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Thawing out...

Jason Samenow @ 1:18 AM

Sunset, by Mark Young

The little thaw: The first full day of winter will feel more like spring. With southerly winds, the mercury should reach the mid 50s. A far cry from Monday's mid 20s. We can expect rain for Thursday and continued warm temperatures. Highs will again be in the mid 50s and half an inch to an inch of rain is likely to fall, with a rumble of thunder possible in the afternoon.

The little freeze: Temperatures will fall significantly late Thursday night, from the 50s to near 30. And then temperatures will not rise much Christmas Eve and it will be breezy. Friday will remind you of Monday, but the cold won't be quite as brutal.

Despite the freeze, White Christmas chances continue to look grim (likelihood remains about 15%).

The big thaw: (Humor) Speaking of grim, the outlook for Santa and his elves doesn't look very good according to Captain Sea Level. Listen to his song: When the North Pole Melts (2-meg file). This is amusing.

Pictured: Sunset at Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax County Tuesday, the first day of winter. By Mark Young,

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