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Posted at 10:10 PM ET, 02/27/2011

Forecast: Warm-up leads to Mon. severe threat

By Brian Jackson

Damaging winds possible with Monday p.m. storms

Evening update on tomorrow's severe storm threat: Could see an isolated shower/t'storm or two earlier, but timing for main line of potentially severe storms (may contain damaging winds, isolated tornado risk) looks like anytime between about 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. So depending on exact timing, we may have issues for afternoon/evening commute. Keep reading for our full forecast, and check back tomorrow for the latest.

From earlier (originally posted at 5 a.m.; updated at 10:10 a.m. & 3:50 p.m.)...

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


Milder temps & some sun aren't the worst way to end our weekend.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Partly sunny to mostly cloudy. Near 60 to low 60s. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers possible. Near 50. | Tomorrow: Warmer. Chance of showers & t'storms, then strong t'storms likely late. 60s to mid-70s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Milder air and rain holding off until this evening allows us to enjoy the final day of the final weekend of meteorological winter (Dec.-Feb.). Tomorrow is where the action lays this week as highs jump to the 60s or 70s and a late-day cold front brings the risk of severe thunderstorms with potentially damaging winds, just three days after our last run-in with severe conditions (remember Friday's winds?). Beyond that, though, pleasant weather returns with sunshine and warmer-than-average temperatures through midweek.

Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - Any remaining snow this season comes during meteorological spring (Mar.-May).

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 (Sunday): A stationary front in the vicinity today means variable sky conditions, ranging from partly sunny to mostly cloudy. There should be enough sun for highs in most spots to climb to near 60 or into the low 60s with light breezes. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: The moisture in the air increases as we get into the evening and there's a chance of showers after dark, though they may be spotty and mostly light. Overnight lows only drop down to near 50, maybe even a bit warmer downtown, with light winds. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through midweek, including the latest on Monday's severe chances...

Tomorrow (Monday): We run a chance of showers and a rumble of thunder or two throughout the day, though it's possible much of the activity may be focused north and west of the metro area through much of the day. Cloudier/rainier spots (the further north and west you go) could see highs limited to the 60s. The sun is more likely to break through from time to time the further south and east you go, and those sunnier spots could see highs reach near 70 to the mid-70s. Afternoon winds turn increasingly gusty from the southwest, and by late afternoon or early evening a line of strong showers and thunderstorms - some could be severe with damaging winds - might be arriving from the west (70% chance). Can't rule out an isolated tornado as well. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tomorrow Night: A line of showers and thunderstorms, potentially with damaging winds, may move through or continue moving through the area during the evening (70% chance). An isolated tornado threat also remains. Even storms that don't qualify as severe may produce heavy downpours (a quick half-inch or more). Behind a cold front associated with the potential storms, skies slowly clear overnight and winds blow in from the north around 20 mph with higher gusts. Lows dip to around 40. Confidence: Low-Medium


Tuesday starts a nice stretch of pleasant weather. No shorts and t-shirts just yet. But sunny skies and highs in the 50s should be pretty nice, especially once any leftover breeziness dies down as we go through the day. We'll have a chilly late-winter's eve overnight, with clear skies and lows in the upper 20s to mid-30s. Confidence: Medium-High

On Wednesday, high pressure centered to our south should stay strong enough to keep skies partly to mostly sunny. The sun and breezes from the southwest ahead of an approaching cold front (this one should come through dry and uneventful) help daytime highs rise to near 60 to the mid-60s. Confidence: Medium-High

By Brian Jackson  | February 27, 2011; 10:10 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Decent weekend before rain risks
Next: Forecast: Warm, but risk of dangerous storms


Hmmm.....too soon to direct sow the first crop of spring lettuce? Too soon to get some grass seed down?

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 27, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

@Firedragon47: My lettuce and spinach always go in on St. Pat's or the first weekend thereafter. I'm doing radishes also this year in my spring garden.

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 27, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the link to this on the home page?

Posted by: dottie_b | February 27, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Dear Brian & CWG: Can your Weather God egos stand a little bit more love from the unwashed ?

Joking aside: You guys are fab & this is a GREAT SITE & a wonderful community service. Thanks for getting my winter-hating tail through another DC winter!



