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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Forecast: Seasonably cold first week of 2011

By Jason Samenow

Chance of light snow or rain Friday

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


It's chilly, but sunny. Let's give the first work day of 2011 the benefit of the doubt...
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Mostly sunny and cooler. 42-46. | Tonight: Clear and cold. 20-30. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny. 44-48. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


It's a New Year and a new month, but the cold, relatively dry pattern that characterized much of December persists. High temperatures through late in the work week are in the chilly 40s before an Arctic front drops us down into the 30s for the weekend. During the transition, we could see some (probably) low impact snow and/or rain showers Friday.

Snow Potential Index: 2 (→) - A chance of some flakes late in the week, but accumulating snow potential is dubious.

The SPI is a daily assessment of snow potential for the next week on a 0-10 scale. Get the 'SPI' on Twitter

Today (Monday): The weekend's gloomy gray skies are gone (replaced by sunshine), but so are the mild temperatures. Relatively cold high pressure knocks maximum temperatures back into the mid-40s (after 59 Sunday early in the morning, and 58 Saturday). Winds are from the west at around 10 mph. Confidence: High

Tonight: It's clear, calm, and cold. We see a big spread in overnight lows ranging from near 20 in the colder suburbs to near 30 downtown. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through next weekend...

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Skies are mostly sunny in the morning before some high clouds develop in the afternoon associated with a dry cold front passing through the region. Weak flow from the west and southwest coupled with the filtered sunshine probably allow temperatures to reach the mid-to-upper 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Skies gradually clear, and it's cold. Lows range from the near 20 in the colder suburbs to the upper 20s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High


Wednesday and Thursday are your average early January days in D.C. Skies are mostly sunny but there's a chill in the air as highs climb into the low 40s. Wednesday night's lows range from 19-27 (suburbs-city) under clear skies. Some clouds increase ahead of our next weather system Thursday night, with lows 25-30 (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium-High

On Friday, a clipper system passing by produces a chance of snow and/or rain showers. The farther south it tracks, the better the chance of snow. A track farther north would generate winds from the south probably causing any snow to mix with and/or change to rain. In any event, precipitation amounts are likely to be light. Highs should be in the 30s. It turns windy and quite cold Friday night with a chance of snow showers as the clipper develops into a coastal storm to the northeast. Lows fall well into the 20s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Chances are good that the weekend is quite cold and breezy (much like December was) with highs in the 30s and lows in the teens and 20s. It's probably dry but I can't rule out a few snow flurries, especially Saturday. Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | January 3, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Gray Sunday, then sunnier & cooler
Next: D.C.'s wild weather ride in 2010


LOL in the daily digit it says the first work day of 2010, not 2011

Posted by: samd95 | January 3, 2011 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Someone forgot to close a bold tag...

Posted by: wiredog | January 3, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

The sky is very clear this morning. It's nice to see the day getting longer and longer, but right now its at the point where I have the sun on my eyes blinding me through my entire commute. Quite painful!

Posted by: dantebouchot | January 3, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I guess no one saw last night's Euro? ;)

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Ian, I don't trust the Euro this Winter! But we shall see... :)

dantebouchot - The low sun angle is indeed blinding. Hang in there... but it might not be until February where you will have sizable relief. Try to drive north-south roads at sunrise and sunset? But that suggestion is moot if your home and work are located east/west of each other!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Ian, if you are talking about next week. I would say that Accuweather, just now, is picking up the ball and running with it!

Posted by: retroace | January 3, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse


Just seeing it now... Wasn't up late enough last night to incorporate. It's interesting, but want to see some continuity and support. It's very close to a miss...but digging in the right direction...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The Euro may be tending to dig polar vortex lows deeper this year...wx board chatter say it keeps trying to dig a PV down to Virginia late this week. Other models don't seem to agree.

I won't welcome anything worse than flurries/dusting on the 7th...Bobby has a big dance at the Elks Lodge that evening.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 3, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Jason, I'd be shocked if the first storm (end of the week) produced what the Euro shows here! Anyone remember seeing a polar vortex drop into Va/Carolina? The one next week looks a little more realistic but way on out there of course.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ian-agreed. The Euro solution doesn't look realistic, but the trend to a more southerly track (now shown in the GFS) might give us a better chance of some light snow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't the Euro the more realistic of the solutions for the Boxing Day storm? I'm losing track of what to trust at this point. I'll believe in snow when I see it I guess. LOL.

Kim (the skeptic) in Manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | January 3, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not biting. (yet, anyways...)

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 3, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

ksrgatorfn1, I think it was one of the first to catch on to a big east coast low and the models all waffled but it showed us having a historic storm here for a while and that did not happen. Looking closer the evolution on the Euro for the late week storm reminds me a little of last years on Feb 9-10, but the way it comes together is even more difficult than that one which was quite rare in the area.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

could someone post a link to the "good" euro - the one for next week folks are starting to talk about?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 3, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The "good" Euro is here at 120-144hrs
I for one am holding out hope on this...

Posted by: JDK4 | January 3, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

thanks JDK4,
so, there are 4 panels there. pardon my ignorance here, but which one do i look at and how do i convert determine inches of snow?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 3, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Walter - Highlight F120 near the left hand corner and take a look at the Low forming just north and offshore of the Carolina's! Although, this is quite unlikely. Looks like the NE/Cap Cod will get smoked again with a decent storm...maybe NYC too.

Posted by: parksndc | January 3, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Walter-- There is also a very nice explanation of what the 4 panels in the Euro display here

Posted by: JDK4 | January 3, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

alright, i see that lovely blood-red blob of low pressure in the upper left drawing at 120hrs. and i see from the lower left and lower right drawings that relative humidity is 90-100. from the lower right one i can see that temp is cold enough for snow. is there any way of determining inches of snow or liquid qpf?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 3, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It's "farther" not "further."

FARTHER denotes physical advancement in distance.

FURTHER denotes advancement to greater degree, as in time.

Posted by: atrahan29 | January 3, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, the new Euro took away the big storm/s but still looks OK for some clipper snow.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for catching. Fixed.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 3, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Euro shmurmo

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 3, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ditto Snowlover2.

Posted by: wadejg | January 3, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Given the Euro's difficulties with North American east coast snow storms so far this season, it makes me wonder how well it predicted the huge snows in Europe last month??

Posted by: petworthlad | January 3, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

so, does the euro predict amounts of liquid like the gfs does? or is it more like "large", "medium" and "small" storm?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 3, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The end of the year misses bummed me out and taught me to wait until the 48 hours mark before getting excited. Heck, maybe even 24 hours...

Posted by: Rcmorgan | January 3, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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