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Rainy Thursday; 10-day Outlook

Josh Larson @ 2:00 AM

Rainy Thursday:
A fairly robust storm system approaching from the south and west will bring clouds and rain to the area from early afternoon today through Friday. I expect that showers will develop between 12 and 4pm over much of the DC metro area. Expect overcast skies with temperatures in the upper 40s to near 50. Heavier, steadier rain will develop by late afternoon, with periods of moderate rain expected to continue through the evening and overnight hours. I expect that over an inch of rain may fall in many locations by Friday morning.

10-day Outlook:
After Thursday and Friday's rainy weather it appears that a stretch of rather dry, benign - though increasingly cool - weather will establish itself through the end of next week. I expect temperatures to fall rather consistently starting on Sunday. Here's how I envision high temperatures over the next week: mid 50s Friday and Saturday; low 50s Sunday; mid to upper 40s Monday; lower 40s Tuesday Dec. 14 through Sunday Dec. 19. At the same time, low temperatures will fall from the low to mid 40s Friday night to the mid 30s Saturday night, to the mid to upper 20s by Monday night.

In short, I believe the DC metro area will experience above normal temperatures through Sunday Dec. 12, with below normal temperatures Monday Dec. 13 through Sunday Dec. 19. Why is that? The magic word which comes up frequently in my 10-day outlooks is trough. There is fairly good model agreement that a rather robust trough ("T") will build into the eastern United States by the start of next week, with a ridge ("R") over the western US. This will allow cold, Canadian air to sink southward into the Eastern US.

However, I am sorry to say for snow lovers that after Thursday and Friday's rain, it appears the rest of the 10-day period is likely to feature little in the way any of prolonged, measurable precipitation for the DC metro area. In fact, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has highlighted the likelihood for below-average precipitation over the Mid-Atlantic during the 6-10 day region. Even if an area of low pressure does happen to form during this period, I believe that the chance for accumulating snow is quite low, as there likely will not be enough cold air present. You heard it from first: Measurable snow is highly unlikely over the next 10 days for the DC Metro area.

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