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Posted at 8:40 AM ET, 03/ 4/2010

Forecast: A couple cool days before the warm-up

By Jason Samenow

Hint of spring in the air this weekend

* Snow season over? | Varying predictability of snow | CWG T-Shirts! *
* Outside now? Radar, webcam & more: Weather Wall *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
4Some sun but still kinda raw.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Partly sunny, breezy. 41-45. | Tonight: Partly cloudy and breezy. 28-32. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, still breezy. 44-48. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


By David Streit*, CWG Meteorologist

Today we will still be dealing with the cool and breezy aftermath of the little coastal system that essentially blanked us in the snow department. It is all uphill from here, though. By Saturday and especially Sunday, spring fever will be in full gear. Parks will be full of people and pets, all happy to have days finally breaking through the 50-degree barrier that has been in place since late January -- never mind the nasty snow piles.

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 (Thursday): Skies start partly to mostly sunny through at least much of the morning. The morning heating could set off enough instability to grow some more in the way of clouds during the afternoon. Highs should be in the low-to-mid 40s with winds from the north at 10 to 15 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: The winds will only lighten slightly overnight under partly cloudy skies. Breezes from the north of 6 to 12 mph should help to keep temperatures from dropping too much overnight with lows in the upper 20s to the low-to-mid 30s (downtown). Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through Monday....

Tomorrow (Friday): Skies should be mainly sunny again to start. But some clouds may spring up midday as temperatures warm nicely to the mid-to-upper 40s. That's still cooler than average. Winds will still be a brisk 10 to 15 mph from the north. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: It will be a mostly clear night. As winds lighten up overnight, colder suburbs will fall to the lower 20s while downtown drops to near 30. Confidence: High


The moderation trend continues Saturday with mostly sunny skies, only light breezes and highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s. This is courtesy of a surface high pressure system that will dominate through Monday. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday will be a little cool to start out but then mild as readings climb from the upper 20s to lower 30s to the mid-to-upper 50s. Skies will be mostly sunny and winds will be light. It will be a great day to get outdoors. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday will start out warmer with morning lows in the low-to-mid 30s, but highs may come up a little short of Sunday's, topping out in the low-to-mid 50s as some clouds are likely to interfere with daytime warming. This is due to a disturbance passing north of the area. Precipitation chances with this system are minimal. Confidence: Medium

Behind the disturbance, cooler air will filter in potentially bringing a return of more winter-like temperatures midweek

*David Streit is a senior meteorologist with Commodity Weather Group, LLC, in Bethesda, Md., and a recent addition to the Capital Weather Gang.

By Jason Samenow  | March 4, 2010; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Believe it or not, D.C.'s is a climate to relish


Oh, I hate to point this out, but the sun "peeks" it doesn't "peak".

Looking forward to the weekend!

Posted by: jimfergusonj | March 4, 2010 5:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm putting my snow boots away. ; ((

One CWG member mentioned the possibility of back-to-back El Nino winters. Based on memory and snowfall records, this happened in 1977-78, 1978-79, and 1979-80.

So, I'm gonna' oil the boots and hope they get a good workout next year.

The ice cube tray thing was good for about an hour's worth of flakes on Tuesday night. Maybe one needs to empty a 20-lb. bag of ice to get really effective results.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | March 4, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I immediately envisioned the sun climbing a mountain to "peak." Thankfully it will "peek" through the clouds to my overly vigilant proofreading self. Come on spring! Thanks for making my morning CWG!

Posted by: esmerelda123 | March 4, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Here's a link for Walter...,2933,587931,00.html?test=latestnews

Be careful! :)

Posted by: ladderlassie | March 4, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

*Sigh* it was a much better winter than in recent memory. I would love one more crack at some decent snow though!

But, if we're going to get into Spring, then let's go! None of the usual March cold rain, biting wind nonsense....

Posted by: DaveB2 | March 4, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, if the sun peaks, then the Post/Weathergang is plumbing new lows in copy editing and literacy......

Posted by: IluvUSA | March 4, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I just read CWG's Ranking the Local Forecasters, posted in January 2008 (

Since Bob Ryan has left WRC, maybe this could be updated at some point this year?

Louis Allen's name was mentioned in the comments section. I remember him; he was a great forecaster on WTOP (now WUSA). Another very good WTOP weather forecaster: Gordon Barnes. Very no-nonsense. He eventually went to WFLA in Tampa, where I grew up and where the weather is mostly hot and hotter.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | March 4, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Quite a bit colder this morning than the last two mornings!

