Confidence: High


Give it up for Mother Nature everybody... Friday and Saturday should be partly to mostly sunny with highs shooting for the upper 40s to low 50s. Not exactly spring fever, but comfortable enough. Friday night and Saturday night lows settle in the not-too-chilly upper 20s (coolest suburbs) to low-to-mid 30s (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

A storm could come up from the south and bring a good deal of precipitation to the area Sunday into early Monday. Computer models have been all over the place in terms of storm track and thus precipitation type, though the latest data has trended toward a rainier scenario as opposed to snow or ice. Highs could be anywhere from the mid-30s to the mid-40s depending on what the storm does. Confidence: Low

By Dan Stillman  | January 13, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Still chilly, but headed warmer
Next: Ann in Antarctica: Stuck at the South Pole


It sure is nice to see early morning temps in the higher twenties instead of the lower teens :-)

Posted by: natsncats | January 13, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the January thaw! A nice change, even for this snow lover...but so too will be the inevitable return to snow, after all - it IS winter. We should embrace whatever Mother Nature brings our way, it's not "one or the other."

Models trending warmer for this weekend's event, I agree. Does this suggest we can/should look for models to trend warmer for future potential storms as they get closer, at least in the current pattern?

PS At home, Mac the Dog votes "keep the snow and cold."

Posted by: curtmccormick | January 13, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

'Love the less formal more "folksy" wording of your daily forecasts. I REALLY ENJOY reading the weathergangs' predictions every day.

Posted by: themomto2 | January 13, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

As I said yesterday, we're only halfway through meteorological winter. We will likely see cold weather before it all ends in March [Punxsawtawney Phil to the contrary].

Since our big event of the winter generally happens on or just before Presidents' Day, we've still got a ways to go. Whether it will be bigger this year than the December blizzard is a debatable matter at present. Frankly I'd be surprised if it stays like spring the rest of the winter [and blaming the El Nino for it!].

At any rate, present indications are that the storm this weekend will chiefly be rain. We've been always on the rain/snow line for this one, even when it first popped up on the models.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 13, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The thaw has apparently already broken all the local reporting stations thermometers. Getting "Not available" on the NWS Obs page.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 13, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the kind words.


Yep... noticed that too.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 13, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I work outside, and during the winter, live for days like tomorrow. That is, you've had a cold stretch), then you get temps in the high 40s or low 50s with sunny skies and no wind.

Oh man, do I plan to soak it all up tomorrow!!

Posted by: jaybird926 | January 13, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm voting for an early spring. I don't care if I see another flake of snow this winter. I will savor this respite from winter for as long as it lasts. It will be interesting to see how long the cold air can be held back to the north.

Posted by: soyboy99 | January 14, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe that anyone would complain about the snow that we've received so far. Bring the cold back, and bring the snow on!

Posted by: TheAnalyst | January 14, 2010 3:08 AM | Report abuse

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