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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 11/17/2010

Forecast: Cool & calm after Wednesday winds

By Dan Stillman

* Wind Advisory until 4 p.m. | Overnight storm damage *
* DeGeneres mocks TV weather | Snowmageddon: a top word *
* Outside now? Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall *

originally posted at 5 a.m.; updated at 11:30 a.m.

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

 

Even with gusty winds, clearing skies & 60s are still nice. Could be our warmest day for a while.
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Strong winds, clearing skies. Low-to-mid-60s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. Upper 30s to mid-40s. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly cloudy. Mid-to-upper 50s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

The somewhat active weather continues today, with gusty winds the main story (were you awakened by last night's fierce thunderstorms?), after what had been a pretty long stretch of ho-hum, nothing-to-see-here weather (the Monday night-Tuesday rain was our first measurable rain since Nov. 5). By tomorrow, however, the weather settles down once again, with several days of seasonal highs (50s to near 60) and little to no chance of precipitation.

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 (Wednesday): Skies gradually clear today, after the chance of a lingering early-morning shower. The main weather player is mean winds from the west sustained around 15-25 mph, but with frequent gusts to near 35 mph and occasional gusts of 40-50 mph, before diminishing a bit later in the afternoon. Temperatures do well thanks to brightening skies and downsloping winds from the west, with highs aiming for the low-to-mid 60s in many spots. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Winds steadily ease this evening into the overnight. Evening temperatures are cool but not terribly so -- dropping through the 50s and into the 40s. Overnight lows? Upper 30s to near 40 in the suburbs and low-to-mid 40s downtown, under partly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Thursday): A fair amount of clouds are likely, courtesy a weak area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere, and a sprinkle or light shower can't be ruled out. Mid-to-upper 50s is probably about all we can muster for highs. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Breezes pick up a bit from the northwest as a cold front comes through. It's a colder night, but right around what you'd expect this time of year, with lows around 40 downtown and in the mid-30s in the burbs. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Friday, Saturday & Sunday are a trio of mostly sunny days, but cooler than our last stretch of mostly sunny days -- highs in the 50s to near 60 instead of the low-to-mid 60s. Morning lows are in the 30s (suburbs) to near 40 downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

By Dan Stillman  | November 17, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Fierce midnight storms of Nov. 17: what happened?

Comments

Woke up to rain and hail SW of Front Royal, heard a clap or two of thunder. No idea what time that happened. I had just cleaned out the gutters at 9:15PM figuring on a downpour. Had an inch total from yesterday and last night.

Posted by: eric654 | November 17, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Last night's storm was fierce, and robbed me of some much needed sleep. I don't recall waking up scared from what I was hearing in a long time, but I was convinced I would have some sort of damage the way the rain, wind, and- possibly hail? lashed at my windows. Relieved to see the windows are unscathed. Despite my concerns, if I hadn't had such a full day today I would have enjoyed watching the storm.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | November 17, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm in DC and a light sleeper, but I slept right through this one. Surprised to hear about power outages on the radio.

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | November 17, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Didn't hear anything (I could sleep through a Metal Festival) but had a long 3 inch tree branch piece to pick up this morning.

Posted by: jaybird926 | November 17, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

The storm system that keeps on giving... It was a wild night in Jefferson County. Martinsburg/Shepherdstown reported 51 mph W gust in the 11:00 p.m. hour. We're currently cranking at 35 mph. The NSW says we can expect gusts to 50 til 6:00 p.m.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | November 17, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

I am concerned and disappointed with the lack of advanced warning about last night's brief but intense storm. We checked this site at 1l:00 pm and there was NO HINT of an approaching storm let alone one of this intensity that hit less than 2 hours later. Instead the headline story was rain departing. OOOps!

That's forecast proved as reliable and accurate as Andrew's global warming alarm pieces.

I enjoy the "fluff" on the site, but hope it is not being presented at the expense of accurate forecasts and warnings.

Posted by: ubimea | November 17, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

@ubimea

At 10:45 p.m. last night, I added the following text to the PM Update (scroll back to the PM update to see the text for yourself):

"10:45 p.m. UPDATE: Widely scattered showers and thundershowers moving through parts of the region through 2 a.m. may produce some strong wind gusts, in excess of 35 mph. The highest risk of strong winds is west and southwest of the District."

While this obviously understated the coverage and intensity of the storms, we did alert readers to the possibility of strong winds and rain that occurred through 2 a.m. Even the original PM Update posted at 3:30 p.m. indicated the rain would end between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m., which is exactly when it did (rain exited western suburbs by 1 a.m. and eastern suburbs by 1:45 a.m.).

Don't get me wrong, I agree we didn't call enough attention to these storms but pretty much all the forecasters in the region (including NWS) were caught off-guard by the power of this unusual middle of the night November t'storm outbreak. Will write more later.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | November 17, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Received a total of 1.50 inches of rain in Western Loudoun. Also wasn't aware thunderstorms were coming until 11pm news. Relative up North told me they were going to have thunderstorms in their late evening/early am so I wasn't too surprised to hear we would too. Many times I notice our weather makes it up North 6 or so hours later. Midnight it started and continued for several hours. No damage thankfully.

