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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/12/2011

Forecast: Warmer still, but also breezy

By Ian Livingston

Mild through midweek, then a taste of spring?

posted at 5:00 a.m., updated at 1:00 p.m.

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


Ignoring the sometimes gusty wind, mostly sunny skies & near average temps present a nice start to the weekend.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Mostly sunny, breezy. Mid-to-upper 40s. | Tonight: Ocassional cloudiness. Mid-20s to around 30. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny, breezy. Mid-50s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


As of today, we've already gained 4 degrees off our lowest average high temperature of the winter and the thermometer is planning on responding -- and then some -- throughout the weekend. If you're actively looking for a downside, it's an occasionally gusty wind, but as 40s turn into 50s tomorrow, those thoughts may drift a bit. With just over two weeks to go 'til sunset is at 6 p.m., dreams of spring may become increasingly pervasive over the coming period.

Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - Locked into this "mostly warm" pattern for at least the next week. Maybe some hope for snow lovers beyond?

The SPI is a daily assessment of snow accumulation potential 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 (Saturday): If it wasn't for some big gusts during the day, this would be a major winner compared to many cold weekends of late. Regardless, temperatures into at least the mid-40s should feel kind of sweet for those trying to remember what going on a leisurely stroll outside feels like. Winds could whip during the midday though, around 15 20 mph sustained for a time, with gusts near 30 35 or 40 mph. It is a downsloping wind, so it might help us squeeze out a few extra degrees of warmth. Confidence: High

Tonight: Winds decrease quickly with the loss of daytime heating, and temperatures fall as well -- into the upper 30s or lower 40s post sunset. Periods of clouds some clouds are likely as a small system passes by, bringing us nothing more than sky cover. Lows range from the mid-20s to near 30. Confidence: High

No storminess on the horizon! How high can the temperatures go?

Tomorrow (Sunday): If I was forced to pick the best day of the weekend, this would be it. Some potential morning clouds should give way to more in the way of sunshine during the day. Winds again blow from the west, but probably a bit lighter, sustained around 10-15 mph with gusts near or past 25 mph. It's also warmer, as highs rise toward the mid-50s. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: A fairly vigorous clipper system passing well to our north keeps us in a mild wind flow through the night on the front end of its circulation. This means spots may have trouble getting far from freezing. A general range of near 30 to the mid-30s should work, warmest in the city as usual. Confidence: Medium-High


During the day Monday the clipper system passes well north and off to the northeast, but it eventually sends in some cooler air on the tail of more wind in its wake. Highs probably still rise near 50 or into the low 50s, as winds gust out of the northwest. Confidence: Medium

Monday night features slackening winds and moderately cold temperatures in the 20s to near 30. High pressure is already inbound, but a slightly cooler day comes first. Confidence: Medium

By Tuesday, what eventually becomes a springlike high pressure system begins taking hold. Still, we're left with some residual cooler air, so temperatures probably struggle to get much past the upper 40s. Winds should turn lighter though. Confidence: Medium

The mid-to-late work week still looks increasingly warm, and by the end of the week we should easily be talking 60 degrees or higher. Get ready! Confidence: Medium-High

By Ian Livingston  | February 12, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Climbing out of the cold
Next: Forecast: Welcome warmth on the way


Thanks for the encouraging forecast. The impending Spring-like warmth will be welcomed and enjoyed to the fullest. Can't wait!

Posted by: bodyiq | February 12, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse


Last night, several meteorologists were saying that 70° wouldn't be out of the question by late week.

At this point, what do you think the likelihood of hitting 70° is?



Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 12, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I read the statement above:

"With just over two weeks to go 'til sunset is at 6 p.m., dreams of spring may become increasingly pervasive over the coming period."


My milepost for the winters finality and spring just around the corner is what every baseball fan wants to hear:



Posted by: scottmarquiss | February 12, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Pitchers and catchers, I hear ya Scott, will be watching MLB Network!

Hey, CWG, how about a Beautiful Day Potential Index, say a sunny or partly sunny day and reaching 65, or 70?

Posted by: jaybird926 | February 12, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Bobmiller2, I'm not Camden but think there is a decent chance (50%) that by next Friday that many in the area will see temperatures hitting 70.

Posted by: wjunker | February 12, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe some hope for snow lovers beyond?"

Are you saying this just to appeases the snow lovers are is this based on something you see in the models?

Posted by: KRUZ | February 12, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, wooops. I accidentally wrote Camden in my above comment.

I didn't realize that Ian Livingston wrote this post.

Anyway, thanks for the response, Wes!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 12, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the sun, there's a pretty heavy overcast here in fashionable Gaithersburg.

