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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Forecast: Sligthtly warmer and dry today

By Matt Rogers

Chance of snow showers Friday with a chilly weekend

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


I think warmer (3-5 degrees) trumps more clouds for a better digit vs. Monday.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Partly sunny and milder. 44-48. | Tonight: Mostly clear and cold. 24-28. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. 42-46. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Fairly quiet weather continues over the next few days as a modified Canadian air mass moves through. Very dry humidity, especially by tomorrow, may require you to keep your favorite lip balm handy. While seasonally cold, we should do the best we can to enjoy it as a chance of snow showers comes Friday followed by colder weather and annoying winds this weekend.

Snow Potential Index: 2 (→) - Can't rule out a chance of light snow Friday, but odds of anything measurable still look low.

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 (Tuesday): Modest high pressure and modified (more mild) Canadian air remain over our area. This keeps us dry with temperatures mainly in a seasonal range. In other words, the weather shouldn't cause much trouble again today. Highs are in the mid-to-upper 40s with partly sunny skies and light breezes at 5-10 mph from the southwest. Confidence: High

Tonight: Any late afternoon or evening lingering clouds should fade away as we set the stage for mostly clear skies and lows in the 20s (near 20 colder suburbs, upper 20s downtown) with light winds tonight. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Mostly sunny skies and very dry humidity dominate the story. Highs are in the low-to-mid 40s as winds pick up a bit from the northwest (10-15 mph), which along with the dry humidity offer a slight wind chill. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Partly cloudy skies with lows ranging through the 20s (maybe an outer suburb teen or two). Light winds. Confidence: High


Thursday is partly cloudy with highs in the low-to-mid 40s along with light winds. Clouds overspread the area toward late afternoon and evening. Cloudy skies Thursday night should be accompanied by temperatures still falling into the 20s (but probably upper 20s to around 30, especially in the city). Confidence: Medium

For Friday, the guidance is still varied on details, but a weak disturbance should pass through and trigger some snow shower chances (40% chance). No significant accumulation is expected. Cloudy and colder conditions keep temperatures in the mid-to-upper 30s. Friday night could see some stray snow showers or flurries with lows dropping into the 20s and winds increasing. Confidence: Low-Medium

The weekend isn't bad from a travel or activity disruption standpoint, but it features some of the worst winter can offer in terms of cold and windy weather. Saturday looks unpleasant right now with variable clouds, gusty winds, a few flurries, and highs only in the low to maybe mid-30s. Wind chills would be in the 20s at best during the day. Lows in the teens and 20s Saturday night before a partly sunny Sunday with highs only in the 30s and lingering breezes. Confidence: Low-Medium

The latest weather models are hinting about a possible winter storm next Tue-Wed. We'll keep an eye on it!

By Matt Rogers  | January 4, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Record warmth in 2010, despite cooling influences


Martinsburg/Shepherdstown in the cold spot this a.m.--14 degrees! Wasn't expected. Winchester is a balmy 28.

Sad story about the red-wing blackbirds. I worry about the percussion effect on my windows when my W.Va. neighbors celebrate the Fourth of July...for about 4 months.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | January 4, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

re next week's potential storm, adapted from the previous thread:

ian, thanks for the link.
( )

DLO1975, lilymama,
when you say they (accuweather) are "predicting 18" and they "have 21 inches", is that really what they're saying? or is it a 5% chance of that? or are they just reading the gfs?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 4, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

also from yesterday's post:

ian, statisticians,
there must be some "level of certainty" that one could assign to the gfs prediction (which looks to be 5-7" based on that gfs link) for my front yard (MFY) @216 hours out.

do people do studies of these models' accuracy for a given location? what's the chance of that verifying for MFY? 1%? 5%? 20%?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 4, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Is the CWG column by Jason in today's print edition of TWP (p. D8) a new feature? And will be a recurring column?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 4, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

btw, per DLO1975 and lilymama, those predictions of 18 and 21" are for eldersburg and olney md. respectively - unfortunately not d.c....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 4, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