Posted by: neko-chan | February 27, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

(snow) hunting season appears to be winding down. there are currently two snow events on the GFS, but both battle warm surface temps - i.e., it might snow but it won't stick.

march 6
is still showing up as a nice big storm - 8" snow falling - but probably melting on the way down or on contact w/above-freezing ground. nonetheless, even the stingy 2m temps images show some precip falling after temps are low enough at ground level....

march 10
shows 2-5" of snow that never makes it to the ground or never has a chance of accumulating.

on the other hand, for you unfrozen snow lovers, if i were to go going RAIN hunting i'd have found over 3.25" of rain coming in the next 16 days - enough to erase the rain deficit going back to december 1. i don't know if we were already in aadecicit as of dec 1. don't worry, i DON'T plan on much (any) rain hunting...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 27, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Still watching that storm on the 6th (and I'm sure Walter is too)

It looks like a good amount of the precip may fall as snow:

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 27, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yea!! Severe thunderstorms

Posted by: weatherfreak1994 | February 27, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse


Don't get your hopes up; the NWS is calling for only a 30% chance of severe storms in our area.

So in other words, there's a 70% chance that we won't see severe weather.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 27, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm throwing in my support for the last rally...go March 6!!! *pumps air enthusiastically* In the meantime, it's time to survey the landscape beds today and take inventory of plant losses/relocation needs. Wouldn't it still be okay to start spinach now? Do they need warm soil to germinate?

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 27, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

welcome aboard (the crazy train), manassasmissy!

hi bob,
we must have simulposted...

i sure did see that big amount of snow, but that frame is a snapshot of temps at the END of the 6 hour period. if you go to the previous frame, you'll see temps are about 10C (18F) warmer. so over that 6 hour period temps drop from the upper 40s(F) to just below freezing at the end. if that's the case, we'd only get sticking snow at the very end.

so, it's my interpretation that, presuming the model verifies exactly as shown 168-174 hours out (hahaha), the stuff would begin as snow way up high in the clouds and probably melt on the way down or upon contact with the warm ground. of course, they keep warning us how "things will change", so, i'm hoping against climatology that the changes are towards a colder outcome....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 27, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

was looking on Wunderground using the GFS model, and it looks like there is a significant amount of precip behind the front on that 3/6 storm. If it holds (of course, we're waaaaaaaaay far out and they haven't held lately), it shows a quick burst of snow after the front passes. I think that Commuteageddon storm showed how fast the ground can cool if it snows hard enough. I wouldn't write this one off yet!!

Posted by: flyersindc | February 27, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

...and then the 12z goes and moves all the precip through before the cold air settles in! Wonder how many times it will go back and forth before Sunday??

Posted by: flyersindc | February 27, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful day, of course! I noticed while walking the dog in College Park that the grass is brown and sickly-looking- I wonder, is that just normal for the first few weeks of warmth, or did the abnormally dry conditions in DC this winter keep the grass from greening?

Posted by: kolya02 | February 27, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but over the next two weeks the lowest the temperature will get is 35. No snow.

Posted by: andrewjohnsonlevine | February 27, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

It's so nice out I've opened up my windows. Even with screens on them I have a feeling some stinkbugs will find a way in. They have no natural enemies here, but they do in Asia. I think the only way we will ever be able to keep them under somewhat control and out of the biblical plague scenario that is expected this spring is to import their enemies!

I was looking thru some old photos I took and thought of you. The reason? Well the first set of photos was taken 3-29-03 on a nice warm 70 degree Spring day and shows a garden full of daffodils and flowering pink trees. Pictures taken the next day of 3-30-03 show a snowy winter day with the daffodils all folded over covered in snow. Looks like about an inch of snow fell because the grass is all covered. So there is still hope for another snow for you, all the way up to April.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 27, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This coming week will be a good time 2 lime, fertilize & seed the yard.
Hokies beat #1 Duke last night, VTBob is happy.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 27, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

AS for snow on the 6th, temps look like they will be in the 50's, just don't see it happening. Since Nov, we r down 33% in total prec., so any rain now will be welcomed.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 27, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

59 with plentiful sun here in Brambleton right now. I do believe it's time to get outside and do some fishin'.
Not too bad for February........

Posted by: bodyiq | February 27, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

SPC has brought a moderate risk for severe storms into southern WV, extreme SW VA and W NC with their midday update. We're still on the high end of slight risk down here. Pretty unheard of to get a mod risk so close to us this early in the season though. I'd watch for it to creep toward us in subsequent updates given what the models show.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 27, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

No snow on March 6, please! Not when I'll be leaving for a vacation in Europe the next day. Fortunately, all the forecasts seem to show it to be much too warm on that and surrounding days for substantial wintry accumulation.

However, if what was said yesterday about snow days in mid-March turns out to be true, I could be away a bit longer than the planned seven days.

Posted by: mkarns | February 27, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else enjoying the fact that the band of clouds is staying well to our south?

