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Winter Shows Its Face, But For How Long?

Dan Stillman @ 11:45 AM

Editor's Note:

PM Update is off today. Scroll down to Jason's post for the week-ahead forecast.
Today's high temperature will only be several degrees below normal, but will feel quite cold (especially with the wind) compared to our usual fare this winter. It will likely be our coldest day since Dec. 8, when the high at Reagan National only made it to 35°. Does this cold shot have any staying power? The forecast details follow ...


Forecast Confidence: Very HighCold, windy, sunny. A brisk wind out of the northwest will limit highs to the upper 30s despite mostly sunny skies. Wind chills will remain in the 20s for much of the day. Tonight, clear and cold with diminishing winds. Lows in the low 20s in town, mid teens in the burbs.


Forecast Confidence: High-Very HighNot as cold or windy, still sunny. A broad area of high pressure will give us a sunny day with light winds. High temperatures rebound to slightly above-normal values, in the mid 40s. Overnight, mostly clear early, then increasing clouds toward morning. Lows in the low 30s in town, mid-to-upper 20s in the burbs.


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighWarming up. As high pressure moves offshore, southerly flow should warm us to highs in the mid 50s under partly cloudy skies. Can't rule out a spotty afternoon or evening shower. Overnight, partly to mostly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower. Lows in the low 40s in town, upper 30s in the burbs.

The Weekend

Forecast Confidence: Low-MediumUnseasonably mild, chance of rain. Cold air lurks, but way back in the Great Lakes and Northern Plains. We'll stay under the influence of mild southerly flow, which means Saturday highs in the mid-to-upper 50s, Saturday night lows in the low-to-mid 40s, and Sunday highs near 60. With the warm air comes instability, which could spawn a good amount of clouds and several waves of precipitation. With the exact track of these waves still unclear, I'll call for partly to mostly cloudy skies with a 50% chance of on-and-off rain or showers throughout the weekend.

2006 Is Warmest On Record

It's a front-page story in today's Washington Post and a top story across the country. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has verified 2006 as the warmest year in 112 years of recordkeeping, barely edging out 1998. The average 2006 temperature of 55°F was 2.2° above the 20th century mean and .07° warmer than the previous record-setting year of 1998. An unusually warm December across much of the country put 2006 over the top. According to the NOAA release, "the past nine years have all been among the 25 warmest years on record for the contiguous U.S., a streak which is unprecedented in the historical record."

See Matt's post from yesterday for his take on the recent warm spell and whether, at least locally, a stretch of colder and more wintry weather could soon take hold.

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