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Posted at 9:15 AM ET, 10/14/2010

Forecast: Soaking wet with a bit of chill today

By David Streit

Winds howl tonight & tomorrow

* Interview with chaser Reed Timmer | Storm to slam New England *
* Outside now? Radar, temps, clouds & more: Weather Wall *

originally posted at 5:00 a.m., updated at 9:15 a.m.

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.


Pretty miserable by anyone's standards. I give 2 points as worst rains miss morning & afternoon commutes.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Downpours, breezy afternoon. 56-60. | Tonight: Windy, sprinkles. 41-47. | Tomorrow: Gusty winds, a few afternoon showers. 62-67. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A storm takes shape right over the top of us today and its development will be pretty dynamic. Aside from a chilly rain in the metro region, strong thundershowers are likely to be set off to our east as a result. So if you are headed toward the Delmarva be on the look out. On the back side of this storm strong winds funnel into this "pint size" developing nor'easter. There is even a chance for a few wet snowflakes in the West Virginia highlands Friday morning. The storm quickly pulls away on Saturday, leaving us with a delightful weekend.

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 (Thursday): Sprinkles and showers are the feature for early commuters. Make sure your headlights are on as dawn is growing later and the clouds are growing thicker. Later in the commute, rains pick up and some heavy downpours are possible. Don't be surprised if you hear a clap of thunder. The showers become more intermittent in the afternoon but a downpour or two is still possible. Many spots are expected to pick up an inch. Breezes from the east at 5 to 10 mph will build and gust as high as 25 mph during downpours. Winds remain strong and shift to come from the west in the afternoon. Temperatures barely move all day with readings in the 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: A few sprinkles are still possible in the evening but don't expect an umbrella to be much help. Winds remain strong from the west at 10 to 15 mph, gusting to 25 mph. Lows fall to the 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through Monday....

Tomorrow (Friday): Clouds break and allow a good deal of sunshine in the morning as winds remain brisk. Clouds build up quickly midday and scattered brief showers are quite likely but are only expected to hit the ground in about 40% of the region. As these pass, winds pick up even more from the west at 15 to 25 mph, gusting to 35 mph. Temperatures reach the 60s by noon but get bouncy as the showers move through with wet areas back in the upper 50s. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Skies clear in the evening but winds are slow to relax and readings slip into the 50s by dark, which is now happening by 7 pm. Overnight lows are a chilly low-to-mid 40s range. Confidence: High


Some early color in Reston, Va. last weekend. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Saturday is a big improvement with sunny skies allowing our readings to bounce back up to the 60s by afternoon. Breezes are still noticeable from the west at 10 to 20 mph. The evening is even better as winds finally start to calm down. Jackets are required if you are going to be out long with 50s dominant. Lows reach the lower 40s in the burbs and upper 40s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday is even better and looks like a "nice day" for sure. Light breezes and deep blue skies are a treat but check out those temperatures...mid 60s to lower 70s. This makes for a great night at FedEx field with 60s likely from kickoff to post-game celebration of another Redskin victory (fingers crossed). Overnight lows are mid 40s to lower 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday starts out in the 50s but with mostly sunny skies the upper 60s to lower 70s look to be a near certainty. The way things have been going it could be even warmer, but I do think the record of 85 is safe. Confidence: Medium-High

By David Streit  | October 14, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Wet snowflakes???? Gaaaa, clear the grocery aisles! Kidding. This rain is welcome, we need it badly out here, and today is the first day I get to report rain totals for CoCoRaHS ....

Posted by: weathergrrl | October 14, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Centreville VA First batch of heavy showers has moved thru. The day's drenching has started.
Thanks for mentioning use of headlights on the commute. It's dark out there & really very helpful to be able to clearly see & be seen by your fellow drivers.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | October 14, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

It's been raining fairly heavily in the Eastern Panhandle for the past 90 min. No wind yet, thankfully. I've developing El Bombo's aversion to wind-driven rain!

Posted by: tinkerbelle | October 14, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

If this were winter and cold air in place, would we be getting snow, rain, or mixed or all of the above?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 14, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

My take is that this storm in winter would be a few inches of snow with the front (I notice the back edge is already through Culpepper). Next a storm spins up to the east and gives a good shot of snow NE of us into New England. But predictions of 6-12 inches for us would be a bust. The sure prediction of cold and blustery after the storm will always come true though.

Posted by: eric654 | October 14, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

very rainy in capitol hill this morning...

Posted by: madisondc | October 14, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Anyone notice just how dark it was this morning? I was driving in Chantilly around 8:30 and it was almost as dark as night. Some very thick clouds...

Posted by: CM_in_Fairfax | October 14, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Q for CWG: When the top of a storm is reported as 4,000 ft or 11,000 ft or whatever, what does that means for us in practical terms? Does it relate to the strength of the storm or its likely impact at ground level?

(I'm sure everyone but me knows the answer.)

Posted by: tinkerbelle | October 14, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Looking at Mosaic, another, batch of rain appears headed this way, although as has happened so often lately, areas to the east and southeast will probably get the most precip. Areas to the west, where the rain is needed the most are getting short-changed.

Mother Nature in a groove.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 14, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1 - mostly rain, even in winter. The storm track is right on top of us, with an occluded front still west of us. Even in colder air, we would have a mix at best, with these dynamics at play (my educated hypothetical guess!) :)

CM_in_Fairfax - extremely dark, yes. My friends and I were complaining about this, this morning

tinkerbelle - quick answer is that the higher the storm top, the stronger the storm. More convection is occurring in the atmosphere, and often this translates into more rain & wind at the surface. That suffice for now?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 14, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse


Cloud top height is usually only a meaningful metric for thunderstorms and hurricanes -- i.e. convective storms. Typically, the higher the cloud tops, the stronger the convection. When you have a thunderstorm with cloud tops above 45,000 or 50,000 feet, that's an indication of very strong convection due to intense upward vertical motion.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 14, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Camden, that was my very non-expert guess, with the low passing so close to D.C., the best we could hope for in the winter is mixed precip.

This seemed to me to be a somewhat unusual system because 24 hours ago there wasn't much to the SW of here on Mosaic, but by last night this had begun to change dramatically. Not one of those situations where a low intensifies in the Gulf or over the southern plains and eventually arcs northeastward.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 14, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

This morning I thought that this rain would be over before noon. Now it seems to be filling in to the west of me. So far .95 inches in NW Montgomery.

Posted by: MKadyman | October 14, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Good soaking rain here in Franconia. I was able to get out yesterday morning and throw down starter fertilizer with some more grass seed for bare spots in my front yard which I have been reclaiming from the previous owner's neglect. the last set of storms where we had all that rain did wonders for my yard on the initial grass seed dispersal.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | October 14, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The west edge of this mess appears to be near Manassas, moving slowly eastward. Doesn't this mean the rain should end or at least let up by sunset?

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 14, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@Bombo and others--

Looks like bulk of the rain ends between 2 and 4 p.m.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA rain seems to have ended here. Sky is getting brighter.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | October 14, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

CWG: thanks for explanation on cloud top height.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | October 14, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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