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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/16/2011

Forecast: On the warm track again

By Dan Stillman

50s today, 60s tomorrow; near 70 Friday?

updated at 10:15 a.m.

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


50s are nicer than yesterday's 40s. I bet the digit really soars (along with temps) Thurs & Fri.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Becoming mostly sunny. Mid-to-upper 50s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. Mid-30s to near 40. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny. Low-to-mid 60s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


It's been nice to see this winter's relentless cold loosen its grip. Though it seems these nicer days as of late have come with a catch. For example, Sunday highs reached the low-to-mid 50s, but persistent clouds kept it feeling kind of chilly much of the day. Monday's highs in the upper 60s to near 70 were glorious for a time, until winds started gusting near and over 40 mph. When will we see conditions ideal enough for the year's first Nice Day Sun? Well, if it doesn't happen tomorrow, there's a good chance Friday will fit the bill.

Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - Next chance of precip not 'til late Sunday-Tues. Looks like rain if anything, though any precip chance in Feb. has to be closely watched.

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 (Wednesday): We're back to warm breezes (increasing to around 10-15 mph) from the south today. High clouds bother us through mid-to-late morning before mostly departing from north to south. Plenty of sun during the late morning and afternoon should get highs to the mid-to-upper 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Partly cloudy skies and a light breeze continuing from the south keep temperatures on the mild side (at least as far as mid-February goes). Lows range from the mid-30s in the cooler suburbs to near 40 downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the Presidents Day Weekend...

Tomorrow (Thursday): Oh yeah - here comes the warm stuff surging back. Partly to mostly sunny skies and a light but steady breeze from the south send highs into the low-to-mid 60s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: The warming trend is our friend, especially if you're looking for a break on heating costs. Lows are mainly in the 40s, though I wouldn't be surprised if lows only drop to around 50 at Reagan National. Confidence: Medium-High


This particular warm streak peaks on Friday with at least partly sunny skies and highs near 70 - similar to Monday, but with merely moderate breezes rather than Monday's extreme gusts. How cold we get Friday night depends on the timing of a cold front set to come through either late Friday or early Saturday. Some 30s are possible, especially in the suburbs, if the front arrives on the early side. Otherwise, lows may only dip to the 40s. Confidence: Medium

Saturday is likely windy and colder, with cold winds from the northwest kicking up behind the cold front and highs in the 50s to near 50. Breezes linger Saturday night with lows in the mid-20s to mid-30s, followed by a less windy Sunday with highs probably in the 40s. Confidence: Medium

A storm coming from the Midwest may threaten precipitation sometime during the late Sunday through early Tuesday period. Right now, models are favoring the storm's low-pressure center to track to our northwest, which would suggest warming winds from the south and a better chance of rain than snow or ice. This scenario might push Monday (Presidents Day) highs to the 50s. But nothing is a lock this far out, including whether we even see precipitation in the first place. Confidence: Low

By Dan Stillman  | February 16, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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So with the death of winter close at hand.... my question is, when will are severe weather season start and will it be like last years?

Posted by: snowlover31 | February 16, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

It's only mid-February, so I wouldn't count winter out yet. See Ian's article from yesterday on what kind of potential there is for a wintry comeback in La Nina years. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse


La Ninas often produce a lot of severe weather. But severe weather season here doesn't typically kick in until May and June.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

today's GFS snow-hunting report:

next monday night's storm is still way too far north and way too warm to interest me. the thur/fri/sat storm looks very interesting, though. it's a big one with lots of moisture over three days.

that's easily an inch of liquid. only the last .1" or so shows up as snow now, but, as we all know, these models can change - so why not for the better?! by the time the storm gets here, the cold could be here, and we could get 12" of snow. that's my story and i'm sticking with it.

then.... there's the "march lion" of march 3, only 372 hours away. it shows .5-.75" of liquid, about 1/2 of which actually shows up as snow.

it's a faint hope, but it's encouraging that for these storms we're still right around the rain/snow line.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 16, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Season ticket on a one-way ride... TO SPRING! (Hattip: AC/DC)

Posted by: nocando | February 16, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 16, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Walter, keep up the good hunt. And I like how you phrase "only" 372 hours away. But it is well into models' imagination land, that far out. Keep expectations and confidence low on that snapshot please :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse


You never know that far out, but I recall a day last Jan when the temp hit nearly 70. About 2 weeks later we were buried under nearly 2 feet of snow. This kind of temp fluctuation is what my Dad calls pneumonia weather.

Posted by: TBAlexandria | February 16, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I heard on the radio this morning that the Northern Lights may be visible in the area tonight. Do you have any viewing tips?

Posted by: ivr10 | February 16, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Any chances of getting snow in this pattern is on a Wing and a Prayer!

Snow storms may be on the models, even talk of a 93 like blizzard around march 5th from some of the amateur wx bloggers.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!--MARCH-SHALL-BE-A-LION!

Lemme be the 1st to say, all accumulating snow chances are done for us here in the DC metro IMO.

This west to direct east flow isnt going to get us accumulating snow. And any possible snow that falls during the daytime especially, will not stick with this sun angle and the longer days.

CWG, even if it gets cold enough to snow how can it stay cold in this weather pattern as the storm approaches?... its already happened alot this winter where its cold and then as the storm approaches it brings in the warm air with it and brings us rain. If that happened in jan and early feb, how can it not be the case now that winter is over down south and where air is abundant?

Posted by: KRUZ | February 16, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

(warm air from down south)

Posted by: KRUZ | February 16, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Sun rising before 7am now.

"Excellent, Smithers."

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 16, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

i hardly think you're the first to say "snow chances are done" for dc. in fact, it's more like jumping on the bandwagon. that's pretty much the consensus view. even the most optimistic interpretation of ian's "don't give up hope" post yesterday put the odds pretty low.

when i say i haven't given up hope and so forth, i'm focusing the less than 20% chance of worthwhile something - and ignoring the greater than 80% chance of getting nothing.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 16, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse


We're definitely into a more typical La Nina pattern as of late with storm tracks to our west, which make it difficult to impossible to hold onto cold air long enough for much snow or ice before warm flow ahead of a storm overcomes the cold. But, with still more than a month of snow season to go, it's a bit early to say that the pattern can't revert at least a bit back to what we saw earlier this winter with the jet stream diving more to the south and more cold-air and snow opportunities. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

ivr10 - Not the highest of chances, since I have seen DC covered more in the past by this aurora map:

But it isn't a zero percent chance either. Hopefully when I go over to the AAAS conference at the DC Convention Center, I can stop by the space weather folks' booth and ask them personally ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

With temperatures like these, it may be time to replace the SLCB with a "rain lovers' crystal ball" for the would make TominMichiganPark & his "much-unneeded" buddies happy!

It's also time to start rolling out the "Thundercast".

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 16, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Bombo47jea - The comment about the rain makes me realize we could use more soon. How are things looking out near you--very dry? or ok so far? Rain Lovers CB may be a good call when in a drought, though we aren't quiiiite in one yet. But close:

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

what a horrible forecast...warm and sun...yuck!! After last years horrific spring, summer and fall, I'm amazed at how many people can welcome the return of that big, orange, cancer causing ball in the sky! A RLCB would be nice....darn near went broke trying to keep landscaping on water life support and the house cool. At least an RLCB might help plan the water use a little better.

Posted by: ftwash | February 16, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

ftwash - thanks for your feedback! Regret you don't like the forecast though. Also, I agree with sentiment of avoiding UV exposure!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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