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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 10/20/2010

Forecast: Some a.m. rain south, sunnier tomorrow

By Dan Stillman

Suburbs have a late-week shot at lows in the 30s

* Familiar fall scene | Global warming poll cause for despair? *
* Outside now? Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall *

Originally posted at 5:00 a.m., updated at 9:50 a.m.

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Today: Chance of a.m. rain. (mainly south). Brightening p.m. skies. Upper 50s to mid-60s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. 40s to near 50. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny. Upper 60s to near 70. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


With less than two weeks 'til Halloween, it's about time we get some chillier temperatures. And we'll get just that as the suburbs flirt with lows in the 30s tomorrow night and Friday night. Otherwise, save for a chance of light rain today mainly south of the District, the weather over the next several days is rather nondescript, which poses a bit of a challenge seeing as we're in the business of describing the weather here...

Radar & lightning: Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Wednesday): Yesterday we saw morning showers track mainly north of town. This morning and through around midday, the best chance of rain is south of the District. Cloudy morning skies should brighten during the afternoon from northwest to southeast. Highs probably range from the upper 50s to near 60 south and east of D.C., where cloudy skies linger longest, to as high as the low-to-mid 60s for the northern and western suburbs, where brightening or breaks in the clouds make an earlier showing. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Partly cloudy and seasonal with lows in the 40s (suburbs) to near 50 (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Thursday): Thursday got Matt's vote for best day of the week in his forecast yesterday, and I'm inclined to agree. Highs reach the upper 60s to near 70 under partly sunny skies and with a decent breeze from the west. Just a chance of an isolated afternoon or evening shower as a cold front comes through. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: With mostly clear skies and cooler air flowing in behind the cold front, just about everyone should get down into the 40s for lows, with upper 30s in reach for the outer suburbs. Confidence: Medium-High


Friday is several degrees cooler but still nice, as mostly sunny skies help highs to around the low 60s. Lows are on the chilly side again Friday night -- upper 30s (suburbs) to mid-40s (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

With flow from the southwest developing as high pressure drifts off the coast, Saturday is looking warmer than it was earlier this week. Skies should be mostly sunny as highs aim for the upper 60s to low 70s. Likewise, Saturday night isn't looking as cool as it once did, with lows ranging from the mid-40s in the cooler suburbs to the low-to-mid 50s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Even with the potential for more in the way of clouds, Sunday figures to be at least as warm as Saturday with highs reaching the upper 60s to mid-70s. At this point, I don't think a warm front in our vicinity will produce anything more than the chance of an isolated shower. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Dan Stillman  | October 20, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: House integrity tested with giant wind fans


If you don't mind a nit pick, the headline about "suburbs" is vague.

Is that the Virginia suburbs, Maryland suburbs, or both?

And sorry if it is my ignorance.

Posted by: jaybird926 | October 20, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse


Dan is referring to suburbs generically - both Md. and Va. The bottom line is those suburbs that are normally colder in both Md. and Va. (places like rockville, germantown, gaithersburg, oakton, reston, sterling, manassas, etc) have a chance at some 30s Friday night.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 20, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I was hoping for more rain... the carnival in Laurel is driving me CRAZY, but the stream of constant horrible loudly blasted music turns off when the rain starts...

Posted by: megamuphen | October 20, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Yikes, megamuphen - I don't like the sound of that! Until I saw you wanted more rain, I was about to ask here "Everyone happy that we mostly stayed dry today & avoided steady rain?" :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 20, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

it's pretty gloomy out just south of Alexandria. Look forward to replenishing on some natural vitamin D the next couple of days.

Any idea what kind of weather moves in at the start of next week? I've seen conflicting forecasts of warm and sunny and mild and rainy. Sorry to put you all on the spot. I know transition season is hard to forecast :)

Posted by: meteorolinguist | October 20, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

meteorolinguist, hi there. I need my UV/vitamin D soon too (so as to avoid early-onset S.A.D. haha)... as for start of workweek next week, it is difficult to give you a confident forecast that far out; plus, as you said, the weather pattern is in a seasonal transition since about two weeks ago. Yet I think we have a greater chance of sun on Monday than rain. Sunday night could be our last chance of a shower, with clearing on Monday. These small systems (as they appear now) should move through our area quickly. This is my educated stab at a long-range forecast, take with a grain of salt!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 20, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Since NWS has what they call a quasi-stationary front off to the south, in southern VA, then why are we, at noon, getting a SW wind and a dewpoint of 52 at DCA? That doesn't make sense. A significant wave must have formed on the front, dragging it north of DCA at the surface. Maybe NWS just didn't catch it. That seems to have put us into the warm sector, which could (?) destabilize things this afternoon and maybe give us a rumble or two of thunder....particularly if we get any clearing before the system clear out.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | October 20, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@MMCarhelp, that front is definitely not moving south. Looking at Mosaic Radar, it's looking more and more as if a bit of rain could creep into the area, although the bulk of it is still to the south. Close call, though.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 20, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I think an admission of a "forecast bust" is needed. The opposite of what you said would happen has happened. Instead of AM rain and PM dryness, here in Fairfax County and DC we have had AM dryness and PM rain. And instead of "the best chance of rain is south of the District" it is pouring down rain in the PM.

Posted by: rwalker66 | October 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse


This is a minor bust-- Most of the rain did in fact fall south of DC and in the morning. What came as a surprise is the brief (what will amount to about an hour or two) period of rain early-to-mid afternoon sneaking into Fairfax county and the District on the edge of the exiting precip field.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 20, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Now getting a bit of rain in South Arlington this afternoon. Thought it was supposed to be over by lunch time.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 20, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

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