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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 03/11/2011

Forecast: Clearing, seasonable and better to come

By Camden Walker

Weekend should be splendid, sunny, highs around 60!

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

 

Clearing for the end of workweek & average-level temps in the 50s. Slightly breezy, but better than Thursday's rain!
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Sunshine attempts comeback, breezy. Low-to-mid 50s. | Tonight: Variable clouds. 30-36. | Tomorrow: Very sunny. Near 60 to mid-60s. | Sunday: Still sunny! Not quite as warm. Mid-50s to near 60. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Whew, we get a chance to dry out. While we needed the rain, that was quite a lot in a short period of time. Mother Nature is sending us compensation in the form of increasingly sunny conditions, especially this weekend. Temperatures head higher, from today's very seasonable, nearly-average highs in the low-to-mid 50s, toward (or above) the 60 degree mark this weekend. The workweek starts a bit chillier, cloudier, with slight potential of for some precipitation.

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - Nothing major on the horizon except small possibility of wet flakes mixing in with precipitation Monday night or early Tuesday. Snow lovers, would that satiate you at all? Accumulation appears unlikely so far.

 
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 (Friday): Calmer than yesterday, but we still have a few clouds plus a breeze to contend with. High temperatures in the low-to-mid 50s are near the typical average high of 54 downtown, but if the clouds hide the sun concurrent with a breeze from the west in the 10-15 mph range, it may require some layering. Confidence: High

Tonight: Breezes slacken, as temperatures head steadily to their early morning lows -- in the 30 degree range outside the Beltway, perhaps mid-30s downtown. There could be a few clouds around too, so I'm not sure if the moon or stars are visible all night. Dress warmly if staying out late! Confidence: Medium-High

How much can we get outdoors this weekend? Keep reading...

Tomorrow (Saturday): This could be our best day of the weekend. Very sunny skies and quickly rising temperatures head toward afternoon highs near 60 to perhaps mid-60s (south of town). Breezes still can be felt a bit -- but lighter than Friday -- around 5-10 mph out of the west. You might want to take David's advice and get out in the garden! Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: A pleasant evening in the 50s should slowly cool downward to the upper 30s in the suburbs, perhaps low-to-mid 40s possible downtown. We'll have a few clouds, associated with a weak -- and dry -- cold front attempting to quietly move through. Ahead of it, temperatures are actually bolstered a bit. Turn your clocks ahead one hour! 2 a.m. becomes 3 a.m. -- don't forget! Confidence: Medium

Sunday: It's just a touch cooler in the mid-50s to near 60. But this cooler, dryer air should be somewhat noticeable. It won't be quite as springlike as Saturday. At least we should see sunny skies, without the threat of precip! Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Later sunset (after 7 p.m.) on Sunday night doesn't prevent temperatures from plummeting. A sub-freezing night is a good bet in Winchester and Frederick or similar locales. Spots inside the Beltway, may be milder near freezing or toward the mid-30s. Clear skies help allow all low-level warm air at the surface escape higher into the atmosphere. Brrr. The cooler, dryer air may not have been as noticeable during the day, but after the sun sets it is! Confidence: Low-Medium

Early week may feature a battle with clouds winning vs. the sunshine for prominence. Temperatures both days should have highs in the upper-40s to lower 50s. Sunshine makes an appearance at least early on Monday, but clouds increase during the day. Showers could threaten by the overnight. Snow flakes possibly mix in west and northwest of town? Tuesday could remain murky with clouds and showers but it isn't clear yet on timing of the rain, if much falls at all. Confidence: Low

By Camden Walker  | March 11, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: The tsunami's path and progress to Hawaii, California, Oregon and other U.S. sites

Comments

large earthquake, 8.9, earthquake and tsunami hit Japan his am. Tsunami warnings up for Hawaii and the west coast.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 11, 2011 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 11, 2011 6:56 AM | Report abuse

well, obviously not "all time", but that we've recorded...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 11, 2011 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey Camden,

Greetings from the Old Hollow, outside of Sperryville, up against the Blue Ridge. 6.5" of rain since Sunday, North Fork Thornton looks like the Big Thompson (Colorado) after the flash flood in the '70s.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | March 11, 2011 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Dulles is now about one inch above normal for the year.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 11, 2011 7:23 AM | Report abuse

2.26" in TP/SS. March total 4.08" Basement a touch damp, but no water, thankfully...looking forward to some dry weather,

Posted by: weatherdude | March 11, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Lived in Japan and what an awful thing that's happened there. While they are architecturally advanced in preparing for these events, they also have many historically old buildings and villages which I'm sure are devastated. Also lived in Hawaii and had a tsunami warning while there. Loud sirens alert people so there is little chance anyone would miss hearing it. Wow. What a mess.

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | March 11, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Compared to what happened in Japan and affected areas, our rain event last night was next to nothing.

Thoughts and prayers..

Posted by: jaybird926 | March 11, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

My RG202 rain gauge only read 1.3" this morning after this storm. What we got over the weekend here in Manassas Park FAR exceeded what we got yesterday. I know the gang was calling for this latest event to be bigger but certainly not in my neck of the woods. That's why I was so confused as to the massive underestimation of the amount of rain we got this weekend.

Posted by: j0nx | March 11, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

yeah, the japan (and soon hawaii/pacific rim?) events are like a tornado hundreds/thousands of miles wide....

