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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Forecast: January-like temps to continue

By Camden Walker

Chilly weekend ahead; coldest air since February!

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

 

Cold for the foreseeable future, but up one notch because we are slowly getting used to it. Right?
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Peeks of sun. Breezy. Low 40s. | Tonight: Mostly clear. Mid-20s to near 30. | Tomorrow: Increasing clouds. Near 40 to low 40s. | Sunday: Partly sunny, blustery. Near 40 to low 40s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Bundle up. Well, you have been I hope, so I should say: continue to bundle up. We are cold now, with a reinforcing shot of cold air coming behind an Alberta Clipper system moving south of the area on Saturday night. We could still see a few flurries mainly south of the area, but it seems less and less likely. Into Sunday and Monday, blustery conditions keep us cold and stuck in these January-like high temperatures. Looking into next week, it's still cold and maybe even a little colder. Hang onto your hats, jackets, and mittens...

Snow Potential Index: 1 (↓) - The weekend system is too far south and has very limited moisture. It's increasingly likely we might not see more than some clouds.

 
The SPI is a daily assessment of snow potential for the next week on a 0-10 scale. Get the 'SPI' on Twitter
 

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 (Friday): Like yesterday, but with a touch lighter northwesterly breeze. Clouds still take up much of the day, but we should see a few breaks from time to time, especially in the afternoon. Highs struggle to reach the lower 40s. Mix in breezes around 5-10 mph early with some increase during the day, and you likely want to dress in layers and probably keep that scarf on you! Sound like a plan? Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Mostly clear after sunset with lighter winds overnight. As clouds tend to break and we lose their atmospheric cap, temperatures may cool rapidly. 30s after dinner will head into the 20s for most spots overnight. Downtown may hover around 30 degrees. Definitely do bundle, bundle, bundle up. Confidence: Medium-High

Is there any snow coming on Saturday night? Keep reading...

Tomorrow (Saturday): We may have some sunshine in the morning, but clouds are on the increase as the clipper system passes by to the south. Temperatures are looking chilly again, with highs near 40 and into the low 40s. But at least the breeze is lighter for most of the day (less of a wind chill!). Confidence: Low-Medium

Tomorrow Night: Temperatures are fairly similar to Friday night, though depending on the exact track of the clipper, clouds could hold them up a notch. Current indications are that we struggle to even see flurries with the system well south and very weak. Winds are light from the northwest. . Confidence: Medium

Sunday: Cold with more and more wind during the day. Winds are thanks to the low pressure associated with the clipper system gaining strength as it curves offshore and toward New England. Skies could stay mostly sunny through midday, but clouds percolate late in conjunction with possible atmospheric instability well above. Someone may even see an isolated flurry. Temperatures remain about the same as recently, mainly in the lower 40s. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night Partly cloudy, and still chilled. Prepare for temperatures in the mid-to-upper 20s to feel as cold as readings in the teens thanks to continued winds. That's pretty wintry! Confidence: Medium-High

Monday may be even colder than the days before it. Temperatures could struggle to reach the upper 30s and near 40 as a strong storm to the northeast keeps pulling in frozen air from the north. As with Sunday, a stray flurry can't be ruled out. I'm taking David's recommendation yesterday to stay inside and eat soup! Confidence: Medium

Tuesday could see us starting to call this cold streak a broken record. Temperatures remain around 40 it seems. Four days away remains a tad far out to be over-confident, but with any luck, winds may start to die off late -- even if our reinforced Arctic air remains entrenched here in the metro area. Another wave of energy passing by could spark another chance of flurries. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Camden Walker  | December 3, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Awesome satellite loop of hurricane season

Comments

Seems like as long as it is winter, it will be really hard to get the SPI down to zero since something could change. So SPI=1 is pretty bad and the cold we have to put up with is wasted. La Nina seems to be cold and dry times 10 then warm and wet times 1 or 2. Let's just fast forward to February, get a snowstorm or two and call it a winter.

