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And down the stretch they come....

Jason Samenow @ 12:28 AM

The last leg of winter is upon us and it's looking like a wild finish. So where's the smart money -- on springlike warmth or mid-winter cold (accompanied by snow)? The odds are set, the stakes are high and what follows is CapitalWeather's guide to what to expect.

Springlike warmth surges ahead today as temperatures reach 60-65. (The average high for this time of year is in the low 50s.) Clouds will increase in the afternoon and rain showers are likely tonight as a strong cold front plows through the area late.

The cold air overtakes the warm air. Temperatures will fall through the 40s under variably cloudy skies, with some widely scattered showers possible (30%) that could mix with a snow flurry or two. It will also be windy.

The cold is in control. Temperatures will struggle to 40 under a mix of sun and clouds.

The cold retreats a bit, but holds the lead. Expect high temperatures 44-48 -- which is still below normal for this time of year.

A clipper races in that may reinforce the dominance of the cold and produce a bit of light snow. A secondary storm may develop off the coast, pull down more cold air and produce accumulating snow for the area, dealing a harsh blow for those rooting for warmth. High temperatures may only be in the 30s. Notice all the "mays"...forecast uncertainty is high for this day.

So what happens beyond Friday? You'll have to keep checking CapitalWeather for continuing predictions and commentary. There are sure to be unexpected developments so keep an eye out for the dark horse...

Pictured: Horses race in Rappahannock County Saturday. Photo courtesy Mark Young,

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