--------------
anyway, the record snow for today is 6" in 1888.

i can't see anything snow-wise on the models for next mon/tue, but i did find a juicy ~.2" of possible snow (that's actual snow amt, not liquid equivalent...) on the friday 2 weeks from now... :-/

it's amazing that even 336 hours out, models show a snow hole over dc:
http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/GemPakTier/MagGemPakImages/gfs/06/gfs_namer_336_precip_p24.gif

can't decide if that's funny or sad.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 11, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Walter, two weeks from now we will be in official spring...remember, as you say, winter weather should be in winter..

Posted by: weatherdude | March 11, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

CWG owes us a "weather image of the day" from yesterday.
The storm last night took out another mature evergreen tree in our neighborhood. Winds pulled the root ball right out of the waterlogged ground.
Coworkers on duty last night report much of the evening was spent hudding in interior hallways during the tornado warnings.
March is always so much fun.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | March 11, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Officially measured just over 2 inches of rain in the last weather event. And Spring is coming: The bluebirds are checking out their boxes.

Posted by: weathergrrl | March 11, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@FIREDRAGON47

Yep, rarely a dull moment in March, no? "Weather Image of the Day" will sometimes take a break during active/severe weather.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | March 11, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Your david's advice link goes to his forecast from yesterday rather than the gardening post.

Posted by: megamuphen | March 11, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Will the tsunami hit any of the fairfax counties and will it dramticle?

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 11, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Disappointed in the Tornado Warning naysayers last night. I was in the warned area - you go to the basement, period, and pray it doesnt materialize. NWS warns for four specific instances I belive - CWG correct me if Im wrong...1) for a Severe Thunderstorm "capable of producing a tornado" ie "Rotation" 2) A Doppler indicated tornado (ie obvious movement away and toward the radar site), 3)a reported funnel cloud and 4) tornado sighted on the ground. Should the NWS have 4 classifications of a Tornado warning, or should they strongly word their warnings with the above specifics via tv outlets? I know they indicate which of the four criteria is being met when the text is released, but we rarely, RARELY, experience any warnings that are other than the T-Storm capable of producing version...thoughts? Not all warnings are the same. And Im going to be going by the area where the possible tornado in Sully Station (about 1/4 mile south of my daughter's pre-school - freakin' scary) this afternoon. Ill report back what I see, if anything. For you old schoolers, you know that I responded with the American Red Cross to the Suffolk EF3 tornado in April 2008. I take this stuff seriously and want us to be safe. This is not a tornado prone area, so complacency is definitely an issue here.

Posted by: DullesARC | March 11, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Dullesarc, I worry that parsing this out will reduce folks responding to the warnings. A warning is a warning is a call for action. We aren't in tornado alley, but when the radar algorythms warn?..I want them taken seriously! Please? :) I hope you can understand. Jason also commented last night that we will always pass along the warnings...

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 11, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Dullesarc, I worry that parsing this out will reduce folks responding to the warnings. A warning is a warning is a call for action. We aren't in tornado alley, but when the radar algorythms warn?..I want them taken seriously! Please? :) I hope you can understand. Jason also commented last night that we will always pass along the warnings...

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

I worry about it too guys...but I also worry about folks ignoring them becuase they are almost always false alarms here. I wonder what percentage of warnings actually produce a tornado? Has to be low - 10%?

Posted by: DullesARC | March 11, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

jaybird, agree with you...my god the pictures... I stayed up realllly late, watching last night. Stunned & transfixed. Same as you, my thoughts & prayers for Japan. Also everyone in the Pacific Basin threatened by potential tsunami... :(

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 11, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

jaybird, agree with you...my god the pictures... I stayed up realllly late, watching last night. Stunned & transfixed. Same as you, my thoughts & prayers for Japan. Also everyone in the Pacific Basin threatened by potential tsunami... :(

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 11, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I worry about it too guys...but I also worry about folks ignoring them becuase they are almost always false alarms here. I wonder what percentage of warnings actually produce a tornado? Has to be low - 10%?

Posted by: DullesARC | March 11, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Rain @ Campbell E.S. [Carlin Springs & 7th Rd. S.] thus far for rain-lovers & MNR crowd:

Yesterday, around 1.81", Today, 0.05", mainly right after midnight, March total: 3.51" thus far. March will almost certainly total above-average rainfall. It's getting rather close to, if not exceeding, normal March rainfall.

Thus far, it hasn't been targeting dance nights like Jan./Feb. precip. forecasts--however, it IS getting too rainy when flood threats start popping up with regularity. This makes for two such threats within the space of a week.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 11, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Dulles, I don't have the stat in front of me, but I do believe it is below 50%. Yet when the atmosphere is spinning, radar picks this up--even if a funnnel cloud hasn't fully touched down to become a tornado--the ingredients are indeed happening. I think it just as dangerous. A few meters difference is all there is between cyclonic spin in a supercell/storm bending vertically into a funnel cloud...then a few more meters to the ground, and you have a property & life threatening tornado. It is, meteorologically, splitting hairs. I don't think resolution that small, specific, & focused is even on our horizon next decade-- but one can hope?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 11, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Meh, I'm totally nitpicking...I read a lot of the warnings that pop up nationally and shudder when they have the "Torndado on the ground" verbage. Just part of the job for me. Our recent tornado history in the DC area is still fairly scant - 1996 Centreville (same area literally as last night), 2001 College Park, 2002 La Plata (obviously the biggie), the Hurricane Ivan tornado outbreak in 2004 - most damaging one in Western FX and Eastern LoCo, Stafford in 08 and last year's EF0 along the Chesapeake Bay. Not too common in 15 years. I think there was an EF0 in NE DC or PG County two years back as well that did little. Am I missing any? Probably been at least 75-100 warnings in LWX over the past 15 years, if not more.

Posted by: DullesARC | March 11, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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