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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/24/2011

Forecast: Showers later today, strong winds Fri.

By David Streit

Possible t'showers to go with tomorrow's gusts

updated at 10:50 a.m.

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

 

First half of day is an 8 but slips to a 6 as clouds thicken and showers move in
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Increasing clouds, mid-to-late afternoon showers. Near 50 to low 50s. | Tonight: Occasional rain showers. 40-45. | Tomorrow: Scattered rain, possible t'shower, strong winds. 55-60. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

As we pass through the final days of meteorological winter, it should feel a little more like spring, especially if we get a little thunder tomorrow. However, the main challenge on Friday will be standing upright as gales take a whack at us once again - a High Wind Watch has been issued for possible gusts to 60 mph. Is it just me or are we trying to challenge Chicago for the windy city title this season? Please hold any and all political comments!

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - The only reason this isn't zero is there is precipitation in the forecast and the calendar says February, sorry snow-lovers!

 
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 regional 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 (Thursday): There should still be a few breaks for the sun to peek through in the morning. The moisture feed increases by afternoon, and showers arriving by around or after 3 p.m. are not welcome, especially as we try to commute home. Only light breezes from the south today. Highs reach to near 50 or the low 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Occasional rain showers are likely tonight (90% chance) but nothing very dramatic. Generally 0.25-0.50" rain is likely, maybe a little bit more north of the District. Breezes from the south keep temperatures from falling much. Lows should not dip worse than the low-to-mid 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through Monday....

Friday: The morning is a tricky call. Most of the heavier rains are likely to be up in Pennsylvania. We might even see a few breaks in the clouds as they fly by. Winds quickly rev up and at 15 to 25 mph should provide some opportunity for a facial as the sand put down for the snow last week starts flying. The cold front is expected to arrive just after noon and that is when a downpour or two, a few claps of thunder, and sustained winds around 25-30 mph with gusts up to 60 mph are most likely. Winds whip around shifting from the south to out of the northwest halting our climbing temperatures in the mid-to-upper 50s. If the front is late, low 60s. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Skies quickly clear in the early evening but the howling winds could hang in until midnight before abating. Temperatures plummet with 40s for those out and about in the evening. Lows should fall to the upper 20s to lower 30s so watch out for possible icy patches at daybreak. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday is mostly sunny and temperatures are downright seasonable. Even the winds run out of gas (too expensive I suppose). Highs peak in the upper 40s to lower 50s. A quiet evening with stars overhead. Lows reach low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday dawns with plenty of sun but clouds get into the mix by midday. Still I wouldn't bet on a truly cloudy sky until evening. Not a bad day to get some gardening done. Breezes start to pick up from the south in the afternoon and that signals another influx of moisture headed our way. Highs should be in the mid-to-upper 50s and again, if we could keep the clouds down long enough lower 60s. The evening is cloudy and mild but winds from the south are becoming brisk. Light showers are possible after midnight (50% chance). Lows reach the mid-to-upper 40s. Confidence: Medium

Monday is windy but likely to be oh so warm. A nice way to end the month as long as the rains (70% chance) hold off until evening. It could be a close call as a line of thundershowers could impinge on the evening commute given the current timing. Highs should cruise to the low-to-mid 60s. Confidence: Low-Medium

By David Streit  | February 24, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Quiet before growing rain risk Thurs
Next: High wind watch for the region yet again

Comments

I am ready for spring!!! While shopping at Walmart in Sterling yesterday I couldnt help but get spring fever as I meandered around the lawn and garden area. Come on mother nature lets bring back the mild breezes and sunshine. Oh but please leave all the allergies associated with spring behind.

Posted by: teebyrd86 | February 24, 2011 6:20 AM | Report abuse

So does that mean we can lose the SPI for good on March 1st?

Just kidding....

Actually, Topper Shutt pretty much threw in the towel on winter last night during the 5pm broadcast. And he's a big snow lover, as most of you know.

