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10-Day Outlook

Josh Larson @ 1:00 AM

Today's Weather:
Today will be a dreary, raw day with overcast conditions. While the main dynamics of the recently oft-discussed storm system stay mainly to our south and west, scattered light showers of rain or wet snow cannot be ruled out during the course of the day, especially to the west of DC. High temperatures will only reach the upper 30's in most locations; lows tonight, under continued overcast skies, with a stray flurry possible, will drop into the mid 20's in the suburbs to near 30 downtown.

10-Day Outlook:
I have fairly high confidence in this 10-day outlook, as there is significant atmospheric and climatological evidence to suggest that much of the next 10 days will feature above-average temperatures across our region; this is well supported by relatively good model agreement.

The thinking is that over the next several days a trough complex will develop over the Western US, which will lead to "downstream" ridging over the Eastern US. We believe that the western trough will eventually build into the central US by the middle of next week, allowing for continued ridging over the Eastern US; the result will be a mild flow of air from the southwest into our area. The image shows the approximate alignment of a trough over the Central US and ridging over the Eastern US by the middle of next week as represented by the GFS model. Eventually this trough may build into the Eastern US -- bringing the probability for a transition to colder weather once again -- but this will probably not happen until sometime after February 12.

Today and Friday will actually feature cooler than-average temperatures as relatively cold air is still bleeding into the region from our north. After highs today near 40 and lows tonight in the mid to upper 20's, Friday will feature partly sunny conditions with highs in the mid 40's and lows in the upper 20's to mid 30's downtown.

By Saturday, however, expect high temperatures to eclipse the 50 degree mark, and I believe we will stay above 50 degrees for highs through the end of the work week. So highs in the low to mid 50's from Saturday through Friday look to be the rule, with lows primarily in the mid 30's to near 40. Note that the average high/low for this period is a cooler 45/28.

As for clouds and precipitation, the second half of the day Friday as well as Saturday, Sunday and Monday will probably feature at least partial sunshine, if not mostly sunny skies. It appears that increasing clouds and rain may be possible in the Tuesday through Thursday period of next week, though. Apart from the possibility of rain during this period, I don't foresee any major or extended periods of precipitation through February 12. And if precipitation does fall during this time, it will surely be in the liquid, not frozen form.

But don't fret too much, snow lovers: a look into the long-term meteorological crystal ball suggests that the second half of the month certainly has the potential to be cold and stormy...

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