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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/23/2011

Forecast: Slowly warmer, rain late Thurs.

By Dan Stillman

updated at 1:15 p.m.

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

 

A nice-looking day with plenty of sun. If only it was a little warmer.
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly sunny. Low-to-mid 40s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. 20s to near 30. | Tomorrow: Increasing clouds. Chance of showers late. Near 50 to low 50s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

It appears we've hit something of a lull in the weather pattern the next several days. But despite no big storms, no extreme cold, and no spring-like surges toward 70 degrees, the forecast through the weekend does feature some more minor ups, downs, and bumps in the road - including the likelihood of rain late Thursday into Friday.

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - Tracks for next couple storms (1st one is late Thurs/Fri) would have to shift a good bit south for any snow chance.

 
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): With high pressure in complete control, we have about as quiet a weather day as we've seen around here this winter. No rain, no snow, no ice, and no big winds. Mostly sunny skies lift temperatures from chilly morning lows in the teens and low 20s to afternoon highs in the low-to-mid 40s, with light winds throughout. Confidence: High

Tonight: Partly cloudy and cool with lows in the 20s (suburbs) to near 30 (downtown). Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Thursday): The high pressure overhead today drifts east and off the coast tomorrow. That may allow our next weather system, approaching from the west/southwest, to push a few rain showers into the area during the afternoon. Otherwise, it's a partly to mostly cloudy and warmer day with highs shooting for near 50 to the low 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Showers should increase in coverage and intensity with lows in the upper 30s to low 40s. Doubtful that even the far northern and western suburbs will be cold enough for any mixed precipitation, but we'll watch for any colder trends just in case. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

As low pressure closes in from the west/southwest and passes nearby, rain potential Friday morning ranges from steady and moderate to heavy, to just occasional showers if the main area of precipitation tries to slip north of here. We shouldn't have to worry about any frozen precipitation with this system - but there could be some gusty winds. Hghs probably climb into the 50s under mostly to partly cloudy skies as rain chances diminish by or during the afternoon. Confidence: Low-Medium

Clearing skies and colder Friday night with lows in the 20s (suburbs) to near 30 (downtown). Confidence: Medium

Saturday shapes up as partly to mostly sunny with highs in the 40s, then maybe a passing shower Saturday night. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday's forecast is less certain. The optimistic take is that the next potential storm system holds off until Sunday night or Monday, leaving us with at least some sun and highs in the 50s. It's possible, however, that next system makes an earlier approach bringing a chance of rain showers on Sunday and cooler highs in the 40s to near 50. Again, it looks like we'll be too warm for anything frozen, but this winter we need to keep a close eye on just about any storm that breathes. Confidence: Low

By Dan Stillman  | February 23, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Global warming, extreme events and weird weather

Comments

Hmmpf. Maybe there's something to that groundhog after all.

Posted by: AdmiralX | February 23, 2011 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to some rain.

Posted by: Akabang | February 23, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

look what i bagged in my morning gfs snow hunt! 5-8" of snow on march 9th:

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/06/images/gfs_pcp_348m.gif
------------

a little closer in time, but not actually showing up as snow, yet, is "the lion" (march 1). true, it has diffused a bit in the past few days, and drifted mostly north of us (and is still too warm for snow...), but those minor problems can be solved w/a bit of snow god supplication. joe bastardi has confided in me personally that he thinks this one will come together and be next week's "storm of the century".

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/06/images/gfs_p24_138m.gif
----------

and here's the storm about which dan above says, "We shouldn't have to worry about any frozen precipitation with this system - unless the storm track shifts a good bit south, which is unlikely but can't be ruled out yet."

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/06/images/gfs_pcp_054m.gif

shift a good bit south...shift a good bit south...shift a good bit south...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2011 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Walter, I do love your insane optimism.

Looking forward to a deep drenching later this week. But for today; yay for sunshine!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 23, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"look what i bagged in my morning gfs snow hunt! 5-8" of snow on march 9th:"

Is that forecast for 2011 or 2012???

Posted by: BlackHill | February 23, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey Walter.

I think we are past the point of calling your outbursts "insane optimism". I think you need to see your physician and maybe have your perscription adjusted. Only the Doc will know whether to crank your Rx up or down.

Posted by: retroace | February 23, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

There's a fine line between "insane optimism" and just plain insane.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 23, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I'm going out to Wisp (Western MD) Friday morning for the skiing. Think the rain will be over in the morning there, or should I bring a raincoat?

Posted by: wiredog | February 23, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Retroace, there's only one remedy for this condition (I know, I've got the same infection), and it's while it is round and white, it doesn't come in an Rx bottle!

Posted by: kolya02 | February 23, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Kolya02: "round and white, [but] it doesn't come in an Rx bottle!"

Are you referring to being hit in the head with a golf ball?

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 23, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Don't completely discount Walter just yet. Anyone who's lived in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic for any length of time knows that March can always surprise you. Personally, I think we've seen the last of the wintry weather. Its just rain and 40s until summer suddenly pops up like last year. I just hope we have a much milder summer this year. Like say, ZERO days above 90?

