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Posted at 6:45 AM ET, 02/14/2011

Forecast: A February week akin to March

By Jason Samenow

Wind advisory this afternoon

originally posted at 5 a.m., updated at 6:45 a.m. and 12:50 p.m.

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


A lovely day for the warmest day in weeks, but windy...
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Very windy and mild. 62-68. | Tonight: Breezy and colder. 27-32. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny, brisk. 43-48. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Here we are in mid-February with high temperatures in the week ahead forecast to primarily fall in the 50s and 60s. The unusual warmth and the very gusty winds - enough for a Wind Advisory this afternoon - at times beg the question: have we fast forwarded a month? Not to mention, Friday we may make a run at 70, while tomorrow we slide back to the blustery 40s. This volatility sounds like March to me.

Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - This pattern is horrible for snow.

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 (Monday, Valentine's Day): If it weren't for the raging winds this afternoon that have prompted a Wind Advisory for the region, it would challenge for the nicest day since late in the fall. Under partly to mostly sunny skies, many spots flirt with the upper 60s, but the breezes may take your breath away, gusting to 40-55 mph (highest toward the mountains) at times (sustained at 20-30 mph) from the south and then the west. Make sure those rose bouquets are well-protected. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Behind a cold front passing through the region in the afternoon, it feels like winter again. Evening temperatures fall through the 50s and 40s by midnight. Breezes from the northwest at 10 to 20 mph produce wind chills in the 20s - so bring along a scarf if you're headed out on a Valentine's dinner date. Late at night, the mercury bottoms out at freezing downtown with upper 20s in the colder suburbs. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through next weekend...

Tomorrow (Tuesday): It's the coldest day of the week, and probably 15 degrees colder than Monday. On the plus side, the wind subsides and sunshine is abundant. Highs reach the mid-40s in most spots, with maybe some upper 40s south of town. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Clear skies and seasonably cold air. Lows reach the low 20s in the colder suburbs to around 30 downtown. Confidence: Medium-High


Flow from the south returns for Wednesday and Thursday, initiating a new warming trend. Under partly cloudy skies, highs on Wednesday reach the low-to-mid 50s, moderating to near 60 on Thursday . Overnight lows on Wednesday range from 32-40 (suburbs-city) and 36-44 (suburbs-city) Thursday. Confidence: Medium-High

Itching to break out the golf clubs? A big push of warm air from the south puts 70 within reach Friday. But, like Monday, the warmth is probably accompanied by gusty winds. During the evening a cold front approaches, offering just a 20-30% chance of showers. Overnight lows are in the 40s. Confidence: Medium

The warm air gradually erodes over the weekend. Under breezy conditions and partly sunny skies, highs reach the mid-50s or so on Saturday. Saturday, it's clear and cool, with lows in the upper 20s to mid-30s (downtown. By Sunday, winds subside, but highs cool back to around 50 under mostly sunny skies. Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | February 14, 2011; 6:45 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Welcome warmth on the way
Next: The snowstorm of February 11-12, 2006


"Gusting over 30"? Umm, CWG, there's a wind advisory posted for the whole DC metro area, from noon to 10 p.m. For gusts 45 to 55. Big difference.

My area (NW exurbs) starts a little earlier.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 14, 2011 5:21 AM | Report abuse


The Advisory wasn't yet issued when I initially prepared this forecast late last night. It's updated now, but I think the 55 mph estimate by NWS is high for the metro region...probably more in the 40-45 neighborhood. Could see 50 or so near the mountains.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Unless there's a major cool down next week, I think snow is done for the season.

Posted by: wiredog | February 14, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

thanks for that reply late last night about the weather terminology. that's the kind of info i was looking for. now, if only all mets could learn and consistently use those terms:
"...NWS generally considers "clear" as less than 10% cloud cover, "scattered" as 10% to 50%, "broken" as 50%-90%, and "overcast" 90% or above."

gee, thanks for not sugar-coating snow chances: "horrible" huh. that stinks worse than stink bugs.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 14, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

My walk from the bus to the office was, dare I say, pleasant? And the morning light coming earlier made it even better.

Sun starts rising before 7am this week (until early March when we forward clocks), and we're at the halfway point for Feb already. This month is really flying by.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 14, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone make sense of the State College discussion:

They say the GFS drives the colder air deeper into central PA, and the ECMWF (assume that's what they mean when they say IT'S) keeps colder air banked in Canada but allows a front to stall near PA and lets a storm ride along that. Then they say the GFS is too warm for snow(?) and the ECMWF is "POSSIBLY GIVING HOPE TO THOSE WHO HOPE WINTER IS NOT YET OVER" (a small quibble: seems like two different kinds of hope in that sentence, the kind that comes from model runs and the internal kind)

Posted by: eric654 | February 14, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I like snow days as much as the next guy but nothing beats leaving the house without cringing for the first time since November!

Posted by: 4seasons | February 14, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Punxsutawney Phil was right this year. But this snow lover will take it! Warm weather surely beats getting missed by the big snowstorms and then have to watch people both south and north of us get snow days galore while I'm stuck ticked off about it at work.Bring on the days of no coats.

