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Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

Dan Stillman @ 1:00 AM

The official start of spring is still almost two weeks away, but spring fever is about to take the Washington area by storm. Seasonal temperatures today will be upstaged by a substantial warming trend starting tomorrow. Dare I say the number "70" is even thrown about in the forecast that follows ...

Forecast in Detail

Today: After a chilly start, with wake-up temps in the low 30s in town and in the low-to-mid 20s in the 'burbs, partly sunny skies will warm us to a high in the low-to-mid 50s. Expect increasing clouds in the afternoon and a slight chance of a late-day sprinkle. Tonight: Evening temps won't drop too far -- into the mid-to-upper 40s -- on their way to an overnight low in the upper 30s to near 40 under mostly cloudy skies. Showers are possible -- about a 40 percent chance -- but mainly after midnight.

Tomorrow: Morning clouds and possibly some lingering showers will break up to allow for intermittent sunshine and mild temps. Winds from the south will boost highs into the mid 60s.

Friday: Partly cloudy and warmer still, with highs in the upper 60s to around 70. We'll keep a 20 percent chance of passing showers in the forecast.

The Weekend: Mild temps continue as do chances for rain, but at this point I'm not expecting any widespread washouts. Look for highs in the upper 60s on Saturday and in the 70s on Sunday, with partly cloudy skies and a 30 percent chance of showers each day.

Note: The lower confidence levels indicated for Today/Tonight and The Weekend are mainly a reflection of uncertainty about precipitation. Confidence regarding temperatures is quite high throughout the forecast period.

At Least It's Snow That Drives D.C. Bonkers

Yes, it's true: Washington's local news stations go a little crazy when it snows. But their insanity doesn't seem quite as bad after hearing how Los Angeles media reacts to that menacing precipitation type known as rain.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper (of the thumb-happy movie-reviewing duo Ebert and Roeper) reports in yesterday's Oscar diary that LA newscasts were treating rain last week like a "three-foot blizzard," complete with team coverage and tips on driving safely. Roeper writes:
I half-expect one of the anchors to say, "If you don't have to go outside, don't." Many of these reports are delivered by weather-women and traffic reporters who look like they just walked off a Stuff Magazine photo shoot, or men with porn star names. One local weatherman is Dallas Raines. There's another named Johnny Mountain. Seriously.
Indeed, Raines and Mountain are all too real.

Show Off

Anyone catch Channel 4's new "Visual Forecast"? It mainly takes place in the background as chief meteorologist Bob Ryan, or whoever is on duty, gives the forecast for the next couple of days (toward the end of the weather segment). Viewers see a visual representation of predicted weather conditions superimposed on a 3-D, moving panorama of a digitally rendered downtown Washington.

Kinda neat. Though I don't know if it'll turn enough heads to make it worth the effort that likely went into producing it.

Get Ready to Go Out

With warm weather on the way, I'm sure's Going Out Gurus will have a lot of suggestions on outdoor activities and dining in their online chat tomorrow. DCist is in the outdoor spirit as well.

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