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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 03/12/2011

Forecast: Sweet weekend, then briefly cooler

By Ian Livingston

Monday night precip risk probably south

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11:00 a.m. update: One large cloud mass -- surrounded by sunnier skies -- has set up over the area as the morning wears on. Currently, the cloud mass shows no major signs of departing, but it should dissipate heading into afternoon. Temperatures have been held back a good bit thus far, mainly in the mid-40s. If clouds hold, highs may struggle through the 50s rather than shooting for the low 60s.

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Tempted to go higher, but maybe not quite into "nice day" range. Downside? A bit of a breeze.
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Today: Partly Sunny. Near 60 to low 60s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. Near 40 to mid-40s. | Tomorrow: Mostly Sunny. Upper 50s to near 60. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


It's daylight saving time tonight, the Cherry Blossom Festival begins in two weeks, and average highs above 60 (like today!) strike D.C. on 27 March. Add in some sprouting greenery on a weekend like this -- there is no mistake that spring is taking hold. Of course, cooler air intrusions, like the one scheduled for early next week, are still possible but I'll keep my fingers crossed they rapidly dwindle away.

Snow Potential Index: 1 (→) - It's doubtful we see anything Mon night-Tue, but there's precip scheduled to pass south and *some* colder air temporarily overhead.

The SPI is a daily assessment of snow accumulation potential 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 (Saturday): Get outside if you can, gardening or otherwise. There should be plenty of sunshine, yet some passing clouds are also a good bet. Mild west winds -- which help send highs near or above 60 -- blow around 10 to 15 mph during the day with some higher gusts. Confidence: High

Tonight: A weak system passing way to our north eventually sends a cold front toward us, but it's initial impacts won't be great and it probably doesn't move in 'til late night or early Sunday. This keeps temperatures up a bit, so lows near 40 in the cold spots to the mid-40s in the warm. Set those clocks forward if they don't do it themselves. Confidence: High

So, after this pleasant weekend what do we have in store?

Lenticular cloud? Over Reston, Va. late Friday. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Tomorrow (Sunday): Under mostly sunny skies, temperatures cool slightly as the front works to our south and Canadian high pressure begins to arrive. But, we don't really feel the main effects before sundown (7:12 p.m. on the Mall!) and into Monday. Breezes that were from the west shift to the northwest and north, as highs rise into the upper 50s to near 60. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: High pressure takes hold, sending dew points lower and temperatures along with them. With mostly clear skies, we're probably staring down lows near or just below freezing in many suburbs to the mid-30s in the milder locales like my backyard. Confidence: Medium-High


On Monday, we should be to the north of a wave of moisture beginning its pass. Right now it appears we'll have a good deal of sun, but any drift north of the system may bring more clouds in. We see a bit of a breeze from the north as highs struggle to get past the low 50s. Confidence: Medium

It appears the Monday night and Tuesday morning potential wants to stay well south of the area. That's sometimes a precarious position for those wanting to stay totally dry, but the jet stream looks ready to shoot any precipitation quickly east. Temperatures begin what could be a warming trend into the end of the week, with highs heading for the mid-50s. Confidence: Medium

By Ian Livingston  | March 12, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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