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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 10/ 4/2010

Forecast: Wet, unseasonably cool start to week

By Jason Samenow

Warming trend late in the week

* Outside now?: Weather Wall | Hurricane Tracking Center *

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


Damp, dismal, and much cooler than normal.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Morning rain, then cloudy. 55-60. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy and cool. 42-47. | Tomorrow: Becoming partly sunny. Low-to-mid 60s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


It's hard to believe that just over a week ago it hit 99 when today we'll be lucky to hit 59. But the pattern has changed and chilly, damp fall weather is here -- at least for the beginning of the week. Yet summery weather isn't gone for good. The late week weather maps suggest abundant sunshine with temperatures climbing back into the 70s and even the 80s.

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 (Monday): Low pressure off the coast keeps the rain going this morning. By late morning to early afternoon, it pulls far enough north for the rain to end (from south to north). But clouds and very cool winds from the north (at around 15 mph) make for quite the chilly afternoon. Highs only reach the mid-to-upper 50s. The record low maximum temperature for the day at DCA is 56 (from 1988) - probably safe but it may be close. Storm rainfall totals should be around 1". Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: As low pressure sits and spins to the north, cloud cover hangs around. Overnight lows are quite chilly due to a cold pool of air sitting over the region. They range from the low-to-mid 40s in the cooler suburbs to the upper 40s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through next weekend...

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Cool air remains overhead due to a strong area of upper level low pressure, but partial sunshine boosts temperatures a bit relative to Monday. Afternoon highs reach the low-to-mid 60s. An isolated shower or two could (20% chance) pop up due to some instability. Winds are from the west at around 10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Skies are partly to mostly cloudy with chilly lows from the mid-40s in the cooler suburbs to near 50 downtown. Confidence: Medium


Variably cloudy skies Wednesday as upper level pressure slowly heads northeast. It's the last in the series of cool, unsettled days with highs in the low-to-mid 60s. As with Tuesday, there's a slight (20-30%) chance of afternoon showers. Overnight, skies begin to clear with lows from the mid-40s (in the suburbs) to the low 50s downtown. Confidence: Medium

High pressure builds into the region Thursday through Sunday, resulting in a gradual warming trend. Sunny skies are a strong likelihood throughout the period, though scattered clouds are certainly possible at times- especially over the weekend. Afternoon highs on Thursday 70 may warm to around 80 or so by the weekend. Overnight lows in the 40s to the near 50 Thursday night moderate to the 50s Saturday night. Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | October 4, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: More rain on the way
Next: The fall and rise of the Potomac River


An interesting comment on the State College weather discussion: "STRONG RETURNS ON THE RADAR ARE THE MELTING BAND...NEAR 5000 FT." Still a bit too warm for the snow to make it to the ground...

Posted by: eric654 | October 4, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

In the low 40s in western, Maryland. Snow season is not far behind there.

Also of note, the heat was on in the metro for the first time this fall (I think). I guess summer's really over now...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 4, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

A fresh 1.0" fell in past 24 hrs. here in Falls Church as of 9am...

Posted by: KPosty | October 4, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I'll take 57 and rainy over 95 and sunny any day.

Posted by: AxelDC | October 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Cold, rainy, Mondays are actually quite nice when you have the day off :)

Posted by: Snowlover2 | October 4, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

KPosty - thanks for your report! No signs of flooding near you, I hope? (that's a decent amount of rain on top of last week's rain)

AxelDC - it's pretty great isn't it!

Snowlover2 - wow you aren't be facetious are ya? I would think the same thing :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 4, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I was interested in how little flooding has resulted from the recent rains - this one and last week's. I guess there was plenty of capacity in local waterways to absorb the water. Certainly there was flash flooding but not much beyond that. It was also interesting to see that there was virtually no standing water by saturday. It will be interesting to see the drought monitor map tomorrow to see how far we've gone towards getting back to normal.

Posted by: blablabla | October 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

why is the weather section of the Post one day behind again? yesterday we had Saturday's weather and today is apparently Sunday. C'mon, editors!

Posted by: meteorolinguist | October 4, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse


We've gotten to the bottom of this (I think). Fingers crossed no repeat tomorrow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 4, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I was very puzzled as to why my copy of the print edition of the post this morning had Sunday's weather forecast printed on the back of the Metro section.
The Post's puzzling decision to cut back on copy editors has had an impact everywhere. The quality of the paper and the on-line edition has declined markedly in the last few weeks. Headlines don't match the text of the story, the grammar is atrocious, and spelling errors are rampant.
Please do what it takes to restore the high quality product one expects from the Post!

