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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/ 2/2011

Forecast: Gray Sunday, then sunnier & cooler

By Brian Jackson

updated at 9:45 a.m.

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


Lingering warmer temps are nice, even if clouds & a few showers are slow to clear.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Mostly cloudy. A few showers (40% chance). Upper 40s to near 50. | Tonight: Mostly clear. Mid-20s to near 30. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny & colder. Near 40 to low 40s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


While the gray skies and a few showers may not thrill you today, the cold front responsible for our clouds and showers since yesterday moves out by evening, setting the stage for sunnier and drier weather. As we head into the work week, cooler but seasonable temperatures make for a fairly pleasant start to the new year.

Snow Potential Index: 2 (→) - Late-week storm chance may or may not turn interesting. Nothing to worry/get excited about yet.

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

Radar & lightning: Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Sunday): A few more periodic showers are possible (40% chance) before a cold front fully exits the area by late afternoon or early evening. Otherwise it's a decent Sunday, despite the mostly cloudy skies, with temperatures mainly in the upper 40s to near 50. Winds from the north are around 10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: A bit of a breeze - from the northwest around 10-15 mph - begins to bring back a more wintry feel. Though thanks to the wind, temperatures themselves shouldn't drop terribly far. Lows dip to near 30 downtown and mid-20s in the cooler suburbs under mostly clear skies. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast into the coming week...

Tomorrow (Monday): While we aren't returning to quite the winter chill we saw during parts of December, temperatures are noticeably cooler as we begin our work week. Under high pressure, skies are mostly sunny and highs top out near 40 or in the low 40s. Winds begin to slacken and turn from the west at around 5 mph. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Partly to mostly clear skies should reveal a decent number of stars. Lows are similar to tonight, bottoming in the mid-20s to near 30 again with light winds. Confidence: Medium-High


Tuesday, an upper-level wave moving through should be enough to turn skies partly to mostly cloudy, but probably not enough to give us any precipitation. A warming breeze from the west helps highs to at least the low-to-mid 40s. Overnight, we begin to clear out our skies, and lows return to the mid-20s to near 30. Confidence: Medium

Winter coat weather is in full swing again on Wednesday, when temperatures tumble a bit with highs only in the upper 30s to near 40. On the plus side, skies should be partly to mostly sunny. Confidence: Medium-High

By Brian Jackson  | January 2, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Mild start to New Year turns showery
Next: Forecast: Seasonably cold first week of 2011


I have officially given ip hope on the late week storm.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I was never that high on the storm at the end of this week producing snow. The track just wasn't right.

Anyone notice the 2 storms on the GFS around 2 weeks out? WAY too early to get excited about them yet, but both take the southern track and the cold air is in place.

Posted by: gilmoredaniel | January 2, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse


Can you post the link to the two models showing those storms? I can't seem to find it.


Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

the storm is still 5 days out. Is there something about the guidance that suggests the forecast can't change? It seems that things can change within hours so is it just defensive pessimism making you give up on the storm?

But yeah the storms a few weeks out look good.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 2, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

CWG, most of the overnight guidance actually suggests a slightly increased threat of showers later in the day (especially on the southeast side of town), and the 12z NAM continues that idea. Perhaps a need to update that afternoon forecast?

Posted by: foul_throw | January 2, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the comment... anticipating the slowness of the front to clear out, we already had a chance of showers through mid-to-late afternoon. Just tweaked the forecast though to keep the chance in there through late afternoon or early evening, which the models support (including the one you cite).

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 2, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Who's heading out to Fed-Ex Field today?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 2, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Fed Ex field? Not this Ex- Fed!!!!

Posted by: pvogel88 | January 2, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Two chances of snow this week according to Margusity and Bastardi...just a few inches though. Guess we'll see what happens and whether others start picking up on the possibility.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 2, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for posting that. Even though we are in the potential snow area, it seems we would only see 1 - 3 inches maximum. I am pleased to hear that the coldest weather of the season will be moving in. Maybe it will stick around long enough to give us a big snow before the winter is over. I'm confident that we will see at least one appreciable snowfall by winter's end, but you never know. Mother Nature makes her own decisions and we have no control over that.

Just a reminder regarding the link, the folks at AccuWeather tend to get waaaaay too hyped up about things. For example, they predicted in late November/early December that more than half the country would see a white Christmas. We were included in the half that was supposed to see a white Christmas, but that didnt happen; unless you count that little flurry event we had Christmas morning. They also said that we would have several big snowstorms between Dec. 1 and Dec. 25 which didn't happen.

Having said that, it's okay to dream, and the folks at give us a lot to dream about!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Still pretty gloomy out there...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"the folks at AccuWeather tend to get waaaaay too hyped up about things"

that site is entertainment, not forecasting, and I prefer entertainers who are better to look at than Joe B., they need to at least teach some of the hot chicks doing the one minute regional forecasts how to hype an hour of snow flurries into the storm of the decade

Posted by: tgt111 | January 2, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, still pretty gloomy out there. I have showers downtown. Keeping it pretty wet and somewhat chilly; but, we have to all head outside sometime, right?? :P

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 2, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

No snow on Friday the 7th...first big dance night in two weeks--Elks Lodge.

Latest model/weather board seems to develop off New Jersey...too far north for us...maybe a "Snooki-storm", but not our storm!!!

No unneeded bad weather on dance night...please!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 2, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Reston, VA was dry since about 9am but we're starting to get some showers now.

Posted by: parksndc | January 2, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse


Don't worry - - the end of the week storm should not affect us. Like you said, the latest model guidance doesn't look too favorable for a biggie. We should, however, keep our eye on not one but two potential storms coming up in about two weeks.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

That daily digit of 6 is way optimistic. It's been raining here in Arlington steadily all afternoon. I give it a 2 max. At least it's not snow.

