Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
The new Washington
Post Weather website
Jump to CWG's
Latest Full Forecast
Outside now? Radar, temps
and more: Weather Wall
Follow us on Twitter (@capitalweather) and become a fan on Facebook
Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 12/28/2010

Forecast: Winds wane, warm 2011 welcome

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


Cold and breezy, but much better than yesterday.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Mostly sunny, breezy, and cold. 35-40. | Tonight: Clear and cold. 20-26. | Tomorrow: More sun, less wind, warmer. 38-42. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


After several weeks of cold, we finally see a warm "time-out" ahead. Temperatures increment up through the 40s this week under mostly sunny skies (and calming winds) with a potential for us to peak well into the 50s this weekend. I'm even thinking we could touch 60 in spots.

Quick trivia question- when was the last time we hit a high temperature over 50-degrees at Reagan National Airport? Scroll to the end for the answer.

Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - Warmer weather and only weekend rain showers.

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

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 (Tuesday): The Northeast blizzard-maker just slowly passes through eastern Canada today, so we still feel breezy and cold effects from the storm. But high pressure also competes for space and it should keep our skies mostly sunny today. Highs in the 30s again with winds from the northwest at 10-20 mph and a few gusts to 30 mph (yes, that is better). Confidence: High

Tonight: Mostly clear skies and calming winds mean colder low temperatures. We should see low-to-mid 20s in most areas. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the New Year's weekend...

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Weather improvement continues with mostly sunny skies, high temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s, and just light winds. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Mostly clear skies again with temperatures ranging through the 20s (coldest in the outer suburbs and upper 20s in the city). Confidence: High


Thursday and Friday continue the trend of improving weather conditions with highs in the low-to-mid 40s on Thursday and mid-to-upper 40s on Friday. Some clouds start to return to the area Friday afternoon and evening as the next weather-maker heads in our direction. Low temperatures on Friday morning should range through the 20s up to around 30 in the District. Confidence: Medium-High

New Year's Eve (Friday Night) looks mostly cloudy, but with no rain chances. Temperatures should be milder than most nights this week with lows in the upper 30s to low 40s. Those lows are still chilly, but better than recent weather. Confidence: Medium

The New Year's weekend is a big contrast to the Christmas weekend as a warmer flow delivers high temperatures in the 50s probably both days (I believe we could crest at or above 60 in some spots). Unfortunately, the outlook includes clouds and likely showers starting Saturday afternoon and continuing intermittently through Sunday afternoon. Lows Sunday morning are in the milder 40s. Sunday afternoon or evening features a cold front that brings in colder weather for Sunday night (back to the 20s again). Confidence: Low-Medium

Trivia Answer: December 1st, 2010 when we hit a balmy 65! Seems so long ago...

By Matt Rogers  | December 28, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Name the non-storm
Next: "False Alarmageddon" rebuttal


I want to thank everyone with the CWG for your wonderful postings on the weather. I follow you religiously and enjoy your trivia, historical facts, links to other weather sites and interaction with readers (the recipes from last years blizzards are some of my favorites!) Keep up the great work.

Posted by: TVDIVA | December 28, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I know that no forecaster wants to talk about snow after the last bust, but I'm not a professional meteorologist so I have nothing to lose.

I believe that there is maybe a 50/50 chance of a minor frozen precipitation event Thursday morning. There is enough of a system coming up from Texas to support it and for the first time, the GFS is showing a little precip for the DC area.

While the precip amounts will probably not be that significant, the event could time with the morning rush hour.

The GFS indicates that it will be too warm aloft for snow, but the thickness (543) and 500 mb heights (560) are not way above snow parameters. But as we all know, sleet/freezing rain even in small quantities can cause a mess.

There may be enough resistance to the next cold front when it comes thru next Sunday (1/2) so that a wave could form on the front and give us some frozen precip. That appears to be a long shot at this time, but stranger things have happened.

Also next week, they again show tremendous blocking thru the favorable areas of Baffin Bay and across almost all of central Canada. Unlike last time, there is no huge storm depicted east of New England to keep things suppressed, so I think we will have some chances.

