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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 11/28/2010

Forecast: Bright but chilly, without the wind

By Brian Jackson

Rain looms in the forecast for midweek

* SkinsCast | Arctic dust storms: Really? *
* Outside now? Radar, temps, clouds & more: Weather Wall *

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

 

Still cool, but without the whipping winds today gets a bit of a bump.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Sunny & less windy. Still cool. Mid-to-upper 40s. | Tonight: Clear and cold. 25-33. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Near 50 to low 50s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

There's not much I can do about the chill in the air - like yesterday, highs today are about 5-10 degrees shy of their average for this time of year. Still, there's a bright side to today's forecast beyond the sunny skies, which is that yesterday's whipping winds are a thing of the past. Sunshine dominates to start the work week as temperatures edge higher before a potentially soaking rain for the area late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMapWeather (base map by Google). Click and hold on map to pan. Double-click to zoom. Refresh page to update. See larger map on our Weather Wall.

Today (Sunday): Our chill stays with us to finish out the weekend today, but we'll enjoy the absence of yesterday's pestering winds. Plenty of sun makes it look deceivingly toasty outside. It will feel warmer than yesterday without those chilling breezes. But highs still only reach the mid-to-upper 40s. Winds are less than 10 mph as high pressure settles in. Confidence: High

Tonight: Expect a layer of frost on your car by morning as we once again fall to near or below freezing in most locations. Light winds and clear skies allow temperatures to drop quickly overnight with downtown getting into the low 30s, and more rural areas reaching the upper 20s. Confidence: High

When could we see our next round of rain? Keep reading for the forecast through midweek...

Tomorrow (Monday): Plenty more sun is in store for us as we head back to work tomorrow. High pressure remains in control. And with a more southerly component to our winds (5-10 mph), highs rebound to near 50 or the low 50s. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Clouds that may begin to move in during the late afternoon or toward evening increase overnight as our next storm system begins to approach. Overnight lows are balmy compared to the previous few nights, only sliding into the upper 30s to mid-40s. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

On Tuesday the sun finally abandons us as we find ourselves under mostly cloudy skies. Not all is lost as we'll be on the warm side of a warm front to our north, meaning highs near 60. That comes with a price though as showers could affect our western/northwestern reaches by late afternoon. Confidence: Medium

Tuesday night, rain increases in both coverage and intensity during the evening or overnight, and we could be in for a decent soaking by morning. A thunderstorm or two isn't out of the question, either. Lows don't dip very far - only to around 50. Confidence: Medium

Wednesday morning we're still likely to be dealing with some moderate rain across the area, but showers should decline as we move through the day. Total rainfall may approach or exceed one inch. With a strong cold front coming through, temperatures that start the morning near 50 are probably fairly steady or may even drop during the day toward or into the mid-40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Brian Jackson  | November 28, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Wild week - Sun, storms & winter's return

Comments

This morning was the first time this season I've noticed frozen puddles here in Gaithersburg.

Posted by: hawknt | November 28, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

DCA is 35?!

Does it take divine intervention nowadays to get subfreezing temps before December?

Posted by: HenryFPotter | November 28, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

As of 7 AM it appears that the record for the longest time between freezing temps at DCA is just a few days away from being broken. I believe the low this morning at DCA was 33. There is a chance we may hit 32 tomorrow but with the High pressure sliding to the east giving us a more southerly component to the wind (albeit light wind)that remains questionable.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | November 28, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

CWG:

Is there any sense of what short-term precipitation patterns will be like in December?

National Airport needs fully 6.37" of additional precipitation by December 31st simply to reach its annual average of 39.35".

Unfortunately, it appears that we are headed for a below-average year in this year of extremes. Let's hope this Tuesday/Wednesday storm is really juicy!

