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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 11/29/2010

PM Update: Clouds increase tonight, not as cold

By Ian Livingston

Rain chances arrive around sunrise, stay into Wed.

After a few days with well below average temperatures, today's return to nearer normal was a nice respite for those wanting to put off the start of winter. Highs mainly reached near 50 and into the lower 50s, and they'll be dropping back again shortly as the sun sets. Our transition from fair weather to stormy weather is underway though. Some increase in clouds is already beginning, and more clouds are coming tonight. Rain follows tomorrow.

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.

Through Tonight: Temperatures slowly fall back through the 40s after dark. We should be mostly cloudy by sunrise, and some light showers are possible -- especially west -- by around the same time. Increasing clouds will act to cap lows compared to recently, so expect as low as the mid-30s in the suburbs to the lower 40s downtown.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): We start the day with clouds and an increasing risk of showers as the cold front approaches, but we should hold off the advance of heavier rain 'til later in the day or evening. Temperatures are a bit of a question, but I think mid-to-upper 50s are a good bet, perhaps even nearer 60 should the south wind ahead of the front go to work as it did last Friday. It still appears the heaviest activity enters the region overnight, when some thunderstorms and torrential downpours are possible.

See Jason Samenow's forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Still freeze-less (from 3:30 p.m.): This morning's apparent low of 33 (yet again) at National Airport now puts us tied with 1980 for the longest such streak on record at 275 days. The forecast for tonight says we won't even threaten to come close, so unless something crazy happens, it appears we're on our way to getting 2010 in the books with another record. 6:45 p.m. Update: It appears DCA touched 32 early this morning after all... so looks like 2010 will be #2 for longest freeze-free period.

By Ian Livingston  | November 29, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Comments

Hi folks; I wonder if anyone from CWG (or anyone else who saw the same thing) could comment on something I saw while driving south on Rt 29 out of Fairfax a little after 4 this afternoon. Amidst the clouds there was something that looked like a small part of a rainbow, east of where the sun was starting to set. I guess it was a reflection on the clouds, just wonder if there's a scientific name for it?

Posted by: natsncats | November 29, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Tow questions:

1. Has this been the warmest "meteorological" fall on record?

2. When is the 2010 weather book Ian is preparing the data for going to be published? Don't see it listed on Amazon. Not yet, anyway.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 29, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

sorry above should have read Two questions. Tow questions won't come 'til we get our first significant snow.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 29, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

natsncats....without seeing it directly, it's hard to say what exact feature you saw, but there are several optical-illusions, short of a full-rainbow, that are (or can be)formed when the sun reflects off of or passes through clouds at certain angles. They are known as sunstreaks, coronas, pillars, parhelions, crepuscular rays, glories, and cloud-bows.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | November 29, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Why the Thunderstorm forecast tomorrow night? CAPE/jet-stream dynamics? Unlike the last squall-line a week or so ago, I'm not sure we going to have a high-enough enough dewpoint this for heavy or severe thunderstorms. Even if we get a strong southerly wind tomorrow, you've got to get the dewpoint up into at least the mid-50s for severe weather.....and it's currently only in the low 30's at ground-level, though there is some evidence of warm air starting to come in aloft ahead of the system.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | November 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@MMCarhelp -- thank you! What I saw looked like two or three colors from the rainbow spectrum, and sort of a square shape. Looked really cool :-)

Posted by: natsncats | November 29, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1, the book is just on last winter so it won't cover the whole year. Kevin and I are done with it, but we're not selling hardcopies through Amazon. There will be a post soon about it.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 29, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

As it turned out the actual DCA low this a.m. was 32 degrees, reported by Doug Hill and confirmed on the NWS's DCA data page.

Interesting that we tied two 1980 records, i.e., the no. of 90-degree-plus days and the longest period between 32 degree days.

Realize Ian said "apparent low of 33" in his post above.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 29, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Ian, thanks for the info re: last winter's book. Can't wait to see the data, photos, etc.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 29, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

So tied 1980 for most DCA 90-degree days but only second place for most number of days between 32 temp readings. We have yet to determine if this was the warmest ever DCA meteorological fall.

Right now, though, I want to get 3+" of snow in December to get the yearly snowfall total over 40". If we were to make it to 50" for CY10, that would truly rock (and help the annual precip gauge)!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 29, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

One of the problems with publishing before the official numbers are out... oh well, close!

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 29, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

natsncats...sounds like you may (?) have seen part of a parhelion, with only a small section of it visible because of the cloud pattern.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | November 29, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I am 4 mi SSW of DCA and had a reading of 23 degrees at 0630 this morning. Hard to believe that the airport only got down to 32.

Posted by: bdeco | November 29, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

@MMCarhelp...There's some possibility; I just hope I'm back home from the Clarendon Ballroom by 11 PM before any thunderstorms start tomorrow night. I'm a bit skeptical myself, but Crown Weather's charts seem to have raised our precipitation potential from 1.25" to 1.50".

CAPE potential...NWS seems to think CAPE will be rather low, but some wind shear could make things interesting aoa time of frontal passage. Possibility of a low center directly overhead could enhance precipitation. Triple point where warm, cold fronts & occlusion meet could pass very close to Washington. This happens sometime Wed. morning. Later on, Dec. 5th system seems to vanish from charts and Tom Skilling hints at very cold air early next week.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | November 30, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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