CWG...your thoughts? I know that it can snow in March, but given the pattern we're in, are the chances of March snow lower this year than they would be in an average year?

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 24, 2011 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Am I correct that we in the IAD area are about negative 2.20 inches of precipitation so far this year?

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | February 24, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on how hiking might be near Skyline Drive this Saturday? Will it be too muddy/cold to enjoy?

Posted by: HokieTerp | February 24, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Not again with the wind. I hate these high winds and we have had more than our share this year. Let's trade all of these winds for some good ol' snow. Seems fair to me.

Posted by: marcm2 | February 24, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

you folks getting all hopped up about spring can just hold your horses! as my wife says, you're "rushing the season". there's still nearly a MONTH of winter left. dc gets about as much snow in march as december. don't worry, you'll get plenty of chances to discuss pollen and gardening and UV indexes and whether 75 degrees and partly cloudy qualifies as a "nice day" etc...

snow hunt:
the NAM shows .1 to 1" snow on the back end of tomorrow's rain storm (~7pm?):
http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/nam/06/images/nam_pcp_042m.gif

so, where's the SLCB? when will we be getting an accumulation map? i'm having company over that evening. do you think i should reschedule?

the GFS shows 5"(!) on march 6, again on the back end of a much larger storm:
http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/06/images/gfs_pcp_252m.gif

and there's another one on march 10th showing up w/snow, but it would be unrealistic to expect that one to verify, as it's a bit too far out... i mean, get real!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 24, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

worldtraveler,
yup. and 4" behind on snow for the season.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/LWX/CLIIAD

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 24, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Looking worse and worse for skiing at Wisp in western MD on Friday. At least in the morning. Will the fronts move through there first?

Posted by: wiredog | February 24, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

HokieTerp--

I was at Old Rag Mountain little more than a week ago and there was some ice on the woodland trails that made parts of the hike tricky, but from what I gather, this trail was virtually ice-free by last weekend. I find this website to be a good resource (with other useful ancillary sites):
http://oldragpatrolsbyrsl-blook.blogspot.com/
My friends and I are thinking about heading up Sunday morning and maybe doing Hawksbill, and some waterfall trails (Overall, Dark Hollow). A lot of the snowpack at 3000plus feet will be melting thanks to the warm temps so the streams should be nice and full. Have fun!

Posted by: zaingsankaran | February 24, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch, I looked closely at the sounding and NAM output and see no snow. I think Dave's 1 on the SPI was generous. The SLCB is firmly locked in the vault.

ThinkSpring, the pattern is still not one favorable for snow for the next 10 days. I won't speculate beyond that time frame.

Posted by: wjunker | February 24, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"you folks getting all hopped up about spring can just hold your horses! "

Well I know that, but try explaining it to the daffodils bulbs that are busting out at my Manassas office park.

My car's gonna get washed tomorrow....yay!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 24, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

wes,
thanks for checking the sounding - even though i don't like what you found...

firedragon,
daffodils are notorious season-rushers:
http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&biw=1600&bih=655&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=daffodils+in+snow&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 24, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I, for one, cannot WAIT until spring arrives.

Mainly because then I won't have to read another lament about the lack of snow, another snowdance announcement, another overly optimistic spin on European snow forecasts, for another blessedly quiet eight months.

Posted by: dcreader6 | February 24, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

My new nickname for Walter:

"Good Chill Hunting"

Posted by: AsymptoticUnlimited | February 24, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@worldtraveler83

That sounds about right. We did a post on the rainfall deficit last week. It focuses on DCA, but the situation is not much different at IAD: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2011/02/drought_conditions_nearing_met.html - we have another post on weather and planting/gardening coming later this morning.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 24, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@Hokieterp it will probably be muddy but temperatures won't be too bad if you dress in layers. Should have plenty of sun. @worldtraveler We have been running behind normal by several inches in the past 3 months and the 2.2" for year to date is about right. I will have a map up soon with my first gardening/weather blog in about a half hour!

