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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 03/ 1/2010

Forecast: March begins with shot at 50-degree day

By Jason Samenow

Still watching Tuesday night snow chance

* The latest on Tues. night snow potential: Snow Lover's Crystal Ball *
* CWG T-Shirts! | Clouds 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.
7Some sunshine and near 50 -- spring feels closer.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Partly to mostly sunny. Breezy. 47-51. | Tonight: Mostly clear, with increasing high clouds late. 28-34. | Tomorrow: Clouds increase. Chance of rain or snow late in the day. 39-44. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


During February, we only managed 1 50-degree day. We have a good shot at matching that number on March's first day. While today's "warmth" may seem like a sure sign of spring, we sink right back down into the 40s and colder for most of the work week -- not to mention the chance of some snow tomorrow night into Wednesday. Warm weather fans will take heart in the fact a pattern change may bring 50-degree weather with more regularity by the weekend.

Clouds: Latest mid-Atlantic infrared satellite loop, courtesy Unisys. Click here to expand. Refresh page to update. See more maps on our Weather Wall

Today (Monday): We continue under flow from the northwest. During January, that would probably mean highs in the 30s, but with the strength of the March sun, 50 should be within reach today. The complicating factor will be some clouds at times, but we should see enough sun to close-in on 50, especially south of the beltway. If you live in northwest Montgomery county, you'll probably hold in the 40s. Winds will be from the northwest at 10-20 mph with some higher gusts. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: For most of the night, skies will be partly cloudy. We may see some increase in cloud cover towards morning ahead of low pressure moving out of the Gulf of Mexico into the Southeast. Lows will be in the mid-to-upper 20s in the colder suburbs, with low 30s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the week...

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Clouds will increase during the morning, with cloudy skies in the afternoon as low pressure gathers strength off the Southeast coast. There's a slight (20% chance) of light rain or snow late in the afternoon, with highs mostly in the low 40s.Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: We'll have overcast skies with a good (50-60%) chance of some snow north and west of the beltway and snow or rain everywhere else. At this point, little snow accumulation is expected, but see the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for further details. Lows will range from 30-35. Confidence: Medium


A chance (40%) of snow or mixed rain and snow continues Wednesday morning, with precipitation likely tapering off during the afternoon. It will be cold and raw, with highs 35-40. Clearing and cold Wednesday night, with lows in the upper 20s in the suburbs to the low 30s downtown. Confidence: Medium

Chilly flow from the northwest will re-assert itself Thursday and Friday, providing us with partly sunny days with highs in the low-to-mid 40s. Overnight lows will generally be in the mid-20s to low 30s (suburbs to city). Confidence: Medium

Temperatures will moderate for the weekend as high pressure builds into the region. Both days should be partly to mostly sunny, with highs 45-50 on Saturday, and 50-55 by Sunday. Lows will range from the upper 20s in the colder suburbs to the mid-30s downtown. Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | March 1, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tues. night snow chances remain suspect
Next: Under-the-radar goodbye for Bob Ryan at 4


Welcome meteorological spring!!! Woo-hoo!

Very excited about the possible pattern change later this week and more normal temps. Maybe old man winter is taking the last gasps this week.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 1, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the storm has not yet crossed the Mississippi River and some of us have already accepted that the storm will be a near miss. The Low will be so close that I would be very reluctant to make that call right now. Models are great and I love looking at them whether they be weather, financial, or human but the first two are never the finale word. The actual event is. Often it seems that weather forecasters are so caught up in modeling that they forget to look outside. The southern storm that came north this year is an example. The NWS and other outlets seemed to almost have to open a window and look up before that forecast was changed because the models kept indicating that the storm would "just bush us" where instead, it snowed all the way to South Jersey. The CWG seems to be catching a lot of flack the last couple of days for being 50/50 about this coming event (or 45/65) but who can blame them. If a forecaster predicts snow, then a lot of people freak out but then get mad if it does not. However, if a forecaster does not predict snow and it does, then people get mad and accuse the forecaster of incompetence. What a crazy, stressful job it must be. So if you are a snow lover, don't despair. It still very well may. If you are a snow hater, then there appears to be a better than 50% chance that we are just going to have a cloudy day. Good news for both camps! Unfortunately, I think we are all going to have to wait another 18 hours to find out for sure.