My posts are in no way intended to undercut the fine efforts of the CWG forecasters who are obviously going to be gun shy after last time.

My intention is to let snow lovers know that there are still systems to watch and that the probability of frozen precip over the next week is not absolute 0.

Posted by: frontieradjust | December 28, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Thanks TVDIVA!

Frontieradjust, thanks for your insight! In meteorology, unless something is happening right over your head in real-time, the probability is never really zero or 100%. But right now, the odds of accumulating snow seem very low over the next week. That Thursday possibility is extremely moisture-starved. I did see that Sunday issue and there are times if the dynamics are strong enough that we can get a changeover before the cold front rains end. In this situation, I don't believe the cold air behind the front is powerful enough to do what needs to be done outside of maybe the mountains to our west. And if a change-over occurred, we'd still only have a short window to accumulate anything with rapidly diminishing moisture content. So, it looks really low right now.

Based on your assessment, what number would you have chosen for the SPI today?

Posted by: MattRogers1 | December 28, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a calm week ahead. On one hand getting potentially into the 50's sounds very nice, but it's supposed to be winter time and I hope this is not going to end up being a much milder than average one. Then again, must admit, I am not going to miss the wind from yesterday.

Posted by: Finn1917 | December 28, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I love winter and I love the cold, but I have to admit that I'm looking forward to a few warm days.

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | December 28, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Send rain, or at least a few days above freezing so that I can water.
I need to apply some TLC to our desiccated garden.
%&#?@!*&% wind!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 28, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

A zero on the SPI. Whoop!!! Go SPI, Go, Go!!!!

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | December 28, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

so let's just note that snowphobes get their "no snow" wish just about every day.

no white christmas: check.

no snow today: check.

no snow yesterday: check.

no snow sunday: check.
(ehh... i suppose that's debatable...we got, what .1", maybe - woo hoo...)

no snow tomorrow: check.

no snow for the next 10 days: check.


Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 28, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Walter - I was all psyched for a new snow sculpture from you over the weekend.
Perhaps January will bring us what we want.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 28, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

i was psyched too...! now i'm psyched about that storm bdeco referred to yesterday... 20" he promised, based on the gfs 324 hours out.... bring it on! of course that was yesterday. by now the "bdeco fantasy" storm is probably gone... besides, another poster said temps are supposed to be too high then... sigh... and so it goes.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 28, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

What in Heaven's name is this 20" storm people are talking about?? I bet you that it's not gonna happen. Temps will be way too warm!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 28, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I, too, don't want warmer weather to interrupt this long awaited winter!!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | December 28, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

sigmagrrl: I don't either, but would like a slightly warmer interlude. I started running this year, and I'm finding it difficult to run in the really cold weather. I'd like to get a couple of runs in so I don't regress. I try running inside to Wii Fit, but then the dog chases me. :-(

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | December 28, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I would like to request a Military Bowl-cast tomorrow for the game taking place at 2:30 pm at RFK Stadium. Many locals will be attending to cheer on the Maryland Terrapins as they seek to send their now-fired coach out with a victory. Regardless of the emotional issues involved, it would be great to have the detailed info CWG provides in order to plan clothing choices, etc.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | December 28, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

You poor snow-starved Washingtonians...look at your La Nina history. It wont stay warm for long - lets enjoy some nice weather over the next week or so. After all, we are only SEVEN days or so into Winter. La Nina - up and down temps...typically drier here in DC. This doesnt seem like a typical La Nina though, so I wouldnt rule out a good storm for the whole winter on Dec. 28 just yet. We have a Looooongggg way to go until the daffodils pop.

Posted by: DullesARC | December 28, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Military Bowlcast? Well, I'd say bundle up, because while we won't have the winds tomorrow (only around 5mph finally), we will still see temperatures mostly in the mid-to-upper 30s tomorrow afternoon. We could touch 40 at some point, but most of that time will probably be 30s again. Skies look partly to mostly sunny and it will be DRY.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | December 28, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse


I'm fine with your forecast. My intention is to assess potential for snow lovers, even for systems that aren't that likely to materialize.

I don't completely agree that the Thursday system is totally moisture starved as the Gulf of Mexico is wide open and an area of precip does break out west of the mountains.

