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DC or Siberia? You Decide.

Josh Larson @ 1:30 PM

**Update: Scattered snow showers are moving through the area as temperatures drop through the low 30s and winds pick up out of the NW 15-25mph and gusty.**

A serious Arctic air mass will deliver a 36-hour shot of the coldest weather we've seen all winter. Trust me: the conditions later today into Friday might make you think the fjords of the Arctic have switched places with Washington, DC. In its wake we'll see a rapid and noticeable warm-up on Saturday only to experience significantly falling temperatures once again Sunday into Monday.


Forecast Confidence: HighTurning sharply colder. Expect mostly cloudy skies this morning with temperatures climbing into the mid 30s noon. The aforementioned Arctic front will push through during the afternoon hours; by 6pm temperatures will fall into the mid to upper 20s with gusty NW winds 15-25mph. Note: Arctic cold fronts can produce scattered snow squalls capable of bringing brief bursts of heavy snow; I would not be surprised if some isolated locations pick up a quick coating to an inch this afternoon into this evening.


Forecast Confidence: HighBrrrr. Expect blustery winds, scattered snow flurries and temperatures in the low 20s by mid evening. Overnight temperatures will drop to 15-20, but continued blustery NW winds from 15-30pmh will allow for wind chills from 0 to 10 above at times.


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighBitterly cold. We'll wake up to partly sunny skies on Friday with temperatures in the mid teens in many locations. Despite abundant sunshine overhead, high temperatures will struggle to make it out of the mid 20s, while NW winds of 15-25mph will allow for wind chills as low as 5 above at times. Temperatures steady Friday night with lows in the mid 20s.

The Weekend

Forecast Confidence: High-Very HighSaturday: Dramatically warmer. As the core of the coldest air rapidly moves away from our area we'll see much milder conditions on Saturday as southwesterly flow ahead of the next cold front allows temperatures to near or eclipse the 50 degree mark under mostly sunny skies. Partly cloudy overnight with a slight chance of a flurry and lows near 30.

Forecast Confidence: High-Very HighSunday: Colder again. After the passage of another cold front late Saturday we'll see much cooler temperatures again on Sunday with highs, under mostly sunny skies, in the upper 30s and lows in the late teens to mid 20s.


Pattern Overview
There is no doubt that below normal temperatures will stay with us for at least the next 10 days; indeed, it is possible that they may linger at least another week thereafter. In fact, I would not be surprised if next week turns out to be the coldest week of the winter for our area. However, through at least the next 5+ days the pattern looks like one where the southern jet is suppressed so far south to more or less quash the chances accumulating snow for our area; that being said, there are some indications that by the latter part of next week we may see a re-alignment of the jet stream pattern, which might, once again, increase the chances for snow. I'd personally recommend that's hardcore snow-lovers arrange a group prayer session next week!

Pictured above: The "D+8" (8 days from now) forecast height anomalies at 500mb from the GFS super ensemble; the significant negative height anomalies (in blue) may translate to the coldest weather of the winter next week; courtesy CPC.

Next week's forecast
Forecast highs/lows: 34/23 (normal = 42/27)
Forecast precip: Near normal??

Forecast Confidence: High-Very HighMonday looks to feature partly to mostly sunny skies with very chilly temperatures near 30 for highs and in the mid teens to low 20s for lows. Tuesday and Wednesday will feature partly sunny skies with daytime highs generally in the mid 30s and with overnight lows near 20. Thursday and Friday will likely feature near-steady (or even slightly colder) temperatures with highs ranging from the upper 20s to mid 30s and overnight lows primarily in the teens and 20s. There are some early indications that the pattern over the latter part of next week may be become more conducive to snow in our area.

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