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10-Day Outlook

Josh Larson @ 1:00 AM

Today's Weather:
While much of Northern New England gets hammered by a strong Nor'Easter today, the storm system will develop too far to our north to cause much ado for the DC area. We will, however, experience overcast skies and very breezy conditions. Expect winds in the 10-20mph range during much of the day, with occasional gusts to near 30mph. Scattered showers, especially in the morning, are possible, and as Dan mentioned yesterday, don't be too surprised if you see a very stray, wet snow flake; I wouldn't get your hopes up, however. It will be chilly, too, with highs in the low 40's. Turning sharply colder tonight as cold air is rushes south into our area along the "backside" or departing edge of the Nor'easter. Low temperatures will be in the low to mid 20's in many areas.

10-Day Outlook:
The outlook I issued last Thursday did a pretty good job of describing the major headlines of DC weather for the past week: I wrote: "by Saturday, 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." Temperatures for the past five days have, indeed, been above 50 - well above 50, actually - and in the upper 50's and lower 60's. I mentioned that the weather would cool down late in the week, which also still looks like a good bet: today's highs will only be in the low 40s, some 20 degrees cooler than yesterday's highs; Friday's highs will be in the mid 40's; and Saturday's highs will be in the upper 40's.

By Sunday, however, it looks like we'll begin to experience a brief warm-up again, and I expect that high temperatures will once again eclipse the 50 degree through Tuesday. I mentioned in last week's post that, "Eventually [a] 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." This also appears to be coming to fruition, though perhaps a couple days later than I had anticipated last week. It now appears that by late Tuesday or Wednesday of next week much colder air will build into the Northeast and bleed south into the Mid-Atlantic and DC area. Take a look at the GFS' interpretation of 850 temperatures by late Tuesday. The AO and NAO are expected to return to negative values by this time, and I believe that we will see at least a week of sustained colder weather starting February 16.

The Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks support this switch to colder weather for our area. There are some indications,too, that a "split-flow pattern," with a robust southern stream storm track, may also develop; this atmospheric feature, along with a cold air mass overhead (highs most likely in the 30's and lows in the teens and 20's) after February 16 leads me to believe that we will see a greatly increased chance for snow after the middle of next week. In fact - this is just a gut feeling - but I think we have a 66% chance for at least a moderate accumulating (>4") snowfall before February 25.

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