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Not Mild or Frigid; Just Gray & Pollinated

A. Camden Walker @ 2:02 AM

FORECAST: Murky & Dank

Click for more information on and their creative graphicsOur below-average temperatures continue to delay our storing of the heavy coat.  Overcast skies have prevented temperatures from dropping no lower than the middle-30s this morning.  Unfortunately for your Friday ideals, the clouds stick around throughout the daytime hours to suppress our afternoon maximum high temperatures.  Downtown DC should reach 52F (6 degrees below average) by 4 this afternoon, with the sun trying assiduously to break through.

Cloudcover being of top concern, temperature confidence lowers today's overall ratingHowever, there may be a sprinkle around sunset.  Winds will be light out of the northeast combining with the February-like dry air here at ground-level to evaporate any moisture off of your skin, effectively cooling you off even more.  These said windchill factors will be around 45F most of the daytime.

Canadian air continues to flow over our region; clickable map courtesy of Accuweather

Saturday & Sunday:

Overcast with Precipitation is the top uncertain influence on temperatures, SaturdaySaturday morning will find us socked in with clouds & some drizzle. Your wake-up temperature should be right around 37 degrees, perhaps 39. There will be pesky sprinkles by midday and light rain showers in the later afternoon, after a potential mid-morning break in the dawn drizzle. Winds should calm down as the rain shower chances increase in the afternoon, thank goodness (unless you prefer chilly breezes during your drizzle and sprinkles?), but the clouds are going nowhere. By sunset we will hit 50 degrees, but it sure won't feel it.

Sunday has questionable amounts of sunshine at midday, thus temperatures could be offSunday will be a little cooler & windier than Saturday, but with less rain shower activity. The day starts off in the chilly 30s, once again, with a morning cloudy theme. We'll all see increasing sunshine--at least until mid-afternoon. You can return your sunglasses to the glove compartment after that. Look for sprinkles as we hit a high around 47. This isn't a wash-out weekend, but murky weather will prevail for all but the middle of Sunday.

Pollen Sneezers Crystal Ball
Next Chance of Allergy Attack: Sunday P.M., March 26
Potential Impact:
Commentary: We allergy sufferers have a new source helping to predict our future incapacitation. extrapolates current pollen microspore levels from today through three proceeding days into the future, taking weather conditions into account.  Be alert that Sunday, their site predicts we'll once again approach "HIGH" level.  A chance of a Saturday afternoon shower plus overnight rain quickly moving through Saturday late-night will instigate Sunday tree growth.  Holy loratadine!  Oh, and so far, I've found consistent correlation between graphed spore level & my measure of eye-nose discomfort.  Click on their link on's right side-panel.  

Events Begin Saturday - Peak likely next week
Cherry Blossom close-up
The afternoon rain showers will not dampen the opening ceremonies at the National Building Museum, 10am-5pm! Check out the Washington Post's WEEKEND (print edition) section or Arts & Living (online) -- plus today's Cherry Blossom article.

Due to clouds & significantly cooler-than-average temperatures through next week, I am betting the March 27-28 peak will be pushed back perhaps until March 31. However, it only takes one warm day above 65F with plentiful sunshine & light breezes to pop out the blossoms. As noted in-excerpt below, "peak" is defined as 70% of all blossoms open on the trees so if you aren't picky about this certified blossom level, enjoy the quantity of blossoms that are already blooming (50% and rising!) for all to partake and photograph.

The opening ceremony kicks off two weeks of pure fun here in DC. Don't worry if you can't make it to the National Building Museum on Saturday. Lots goes on around the Tidal Basin for the entire festival duration if you are able to bring snacks & bottled water along for the "camp-out." Even outside of the Tidal Basin, there is plenty to do for the entire two weeks of this annual Washington delight.

[Excerpts from my March 10 "Feature" overview below]
You name a city in the U.S. that ushers in the Spring season as stupendously as D.C.--with such style and fervor--and I'll give you a plane ticket to fly there.  Can you honestly think of any celebration, in any city (especially in the colonial-rooted Megalopolis) that celebrates renewal, friendship, and unique city identity as profoundly as Washington?

Sure, admittedly, Washington, D.C. shows its red-white-&-blue during Independence Day on July 4.  However, it is not simply the friendship between nations that created the unique pink celebration around the Tidal Basin and lower portions of the National Mall.  The mayors of Tokyo & Washington were (and still continue onward) celebrating, also, the identity of their own, individual cities. Tokyo & Washington being the capitals of their respective nations only add more international flavor to the festivities.

On Thursday (March 9), the Yoshino Cherry Blossoms' peak-bloomage prediction announcement was made by chief horticulturist Robert DeFeo. Thus, the National Park Service predicts, in this Washington Post article, that 70% of blossoms will be open between March 27 & April 1. Optimal viewing can last up to two weeks, but weather can of course compress this ideal duration.

Tomorrow through April 9, festivities will be held around the Washington area to celebrate our unique heritage during The Cherry Blossom Festival.

* Check for even more outdoor activity calendars this weekend.
* WaPo A-section today has two interesting articles.
Katrina victims (1,292 dead/1,280 missing in LA alone) may desire diaspora? Well, at least potential disaster now won't derail the National Archives down on Constitution...

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