Posted by: Rcmorgan | February 14, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I think I wore the wrong hat.
Now I will have to fight the wind when it tries to take it from me later today.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 14, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Wow! It looks like "snow haters" are gonna get duked out of warm temps and sunshine today... I (A Snow Lover)get no snow, so you "snow haters".. Get no sunshine and warm temps... Welcome to the club

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 14, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes, despite the wind, the temperatures are still pleasant enough. 50F during commute time to work this morning? Pretty remarkable since that is higher than our average daily maximum temperature! However, it is too early to eliminate the chance for cold & snow...calling it "done" for the season. DC long-term average climatology means we need to keep a watchful eye until the beginning of March, then re-evaluate. Too early to throw in the towel, and presume our mild weather will last all the way through March. A month that still can see flakes in the Metro Area.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

All the computer generated 10 day forecasts have snow for next monday now, except accuwx which is showing 0.15 of ice next monday so it seems like winter is unfortunately right around the corner :/ again.

im ready for spring.... to stay. one week of spring and then back to more ice/snow chances is just a tease to beautiful wx lovers.

Posted by: KRUZ | February 14, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Thaw is good - would like it to snow, but I think this snow lover needs a prescription for her spring fever, before she can face more cold. And hopefully snow. :)

This was one of only a handful of mornings since early December that I hadn't had hot oatmeal for breakfast. Too warm.

Posted by: MKoehl | February 14, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Im not sure about running outside on a trail after work this evening, with all that wind, could bring falling branches...

Posted by: apeirond | February 14, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

So guys - I know I'm not supposed to look far ahead at forecasts, but I can't help it. Next Tuesday is my birthday and I've had horrible weather every birthday for the last 4 years here in DC! Last year it was about 36 degrees and pouring rain. The year before there was an ice storm. It looks crappy again this year too! Please tell me something that will make me feel even the tiniest bit better- basically anything other than cold rain!

I'm done whining. Today is a real winner out there - at least now it is. Not sure how I'll feel about those 50 mph wind gusts later on!

Posted by: CuseFan07 | February 14, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Temps really heading up today, 63 at 11am!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Two weeks to go...but getting mild enough for the stink bugs to start reappearing...bummer! It could also wreck my hopes for a cold meteorological winter across the board...February could average milder than normal [BOO!!!].

What is the meaning or history behind the term "red flag warning" for fire danger? I always thought red flags were used to designate gale-force winds which don't qualify as storm-force [@ ca. 35-65 kt. or so]. Don't know how the term got used to designate fire weather--though strong dry winds do aggravate fire danger.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 14, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

In addition to the wind advisory, Weatherbug is reporting that a "Red Flag Warning" has also been issued as a result of extremely low relative humidities, wind, and our Abnormally Dry and Moderate Drought designations. Is that not worth mentioning, CWG?

This is the fourth month in a row of below-normal precipitation. That follows 8 months of below-normal rainfall last year.

This is NOT good. (I know I sound like a broken record, Bombo; I truly am passionate about all kinds of weather!).

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | February 14, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Dude, it's in the 60's out there! WOOT WOOT!

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 14, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we could be in for more drought conditions this summer. Last yr was bad, but at least the water table started out in good shape from all the snow. If we don't get some decent prec. over the next 3 mons. it could be worse than last yr.
The Rappahannock is already very low.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 14, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"many spots flirt with 60 degrees"

It's 66 at DCA - I think the flirting is over and we're well past second base.

Posted by: manatt | February 14, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse


lol. good one. Evidently, I need to tweak the forecast.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Not really a snow "lover" or "hater" per se, but I do recall a March weekend in 2007 when we got a fairly significant snow storm (I remember this well, as I was 9 mos preg with my son, and I had to ask my hubbie to lace up my snow boots for me every time I went outside....).

Posted by: SSpring1021 | February 14, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

SSpring1021 - indeed, March snow can happen. Glad you recall this, and can report it out to our readers. A lot of readers want to write-off winter this early in the season, but I am trying to hit home for them that climatology disallows us to call as over the cold & snow!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

4seasons, you said,
"I like snow days as much as the next guy but nothing beats leaving the house without cringing for the first time since November!"

1" of snow beats that!
2" of snow beats that too!
3" of snow beats that hands down!
12" of snow beats that hands down!
etc... you get the idea.

is that forecast for here? or "state college PA"?

maybe they've realized snow chances bring "hits". the GFS for that period features a series of RAINstorms for dc for next week and weekend. if only we could get the cold back. (or get water to freeze at higher temps.) of course we know how models are that far out etc... but maybe the models are wrong in showing all this warmth sticking around?

so true about march snow. if i recall correctly, we get more snow in march than december. and of course "the superstorm" happened in march.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 14, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I love snow as much as the next girl, but I have been on cloud nine with the warmth today! Spring and Summer means hiking, swimming, vacations, and gardening!

Posted by: HappyArmyWife | February 14, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"many spots flirt with 60 degrees"

It's 66 at DCA - I think the flirting is over and we're well past second base.
Posted by: manatt


Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 14, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

to all you snow lovers out just remember when you step out today in this beautiful wx, it is you who prefers snow over this beauty. i love it out here today! wind and all!!!! i am in heaven today.

Posted by: KRUZ | February 14, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

DCA is reporting 70 - SCORE! Guess we just got lucky on Valentine's Day.

(Jason - I suspect you spend too much time in front of that computer "tweaking your forecast" - you should get outside, enjoy the day...)

Posted by: manatt | February 14, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mscofield1 | February 14, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse


any of you care to at least delve into what the models are hinting at for next week. HM from accu and many amateur wx bloggers are saying next week will be a stormy one all week long. just wondering what your thinking is of it all atm based on the models as of now. i know its still a ways out but the gfs is showing 2 big storms coming in from the west. looks like mostly rain with both storms but like CWG says anything can happen between now and then.

Posted by: KRUZ | February 14, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

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