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10-Day Outlook: Pleasant Weather Lingers

Josh Larson @ 11:00 PM

Today's Weather

Today's forecast calls for varying amounts of clouds and sun with warm afternoon highs near (or possibly eclipsing) the 80 degree mark in most locations. Increasing clouds late in the day will give way to a mostly cloudy evening with very mild overnight lows from 55-60.

Pattern Overview

Anyone who has lived in the DC Metro area long enough knows that we've been very lucky this year to actually have a real spring; indeed, some years it seems like it goes from winter to summer in about a one week. Not so this year: we still have more daytime highs in the 60s, and even overnight lows in the 40s to look forward to (depending on your temperature sensibilities) over the coming week.

Temperatures over the next 5 days will drop about 15 degrees from today's high near 80 to highs only in the mid 60s by Sunday and Monday. The impetus for this cooler air (see image at right) is a trough to our north (and associated area of low pressure) which will allow for cooler, Canadian air to push into our area by the weekend. Temperatures will settle into below normal levels from Saturday through Tuesday of next week. Thereafter, back to more normal temperatures in the low to mid 70s for the remainder of next week.

As for precipitation... We're back into the "needing rain" category since we've only seen 0.03" of rain over the past 11 days at DCA. While we may have a few chances for rain over the next few days, my feeling is that significant, measurable rain might be hard to come by. Models are having a tough time sorting out an area of low pressure which will develop to our south Friday into Saturday. While a few showers (up to a tenth of an inch of rain?) may make it to our area, I think much of the precipitation will stay to our south and that most of the Friday-Saturday period will remain dry.

The next 5 days (May 4-8)

Forecast highs/lows: 71/51 (normal = 72/53)
Forecast precip: Near normal?

After today's partly to mostly sunny skies and highs near 80, Friday will feature more unsettled weather. Expect a mostly cloudy start to the day, with variable clouds and sun by afternoon. A stray shower or thundershower cannot be ruled out over the afternoon hours but most places will remain dry; expect afternoon highs in the mid to upper 70s. Mostly cloudy overnight with a 40% chance of a shower and lows in the mid 50s.

Saturday is, admittedly, a very tough call. However, I believe it will feature morning clouds with a 50/50 chance of scattered showers through early afternoon; expect increasing amounts of sun by mid-afternoon with cooler highs in the upper 60s. Clear and much cooler Saturday night, with overnight lows in the mid 40s in most spots. Expect a delightful day on Sunday, with abundant sunshine and cooler than normal highs in the mid 60s with overnight lows in the mid to upper 40s. Monday will likely feature partly to mostly sunny skies with just a slight chance of widely scattered afternoon showers; highs will be in the mid 60s once again, with overnight lows near 50.

The following 5 days (May 9-13)

Forecast highs/lows: 72/53 (normal = 74/54)
Forecast precip: Near normal?

Models disagree on whether Tuesday will be sunny and dry or cloudy and rainy; my guess is the former (and nicer) option is more likely. Still, we'll call for partly sunny skies with a chance of showers, and highs in the upper 60s, with overnight lows in the lower 50s. Wednesday should feature partly to mostly sunny skies and pleasant afternoon highs in the low 70s. An approaching cold front on Thursday may bring clouds and showers back into the area, with highs in the low 70s and overnight lows in the mid 50s. At this point, Friday and Saturday look dry, with milder highs in the mid 70s.

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