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10-Day Outlook: From Snowy to Sixties?!

Josh Larson @ 12:00 AM

Today's Weather

An Arctic cold front will come barreling through today, which will lead to a volatile weather day. Expect a stray shower of rain or wet snow during the first half of the day, with increasing winds, and an early high in the mid 40s. By afternoon, expect partial sunshine, very windy conditions (20-40mph and gusty) and temperatures plummeting into the low 30s by evening. Wind chills from the early afternoon on will be in the 30s or below. Clearing and BITTERLY COLD tonight with lows ranging from the mid teens across the suburbs to the low 20s downtown.

Above: The season's first snow...etched into the covering of my deck table.

Pattern Overview

After we get past the next several days' worth of bitterly cold weather, the atmospheric pattern will begin to change somewhat to allow for a return to normal temperatures by the start of next week. In essence, the sharp trough over the East, which will allow for the next few days' deep-freeze, will ease and lift out, allowing for much milder air to return by the start of next week. In fact, I believe that temperatures will shoot to above normal levels by the middle of next week -- perhaps even reaching 60 degrees! -- along with increased chances for storminess, before cooling down somewhat by the end of the week, a move that might presage a return to a more wintry pattern around December 5. Overall, then, temperatures over the next 5 days will be well below average, while temperatures over the following five days will be slightly above average.

The next 5 days (Nov 24-28)
Forecast high/low: 44/28 (normal = 54/37)
Forecast precip: below normal

Friday and Saturday's weather will continue to be bitterly cold, with temperatures some 10-15 degrees below normal for this time of year. Under abundant sunshine both days, high temperatures will struggle to break out of the mid to upper 30s in most locations. Overnight lows will range from the mid teens across the coolest suburbs to the lower to middle 20s downtown. By Sunday, however, the flow aloft changes considerably and much milder air will push in from the south and west. Expect temperatures some 10 degrees milder, under partly to mostly sunny skies, with highs near 47 and overnight lows near 32 (cooler across the suburbs). Monday's high near 55 will feel practically balmy, but, in truth, this is close to our normal high for this time of the year; expect partly sunny skies throughout the day.

The following 5 days (Nov 29 - Dec 3)
Forecast high/low: 54/37 (normal = 52/36)
Forecast precip: near normal?

By Tuesday, it appears that temperatures will warm to above normal levels; expect partly to mostly sunny skies with very mild temperatures near, or possibly eclipsing, the 60 degree mark! Overnight lows will be near 40. Similar conditions on Wednesday, though more in the way of clouds is expected; again, temperatures will be near 60 with overnight lows in the low 40s. Thursday and Friday will likely feature mostly cloudy skies with a chance for showers both days; temperatures will remain mild, however, and in the mid 50s for highs both days, with overnight lows likely dropping back into the mid to upper 30s. Friday and Saturday are a tough call, but I'll go with partly sunny skies, a slight chance of a stray shower, and temperatures moderating back to more normal levels -- probably in the upper 40s to lower 50s for highs, with overnight lows in the 30s.

Forecast Verification

Last week's forecast verified well, as I caught onto the major weather features, with the notable exception of the quick-developing coastal low/Nor'easter that brought around an inch of rain to much of the area at the start of the week. Still, for the period last Thursday through yesterday, my forecast high temperatures averaged only 2.14 degrees off of the actual highs, which gives me a high B on's forecast verification scale.

More interestingly, in last week's post I suggested that: "Indications are that a reinforcing shot of cold air and an associated clipper-type low pressure system and/or a coastal low may bring the season's first snowfall to the area sometime between next Wednesday and next Friday." Pictures are worth a thousand words....

Above: (#1) Snow-covered foliage outside my house; 1.25" of wet snow fell in Chevy Chase, MD. (#2) 1.1" of snow accumulated on the backyard woodpile of photographer, Kevin Ambrose, in Oakton, VA.

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