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The week ahead: First taste of spring...

Jason Samenow @ 6:30 AM

Spring is poised to emerge in style this week. The Snow Lover's Crystal Ball is put away (for good?), and a classic warming trend starts tomorrow. The weekend holds the potential to be awesome for warm weather fans. Your week ahead forecast follows...

Pictured: Sunrise this morning over the mall (6:30am) -- courtesy National Park Service webcam -- as displayed here at


A weak area of low pressure is going to slide by to our south. That's where most of the precipitation will be, although patches of light rain are possible here (40% chance). Skies will be cloudy for most of the day, with highs 45-49. The low moves offshore tonight, taking most of its precipitation with it. As a trailing upper level disturbance swings by to our south, a brief shower or flurry is possible before midnight (25% chance), then expect partial clearing, with lows 27-32.


Cold high pressure will build into the area from the west and northwest. Look for sunny skies, breezy conditions and slightly below average temperatures. High should be from 45-49. Overnight, it will be clear and cold with lows in the mid 20s in the suburbs to near 30 downtown.

A warm front from a developing storm in the midwest will serve as the dividing line between cold high pressure retreating to the north, and a "warm" high developing to our south. The warm front is likely to stay south of us during the day, and high clouds should increase late. Still, there should be enough sunshine for temperatures to reach the low to mid 50s. Overnight it will partly to mostly cloudy and milder, with lows 40-45.


Assuming the warm front clears the area by morning (which in March, is not always a safe assumption--last week the warm front made it through and it stayed chilly), clouds should break with at least partial sunshine and mild temperatures in the afternoon. High temperatures in the low to mid 60s are possible, with a pleasant southerly breeze. Overnight, it should be partly cloudy and mild, with lows 45-50.


Mild conditions should continue despite the passage of a weak frontal trough. There is a 30% chance of showers from the front--probably during the first half of the day, but temperatures will be quite warm given strong southerly flow and the possibility of afternoon sunshine, with highs in the mid to upper 60s. Friday night should be mostly clear, with lows 40-45.

Saturday and Sunday

The weekend, as of now, looks to get the Seal of Approval. With a Bermuda high in place offshore, we'll be under the influence of strong southerly flow. Right now, partly sunny skies and unseasonably warm conditions seem likely: a high around 70 is possible Saturday, and 70-75 Sunday. Bring it on.


The average high temperature this week is in the low to mid 50s, the average low is the mid 30s.

Pictured: The Lincoln Memorial at dusk yesterday. By photographer Ian Livingston.

This Week's Poll

The new poll this week asks a straight forward question: "Are you ready for spring?" The results of last week's poll "How warm will it get at Reagan National Airport?" just goes to show how tough it can be to forecast warmth during seasonal transitions. It only reached 52 despite the fact that about 70% voted it would reach 60 or higher. And of the 15 people who voted it would not reach 60, a lot of those votes came in after it had become clear 60+ wasn't happening. While I'm pretty confident the warmth will arrive this week -- last week's experience provides an important caution.

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