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 27, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Taking the snowplow off the tractor as I write. You know what that means? One more snow is bound to come! I've got 60 with clouds to the east and south of me in Western Loudoun.

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | February 27, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Luckily I am going to Europe on thursday so I should manage to get out ok. I too am hoping for snow towards the end of my trip so that I can stay longer! Heres hoping :)

I really hope that there is thunder tomorrow, its so much more exciting then just plain rain!

Posted by: MichaelaK | February 27, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Re: thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon evening: are we looking at 4-5 ish or later? Trying to decide if I should walk to/from work tomorrow...

Posted by: see1 | February 27, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Meteorological winter...this year I give it a "C" similar to the La Nina winter of two years ago. Plenty of cold air, not enough snow. Rather dry, and those precip. events which did occur tended to hit my Tuesday night Clarendon Ballroom events. We got less than ten inches of snow, below our average 15 inches [which CWG had predicted in the winter outlook]. The only big highlight was "Commuteageddon", and even that storm was less than expected. Presidents' Day weekend, normally a guaranteed "big snow" opportunity, was a total bust and this year the groundhog was of NO help whatsoever! The winter is ending on a rather sour note with severe weather in tomorrow afternoon's forecast [though it doesn't hit my dance night, it does threaten to mess up a possible Monday afternoon library trip]. Since I generally have to go to Ballston three afternoons a week, bad weather can mess things up even when not on a dance night.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 27, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse


I'd say any time from around 4 p.m. and after is in play at this point (for the potentially really strong line of storms; general showers & storms are possible earlier in the day, though may be focused to our north and west as the forecast states above). Wouldn't want to try to narrow the timing down any more than that until at least seeing this evening's model data. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 27, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Roofers just left from replacing all the shingles I lost on Friday.


Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 27, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

61 after a high of 66, dp crept up to 41 (32 earlier), wind 5, gusts to 11. All this means is I finally put up my new weather station to replace the one struck by lightning last summer. They have longer range now, so I put it up in the drain field (highest and most open spot on my property) instead of up on the roof.

Posted by: eric654 | February 27, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

i'd like to see a winter "retrospective" of sorts from CWG. they could recount the snow events (and non-events). as i recall, we had a number of disappointing less-than-an-inch events. CWG might try to somehow quantify how unusual the extended periods of moderate cold were. as i recall, we had lots and lots of moderate cold, but not really any severe cold. they could try to quantify the unusual strength and frequency of the winds. also, part of this analysis should include a study of how many events happened on "dance tuesday". i get the sense there were lots of events anticipated/predicted to happen on dance tuesday, but not that many actually "verified".

of course, maybe it would be wise to wait 'til mid or late march, so as not to leave out a snowstorm or two.

what kind of "weather station" do you have? what does it measure? (also, wouldn't placing the old one on the roof have given you artificially high wind readings?)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 27, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse


Wes has prepared a winter-in-review post that we'll run later this week.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 27, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

A messy system looks to be working its way into our area tonight. Any t-storms here?

Posted by: bodyiq | February 27, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if we'll get some overnight rain.

High temp tomorrow in the 70's, then storms. Woo-hoo!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 27, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse


I would rate this winter D- considering all of the wasted cold air and the snow "doughnut hole" dominating virtually the entire winter. Even ORF got a 13" storm! The only thing saving us from an F was our snow blitz on Jan. 26! Hopefully if the La Nina SE UPA Ridge isn't too strong maybe we can get some good spring T-storms at least!

Posted by: buzzburek | February 27, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Any chance tomorrow night's precip could end with snow for NW VA?

Or is it a situation where the temp line is drawn from the end of the 6 hour period and the precip comes earlier?

As always, thanks for answering questions!

Posted by: spgass1 | February 27, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Update: A bit of a light rain shower in the Blue Ridge Mtns east of Front Royal... I heard what sounded like distant thunder outside...


Posted by: spgass1 | February 27, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Thunder and a few lightening flashes south of Hamilton VA. Hearing some rain falling as well.

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | February 27, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Hearing thunder in Ashburn, has been raining for a bit.

Posted by: natsncats | February 28, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Rain and thunder in Cabin John.

Posted by: flynnie321 | February 28, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

saw some flashes of lightening here and it's raining pretty good here in EFC..

Posted by: jrodfoo | February 28, 2011 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Thunder in Vienna at 12:30.....and some pretty good echoes to the SW. The warm air, with the front moving north, appears to be unstable, up and over the stable boundary-layer.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 28, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

power went out briefly here in EFC... back on.. glad i was still awake or that alarm in the morning wouldn't be going off haha...

Posted by: jrodfoo | February 28, 2011 1:15 AM | Report abuse

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