Posted by: hawknt | February 12, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

KRUZ, you said,
"Are you saying this just to appeases the snow lovers are is this based on something you see in the models"?

Well, I'm no meteorologist, but I don't see much on the gfs for the next 384 hrs.

Maybe something to watch around the 24th - 26th, but even that doesn't look like much.

I think CWG was just reminding us that winter isn't over yet and that a lot can change.

In the mean time, we might as well just enjoy the beautiful, spring-like weather :)

Speaking of spring-like weather, take a look at the NWS forecast for Friday:

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 12, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

now we're getting some sun here in Gaithersburg.

Posted by: hawknt | February 12, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Wind already gusting to 32 at Martinsburg/Shepherdstown. I expect we'll go higher as the day warms.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 12, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Will enjoy this warm-up for sure. Temps in the 70's would be awesome.

Posted by: creativekev | February 12, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I know this is far out, but I'll be in Richmond next weekend, any chance of some 70+ F weather? Would be nice for sure!

Posted by: bastings | February 12, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I know this is far out, but I'll be in Richmond next weekend, will the warmth last until then? Would be sweet to get some 70+ weather!

Posted by: bastings | February 12, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Wes! I still wouldn't put chances of 70F in DC late next week above 50% either. But, hopefully BobMiller & bastings will be satisfied with that?

Hopefully the breezes don't spoil the mild air and sunshine for you all this weekend...

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

So is there cool air at all in the foreseeable future? I have a ski house in West Virginia next weekend. There's plenty of snow but it would be nice if things cooled down a little before the weekend, or for the weekend.

Posted by: blablabla | February 12, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"With just over two weeks to go 'til sunset is at 6 p.m., dreams of spring may become increasingly pervasive over the coming period."
And only 4 weeks until the sun sets at 7:13 PM!

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 12, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

KRUZ, mostly just to appease snow lovers though things are a bit muddled past a week whether we stay warm or head back colder/stormier.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Those downsloping winds always heat us up big time.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 12, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

pjdunn1, nice! I did not realize it was so soon. More light = good (in my book at least).

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

FYI, for those interested re: 70s in Feb historically. I pulled some numbers last night. It was interesting to see that all the recent La Ninas except one produced at least 1 70+ in Feb.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, this is WAY beyond "breezy"!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 12, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Why are temps dropping? This does not make sense.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 12, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON47, winds are a bit stronger than originally forecast it seems.. not a lot tho.

rwalker, it does not seem temps are dropping but they are not rising much... more or less steady. We have a few more hours to peak out tho.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON, you said,
"hey, this is WAY beyond "breezy"!

It is a bit windier than I was expecting and also a bit chillier. Still a nice day nonetheless.


rwalker66, you said,
"Why are temps dropping? This does not make sense."

It makes perfect sense to me. We can't expect the mets to get each and every detail of the forecast correct, now can we?

Mother Nature has a mind of her own and if she wants it to be colder than forecasted, then by golly that's exactly what she'll give us!


It is really starting to look as though we won't see anymore snow until NEXT witner...sigh...

I'm still not throwing in the towel. I'm tempted to, but I won't.

But we got our "fair share" of snow from Commutageddon, I suppose.

Spring will be here before we know it. I'm off to scour my garden to see if any of the bulbs have poked up out of the ground yet...

btw, the current reading on my deck here in NE Loudoun is 41.8°F and quite WINDY.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 12, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

When i went out this morning to play with my son in the yard, it was pleasant aka not windy.

Then i took the wife and son out to get some food and we took it to the College Park airport to eat at the picnic tables and look at planes and it was simply impossible. It just got really windy all of a sudden, within an hours time or so.

Wind definitely came outta nowhere!

Posted by: KRUZ | February 12, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

No offense, guys, but I'll believe this warm-up when I see it. For a number of days now, the TV guys have been telling us to wait one more day, and then we don't get out of the upper 30s or low 40s......then one MORE day (and we still don't get out of the 30s or low 40s, and with wind)....then still one MORE day (and again, it is cold and windy). They keep pushing the warm (and the northward advance of the jet stream) back, day by day, but that day (and the warm-up)just doesn't come. Now they are saying it will be tomorrow.....Sunday. What are they going to say when, instead of 50-55 degrees tomorrow, it is 40 or 45 instead? Push it back one MORE day?

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 12, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

MMCarhelp, I think things have progressed pretty much as forecast here. We were not calling for any "big" warmth in this period. Initially it looked like maybe it would be more uninterrupted in the move warmer but this little system passing by early week should slow/halt that for a day or two. The real push of warmth looks (and has looked) to come midweek and later.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

It was a windy drive out 66 to Front Royal around noon. Not the windiest ever though and consistently a headwind so my Escape didn't get knocked side to side.