Posted by: mmurphy70 | March 4, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Well my prediction was for one last blizzard the 2nd week in march....with the temps this weekend being in the mid 50's I am loosing hope fast!

I did however get excited when Jerry mentioned that there is a possibility of a repeat winter next winter.....STICK AROUND NINO!!

Posted by: akamrspris | March 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse


omg! that is too funny. it's like an article in "the onion"...

you know, when i saw the clothes on it, my first reaction was "oh no...that's gonna cause it to melt unevenly!" i'd have made the bra and undies out of snow.

somebody complained....sheesh... venus de milo is pretty tame. people have sent me some pretty, shall we say, baudy snow sculptures - my favorite is constructed on the hood of a car in what looks to be a college or apartment parking lot and depicts a coed couple "really enjoying themselves"...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 4, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

i'd say the sun sure appears to "peak"...once a day...and/or once a year, but that's really just a product of our frame of reference.

a few days ago there was the possibility of a mar 13-17ish(?) snow storm. is that gone now? (he asks, afraid of the answer...)

a while back there was a post about the giant snow piles around the area. is anybody really keeping track of that? the winner has got to be a pile that's mostly shaded somehow.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 4, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Walter, Accuweather's Henry Margusity still thinks there's a good chance of a wet snowstorm next Tuesday/Wednesday.

It's kind of funny that I never used to check much, but reading the attacks on Accuweather made me check out their site and I actually think they're pretty good. The attacks backfired. My personal preference would be to read articles rather than watch videos, but Henry's aren't too bad.

Posted by: spgass1 | March 4, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@akamrspris, re: successive El Nino years, I was parroting back something CWG wrote last week, I think, about these events occuring in the 1970s. The winters from 1977-78 through 1979-80 stick out in my mind because there really was a lot of snow during this period. I recall going up to Big Meadows in January 1978 and the snow accumulation was very similar to what we had here after the twin blizzards last month.

Boston and NYC got clobbered by two big snows in Jan-Feb '78 We got some snow, but not a lot, although it did snow in D.C. on the night of the State of the Union address in Jan. 1978.

I don't know if 1976-77 was an El Nino winter. Just know it was cold and colder. The only time I've ever been able to walk across the Potomac River, south of the Lincoln Memorial Bridge was just before Jimmy Carter's inauguration. There were hundreds of people out on the river ice skating, walking, etc. But I don't think the NPS has allowed this since 1977.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | March 4, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

he says the big deal is the one on the 16/17th! loves that 300-hr model! what can i say...he says that's a particularly accurate time range?!...ha!....hope he's right...but i'd like to see that stats on THAT!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 4, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

DaveB2, I'm with you...let's keep this raw crud to a minimum & go with bright fifties/sixties during the day...yesterday with its raw wetness was absolutely ATROCIOUS...I'm still wondering why it didn't taper off or change to snow!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

bombo47.....I have to agree. That raw cold and mist/drizzle yesterday was just awful. It must have been difficult to keep aircraft de-iced, especially at the lower altitudes where most of the moisture was.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 4, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1: 1976-77 was not an El Nino winter, like 77-78. No, the BiCentennial winter was just an enormous, super-high-amplitude West-Coast ridge and ultra-deep East Coast trough (with a big upper-vortex over Eastern Canada). This pattern was extreme, remarkably persistant (it did not break down from September until late January), and, for sheer amplitude, I've never seen anything like it before or since. The ridge covered the whole West Coast up to Arctic Alaska. Barrow, normally far below zero, had January temperatures in the 40s. All of Western North America was warm and had a very serious drought, as no Pacific storms could get anywhere near close to land.

Meanwhile, the even more impressive East Coast trough brought -60 temperatures to parts of the Northern states and zero temperatures even to the Gulf Coast. A January 19, 1977 cold front brought snow squalls to the Miami/West Palm Beach area (Miami had never recorded snow before) and a rain-snow mix to the Bahamas. Truly had to go clear to South America to find any real warm air, or temps that weren't way below average.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 4, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1: I'm with you, BTW, on Louis Allen....I remember him well. A great forecaster....and he did a lot of it without the tools forecasters have today.
His weekend assistant, Steve Weiss, also did a good job.

Gordon Barnes was OK but was rather arrogant at times, often criticizing NWS unfairly for things that were not true or beyond their control.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 4, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

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