Posted by: TBAlexandria | February 23, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Possible severe weather Friday. "Very strong shear profiles" -- my absolute favorite NWS term.

SPC AC 230815

DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0215 AM CST WED FEB 23 2011

VALID 251200Z - 261200Z

...SYNOPSIS/DISCUSSION... A FAST MOVING UPPER SHORTWAVE TROUGH WILL BE LOCATED OVER THE UPPER OH VALLEY FRI MORNING WITH A SURFACE LOW CENTERED NEAR WV. VERY STRONG SHEAR PROFILES WILL BE IN PLACE ACROSS THE MID ATLANTIC AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT WHICH WILL MOVE TO THE COAST BY LATE AFTERNOON...BUT LOW LEVEL MOISTURE FOR INSTABILITY WILL BE MINIMAL. STILL...STRONG PRESSURE RISES WITH THE COLD FRONT...AS WELL AS THE PRESENCE OF
STEEPER LAPSE RATES IN THE DRIER AIR TO THE W...MAY RESULT IN ISOLATED STRONG TO SEVERE WIND GUSTS MAINLY ACROSS VA...MD AND DE AS THE COLD FRONT PASSES. THE COVERAGE OF SEVERE WIND WILL DEPEND HEAVILY ON HOW MUCH HEATING AND DESTABILIZATION TAKE PLACE...WHICH WILL BECOME BETTER KNOWN IN LATER OUTLOOKS.

..JEWELL.. 02/23/2011

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 23, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

the team of physicians attending to my suite of snow-related neuroses assure me that my condition will abate around mid-march. actually, it's more like it goes into remission - as it returns every year on the day after thanksgiving.

kolya,
hail? graupel? i prefer my cure hexagon-shaped... ;-)
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/primer/primer.htm

actually maybe mhardy is onto something as hitting (not being hit by) a golf ball is an excellent spring/summer/fall diversion. as are tennis, the pool, the lake, the ocean, BBQ parties, and even 90-degree days and the occasional severe thunderstorm.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I think we're pretty close to calling this a season for snow in 2010-11. Nothing showing up in the extended forecasts thru the first 1/3 of March. That's close enough to the Ides of March cutoff for snow for me.

Look out Old Man Winter '10-'11, the coroner is on his way!

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 23, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

TBAlexandria - an extreme global circulation pattern change, like El Nino, would have to be in place as the summer begins in order to prevent 90 degree days in DC. I don't foresee that happening, as of yet. Sorry to say we may have the climotological average (~30 days of 90 or above) -- but Ian Livingston can also comment on his thoughts. He is our expert team statistician!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I like how lively you all are this morning. I see we have a current UV level of 4 (moderate) so perhaps everyone's Seasonal Affective Disorder is getting nipped by the sunshine? :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I know its was just wishful thinking. My first summer in the metro was actually very mild. That was in 2008, and I don't recall too many nasty days, other than the week in July when my sister and her family came to visit. On the wild weather front, I lived in Tucson for 14 years of my life spanning 89-2008, and I witnessed some interesting winter weather there. In 1990, it actually snowed 4 times in Jan and Feb, making it one of the snowiest years on record there. On Easter in 99, there was a freak snowstorm that dropped 3-4 inches on the Tucson metro area. I was overseas at the time so I missed it. Doesn't happen very often, but sometimes they do get it. In Jan 2007, 2-3 inches fell on the area too. That's a significant event for an area that is paralyzed by heavy rain.

Posted by: TBAlexandria | February 23, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I know its was just wishful thinking. My first summer in the metro was actually very mild. That was in 2008, and I don't recall too many nasty days, other than the week in July when my sister and her family came to visit. On the wild weather front, I lived in Tucson for 14 years of my life spanning 89-2008, and I witnessed some interesting winter weather there. In 1990, it actually snowed 4 times in Jan and Feb, making it one of the snowiest years on record there. On Easter in 99, there was a freak snowstorm that dropped 3-4 inches on the Tucson metro area. I was overseas at the time so I missed it. Doesn't happen very often, but sometimes they do get it. In Jan 2007, 2-3 inches fell on the area too. That's a significant event for an area that is paralyzed by heavy rain.

Posted by: TBAlexandria | February 23, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Camden,

I've noticed my own energy level rising slightly recently with the earlier morning sunrises and evening light til 6pm.

Happy that my motivation is coming back!

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 23, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Looks as though there could be over an inch of rain late Thursday into Friday...the exact nature and timing is uncertain.

If we get into the warm sector the rain will more likely be in the form of intermittent showers, or we could have rather dry weather. If the warm front remains to our south, more and steadier rain is likely.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 23, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

For anyone who thinks only DC freaks out about snow:

http://emergency.washington.edu/?p=440

It would appear that they are possibly expecting radioactive snow?

Posted by: dhb2 | February 23, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@wiredog

Sorry for the late response... I'd assume for now that it may still be raining there in the morning. If the storm picks up some speed, which they sometimes do, then maybe the rain moves out fairly early in the morning, but we'll have to wait and see on that. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh well. I'm not going to get there before 10 anyway. At least an afternoon on the slopes. And Saturday's looking tolerable.

Posted by: wiredog | February 23, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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