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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Forecast: Warmer Wednesday; weekend rain?

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

 

After a bit of morning chill, we'll enjoy a mild afternoon, especially in the sun.
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly sunny. Near 60. | Tonight: Evening breeze. Mid-20s to low 30s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Near 40 to mid-40s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Cold yesterday, mild today, colder again tomorrow, and warmer again Friday. The ups and downs of late winter continue, though even the colder days aren't so bad as long as we have enough of that increasingly strong March sun shining through. More worrisome than the short-lasting shots of cold, though promising in terms of keeping drought conditions in check, is the potential for rain to dampen at least part of the coming weekend.

Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - The SPI has taken up residence in zero-land for the time being.

 
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): Yesterday's chill lingers into the morning as we start out in the upper 20s to mid-30s. Rather quickly, though, warming breezes from the southwest and west team up with mostly sunny skies to lift mid-morning temperatures through the 40s. We're climbing into the 50s by lunchtime, and afternoon highs should top out near 60. In the late afternoon or early evening, breezes pick up from the northwest behind a cold front that passes through with little fanfare. Confidence: High

Tonight: Cooler air returns as evening breezes blow around 10-20 mph from the northwest and north while temperatures drop through the 50s and 40s. Under partly to mostly clear skies, overnight lows bottom in the mid-20s (suburbs) to near 30 to low 30s (downtown) as breezes let up by morning. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Thursday): It's another cold morning and overall a pretty cold day despite mostly sunny skies and light breezes. That said, afternoon highs from near 40 to the mid-40s are tolerable if you can get yourself away from the shade and in the sun. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Increasing clouds keep temperatures from dropping too far, with lows in the upper 20s to near 30 in the suburbs, to the low-to-mid 30s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

The temperature back and forth continues Friday as highs bump back up to near 50 or into the mid-50s. Increasingly moist flow from the south and a warm front in the vicinity could mean a chance of showers by afternoon or maybe not until Friday night, when overnight lows dip to the upper 30s to low 40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

If we're lucky, a storm system will stay mainly west of the mountains through much of Saturday, allowing for a mostly dry day after any early-morning showers exit, partly sunny skies, and highs near 60 or into the 60s. Assuming they hold off earlier, shower chances increase again by Saturday evening or overnight. With increasing winds from the south, Saturday night lows should be pretty mild, in the mid-40s to low 50s. Confidence: Low

As of now it looks like at least part of Sunday could be rather rainy with highs in the 50s to near 60. Confidence: Low

By Dan Stillman  | March 2, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: My perceptions of winter, a review: Part I

Comments

Wondering why the SPI retains its "residence in zero land" when NWS now says the following for Sunday. "Timing of deep cold air still very much
uncertain...but models suggest that it may arrive in time for a
brief transition to snow in portions of forecast area before precipitation ends.
A mix of rain/snow was introduced toward the end of the precipitation."

Surely you could squeeze a "1" out of that for we "bitter enders"

Posted by: dustygroundhog | March 2, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else excited for this afternoon's mildness? 70 would be better but it's still early March after all. And it seems to get to 70 we always have to pay a price with wind or storms. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

@dustygroundhog

I took a quick look at what you mentioned but I can't see potential for accumulation based on the latest guidance. Yes, it cools aloft for the slight possibility for a few flakes at the end (and I'm not convinced that will even happen), but surface temps are above freezing which means nothing would stick.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

But we are under a "special weather statement" saying we might all catch fire. Keep your fire extinguisher handy.

... ENHANCED THREAT FOR WILDFIRES THIS AFTERNOON...

WESTERLY WINDS AROUND 10 TO 15 MPH LATE THIS MORNING WILL SHIFT TO THE NORTHWEST THIS AFTERNOON WITH FREQUENT GUSTS AROUND 20 TO 25 MPH. MINIMUM RELATIVE HUMIDITIES THIS AFTERNOON WILL BE BETWEEN 25 AND 30 PERCENT ACROSS MOST LOCATIONS. DESPITE RECENT RAINFALL THE LIGHTER FUELS HAVE DRIED OUT. THE COMBINATION OF THE GUSTY WINDS... LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND RELATIVELY LOW FUEL MOISTURE WILL ENHANCE THE THREAT FOR WILDFIRES ACROSS PORTIONS OF EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA... NORTHERN AND CENTRAL VIRGINIA AND MOST OF MARYLAND.


Posted by: rwalker66 | March 2, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I was going to post something similar to dustygroundhog. This morning though it seems like the precip is gone before the cold air comes in. Maybe we'll see some wet flakes mixed in. One can at least hope.

Posted by: formerwxman1 | March 2, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

formerwxman1 - hope you can get your fix!...one more dose of flakes, as the season starts coming to a close, this month.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Unless we get a superstorm, wintry precipitation threats are effectively over.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 2, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Unless we get a superstorm, wintry precipitation threats are effectively over.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 2, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It's GLORIOUS outside!! Think I'll play hooky for the rest of the afternoon.

Posted by: Akabang | March 2, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Just sat outside for about 10 minutes. Nice day. Sitting and facing the sun, you can really sense a difference in the March sun compared to the meteorological winter months. Sun is getting stronger, obviously higher in the sky. Felt good on my face.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 2, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@dustygroundhog @formerwxman1

Indeed, when crafting this forecast I took a close look at a couple model runs yesterday that showed cold air trying to move in Sunday night/early Monday before precipitation ends and I did consider raising the SPI to 1. But model runs last night and this morning backed off on that scenario, and as Jason says, even if we did get some snowflakes it's doubtful they would stick. So not enough support there to raise the SPI at this time. Still worth keeping an eye on it though in case things change. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@dustygroundhog @formerwxman1

Indeed, when crafting this forecast I took a close look at a couple model runs yesterday that showed cold air trying to move in Sunday night/early Monday before precipitation ends and I did consider raising the SPI to 1. But model runs last night and this morning backed off on that scenario, and as Jason says, even if we did get some snowflakes it's doubtful they would stick. So not enough support there to raise the SPI at this time. Still worth keeping an eye on it though in case things change. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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