Posted by: eric654 | December 3, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

I started tuning in to Capital Weather Gang on the tail end of February snowstorm no. 2, and was simply FASCINATED by the scientific weather talk and the build-up to the blizzard. Is there anywhere I could read archived Capital Weather Gang columns leading up to the December 09 snow, and the 1st February blizzard?

P.S. for my birthday on February 11th, I spent the day shoveling 27 inches of snow off of the outdoor unit of my heat pump -- my husband broke his leg during a "snow fall" (pun intended).

Posted by: luvhh1 | December 3, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I started tuning in to Capital Weather Gang on the tail end of February snowstorm no. 2, and was simply FASCINATED by the scientific weather talk and the build-up to the blizzard. Is there anywhere I could read archived Capital Weather Gang columns leading up to the December 09 snow, and the 1st February blizzard?

P.S. for my birthday on February 11th, I spent the day shoveling 27 inches of snow off of the outdoor unit of my heat pump -- my husband broke his leg during a "snow fall" (pun intended).

Posted by: luvhh1 | December 3, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

jeez.... "1(& darr ;)... not good..

ok, i've come to terms w/the idea that sat/sun's snow probably won't happen, and even if it happens will just be a dusting, possibly nice to look at for a few minutes or something like that.

and, i understand CWG has (rightly) not put much (any) stock in j.bastardi's predictions for this next (mid dec.) one....but.... IF that one does happen, can you say when it would happen? i'm trying to plan something and would like to know the timing. when i say "when" i don't mean exactly when, but just generally.

i also understand that any answer given at this point is not much more than a SWAG, but i'd still appreciate it.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 3, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

dang, dang, dang... outsmarted myself - then didn't preview... a little knowledge is a dangerous thing... obviously should have been "1(↓)" above...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 3, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

@luvhh1

Just a few days ago I discovered that CWG has a full archive listing, so now I no longer have to save and favorite every interesting article. Just go to this link:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/archives.htm

Hope that helps!

Posted by: meteorolinguist | December 3, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I assume that we had our first freeze at National? So the new record of freezes-less days was-is (drum-roll please)? Thanks for the updates, glad I busted out my heavy gloves yesterday for the motorcycle ride to and from work!

Posted by: drewbird911 | December 3, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday everyone!
drewbird911 - the freeze occurred, yup. Here is our previous post discussing this-- I think this is what you're looking for?

meteorolinguist, thanks for your help! Under our new forecast template each week.. after the final post.. everyone will now see the larger hyperlink "Full Archive"

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 3, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

luvhh1, by the way, thanks for continuing to follow us, even if we do receive a lot less snow this winter ;) Chances are your birthday won't see THAT much snow again, for quite some time. Let me know if you have any other questions? Do you see the link to archives that you asked about?

walter-in-fallschurch, is the "1" and down-arrow not displaying properly in your browser? I just want to troubleshoot any coding problems (for me, it is displaying ok). Also, I think our next chance of snow would be around the timeframe of Dec 13-14.. but way uncertain since so far out.

eric654 - your hunches about La Nina are pretty much spot-on.. just sorry that it has you bummed. Snow lover, eh?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 3, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

camden... the down arrow is displaying fine.

in my first post i meant to create a down arrow by following eric's instructions from yesterday... problem is i didn't remember correctly and i put spaces btwn the "&" and the "darr" and the ";", so it didn't work properly. that's what i meant by "a little knowledge..."

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 3, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

So I have been hearing that this winter will have less snow and be warmer than last winter, which sounds good, but then the forecasts mention more ice storms. Is this possible? Should I consider buying a generator for the inevitable power outages?

Posted by: anelsen2 | December 3, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@ anelson2 - Buy a snowblower too.
Preparing a fortress-like winter bunker is probably your best bet to ensure that the entire DC metro area gets mild temps & no snow/ice events at all.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 3, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Just came in from walking the dog and we had a few pretty flakes coming down in Gaithersburg. I know they won't stick but it was still pretty.