6z gfs has the storm missing us pretty much completely. This is why you don't get excited about something 10 days out.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 4, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

according to Joe Bastardi, as of Wednesday, we'll all have to live in the woods and eat snow as civilization comes to an end 30 miles west of I-95 from Central Virginia to somewhere in Northern New England, this new snowmadic society will last about 5 days until it too is buried under another blizzard, and then again 12 more times as the city formerly known as Richmond, Virginia receives 400 inches of snow for the season according to his "forecasts"

Posted by: tgt111 | January 4, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

It is definitely too early to get excited yet about next week's storm threat. But my guess is that we will see more storm chances in the weeks ahead as a mother lode of cold air dumps into the U.S. next week and the week following. We certainly will not be hurting for cold air supply.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 4, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

tgt111 - LOL, that was awesome! Matt Rogers...thanks for the exciting news! Cold in Reston...27 degrees, wondering if we'll see that 45/46 degree high we have forecasted.

Posted by: parksndc | January 4, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Matt Rogers is trying to cheer me up.
Cold is back - we're set for snow. Send in the moisture.
You can keep those crazy winter winds though.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 4, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If Acuweather is forecasting a major snowstorm, it's more likely to be snowfail, not snowfall.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 4, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON47 - agreed about those winds!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 4, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

12Z GFS is running now and looks good for next week. Once again - NEXT WEEK!!!!!! Please know that these models are only decent at this range of telling you that "something" "might" "be in the vicinity" and that is about all. There is no skill to these models about anything falling in YFY (Your Front Yard) this far out. We can talk come Friday if this is still a potential solution. (Rant over).

Posted by: DullesARC | January 4, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Walter...that was yesterday's forecast for Eldersburg, MD. Today, accuweather professional's 14 day is calling for flurries next Tuesday. It really depends which way the wind blows with them. Oddly, their forecast rarely matches up with what Bastardi and Margusity are calling for. Given that those two are accuweather's winter experts one would think the forecast would at least somewhat relate to what they are saying...which is a big storm next Tuesday. We'll see what always. In the meantime, an inch or two of snow on Friday would be nice. Cold without snow is just nuisance cold to me...and December was filled with it!

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 4, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, midday GFS model has the storm for next week, but it is complicated for us- maybe some ice/sleet at the front end on Tue and then snow afterward later Tue into Wed? The threat is still there. Details cannot be determined yet.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 4, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Dance season is starting up in the New Year, so there seem to be more snow threats on dance nights. Thus far the Friday threat [flurries or dusting] doesn't seem to be a dance-wrecker.

Weather board posts seem to be signing on to CWG/Bob Ryan's Siberian snow/cold weather ideas.

Haven't checked the ensembles yet re any storm threat middle of next week.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 4, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@tgt111: LMAO.

Re: Cold air. Meh. Useless without the precip threat.

Re: Next week threat. Meh. Don't get fooled again, no no!

Posted by: ennepe68 | January 4, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Matt -

So what happened to the expected warmer than normal January? What about February? Is that now gonna be colder than expected too?

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 4, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Doug Hill also said this morning he's backing off his prediction of a warmer January.

Posted by: maestrojmk | January 4, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

oh Matt...(shaking head, but smiling). I guess you gotta feed the peanut gallery something, right?!?

Posted by: DullesARC | January 4, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

This is a fascinating winter because we have never seen a La Niña this strong with so much cold air transport into the mid-latitudes. So yes, I suspect that February runs the risk of being colder than expected just like January.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 4, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

re the end of civilization: get yer snowshoes and mukluks now - before the frenzy begins.

matt, you said,
"...mother lode of cold air..." nice! well, that's half the equation.

model experts and statisticians,
i know this storm is next week and the odds of it coming to fruition are small, but does anyone know how small? 1%? 5%? 20%? has there been any kind of "post stormum" analysis of how accurate the GFS is for DCA 192 hours out?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 4, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

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