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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 12/29/2010

PM Update: A little cooler tonight and Thursday

By Ian Livingston

Temperatures have again risen above average this afternoon as highs top out in the mid-and-upper 40s across the area. Pesky northwest breezes refuse to fully relent, but they continue their slow decline, though not before a few gusts toward 25 mph today. Calmer winds and a slight step down in daytime readings are the story for tomorrow before we warm back up for the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011.

Through Tonight: Temporarily cooler air spills back into the area overnight, so lows end up colder than last night, though some clouds moving in may keep them from heading super low. Lows mainly fall to the low-and-mid 20s in the suburbs to near 30 downtown. Winds are light from the west.

Tomorrow (Thursday): The cooler air that moves in overnight sticks around on Thursday, and when you add in mostly cloudy skies, we probably end up with near or just below average temperatures. There could be a midday sprinkle or flurry as well. Highs likely reach the low-and-mid 40s. Winds remain rather light.

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

West Coast storm: Another in a series of intense December storms impacted California overnight and into today. Mammoth Mountain, previously noted here, has now picked up at least 202" of snow this month, with over 2' falling yesterday. In Southern California, flooding and mudslides have been common today. Good news? The snowpack, which is crucial for water supply throughout the year, is running about 200% of normal as of now in the Sierra.

By Ian Livingston  | December 29, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Warm-up awaits New Year's Eve


The winds were a bit chilling today, indeed. Anyone bothered by them, like me? I found them strong between the taller buildings in Metro Center today. Didn't feel near 48 degrees because of the stiff breeze...

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 29, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

There are people running around outside in t-shirts today.
I guess after this December we're all properly acclimated to the cold now.
Need some rain. It's crackly dry out there. But overnight please....the nights are long enough this time of the year that rain can be squeezed in without impacting those few daylight hours.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON47 - agree long nights are a.okay for rain, haha. and yes to Tshirt wearing people--there are many downtown. I found it baffling, but then remember we have had such a rise in temperatures that our 20s-acclimated bodies feel almost HOT now ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 29, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The winds downtown really got me today, because I was expecting milder conditions and didnt bundle up. Really stiff stuff! Think they'll be fully gone tomorrow or will they linger longer?

Posted by: rhingo | December 29, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I walked the dog 2day & yesterday wearing a t, in fact, I would have on shorts if was about 3-4 degrees warmer.
No wind 2morrow headed 2 the 301 Bridge 4 some striper fishing.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 29, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

rhingo - Should be better tomorrow, but not calm conditions, either. Still bundle up--a little! Dress in layers I would say.

VaTechBob - enjoy fishing!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

This is weird... I'm craving snow and warm weather at the same time! I just can't make up ny mind! For example, the fact that NYC just got a blizzard makes me extremely jealous, but to think that Acapulco is 82°, gosh, that sounds fantastic! I just can't make up my mind...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 29, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

It was so nice today I cleaned my car. I found out the exterior is actually red, and interior is black. Now that I've done that we can expect bad weather (precip) very soon. :o) But I do have to give today high marks. VERY nice!

Happy New Year (early) to all!

Posted by: southbridgemom | December 29, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Top notch suggestion, Southbridgemom. I am going to wash my car... that ought to do it.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Posted by: somdcommuter | December 29, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

This is kind of out of context now because I was busy and didn't get a chance today to comment on the previous post, but I was wondering about the paper attached as reference to the Jan 25 storm of 200.

I'm particularly interested in the mesoscale references in terms of what allowed the storm to bring heavy snow to central MD.

1) What kinds of mesoscale events enhance snow during a snowstorm?

2) How can a mesoscale event change the actual path of a storm rather than simply adding more moisture and possibly expanding the precip shield?

3) How often are mesoscale events actually impactful on a storm? Is there any legit way to successfully track these events outside of the models that don't seem to track them very well.

The Jan 25th storm intrigues me as kind of being an opposite to what we just experienced here over the holiday weekend. I distinctly remember that storm. I went to bed with Bob Ryan giving us 1-2 inches at most, with a 20% chance of the storm turning up the coast for a big one (don't remember if this was evening or late news). What I also remember is seeing the storm on radar and thinking to myself, "gee, that sure looks like it's heading directly for us." I was only in 7th grade but just like this past storm, my intuition seemed to prove correct over forecast simply by extrapolating radar.

The paper provided by Steve definitely rang true with me. It seems that the models are becoming more of a crutch rather than a tool. I wonder what the future holds for forecasting technologically speaking, or whether we might revert back to more old-school observation analysis forecasting.

Posted by: bbirnbau | December 29, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Cooked some ribs out on the grill. The big difference between today and last week is today I sat out next to the grill and read the newspaper while cooking the ribs... and no Eskimo clothes! So nice. But would still welcome cold and snow. After all, it is winter!
Happy new year y'all.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | December 29, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

With respect to the heavy precip out west. Does anyone have a good site that tracks water level of Lake Mead? Also, does all this precip significantly increase its water level?

Posted by: caphillse | December 29, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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