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The week ahead: More March-like weather

Jason Samenow @ 12:57 AM

Old man winter will remain missing in action (MIA) this week, as the really cold air stays locked up in Canada. Kind of like last week, a couple energetic fronts will pass through the area, kicking up the wind and triggering some temperature swings. But cold periods will be short-lived and, on balance, warmer than average conditions will prevail. Sounds like spring to me.

Daily Details

Today will feel a bit like winter from the lingering cold air tapped by Saturday's frontal passage. The morning hours will be particularly cold, with many places starting their days near 20 (or a bit colder in the north and west suburbs). By afternoon, however, it will feel much warmer than yesterday due to significantly lighter winds. High temperatures should reach the mid 40s under plenty of sunshine. This evening, some high clouds will likely roll in ahead of an approaching warm front. Late at night, the clouds will lower and thicken and some light rain may develop by dusk. A few areas well north of DC could see a brief period of freezing rain. We'll have to watch surface temperatures late tonight. Low temperatures should be near 35.

On Tuesday, the previously mentioned warm front may take its time moving northward through the area. Accordingly, clouds and coolish temperatures may persist. Temperatures should generally be in the mid to upper 40s during the day. By Tuesday night, the warm front will finally pass allowing strong southerly flow to develop ahead of the cold front. Expect temperatures to rise into the 50s and there may be some thunderstorms overnight much like last Friday night.

Wednesday will be a bit like last Saturday: mild in the morning, but turning windy and colder during the afternoon. I'm not expecting a repeat of last Saturday's wind event, but it will be blustery in all likelihood. Temperatures should fall from the low 50s in the morning to the mid 40s by evening. Wednesday night temperatures should bottom out near 30.

Not-so-cold high pressure should dominate the weather Thursday, bringing sunshine and slightly above average temperatures. High temperatures should approach 50. Overnight Thursday, with clear skies, temperatures should drop to around freezing in town and a bit below in the colder suburbs.

On Friday, high clouds begin streaming in ahead of the next warm front. A light southerly wind should help temperatures climb into the 50s. This is a bit of a low confidence forecast due to uncertanties with respect to the timing of the warm frontal passage and the effects of an area of high pressure to the north which could help wedge some cooler air into the region. On Friday night, temperatures should remain steady or even rise due to strong southerly flow. A few showers are possible.

On Saturday, the cold front will move through the area, and like a broken record, there should be showers and thunderstorms followed by breezy and cooler conditions. Saturday night looks breezy and cool, with lows in the 30s. While the timing and impact of this storm is uncertain, it doesn't appear as strong as either of the previous two.

High pressure builds in for Sunday in all likelihood. And once again, the airmass behind the departing storm just doesn't look that cold. 50 degrees is possible -- although forecasting the high this far off is inexact, to say the least.

Climate Notes: The average high for the coming week is in the low 40s, and the average low is in upper 20s. This is the heart of winter, when we usually have our coldest temperatures.

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