Posted by: casaeva | December 3, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch, ah very good. got it!

anelsen2, this is a difficult call. I don't necessary think our CWG Winter Outlook (or anyone's outlook) would have the resolution necessary to predict ice storms; however, if you live in an area full of trees-nearby-powerlines...at a higher elevation.. periodically prone to said ice storms (if you've lived there long enough? You would know...).. I would consider always having a working generator on hand to power the essentials. Rural areas can be without power for a week or two after severe ice storms. Not a good scenario.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

casaeva - thanks for the report.. first flakes of the season are very exciting. Cold air here at the surface is keeping us chilled.. but even colder air is aloft! Thus when the sunshine bubbles & percolates the atmosphere here at the surface, this relatively "warmed" air encounters the colder air above... clouds form because of this mixing...enough moisture is there to form a few ice crystals.. voila! flurries :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 3, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Re rural areas have it worse during storms: Maybe--but it's because you can't get down the road, not because the power is out! Subdivisions in rural areas often have buried power lines. My area in Jefferson County, W.Va., hasn't had a serious power outage (more than a few hours' duration) since Hurricane Katrina. (I realize I'm tempting Fate by saying this.)

By contrast, when I lived in Beltway-area Montgomery County, our power went out with *every* storm of every description and we were always the very last neighborhood put back on the grid.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | December 3, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

hey there tinkerbelle - I am surprised youve had more trouble when you were in MoCo vs. Jeff Co. Wow. And yes, I am a fan of buried power lines. Subdivisions sound like a "suburban" classification of development vs Rural-- am I just being too technical? I am picturing places in the Blue Ridge that do indeed have long roads and many trees that bend & snap under weight of ice coating them. When the trees fall into the road, I have often seen them take down power lines. So, if your lines are buried, it sounds like barely any need for a generator. ps - I love living in downtown DC because I have NEVER had my power go out in the last 7 years! (a small bonus to paying higher prices, right?)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 3, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Camden, grew up in New England, born in winter, had weekly ski or toboggan outings, and my first car came with a set of studded snow tires.

Now I live further south and have learned to appreciate warmer weather (translation: I've turned into a wimp). So the dry cold without snow is a bummer because I need to shlep more firewood but can't do any fun winter things.

Posted by: eric654 | December 3, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Rather far south and too dry...the NWS mesoscale discussion has heavy snow for my brother in Rochester, MN--one inch per hour up there.

Looks as though we might see a flake or two any time this afternoon.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Rather far south and too dry...the NWS mesoscale discussion has heavy snow for my brother in Rochester, MN--one inch per hour up there.

Looks as though we might see a flake or two any time this afternoon.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Just schlepped up Wisconsin Ave. from G'town, thinking how nice it would be if flurries were flying and I find out you gotta' go out to Montgomery County to see any snow. I thought we had the market on flakes here in D.C. Bummah!!

(The brisk air was nice, though.)

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | December 3, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Bombo47jea - did you ever see any flakes today?

JerryFloyd1 - this brisk blast of air is indeed a bit exhilarating.. but I wonder if we will tire of it by next week? Personally, I don't want to be in this January-like weather all of DECEMBER. :-)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 3, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Saw snow flurries in Friendship Heights about noon.

I've wimped out too. Weather like this in the midwest or even NYC at this time of year would be a treat. Now I'm huddling in my down parka. At least gets to be a chic down parka rather than one of those 25 below monsters.

Posted by: kperl | December 3, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Meteor and Camden for pointing me to the archives!

Posted by: luvhh | December 3, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Meteor and Camden for pointing me to the archives!

Posted by: luvhh | December 3, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Meteor and Camden for pointing me to the archives!

Posted by: luvhh | December 3, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

kperl - wow awesome that you have such a warm parka! Also, I am jealous you saw snow flurries up-city from me today, there in Friendship Heights!

luvhh - Definitely welcome!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 4, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

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