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The week ahead: An understated start to winter...

Jason Samenow @ 3:00 PM

Update: Record highs of 73 and 76 reached at Reagan National and Dulles Airports this afternoon -- exceeding our high temperature expectations :)

The winter solstice occurs this week, and with Christmas and the New Years around the corner, snow and cold will be in the hearts and minds of many. Yet, the weather will remain mild for the season with no real sign of sustained cold or the threat of frozen precipitation.


Forecast Confidence: HighUnseasonably mild. Southerly flow ahead of a cold front will allow temperatures to rise well into the 60s. Afternoon clouds will probably prevent temperatures from reaching record levels in the low 70s, but mid to high 60s are likely in many parts of the region. Overnight, expect partly cloudy skies as a cold front moves through the area with lows 40-45.

The Upcoming Week at a Glance

Coldest Day: Tuesday, 49.
Warmest Day: Today, 67.
Dry Days: Monday through Thursday, Sunday.
Precipitation Chances: Friday and Saturday
The Week's Wild Cards: How much rain will fall as a result of the late week frontal passage?
Climatological Average High/Low: 46-45/31-30

Pictured: A sunset at the Tidal Basin Saturday afternoon. By visitor Steve Steward.


Forecast Confidence: HighMuch cooler. In the wake of the cold front, temperatures should drop 15-20 degrees. Expect partly to mostly sunny skies, with highs in the upper 40s to around 50 -- with a light northwest breeze. Overnight, it will be clear and cold, with lows 22-28 (suburbs to city).


Forecast Confidence: High-Very HighSunny, cool. Cool high pressure will be centered over the region. Despite the chill of the airmass, the benefit of full sunshine should allow temperatures to rise from the mid 40s to around 50. Overnight, skies will be clear, with lows 23-29 (suburbs-city).


Forecast Confidence:Medium-HighA bit milder, increasing clouds late. High pressure will move offshore and a warm front will approach from the west. After a sunny start to the day, high clouds should increase a bit with highs 50-55. Overnight, clouds are likely to lower and thicken with a slight chance of showers by morning. Low temperatures should range from the mid to upper 40s.


Forecast Confidence: MediumMostly cloudy with occasional showers. As a frontal system moves through the region, a few isolated showers (30% chance) are possible in the morning, with a better chance of rain later in the day and at night (60% chance). High temperatures should be in the mid 50s, with overnight lows in the mid 40s.

The weekend

Forecast Confidence: MediumClearing Saturday. High clouds increasing Christmas Eve. Relatively mild both days. Friday's frontal system should move offshore Saturday morning allowing for slow clearing during the afternoon. High temperatures should be in the low 50s. Overnight Saturday, it will probably be mostly clear and cool with lows 25-32 (suburbs-city). As of right now, Christmas Eve looks to start off mostly sunny with some high clouds increasing during the afternoon and at night. High temperatures should be near 50.

As of now, Christmas Day may see lower and thickening clouds with a chance of rain (temperatures will probably be much too warm for snow) -- although this forecast has low confidence being eight days out.

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