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Cold Front to Bring Changing Conditions
Warmth today ... then rain, wind and cooler air

Dan Stillman @ 8:45 AM

Praying for rain? Those prayers are likely to be answered tonight and tomorrow morning as a juicy cold front comes through. Windy and cooler conditions will follow during the day Thursday and Friday, before winds diminish and temperatures moderate a touch over the weekend. Things could then get a wee bit interesting early next week.


Forecast Confidence: HighWarmest day of the week. After fog and low clouds last in some places through late morning, some peeks of sunshine and flow from the south ahead of the next cold front should warm temperatures to highs in the upper 60s. Winds from the south at 5-10 mph. As the front closes in and passes through tonight, there's a slight chance of a shower this evening as clouds increase, and then rain -- heavy at times, and maybe accompanied by a few rumbles of thunder -- is likely after midnight with lows near 50 under overcast skies.


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighMorning rain, windy, cool. The morning commute is looking like a wet one, with rain tapering off by around lunchtime and some sun emerging during the afternoon. It'll be a raw-feeling day with winds out of the northwest at 10-20 mph (gusting to near 25 mph) and highs in the low-to-mid 50s. Overnight, becoming mostly clear and continued windy with lows in the mid 30s.


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighPartly to mostly sunny, windy, cool. The end of the workweek greets us with partly to mostly sunny skies, but winds that remain gusty out of the northwest. Also remaining in place will be below-average temperatures, as highs only reach near 50. Overnight, partly cloudy with diminishing winds and lows in the low-to-mid 30s downtown, upper 20s to low 30s in the burbs.

A Look Ahead

  • The weekend is looking pretty decent -- partly sunny, highs in the mid 50s, and overnight lows in the mid 30s to near 40 (suburbs to city).
  • Sunday night could bring increasing clouds, signaling the possible approach of an interesting storm system that could impact the area Monday into Tuesday. More on this below ...

Wintry Weather Early Next Week?

Two major models -- the GFS and ECMWF -- have been somewhat inconsistently hinting at the possibility of a strong East Coast storm early next week, in the Monday-Tuesday time frame. At this point, there's no guarantee the storm will even materialize. And if it does, there's little confidence in what its track would be.

The interesting part for snowlovers is that both of these models show high pressure positioned to the north, in Quebec, which would suggest the potential for cold-air damming and a chance of wintry precipitation for the MidAtlantic. However, those aching for the season's first threat of snow shouldn't get their hopes too high, as it would likely take a perfect track to pull enough cold air down from the north to produce wintry precipitation here. As usual, the mountains would probably have a better shot at seeing some of the white stuff.

It'll take a couple more model runs to determine whether the situation warrants the season's first Snow Lover's Crystal Ball, which issues when there's at least a 20% chance of accumulating snow in the mid- to long-range forecast.

Pictured: The ECMWF model shows a storm system along the East Coast early next week with high pressure parked to the north in Canada, a setup conducive to producing wintry weather in the MidAtlantic. But confidence in this scenario becoming a reality is quite low. Courtesy College of DuPage.

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