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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 02/14/2011

PM Update: Warm winds turning chilly

By Ian Livingston

Evening update: Wind Advisory which had been effect until 10 p.m., has been extended through 1 a.m. It's still gusty out there...

From mid-afternoon: Warmth rarely feels quite so good!! Following nearly continuously cold readings for months on end, the thermometer soared into the 60s to near 70 today. Hope you enjoyed it. Those winds that are whipping around this afternoon are already sending cooler air back into the area. It lasts for about a day or so before additional warmth arrives.

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.

Through Tonight: Colder air now pushing in behind the front becomes ever more apparent as the sun sets. We're mostly clear, but temperatures fall off pretty quickly through the evening and night. Lows hit the upper 20s in the suburbs to right around freezing downtown. Northwest winds continue to howl around 15-20 mph sustained, with gusts around 40 mph.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Before today, this wouldn't have been that chilly compared to what we've seen, but of course a high temperature drop of around 20 degrees or more is going to be noticeable! Still, mostly sunny skies and highs making it to the mid-or-upper 40s should not be too hard to handle. Winds that continue through the night are still pretty strong early, with gusts past 30 mph, though they should taper off as the day progresses.

See Jason Samenow's forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Warm and windy: In addition to being the warmest day since October 28, today is the 86th February day 70+ since records began at D.C. You may note how frequently recent La Ninas have produced 70F+ in February, considering it is not quite a yearly occurrence on average. Strong winds off the mountains have aided the warmth and lowered humidity levels as well. As of 3 p.m., the highest gusts (all last hour) at local airports are 37 mph at National, 43 mph at Dulles and 48 mph at Baltimore-Washington. Relative humidity levels fell all the way to 14% at National at 2 p.m.!

By Ian Livingston  | February 14, 2011; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Temps spike to 70, warmest day since Oct. 28
Next: Forecast: Return of the cold


I have to admit, the weather around here for over a year now has been anything but boring. Oh we get a few days here and there that are unremarkable but by and large this has been a weather lovers delight.
When was the last time we saw a temperature of 70 and a dewpoint of 19? Ian pointed out a relative humidity of 14%. 5 months from now we will be lucky to see a temperature of 70 with a dewpoint less than 60 with a relative humidity of 70%! Just something to think about...

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 14, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse


Speaking of anything but boring... the wind chill tomorrow morning may be around 20 degrees after today's high of 70. Nice 50 degree swing in what it "feels like."

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I feel like we've seen at least one or two other days with very low humidity levels recently. One was Sept 8 last yr when we had highs reach the mid 90s with dews in the 30s. There was another this winter but I can't recall when and dry in winter is not as big a story I suppose. A 70 day is well above avg but fairly "normal" as far as winter goes in D.C., we avg about 2 days 70+ Dec.-Feb. at DCA the last 30 seasons.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

HOLY SMOKES we got fires here in the town of madison,winds have been about as strong as i have ever seen.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | February 14, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 14, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

deveinmadisonva - very sorry to hear the flames are being fanned by these winds. NWS was very right to have issued an advisory on this today. Keep us posted if these flames spread along Route 29 there... be safe.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Big wind is a lot more fun when it's warm.
It's not warm no fun.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 14, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

The wind blows.

Posted by: apeirond | February 14, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Make sure you dress appropriately before heading out tonight! I just walked the dog in College Park without reading CWG first (a travesty, I know!), and boy was it cool and windy. We should come up with a CWG infomercial urging DCers to always check with the Capital Weather Gang before going out in the elements!

Posted by: kolya02 | February 14, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

What's the difference between a windstorm and plain old wind? It's getting to be like blowmageddon out there!

Posted by: paperball | February 14, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

the fires seems to be under control at this time here in madison, still some hotspots flaring up. i think the wind gusts are the worst i have ever seen. i would say some have been well over 70 mph and thats no exaggeration.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | February 14, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

the fires seems to be under control at this time here in madison, still some hotspots flaring up. i think the wind gusts are the worst i have ever seen. i would say some have been well over 70 mph and thats no exaggeration.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | February 14, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

our high today was 24 degrees above normal.

i had the feeling that today was more abnormally warm than any day this winter was abnormally cold. so i did a bit of research:

the lowest daily high/low normal temps is about 42/27 in mid january.

i'm pretty darn sure we didn't have a day with a high temp anywhere near 18 and/or a low of 3 this winter! so, if that's the case, then today WAS more abnormal than any day this season. remember that when enjoying this warmth, and complaining about "all that cold" we had.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 14, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Just got hit with some sleet in western loco. Only lasted a couple minutes, but still... reminder that it's still *unfortunately* winter.

Posted by: rumbly45 | February 14, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

After a high of 56.8F in the Blue Ridge Mtns, it's currently 36.9F and a little bit of graupel fell from the sky...

Posted by: spgass1 | February 14, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

About the wind . . . I mentioned to my roommate this evening as we watched it shaking the streetlights that it seems that it's been a lot windier in this area recently (last 18 months or so) than any other time in my memory (and I moved to the DC area 22 years ago). Do actual numbers bear that out? Is there a trend toward increased days with high gusts, or where the gusts are heavier or is it merely that I'm more aware of it?

Posted by: nnaylime113 | February 14, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

A few light rain sprinkles--thought I saw a a couple of splattery flakes driving down 270 past Rockvile.

Posted by: DOG3521 | February 14, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

LOusy wind is keeping me from fishing at 301 Bridge, looks like Tue. is a no go & Wed looking iffy. Have 2 pickup the grandkids on Thurs so it's out, maybe Fri. but the warm temps not good for fishing the power plant warm water discharge.
Chance of snow this mon. rapidly diminishing.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 14, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

VaTechBob, I think you're right about Monday, but how about next Thrs night...?

Good luck with the fishing.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 14, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

CWG- The hourly observations from NWS show a 78 mph wind gust at 2:43 this afternoon at the Leesburg Airport in Loudoun County. Is there any way to validate this? Does the NWS respond to questions?

Posted by: 4seamed | February 14, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Passed by a small brush fire on Prince William County Parkway this evening around 7 PM. There was a fire turck there and another one coming down the road.

Wind is really howling out here in Bristow. Sounds like my roof is about to rip off at times.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | February 14, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse


I think that 78 mph gust is highly suspect. I can email NWS tomorrow and confirm or you can try yourself by using the contact page on Sterling's website.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse


Unfortunately, we don't have good long term data on wind. December seemed particularly windy and I looked at some data that are available from the past several years and it was in fact the windiest month in the past three or four Decembers. January also seemed windy but I haven't looked at those numbers.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

You've gotta love this nutty weather. It's only fitting as a lead in to March, historically D.C.'s most schizophrenic month. Heat, cold, wind, snow...just wait and you'll get what you want!I don't trust this too soon warmup, though. 70 degrees in Feb isn't the same as 70 in real spring, say around April/Mayish. Sun angle is a lot stronger then. But hey, I salute the nuts who felt the need to take their clothes off today! As a friend of mine says, they'll be barking next week!Still have a feeling we may get another brush of winter before this is done. Native Washingtonians know better!

Posted by: NewbreedSE | February 14, 2011 11:43 PM | Report abuse

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