That is my weather rant for Monday March 1st, 2010.

BTW, is it time for the 06Z yet?

Posted by: ntrlsol | March 1, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Right on ntrlsol well put

Posted by: snowlover31 | March 1, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

I need to travel up to NE PA tomorrow night into we'd
for a funeral. Do you know if the storm
is going to affect that area more strongly than down here? I can deal with a few snow showers but full on snow in the mountains of the poconos is a different story

Posted by: paul-Sterling | March 1, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Good grief. Does anybody know ANYTHING when it comes to the weather?

Posted by: FridayKnight | March 1, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse


Don't expect major issues in the Poconos Tuesday night. Maybe some scattered snow showers. Bulk of the storm should stay to the southeast.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Yes Friday Knight they do. As a matter of fact, civilians probably have too much information now. Back in the day when we received our weather updates by dialing 202-936-1212, the forecast would probably be "Tuesday-Wednesday, a chance of Snow". That would have been enough to get us all excited.

Posted by: ntrlsol | March 1, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

There is some chatter on easternuswx about the new NAM running more north and west. Anyone else following this and whether it impacts us more?

Posted by: schrute | March 1, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't know. Let see if the Low moves across the Fla Panhandle or if it turns a little to the north. Remember, the NWS had us under a Winter Storm Watch last Monday (which may have been warranted at the time) but ultimately, no snow here. Point is that things change and I am not giving up on snow until it is more than obvious that the Low is moving out to the northeast.

Posted by: ntrlsol | March 1, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Re: this storm. Simply look to the north. As long as that low spins away up there, it's gonna block the southern storm. And looking at the radar it's doing just that. In fact, it appears to be retrograding back to the south and west slightly.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 1, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Looks more north, but not enough. CWG looks to be spot on with this storm.

Posted by: Tom8 | March 1, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to March, snowlovers! It's only getting WARMER and the days are getting LONGER from here on out, sun higher in the sky each and every day. Sunshine and blue skies for the win!

Posted by: nocando | March 1, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I see that NE storm but I believe this is more of an issue of non phasing of the storm from the Gulf (although I guess you could argue it is all related). However if the New England storm did not exist, would that result in the Gulf Low moving up the coast and intensifying off the Virginia Capes? I don't know. If I was a real weather forecaster, I certainly would not predict a Mid Atlantic Snow Tuesday night but since I am not, I am waiting to see what happens.

Posted by: ntrlsol | March 1, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Nitrsol-I would agree with you that models may not exactly capture what an incoming system will do, particularly several days out. But as we get 24-36 hours out, I think generally they are pretty accurate. I also would think that if this system were to bring us more that a dusting or and inch or two, we would be hearing about it from at least one outlet. But I don't know of any predicting that at this point. So either they are all going to have egg on their face, or this system just won't affect this area that much...

Posted by: steske | March 1, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

One problem with the snow forecast...Highs Wednesday are being moved up from the thirties into the Boring Forties...enough to change this into another boring old raw rain event...what an awful way to end such a splendid winter...just like it to deny me my Bonus Snow!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 1, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Can you say more about the warmup that is coming this weekend? Is it a permanent shift, or only brief with more cold to follow? I have heard that temps may be substantially above normal beginning the third week of the month?

Posted by: steske | March 1, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Not looking for eggs (LOL) but I am extremely interested how the GFS (and to a lesser extent the NAM) preformed over the past winter. Fortunately, other colleges are collecting that data for me.

Posted by: ntrlsol | March 1, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Colleagues not college. God, I need sleep.

Posted by: ntrlsol | March 1, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse


Both climatology and model forecasts for a pattern change (to more zonal, i.e. west to east, rather than from the northwest) make me fairly confident we'll be seeing consistently warmer weather starting this weekend. Having said that, there can be short term hiccups in March, but the calendar is your friend if you're tired of cold weather.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

A note on snowfall at Reagan National and Dulles International during the 2009-2010 meteorological (December, January, and February) winter: Snowfall at Reagan exceeded the previous Washington, DC meteorological winter record by almost a foot (56.0 inches vs 45.1 inches during 1898-99) and snowfall at Dulles exceeded its previous meteorological winter record by almost two feet (73.2 inches vs. 49.8 inches during 1995-96.)

Posted by: rodneysmall | March 1, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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