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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 12/19/2010

Forecast: More 30s. Touch of Tues. snow?

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


Cold 30s remain, with eventually brighter skies the only improvement over yesterday.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Brightening skies. Mid-30s. | Tonight: Mostly clear & chilly. Near 20. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, continued cold. Low 30s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Swing and a miss. The storm that once threatened to aim for the D.C. area passes harmlessly out to sea today. The result is a fairly nice, albeit cold, shopping day for those (like me) who haven't quite finished up yet. The cold temperatures, though, aren't going away anytime soon, which paves the way for the possibility of some light snow on Tuesday. Could there be a snowy surprise for Christmas as well?

Snow Potential Index: 4 (↓) - A light coating may be the most a Tuesday clipper can muster. Too early to tell if Christmas might bring a snowy present.

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

Today (Sunday): We'll be looking better and better as the day goes on. Morning clouds and a chance for flurries give way to some afternoon clearing. Temperatures top out just north of freezing with highs in the mid-30s. But with little wind and some sun eventually shining through, it doesn't feel all that bad. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Mostly clear skies and a surge of colder air from the north make for a chilly night. Overnight lows range from the upper teens (suburbs) to low 20s (downtown) with a bit of a breeze from the north. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast leading up to Christmas...

Tomorrow (Monday): Be sure to bundle up heading to work as we feel a renewed chill. Temperatures struggle to reach much above freezing despite plenty of sun. We'll have a persistent breeze as well -- winds from the north-northwest, around 15 mph at times, keep wind chills in the 20s. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Expect partly to mostly clear skies and fairly tranquil conditions. Temperatures continue on the chilly side with lows from near 20 to the low 20s, and just a lingering hint of the earlier daytime breeziness. Confidence: Medium-High


Tuesday we return to more of a "winter blues" kind of day with a fair amount of cloudiness overhead and highs in the low-to-mid 30s. During the afternoon into Tuesday night, we may feel the effects of a clipper system in the form of some snow showers or light snow. Right now, accumulation potential doesn't look all that impressive, with the system likely weakening as it comes across the mountains. Still, it's too early to rule out a light coating (a dusting to an inch or so). Overnight lows dip to the 20s. Confidence: Medium

On Wednesday, skies should become partly to mostly sunny. With no reinforcing shot of cold in the clipper's wake, temperatures warm a bit, with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s around town. Confidence: Medium-High

The long-range models are showing the chance of a well-timed or poorly timed, depending on your perspective, winter storm around Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. Can't say anything with confidence at this point. But it's worth watching, which is exactly what we'll be doing.

By Brian Jackson  | December 19, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Pretty cloudy as storm misses
Next: Rare Christmas snow potential emerging


Posted by: greg2010 | December 19, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Tuesdays clipper is starting to look like a no show for our area. Just some clouds and maybe some flurries or a shower or two. If you're a weather weenie (like me) you may want to start to pay attention to next weekend. While it is still a week away and we have all been through the agony (or ecstasy, depending on your view point) of anticipating snow threats so far into the future, there is some agreement between the models for developing a storm that may affect us next weekend. The GFS has been particularly consistent over the last 2+ days in giving our area some snow. The Euro seems to be in general agreement with the GFS, which is a good thing. Even the HPC discussion this morning is on the wagon for the threat,
I am trying to keep my excitement in check but it ain't easy.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | December 19, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

If it stays cold like predicted, some of this snow on the ground might still be around.


Posted by: jaybird926 | December 19, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

How about an eclipse forecast?

Posted by: ennepe68 | December 19, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Past couple GFS runs look promising for potential white Christmas

Posted by: StormChaserMan | December 19, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I am trying very hard to live in the moment and accept what I cannot change (ommmmmmm). So with that said, I am not going to b*&%# about the snow situation (not an easy task for me).

Nor am I going to model stalk.

I do have a request out to Santa for a 5+ snowstorm, so I remain hopeful. I know some of you have been very good this year and have been asking for the same thing.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 19, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

How nice if it did snow late Xmas Eve and then all day for a few inches of scenic holiday snow.
It would make all this cold worthwhile.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 19, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Trust me, I'm one of the first to discount things that are in a 7-day GFS, but the little kid inside of me has to be excited about 3 out of the past four GFS runs showing at least 1" liquid for Christmas weekend! I think that "some" and "potential" might not give the magnitude of this.

My favorite map was the 24-hour, 192-hour out map in the 12 UTC runs from yesterday. How many movies have depended on such a spread of heavy snow on the coast?

Posted by: jkuchen | December 19, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Really been looking forward to traveling and spending some time with family next weekend for Christmas.

Will be doin' the anti-snow dance all week, I guess. :(

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 19, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Sorry ThinkSpring, but I'll be counteracting your anti-snow dance with my vigorous snow dance all week long 24/7. Play the music maestro! La la la la la!

Posted by: Yellowboy | December 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Is the low pressure system off shore causing a drop in the barometric pressure? My husband and I both have horrible sinus headaches that are getting worse as the day goes on.

Posted by: rquerry1 | December 19, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Some of the models now seem to have most of the snowfall here occurring late Dec. 25 into early Dec. 26, with less snow on Dec. 24.

The culprit appears to be an intensely zonal jet stream during the period leading into the storm which arrives from the west.

In addition the 540 thickness line is dangerously close to D.C. and this could mean wintry mix or a boring cold rain rather than snow, especially at the beginning.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 19, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Yellowboy.

I don't get to see some of these family members very often. So, to me, that's more important than childish fantasies about snow.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 19, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Can we get a more detailed forecast for Monday Night? There's going to be a lunar eclipse and I'd like to know if I'll be able to see it.

Posted by: SpeedLimit186000 | December 20, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

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