PM Update: Cold again tomorrow, still breezy
The sun made a nice showing this morning with more clouds around during the afternoon. But who has the time to look up at the sky when you're running to get inside from the cold and wind? Those winds blew stubbornly again today, sustained around 20 mph with gusts to near 35 mph. There is an end in sight to the winds and even a bit of a warm-up, but both will happen only gradually.
Through Tonight: Skies head back to mostly clear this evening and overnight. Meanwhile, winds scale back to around 10-15 mph after dark and should be a little less gusty than the past couple of nights. That's still probably enough of a breeze to keep temperatures from really plummeting. Look for lows in the low-to-mid 20s downtown and near 20 in the burbs.
Tomorrow (Wednesday): Mostly to partly sunny skies are no match for the deeply entrenched cold air mass. Highs probably don't get much past the mid-30s most spots. The welcome news is that we take winds down a notch from today, to around 15-20 mph from the west with gusts near 25-30 mph. Wind chills are still mainly in the 20s, but at least it's a sign of the much lighter winds on deck for Thursday.
Is it really that cold? No doubt it's cold out there and the wind isn't helping. And no doubt our bodies aren't used to this after the hot summer and warm fall. But is it that unusual to see conditions this cold in early December? Not really. A look back at the Reagan National Airport record books shows similar, but not as consistently windy, cold snaps in the early part of Decembers 2005 (Dec. 5-10; avg hi: 38F; 2 days w/ gusts > 25 mph), 2007 (Dec. 4-7; avg hi: 37F; 1 day w/ gusts > 25 mph) and 2008 (Dec. 5-8; avg hi: 36F; 1 day w/ gusts > 25 mph). Average high for the current cold snap that began Dec. 2? 42F. Though expected highs in the mid-30s today, tomorrow and Thursday will bring that average down. Today is the third in this current stretch with wind gusts over 25 mph.
| December 7, 2010; 3:45 PM ET
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