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | November 28, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@TominMichiganParkDC

CPC is calling for equal chances of above/below average precip in December. Given we're in a La Nina, I don't think odds are good we'll have an extraordinarily wet month- which is what's needed to get up to average for the year.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | November 28, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Brian

It's very rare - in fact I can't think of a precedent - that the NWS will have a 100% chance of precipitation at day 4 and 5, as the case now for Wednesday. (In fact, there is virtually never a 100% chance of anything significant weather wise 5 days in advance).

All models I've seen are consistent with a "juicy" rain event for Wednesday, as is your forecast. My question is why you've indicated only low-medium level of confidence (just curious, not a criticism).

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | November 28, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The models are juicy, but with a front coming in from the west I'm always waiting for them to dry up a bit. It does at least seem there might be a sharp gradient somewhere nearby to the rainfall amounts. I'd still want to say the heaviest ends up from the Apps and to the west. On another note, I'm hearing rumblings that the pattern might be favorable for snow as we get toward the second week of Dec. of course that's way out there.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 28, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Steve, the confidence issue is more of a timing issue than a rainfall issue. So far out, if the system comes in a bit faster or slower than progged, we could see significant changes in the period of heavy rain and when the rain finally tapers off.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 28, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

What's the deal with this "heavy rain" forecast for Tuesday/Wednesday???

To begin with, this looks like a cold front coming in from the west with maybe a south-to-north low level jet embedded into the system. Historically such systems tend to dump the heaviest precipitation west of us in the mountains, leaving us with a few showers, perhaps a thunderstorm, east of the Appalachians, but not a prolonged period of intense heavy rainfall [that is likely to have fallen in West Virginia & Ohio before the relatively moisture-starved system arrives here].

Secondly, this is looking like another classic example of MUCH-UNNEEDED CRUD scheduled for my Tuesday evening Clarendon Ballroom swing dance! Several such systems have been scheduled during the past year for my Tuesday night dance, only to fizzle out when it's time to leave for the dance.

At any rate last night's dance at the Spanish Ballroom came off fine without a precipitation hitch. We may just have to see what Tuesday's system brings us. With the amount of precipitation being forecast, there must be some sort of Miller-B or similar development slated to form right offshore the Delmarva or Virginia Beach--that's what will be needed, not a simple cold frontal passage, in order to deliver us an extended period of heavy rain.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | November 28, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, it looks to me as if the heaviest precip will not begin until early Wed AM and not leave the scene until mid to late afternoon.

Bombo: it's not just a cold front that's coming through, it's a very intense cold front associated with a negatively tilted trough, plus an Atlantic as well as Gulf moisture source. Hence, the greater potential for more than a few brief showers without need for an offshore coastal development . In fact, the latitudinal wavelength between trough and upstream ridge appears far too long to permit coastal development

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | November 28, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Re: forecast confidence question... I echo Ian. Frontal rain is rarely a high-confidence forecast, especially a few days out. There is some indication that a low-pressure center may develop along the front. If that scenario gets increasingly consistent model support, then the confidence that we'll see substantial rain probably goes up, assuming the predicted track for the low is favorable for rain here.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a doozy to the west, anyway. Along with strong south winds. *Sigh.* In my "favored" location, the south wind is particularly unnerving. It builds up such a head of steam in the Valley and then blasts us much harder than the NWS seems to believe.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | November 28, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

How much longer do we have to go until we tie the record for the longest frost-free period in DC? Does it need to stay above freezing until midnight this evening?

Posted by: gjtbiz | November 28, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

@gtbiz

I believe through midnight tomorrow to tie 1980 for the longest freeze-free period. We'll update on this tomorrow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | November 28, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I wish there is a "like this" button for Ian's comment about possible snow in second week of December. Let's aim for December 11, yes? Give me my birthday wish!!

Posted by: SanDieganLostinDC | November 28, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Hmm... We are already 2 degrees colder than we were last night at this time at DCA. The sky is clear and the winds are light, great conditions for radiational cooling. Will DCA stay above 32.0? At first I thought yes, now I am not so sure. It's still possible with light winds from the south. Time will tell. This is the year for records being broken.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | November 28, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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