My biggest concern is that even trivial amounts of sleet/freezing rain could create a mess on area roads.

I would place the odds of some type of measurable frozen precip at around 40%.

I believe it will be a close call as to whether it will be cold enough aloft to snow. So at this point, I would give a 15% chance for an inch of snow.

With respect to our chances on Sunday, the front would have to hang up at the exact right place for us to get meaningful snow. The odds in favor of that are probably only 10-20%. Not worth mentioning in a public forecast, but something for snow lovers to follow.

Posted by: frontieradjust | December 28, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I posted this yesterday, but it got lost in the shuffle of the posts about the no-snow event. Since many DC locals are heading to Pittsburgh this weekend to watch the Caps take on the Penguins in the Winter Classic, is there any chance CWG could provide any detail on the Pittsburgh forecast for January 1st? Since the game will be outside, if it rains they can't play, and right now the forecast calls for a 50% chance of showers that day. The game is at 1PM on New Years Day, but the NHL said they could move it back to 8PM that night, or even to the next day (Jan 2nd). Since so much money is wrapped up in this event, and thousands of DC locals are traveling to Pittsburgh to watch the game, if there's any chance CWG could provide its view on the rain chances, and maybe what time of day it might rain in Pittsburgh (morning/afternoon/night), I would certainly appreciate it! Thanks.

Posted by: FH59312 | December 28, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

For all of us snow lovers out there watch for mid to late January for another coastal storm. Hopefully we will be in the eye of this one.

Posted by: steelers991 | December 28, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse


How do you know that a coastal storm is coming in January? Yes, it would be nice to be in the bull's eye, but the likelihood of that storm developing, and dropping boatloads of snow on us are very slim right now - - maybe a 10% chance. Anyway, the moral of this is don't get too excited when you see one computer model that is predicting a blockbuster blizzard if it's still a month away.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 28, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Can't WAIT to run outside without looking (and/or feeling) like the Michelin Man!!!

Posted by: Akabang | December 28, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I think the best chance for another coastal storm this winter comes during the usual mid-February Presidents' Day time frame.

This doesn't mean we won't see anything next month, but I suspect that one or two big wintry mix/rain events are next on the local agenda. With my luck they will probably hit on dance nights [e.g. Jan. 7, Jan. 15, Jan. 22, Jan. 28, and all Tuesday nights from Jan. 11 on].

In fact, the weather is starting to get dry with precipitation falling below I suspect the much-unneeded rain crowd...AugustaJim, sheepherder and the rest of the folks out on the Blue Ridge...will try their darndest to mess up my dance nights the rest of the winter. Gets me to wondering why we can't get the rain on days I have no big events scheduled and can stay home.

Looking ahead, I was able to check out the medium to long-term ENSO outlooks. It looks as though we stay in negative [La Nina] territory until August, though the index rises from our -2.5 status now. It finally crosses into positive territory next September. This means that La Nina sticks around through next summer, with implications for the first half of hurricane season 2011. Thus we might see a storm or two in June/July and increasing activity in August. Next winter looks to be either neutral [La Nada] or a mild El Nino at this point.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 28, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Akabang - indeed the cold air has required many layers... I, too, cannot wait to once again "simply" wear a coat! The additional gear has been slightly annoying, right? And easily lost!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 28, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

And the temp forecast busts on the low side yet again! Predicted high 35-40, current reading 44. Have the models gone wonky or is the DCA thermometer sitting in the sunshine? Has there been _any_ mention of this trend in the NWS forecast discussions?

Posted by: HenryFPotter | December 28, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Today is like a tranquil spring day compared to most of this month. Temps are in the mid-40s with very little wind. The nice weather made my three-mile run a pleasant experience without the heavy winter gear.

I am loving it!

Posted by: david_in_stafford | December 28, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Bring on spring!!!

Posted by: weatherdude | December 28, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I think I did mention 60 degrees for this weekend about a week ago.

Posted by: dhb2 | December 28, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Military Bowl thoughts, Matt. You have confirmed my intuition.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | December 28, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2012 The Washington Post Company