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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/22/2010

Forecast: Back to reality - wet and not as warm

By Jason Samenow

Some nice days again midweek

* For the NWS weather crew, a season to remember*
* CWG T-Shirts | Radar, temps and more: Weather Wall | Get There *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
4Though still warm, the clouds, the showers, and return to work make it a sub-par day.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Showers likely, isolated thunder, breezy and mild. 62-66. | Tonight: Intermittent showers, turning cooler. 42-46. | Tomorrow: Variably cloudy and cool, chance of showers. 50-55. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


The awesome stretch of weather -- four straight days of sunny 70s -- is over. Now we deal with two unsettled days featuring occasional showers and gradually cooler temperatures. On the plus side, we're not talking about steady rains or persistent cold. In fact, by midweek, the sun will return in full force and we'll be back up into the 60s. The late-week period is more uncertain as cold air lurks to the north while some storminess develops to the southwest.

Radar: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation over past three hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Monday): As low pressure moves through the region today, expect periodic showers. It won't rain all day, but there may be some brief downpours and even the rumble of thunder, especially this afternoon. Rainfall potential is around 0.5". For the 18th straight day, temperatures will be warmer than normal (though not as warm as the last several days) -- climbing to highs in the mid-60s on winds from the south and southeast (at 10-15 mph). Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Not expecting a lot of rain tonight, as the low pressure will have moved on to the northeast. I'll keep a 20-30% chance of showers in the forecast, mainly before midnight. It will gradually turn cooler, with lows in the low-to-mid 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the week...

Tomorrow (Tuesday): An upper-level disturbance (following today's surface low pressure) will pass through the region, making for a second straight unsettled day. A pool of cold air associated with this disturbance means cooler highs -- mainly from 50-55. The disturbance also will bring cloudy skies at times and a moderate chance of showers (40-50%) -- especially late morning through mid-afternoon. Winds will be from the west around 10 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Skies will steadily clear as the upper-level disturbance pulls away. It will be a chilly night, with lows ranging from the upper 30s in the cooler suburbs to the low 40s downtown. Winds will be from the west around 10-15 mph. Confidence: Medium-High


Sunshine returns in full force for Wednesday and Thursday with seasonably mild temperatures. High both days should be in the low-to-mid 60s. Clear and a little crisp Wednesday night, with lows from the mid-30s in the colder suburbs to the lows 40s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

The period spanning Thursday night through Friday night will likely be cloudy, damp and chilly. A strong cold air mass to the north will seep southward while low pressure approaches from the southwest. On Friday, we may have some occasional light rain with highs in the 50s (probably the low 50s). Periods of light rain may continue Friday night with temperatures dropping through the 40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

As of now, some clearing looks to occur early Saturday, allowing for a partly to mostly sunny weekend. Saturday afternoon may be a little brisk, with highs 55-60. Clear and cool Saturday night, with lows 36-45 (suburbs-city). On Sunday, at least partly sunny skies seem like a decent possibility at this point (clouds may increase late in the day ahead of the next storm system) with highs in the low 60s. Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | March 22, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Watching the weather models: Precipitation


Why is wet weather "reality?"

We're not Seattle :-)

Posted by: jaybird926 | March 22, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse


Sunny and 75 in late March isn't typical-- and we'll have the more customary mix of rainy days, some sunny days in the 60s and some cool days this week... hence the "back to reality" reference.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 22, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Do you think it's safe to turn on hose bibs, or is there still a chance of a below-freezing night?

Posted by: AJinDC1 | March 22, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

What an INCREDIBLE weekend! That's why I love spring. Spent all weekend outdoors getting fresh air. Was funny the number of complete strangers who wanted to talk about how happy they were winter was over.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 22, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@AJinDC1 -

I turned my hose bibs on this weekend. While we could see a frost in the next couple of weeks, it won't stay cold long enough to cause any problems with the bibs.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 22, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Heard the first rumble of thunder of the Spring here in McLean.

Posted by: dcawx | March 22, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Couple of downpours here, but no thunder recorded thus far.

Vaisala, etc. indicate lightning in general area.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 22, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Outdoor water fountains were still OFF in Arlington County parks yesterday. Usually you have to wait until April.

There's also still a relatively large--and DIRTY--snow pile still melting near the Bluemont parking lot--vicinity of the Reevesland house!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 22, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Unless I am hearing something else, I think I just heard thunder in the Union Station area . . .

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | March 22, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

My dog definitely heard thunder near Union Station.

She dove for cover under a table.

Posted by: DagnyT | March 22, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Thunderstorms now evident along West Columbia Pike. Radar appears to show the convective cells along the south edge of this northward-moving rain field.

Sky might lighten up or clear after these cells pass. More rain/thunder this afternoon?

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly, not too long ago NEXRAD picked up a vortex signature for the cell currently over Dumfries. It appears to have weakened a good bit since then, but it still shows that this system has some punch.

Posted by: ParkerGP | March 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Torrential downpour right now - Is the rain just striking really hard, or am I hearing hail mixed in?

Posted by: crunchyfrog | March 22, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Current conditions in Burke: 58.8 and drizzling.

I just heard thunder and saw some flashes, followed by a torrential downpour coupled with bits of hail.

Posted by: Yellowboy | March 22, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Serious thunder in Columbia, MD.

Posted by: mickb1 | March 22, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

64F downtown. No thunder here since this morning. But my allergies are much better with this rain & humidity!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 22, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

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