Here's some old data for 1961-1990 wind speeds For Atlanta, I noticed that in general ENSO neutral might increase winter wind speeds in Atlanta (and maybe us since we are downstream) For ENSO see From the paper, more wind in Jan in 61 and 77-87 with peaks in 78 and 82 with a drop in 83-84. OTOH, summer wind speeds show a more steady increase over the period. My loose theory is that La Nina should bring us a little less winter wind.

Posted by: eric654 | February 12, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Well when I posted that you listed the current airport temp as lower than the "High so far" temps, so they the temps did indeed drop between the 11:00 and Noon readings. Usually it's not warmer at 11am than noon. Also at for my zip code (22033) the temp dropped from 47 to 41 in an hour. Also Weatherbug showed a big temp drop. I see they have since gone up again but not by much. Come on 50's. Tired of the cold and wind.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 12, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse just proved what I was saying, but you are correct that CWG was not as persistant as the TV guys were in calling for a warm-up, THEN constantly pushing it back another day. But the fact that we got several "systems" that EACH delayed the warm-up for yet another day, and you say STILL another one by mid-week simply proves what I was saying.....the TV mets keep forecasting a warm-up for each so-called "tomorrow", and then another system...and the depressed jet stream and NW wind....prevents or delays it.

Let's face it........"tomorrow's" warm-up keeps turning into the day after tomorrow.....and still more "systems" to delay it. Like I said in my last post, I'll believe the warm-up when I see it. This depressed jet stream, blocking pattern, and Eastern trough, like or not, is STUBBORN.

Sorry if I sound like I'm venting too much.....and I'm not trying to be rude. But it is frustrating when the TV guys seem to be stuck in a rut, like a broken phonograph record, with their forecasting and can't see the forest for a simple tree.

We also often see that with a high over New England, low-pressure to the west, and cold-air damming at low-levels east of the Appalachians...particularly in Northern Virginia. The TV weather guys try (based off of models) to bring warm air in at the surface east of the Blue Ridge....but more often than not, it doesn't happen, and we get a distinctive "S" shaped warm front curling around the D.C. area that goes up west of the Allegheny front, up the coast and over the Chesapeake Bay east of us, and leaves us, inland in the metro region, stuck in fog, cold air, a NE wind, and sometimes cold precipitation. This is a classic small-scale event that models can't pick up well, yet the mets, over and over again, even AFTER experience with it, fall for the same error.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 12, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

ooooohh nooooo... (imagine mr bill of snl) are we entering the dangerous skin-cancer-causing months of UV exposure...? ooohhh noooo. (i bet more people die of skin cancer every year than blizzards or even all snow-related causes.) you sun freaks! worshiping those glaring death-rays from outer space. wah wah wah... and some people don't like gardening. didja ever think of that?! or are you only thinking of your own personal petunia pleasures? how infantile... there are poor folks with really sensitive skin.

and, and and... some of you are now concerned the warmth is under performing. "oh...the temperatures dropped?" "it only got up to 47 today" and "the warming keeps getting pushed back". 45 is normal for this time of year. if you want milder weather, move to san diego.

you know what comes along with all your precious "warmth"? pollen...! that's what! don't you care about allergy sufferers? or mitten manufacturers? and warmth brings out those pesky insects... oh joy... bring on the stink bugs, and mosquitos. mosquitos bite and bees sting. ever been bitten by a snowflake?


Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 12, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

walter, you make me laugh :)

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 12, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse


Thank you as always for bringing some much-needed humor to this blog :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 12, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

LOL Walter, and don't forget all the landscapers who will now thanks to those warm-weather lovers and their love for Spring rain have to put in extra hours and miss time with the family because they have to cut grass and trim bushes and fertilize flowers.

Posted by: kolya02 | February 12, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Please don't start flaming me or Walter BTW - that was all tongue-in-cheek

Posted by: kolya02 | February 12, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Walter, that was the funniest thing I've read or heard all day.

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 12, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse


Well for the record, im anxious to get the temps up asap so that my trips to nearby College Parks UMD is better on my eyes. Every degree over 40 makes college chics lose another article of clothing!

Its like bikinis on the beach in july, except theres no beach and its february ;)

Posted by: KRUZ | February 12, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Bring it.

Posted by: ennepe68 | February 12, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

After my comments above on Saturday, I'll stand partially (but not totally) corrected today (Sunday). WE finally DID get to 50 in the local D.C. area, but the warm front sure took its time getting through the area, and we were stuck with clouds intil the middle of the afternoon, keeping temps depressed in the low 40s for much of the day....seemed like there was a small wave on the front. And we just can't seem to get rid of that incessant wind, even with slightly warmer temps.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 13, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

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