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | November 17, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Wondering if we had a small tornado in Mt. Vernon (VA) last night. I awoke to the "train roar" sound, and we have 5 massive trees down on our street, all lying south to north, having crushed 2 cars, fences, and houses. Major damage. Driving to work I was surprised to see that neither the GWParkway nor Old Town had any debris strewn about, as if they had no storm. Our's was a doozy.

Posted by: KEBV | November 17, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of OOPS - here's what the NWS Forecast Office from sterling wrote in its 11:38 p.m. discussion last night:

BEST CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS AND POSSIBLE STRONG TO SEVERE ISOLATED WIND GUSTS WILL BE ACROSS THE CENTRAL VIRGINIA PIEDMONT AREA EAST
THROUGH THE NORTHERN NECK/LOWER SOUTHERN MARYLAND AREA WHERE NAM INDICATES WEAK CAPE LINING UP WITH THE JET. OTHERWISE...EXPECT
POPS TO DECREASE FROM THE SOUTHWEST AFTER MIDNIGHT AS SHOWERS PROGRESS NORTH AND EAST THROUGH THE NIGHT.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | November 17, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reply Jason. I agree that the NWS missed last night's thunderstorm line as well.

The line in fact came right through the District (not just west and southwest.)

I think it hou would agree that residents of Northwest Washington DC and nearby Montgomery County received no or little advance warning.

A strong reminder that our knowledge of future weather events, even near term (less than two hours away) is not nearly perfect, and sometimes, not even very good.

Best,

Posted by: ubimea | November 17, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

That should read "I think we can agree that residents. . . .

Posted by: ubimea | November 17, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I sure would like to see a radar loop of last night's action.
Last night's storms didn't wake us up, but there was a good sized tree branch lying in my favorite work parking slot this morning. Mother Nature leaves a calling card.
Well over an inch of water in the rain bucket. That was a good soaking; let's dry out now.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | November 17, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Did it rain last night?? I fell into a deep sleep after watching the first quarter replay of the Redskins-Eagles game. No siege of Vicksburg, that game.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 17, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The national weather service sent out an alert, that ran across the bottom of the weather channel, about 12:30 a.m. warning of winds approaching 50 miles per hour that could cause damage in DC metro area. However, it gave no indication of a possible tornado. The damage from Baltimore, according to the Baltimore Sun and other local media there, makes it seem like that city got hit with a tornado.

Posted by: realclear | November 17, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

...Last night's storms didn't wake us up, but there was a good sized tree branch lying in my favorite work parking slot this morning. Mother Nature leaves a calling card....
Posted by: FIREDRAGON47
...............

well, thank non-god for the excellent timing of the storm. 12 hrs earlier/later, it would have landed ON your car...

jerry,
that game was awful....just awful...

CWG,
i've heard rumblings about a SNOW storm next week...around thanksgiving. a few posts back there was a link or two to a G(ood)F(or)S(now) model output, but it didn't work for me. obviously, climatology is against us, and it's too early to say much about this, but...could you say something about this?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | November 17, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Monday night-Wed. morning rain totals...

National: 0.71"
Dulles: 1.16"
BWI: 0.58"

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 17, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch

For Thanksgiving weekend, some of the long-range model output is trying to paint a storm in the Thursday-Friday time frame, and possibly another storm around Sunday-Monday. Taking some of the model output at face value, the first storm would look to cut too far west for wintry precip around here, with the 2nd one offering a better chance.

This far out, though, it's all kind of fantasy land. It could be that there's really only one storm (if that), and it's hard to take any track forecast seriously this far out.

La Nina would suggest that snow lovers go into the season with low expectations -- expecting that storms more often than not will tend to take a more westerly track than would be ideal for producing snow -- until proven otherwise.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 17, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

dan,
so you say we're getting TWO snow storms! and the second will be bigger than the first... got it. thanks! ;-)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | November 17, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I had no idea it stormed last night till I heard something on NPR this morning as I was getting ready for work. I notices a ton of leaves and pine needles down along Henderson Rd. in Clifton on my way into work. Once I am asleep, I am out for the count. I have slept through really bad t-storms and fire alarms before.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | November 17, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch

Well, I guess that's one way of interpreting it. :)

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 17, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

There was an NWS forecast for "possible thunder" overnight. Two days ago I had said we would likely be in the warm sector and to monitor the CAPE readings/forecasts later on Tuesday.

Fortunately I was home from the Clarendon Ballroom before the storm hit...it was a pretty good dance night with J.P. McDermott and Western Bop [one of the better area rockabilly bands] performing.

This was one good example of why I don't care for severe outbreaks on Tuesday nights though this time the action was a couple of hours past dance time. Had the storm moved through around 10:30 pm I would have been out there waiting for the ART 41 bus on my way home.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | November 17, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

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