Posted by: flwood2341 | October 4, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@Meteorolinguist, same where I live with the Post. Guess "it's all hands on Redskins deck" when the 'Skins win.

Jason, snow... ah, the magic word. Can't wait to see the SCLB appear.

I'm happy for the rain but coming to work this morning it was steady... and Metrobus also had the heat on.

When was the last time the DCA temperature stayed below 60 degrees hereabouts. April??

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 4, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

No, Camden, I was being sincere :) Love days like this, but when you have to be at work it is a lot different than enjoying it on your own. Already went out on a long walk, and am now home warming up with hot tea and shortbread cookies. Chili slow cooking on the stove.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | October 4, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Addendum Farmers who sell at the Dupont Circle Sunday market said they got about 4" last week. "Things look so much better and we didn't have any flooding", said one farmer.

The Dupont fishmonger, from the Middle Neck, said last week's rain overflowed his rain gauge, so he is not sure how much they got. "Buckets and buckets!"

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 4, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Pouring down rain, ice cold temps in the 40's, it's a Monday, and you think this day deserves a 3? It gets a zero. This is the kind of day to stay home in your warm bed tucked under the covers.

Posted by: rwalker66 | October 4, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Came back from a long weekend to find 4.2 inches in the gauge. Dumped it and we got nearly an inch overnight. I'm betting we've gotten .2 inches since dawn.

Posted by: weathergrrl | October 4, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Snowlover2. This is a fantastic day! I'm off today too, and it's so great to be able to stay home, warm and cozy, and just work around the house.

Posted by: natsncats | October 4, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

rwalker66 - make sure you vote for your Daily Digit of choice! but I think I know where you're coming from on the '3' :)

Snowlover... I am super jealous.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 4, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Our heat doesn't come on before Oct. 15...they should be checking out the furnaces any day now.

These darned cut-off lows can be so dreary and nasty...they're what gives me SAD, not the short daylength.

Waiting for some snow, but I'm afraid the coming La Nina winter will be rather short on that commodity. The early NAO and AO indicators aren't favoring a very snowy winter this year.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 4, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Like snowlover2, I did enjoy my time off from work-- well, I have half day off but I did make it counted!
I slept in this morning, with my wool socks on, looking out the window while enjoying my iced coffee (oh com'on, it was warm in the apartment. But it is definitely my last iced coffee for the year!!!)
Alas, I do have to go to work at 1pm... but I have my favorite wool peacoat and cute boots to strut so no complaints here.
I can't wait for snow, snow, snow, snow.....

Posted by: SanDieganLostinDC | October 4, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

SanDieganLostinDC - yup, I got the peacoat out too - my red one - because when one hears the weather described as "raw", one bundles up. :)

Posted by: MKoehl | October 4, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Henry Margusity's AccuWeather Winter 2010/2011 outlook is out; please check either AccuWeather or the Eastern U.S. weather board site:

Local highlights:

The main jet stream should pass west and north of us.

Temperatures should average out near normal, but with wide swings both warm and cold.

Precipitation should average above normal.

Snowfall should be below to near normal: 8 to 15 inches for the season.

With the wide temperature swings, cold-air damming [CAD] events will accompany many storms. A typical storm this coming winter may begin with one to four inches of snow, changing to that dreaded "wintry mix", then ending as rain or rain to snow squalls/flurries.

One or two major ice storms could punctuate the coming winter. In addition, one or two major snowfalls are not out of the question, though it may be difficult to maintain all snow over the full length of any storm as cyclones will tend to track to our north and west over the season.

National highlights include a cold and snowy Northwest, a warm and dry desert Southwest, a snowy Great Lakes, a warm wet Southeast, and a cold Northeast. Dry weather will extend eastward to Texas and Oklahoma. Severe weather is most likely over the Southeast. The Pacific Northwest will be cold and wet, perhaps rather snowy or icy in some storms.

As I mentioned, the local area figures to be in a transition area between the mild Southeast and the cold Northeast, but precipitation could be high. We could see anything: rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow or even graupel over the course of the winter!

Let's pull for a big snow event or two. However the chance we will have two near-record winters in a row for snowfall is rather low.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 4, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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