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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Forecast: Windy chill today, just chilly tomorrow; new cold blast next week

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


Winds are only slightly weaker than Tuesday and it's just as cold. Need more improvement than that to raise the digit.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Mostly to partly sunny & quite breezy. Mid-30s. | Tonight: Partly to mostly clear. Upper teens to low 20s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, light winds. Mid-30s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


November was the ninth straight month to finish warmer than average. As you might guess, December isn't exactly on track to extend that streak. Of course, there's still a lot of December to go. But for the month to date, D.C. is a little more than 4 degrees below normal. Temperatures warm closer to average by Saturday and maybe above on Sunday. But it's downhill again with another blast of cold and wind next week. At least we get a temporary break from the wind starting tomorrow.

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - The best snow lovers can hope is for Sunday's rain to end as snow showers (probably non-accumulating) Sunday night.

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 (Wednesday): Today will probably disappoint if you're looking for a major let up in the windy chill. Winds from the west are only slightly weaker than the past two days, 15-20 mph with gusts near 25-30 mph. Temperatures, meanwhile, don't budge from yesterday as highs once again can't do better than the mid-30s, despite mostly to partly sunny skies. Wind chills? Mainly in the 20s after morning teens. Confidence: High

Tonight: Partly to mostly clear skies and diminishing winds spell a cold night around the area. Many of our suburbs likely fall into the upper teens with low 20s the mark downtown. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Thursday): Finally the winds subside to around 10 mph or less as high pressure settles in overhead. That means we lose a good bit of the wind-induced chill, but not much of the chill itself as highs still can't break past the mid-30s. Mostly sunny skies may give way to some high clouds late in the day. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Partly to mostly cloudy with light or calm winds. Downtown looks good for lows in the mid-20s, with upper teens to near 20 in the suburbs. Confidence: Medium-High


Friday and Saturday we get into the some weak flow from the south and southeast. That pushes Friday's highs to near 40 or the low 40s despite partly to mostly cloudy skies and the chance of an afternoon or evening flurry or sprinkle, and Saturday's highs to at least the mid-40s. Lows climb from the 20s (suburbs) to near 30 (downtown) Friday night, to widespread 30s on Saturday night. Confidence: Medium-High

The Sunday storm still looks like rain, maybe starting as a little bit of non-accumulating light sleet Saturday night and ending as some snow flurries or showers Sunday night. Eventually, breezes from the south boost Sunday's highs all the way to the upper 40s to mid-50s. At the moment, it's hard to say whether we'll be in the steady/heavy rain section of the storm, or in a relatively drier section with rain that is lighter and more showery in nature. We'll have to nail down the details as we get closer. Confidence: Low-Medium

The early-to-mid part of next week? Likely just as cold and nearly as windy as we've seen during the early-to-mid part of the current week. Ugh.

By Dan Stillman  | December 8, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Cold again tomorrow, still breezy
Next: Climate change can be a conversation killer


Minor error: "Thursday and Friday" on the "A Look Ahead" section should be "Friday and Saturday"

Posted by: Zelmel | December 8, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

All the mystery and excitement of winter is reduced to "will we get heavier rain or just light and showery rain before the next cold and dry arctic blast."

Posted by: eric654 | December 8, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

It's my birthday today. I was hoping the birthday fairy would bring another model swing and a ↑ for the SPI.

Instead, I am seeing the dreaded pattern; very cold/dry then cold/rain back to very cold again.

Damn you La Nina!!!! (fist shaking in air)

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 8, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on what the weather will be like in Frostburg this weekend? Will they be getting rain or snow or a rain to snow senario?

Posted by: snowlover | December 8, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Brr! I'm looking forward to being in San Francisco next week -- yay mild weather!

On a more summer-related weather note, I think today's xkcd comic will strike a note with many CWG readers

Posted by: mrwrinkle | December 8, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

funny comic strip. indeed, we've seen that 'round here.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 8, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Love xkcd. First site I hit up in the morning.

Posted by: wiredog | December 8, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Also, love the hover text:
"Ever notice how there aren't as many thunderstorms now as there were when you were a kid? ..."

Posted by: wiredog | December 8, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Me too! xkcd first, and then Dilbert.

Posted by: mrwrinkle | December 8, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Loved the comic! Isn't that always the way things go?

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


Good catch.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 8, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Enough already. I will gladly (well, not gladly... lol) take average temps the rest of winter, just please make this bitter cold and wind stop!

Posted by: rumbly45 | December 8, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

ok... so this weekend's storm is a bust. winter weather-watching for me is just a series of jumps from one snow possibility to the next. cold, dry snaps, warm weather, and winter rain hold no interest for me - except to the extent that they are taking up valuable potential snow days....

so, model-watchers, when's the next potential snow storm off in the distance?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 8, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Is there any way for you all to give a "look way far ahead"? I understand that it would be hard to give too much detail (or even confidence) but it would be great to know some general temps expected for the next 2 weeks. I have family coming from California and every year I tell the averages for December. Last year they arrived right after the big December snowstorm. Help!

Posted by: Farfalle1 | December 8, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

rumbly45 - we should have a break in the cold this weekend, but the arctic air could be reinforced next week (Monday onward...) - according to global patterns we identified in the CWG winter outlook you will be happier with possible above average temps in January & February. Hope you can hang in there?

walter-in-fallschurch - honestly nothing to report with confidence as far as snow potential beyond 10 days from now...the crystal ball is very hazy! Of course you will see any hints of snow mentioned in our Snow Potential Index as soon as they become worthy of mention :-)

Farfalle1 - That far out, I would subtract a few degrees from the December averages and tell them to bundle up. So far no big storms can be predicted two weeks out (with any confidence) but our La Nina-influenced winter along with a continued negative NAO forecast, should keep us in a cold pattern for their arrival. Confidence is not high, but I am giving you evidence on which I based my educated, climatologically-based prognostication.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

harumph... but, 'preciate the sad info.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 8, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for such a quick response!

Posted by: Farfalle1 | December 8, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It seems like we're in for a very cold mon & tues next week...looks like Upper 20's as highs after this rain storm. Wonder if it will end with a brief period of snow showers?

Posted by: parksndc | December 8, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Ensemble outlooks @ 120--132 hrs. out look rather fuzzy to me, but NWS prelim notes increasing agreement on a "more southerly course". Forty to fifty-degree temps still argue mainly for rain. Freeze line [540 thickness] seems to run north-south right through our area as the storm progresses. Changeover to snow possible???

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 8, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi parksndc & Bombo47jea - yes, changeover to snow is possible at the very end of the storm. Usually, in these scenarios, moisture pulls away from our region before the atmosphere fully cools down. So let's say, at this point, it looks like snow of little to no consequence; however, if all you want is visible flakes--you might get your wish. Just doubtful that we'll see any accumulation.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@CapX - Any thoughts on what the weather will be like in Frostburg this weekend? Will they be getting rain or snow or a rain to snow senario?

Posted by: snowlover | December 8, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Looked at the 12z GFS model. This is definitely indicating a coastal low developing and taking over. It looks like it will rapidly pull in some very cold air and turn us over to snow for a few hours at the end. I doubt it would snow much, cause the air will dry out quickly. But surely the roads will become very icy and snow covered quite quickly with such cold air storming in. Your thoughts?

Posted by: rapotter | December 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

For Jefferson County, NWS is now forecasting the entire weekend event as the dreaded "wintry mix," changed from the all-rain forecast of a couple of days ago.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | December 8, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

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