Posted by: davidstreit2 | February 24, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Anyone heading to Skyline Drive this weekend may want to check with the Park Service. Parts of the park are closed due to wildfires still burning from last weekend.

Posted by: jerryherman | February 24, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Walter, please get some help...

Posted by: weatherdude | February 24, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Walter, please get some help...

Posted by: weatherdude | February 24, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

weatherdude,
thanks for your concern, but i'm afraid (glad, actually) i'm like the addict who doesn't want to "go straight". i thoroughly enjoy my snow addiction and so would be a terrible candidate for rehab or intervention or whatever.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 24, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we could make a game of this.

On what date will walter finally give up the ghost and stop model hugging for the season?

I'm gonna go with April 8.

@walter - Hope you know this post was all in fun. I actually get a kick out of your model posts/wishcasting.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 24, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

good chill hunting! hahaha. that's what it is this time of year as there's always a series of storms going by - it's just a matter of finding the chill to go along with it.

thinkspring,
no offense taken at all. and glad you find it amusing. that's my intent (mostly). i say "mostly" because if one of those GFS la-la-land fantasy snow storms gets close enough to show up on the NAM... well, then it wouldn't be all fun and games anymore... ;-)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 24, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

huu i just noticed the HIGH WIND WARNING now posted for the area


High Wind Warning


URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
836 PM EST THU FEB 24 2011

DCZ001-MDZ004>007-009>011-013-014-016>018-VAZ036>040-042-050>057-
501-502-250945-
/O.NEW.KLWX.HW.W.0002.110225T1900Z-110226T0000Z/
/O.EXT.KLWX.WI.Y.0007.110225T1600Z-110225T1900Z/
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-FREDERICK MD-CARROLL-NORTHERN BALTIMORE-
HARFORD-MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-SOUTHERN BALTIMORE-PRINCE GEORGES-
ANNE ARUNDEL-CHARLES-ST. MARYS-CALVERT-NELSON-ALBEMARLE-GREENE-
MADISON-RAPPAHANNOCK-LOUDOUN-ORANGE-CULPEPER-
PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK-FAIRFAX-
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-STAFFORD-SPOTSYLVANIA-
KING GEORGE-NORTHERN FAUQUIER-SOUTHERN FAUQUIER-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WASHINGTON...FREDERICK...WESTMINSTER...
GAITHERSBURG...COLUMBIA...BALTIMORE...ANNAPOLIS...WALDORF...
ST MARYS CITY...CHARLOTTESVILLE...LEESBURG...CULPEPER...
MANASSAS...MANASSAS PARK...FAIRFAX...ALEXANDRIA...FALLS CHURCH...
FREDERICKSBURG...WARRENTON
836 PM EST THU FEB 24 2011

...WIND ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 2 PM EST FRIDAY...
...HIGH WIND WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM TO 7 PM EST FRIDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A HIGH WIND WARNING...IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM TO 7 PM EST
FRIDAY. THE WIND ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 2 PM EST
FRIDAY.

* TIMING...FRIDAY 11 AM TO 7 PM.

* WINDS...SOUTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 50 MPH LATE
MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON. BECOMING WEST 25 TO 35 MPH WITH
GUSTS AROUND 60 MPH DURING MID-AFTERNOON. NORTHWESTERLY BY
EARLY EVENING.

* IMPACT...POSSIBILITY OF DOWNED TREES...LARGE BRANCHES AND POWER
LINES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 45 MPH ARE
EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN BRING DOWN BRANCHES AND POWER
LINES AND MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT...ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE
VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS EXPECTED.
WIND GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR MORE CAN LEAD TO PROPERTY DAMAGE. SECURE
ANY LOOSE OUTDOOR PROPERTY.

Posted by: snowlover31 | February 24, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

o sorry i didint meen to post the entire advisery, feel free to delete that

Posted by: snowlover31 | February 24, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

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