Posted by: alrob8 | January 2, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

That daily digit of 6 is way optimistic. It's been raining here in Arlington steadily all afternoon. I give it a 2 max. At least it's not snow.

Posted by: alrob8 | January 2, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

That daily digit of 6 is way optimistic. It's been raining here in Arlington steadily all afternoon. I give it a 2 max. At least it's not snow.
Posted by: alrob8 | January 2, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse
What do you mean at least it's not snow? If it was snowing, I'd give this day a 10/10! I guess you aren't a snow lover, and in that case, you might as well move to Florida.

I can agree with you on one thing: today definitely deserves a daily digit of 2. It's been humid, rainy and downright dreary!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Those "accuweather guys" were some of the only ones to get the blizzard right...not for us, but for Philly, NYC, and Boston. As for the white Christmas forecast...I'm pretty sure about 50% of the country did get one as predicted...we just fell into a small hole. Technically, it was white for us as well since it snowed on Christmas and we got a dusting. As for this week...I'd love to see two storms with only 1-3 inches each. 2 inches of snow would be a lot this year.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 2, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse


OK, but can't you admit that AccuWeather does get over excited about things?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

BobMiller2 is making it really difficult to read the comments section of this website. Every winter some snow lover that thinks we live in Vermont comes on here and complains about how winter just isn't how it used to be, and this year it is BobMiller2.

BobMiller2, this isn't a snowy region. Rather than inviting non-snow lovers to move to Florida, maybe the snow lovers should moved to Vermont or Colorado.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 2, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse


yeah accuwx takes alot of heat in the comment section here. Alot of it has to do with Joey Fearless as the CWG staff has called him not believing in man made global warming, thats part of their dislike for accuwx.

The other part is accuwx actually forecasts winter storms with real probabilities of what may happen more than 2 or 3 days out and not use the tired argument that the storm is just too far out :/

Accuwx actually tries to do their job as pro fmets and predict weather early and often to help all be prepared for the worst of the possibilities.

And on a side note, i feel your pain southsideffx as snow lovers are h377 bent in their love for snow. Move to Alaska if you love snow, even tho al gore says theres no snow or cold there :/

Posted by: KRUZ | January 2, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse


Saying that Accuwx were some of the only ones to get the blizzard right is a huge joke. First of all they were no where ahead of the curve as the rest of the mets out there. In fact they still had the storm as a less impact event after those first couple GFS runs that had possible misfed data. Bernie Rano was convinced that the skewed data was the culprit for higher snowfall tallies predicted.

Then, the night before the storm, I specifically remember Bernie Rano calling for half a foot in D.C. with possibly more into Baltimore.

I'm sorry, how was Accuwx more accurate in your eyes? Their forecasting is not bad but you just have to balance their forecasts with a weight of conservatism. They do tend to hype things a tad for my liking.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 2, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah and Bobmiller and gilmordaniel, how are you seeing gfs information from 2 weeks out? I can't seem to figure out how to get information like this.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 2, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

@SouthsideFFX & KRUZ:

I apologize if my comments have upset you. I didn't realize it was bothering anyone.

But I would like you to understand that there are snow lovers and non snow lovers, and we both have the right to have different opinions.

I respect the fact that you don't like snow as much as I do and believe me; sometimes even I get tired of snow! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse


The following link should have all the GFS info you need. It also has the NAM and several others. I beleive this one goes 16 days out.

The next one is VERY helpful during snow events. It predicts the total snowfall accumulation for the next 5 or 6 days.

Hope this helps! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 2, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA After a showery day with SLOWLY dropping temps the winds started to kick right before sunset. It's below 40 now.
That was a nice little thaw & now it's time to go back to "normal".
Unfortunately "normal" in this area means just above freezing days & no snow.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 2, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

oh, brother... you guys and your "move to alaska/florida" baloney.

note that you got your wish again today... and probably will tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day and the next day and the next day and the next day etc... for about the next 10-14 days. after that, apparently there's a chance for some snow. please let us enjoy that - without all the charges of us wishing suffering and death on our neighbors...

we live in an area where we can expect about 4 or 5 snow events a year. it's not alaska and it's not florida. the fact that snow is not common makes it all the more fun for us when it does happen.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 2, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

KRUZ - "snow lovers are h377 bent in their love for snow" - Thank you for your expert analysis...hahaha.

Also, yes, Accuweather forecasts far in advance based on the same long-range models we all see, but even they would admit it’s with EXTREMELY LOW probability! Those long range forecasts are quite often incorrect and change daily...oh yeah, and they get paid for that too, I'm sure that pisses you off immensely.

Posted by: parksndc | January 2, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Down to 23.9F in the Blue Ridge Mtns east of Front Royal now... in the early afternoon there were a few pieces of sleet falling from the sky...

Posted by: spgass1 | January 2, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

If this isn't a snowy region, then why does it snow here?

Posted by: mason08 | January 2, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

mason08 - we are right on the geographic and climatological snow line. We receive well under 20" downtown and only a little more than that, each season, outside the Beltway. But you go further west, near the Blue Ridge mountains, and we receive much more. We are located on an interesting point within the Northern Hemisphere that makes weather forecasting quite exciting/frustrating/interesting... depending on how you look at it :-) From where did you move to DC?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 2, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I grew up San Joaquin Valley of California, via Maine. The former is NOT a snowy place, though the Sierra Nevada provided plenty of exposure to it. Augusta, Maine, on the other hand, receives about four times what we get here over a much longer season. My impression of winters up there were that individual events up there were comparable in size to those here, but more frequent.

Posted by: mason08 | January 2, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

My point, Candem, is that where I grew up, I saw snow falling below 3000' once in a dozen years.

That, not this, is a non-snowy region.

Posted by: mason08 | January 2, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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