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Posted at 3:38 PM ET, 02/24/2011

PM Update: Rain arriving; wind advisory Friday

By Jason Samenow

Sunshine made a brief appearance this morning, but it's been all clouds all the time since. The rain has just arrived and stays with us on and off through tomorrow afternoon. The big story, though, is the wind, which will be sustained up to 30 mph tomorrow afternoon with gusts of 45-50 mph. Secure those loose outdoor items or bring them in.

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.

Through Tonight: Rain falls intermittently overnight but is more steady and widespread north of the Mason Dixon line. I'm hearing a lot of talk of upwards of 1" of rain but I think around 0.25" to maybe 0.5" (northern suburbs) is more likely overnight. Temperatures only drop modestly, with lows in the mid-40s.

Tomorrow (Friday): We may see skies brighten and the rain stop for a brief period Friday morning after a warm front lifts through the region. That could allow a short AM appearance from the sun, helping temperatures to rise to near 60 or even a little warmer. Then the cold front comes through between late morning and early afternoon, potentially with a line of gusty showers and thunderstorms (with up to another 0.25", locally higher in heavy downpours). Right now, it doesn't look like the atmosphere will sufficiently destabilize for a big severe thunderstorm outbreak, but we'll watch this and provide updates as necessary. After the front comes through, it partially clears, with temperatures gradually falling back through the 50s during the afternoon. Winds from the northwest increase dramatically - sustained at 25-30 mph with gusts to 50 mph possible.

See David Streit's forecast through Monday. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

NOAA cleared of "Climategate" wrong-doing: At the request of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Inspector General conducted an independent review of the private emails leaked on the internet in November 2009 from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. The Inspector General was asked to look into how NOAA reacted to the leak and to determine if there was evidence of improper manipulation of data, failure to adhere to appropriate peer review procedures, or failure to comply with Information Quality Act and Freedom of Information Act guidelines. The blog Climate Science Watch reports the Inspector General "found no evidence of impropriety or reason to doubt NOAA's handling of its climate data."

By Jason Samenow  | February 24, 2011; 3:38 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: High wind warning from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday


Sigh, more high winds. Last week I ended up having to comb the parking lot for my windchimes which had been scattered three stories down and twelve feet away. I'm just bringing everything in off the balcony this time.

Posted by: angelicat | February 24, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

well, I just finished fishing through the 18z GFS and, believe it or not, I found a few snow chances!

The first one is on March 6 and the GFS spits out about 5" of snow with plenty of cold air.

This one has been showing up on the GFS for several days now, so I say it's worth keeping an eye on.

The next one (yes, I know it's far out) comes on March 9. The GFS spits out about 7" in the immediate DC metro with less in the western suburbs and more in the eastern suburbs.

I really have a hard time believing this one will verify for two reasons. One being that the cutoff between lots of precip and hardly any precip is very narrow and will probably jump around from run to run. The second reason is that this potential event is so far out, and CWG has stated before that models shouldn't be trusted more than 6 days out.

Not trying to get anyone worried or excited, just trying to remind fellow snow-lovers that it's still winter and there will be plenty a snow chance between now and April.


btw, CWG, you posted an article on Dec. 28 which mentioned the possibility of below average temps persisting through not only Jan, but Feb and March as well.

Yes, January was bitter, but February hasn't been half bad and it doesn't look as though March will be too cold either. What happened?

CWG, I presume you don't expect the cold to kick up again in March, do you? Was that forecast of cold through the rest of the winter simply a false prediction?

Were you expecting February to be so warm?

I should also point out that this wasn't CWG's prediction; it was Andy Revkin of the New York Times' prediction.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 24, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Simple question that I really need an answer to! Will it be raining tomorrow at 2pm?

Posted by: processed-tree-nut | February 24, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

@processed-tree-nut It'll be raining somewhere tomorrow at 2:00.
Where are you?

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 24, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I looked at the extended forecasts, and while they call for a lot of rain, they seem much too warm for snow, even at night, for at least the next two weeks. Are the April showers coming early?

Posted by: mkarns | February 24, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: processed-tree-nut | February 24, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Bobmiller2, the 18Z GFS shows rain on March 6th. The zero line on the map below is at the end of the period, essentially after all the precipitation has fallen. The model does have something March 9th or so but that's way out in fantasy land.

the forecast you site was not one by CWG but by Judah Cohen. obviously, his thoughts didn't completely work out as the blocking gave way quicker than what he was forecasting. The CWG long range forecast was for Jan to be warmer than normal (it wasn't) and feb to be warmer (it looks like it will be)

Posted by: wjunker | February 24, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

High Wind Warning reinstated for NW exurbs (e.g. Hagerstown, Charles Town, Winchester, Front Royal).

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 24, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse


I think there's a good chance (60%) the rain has ended by 2 p.m. - but it's a close call. Front will probably just have passed through within the previous couple hours.


Saw the wind warning upgrade. Going to post an update now.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 24, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Looking at NWS's tabular (hourly) wind forecast is something amazing. It looks like the wind will come in with a bang, speeds skyrocketing one hour to the next. Fortunately, it looks as if it'll move away fairly quickly too, and hopefully my house will still be in one piece.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 24, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Centreville Va Having most excellent soaking rain right now.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 24, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic. Since my apartment is supplied by Pepco, I'll expect to be in the dark until Tuesday or so.

Posted by: harbeh | February 24, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

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