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No Winter Wonderland Christmas Week

Jason Samenow @ 11:00 AM

The week of Christmas and the first full week of winter won't pack much of a wintry punch. Temperatures will generally be a bit warmer than average and the precipitation forecast late in the week will probably be in the form of rain. Any chance of a white Christmas has evaporated.

Today - Christmas Eve

Forecast Confidence: MediumMostly sunny, low 50s. Last minute Christmas Eve shoppers will experience no travel problems as tranquil high pressure builds into the region. They may notice a light to moderate northwest breeze rushing out to the mall, but can leave the heavy parkas at home. Most areas will reach 50-54 degrees.

Under clear skies and light winds overnight, Santa Claus should have no problems navigating local neighboorhoods. He'll encounter a friendly chill with lows ranging from 32 downtown, to a frosty 25-27 in outlying areas like Reston and Germantown.

The moon and Mars emerged after skies rapidly cleared yesterday evening. Photograph submitted by visitor David Abbou.

Christmas Day

Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighMerry and bright but not white, 45-50. All should awaken to sun-filled skies but no snow. While some high clouds may stream in during the afternoon, no precipitation is forecast. High temperatures should be just above the seasonal average, with most areas in the upper 40s to around 50.

Overnight, a bit of cloudiness is possible as a low pressure approaches from the south. Lows should range from 31-35 (suburbs-city).


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighPartly to mostly cloudy, near 50. Clouds will be around and about as low pressure passes to our east and northeast. But we should still have some sun, with highs within a few degrees of 50 in most areas.

A Look Ahead

  • Temperatures will cool down just a bit Thursday behind a weak cold front that passed through the region Wednesday night. Highs should be in the mid 40s
  • On Friday, temperatures warm-up a bit as winds become southerly, but a few showers are possible late due to the approach of another weak cold front. Highs should range from 50-55.
  • Rain is possible Saturday, particularly late, a low pressure develops to the southwest. Highs should be near 50.
  • After a period of rain early, precipitation should end at some time during the day Sunday, with highs likely in the 40s.

Christmas Weather over the Past Decade

Over the last 10 Christmas days (since 1998), we've generally had cold and damp weather in the Washington area. The average high at Reagan National Airport has been 39.5 compared to the long-term average of 44. We've had measurable precipitation four times although it has only snowed once. The last Christmas snow occurred in 2002 when 0.2" fell (more snow accumulated to the north and west, with 1.6" measured at Dulles Airport). Last year, we had a high of 50 and a low of 37 with about half an inch of rain. This year, history will repeat itself with highs again near 50 -- but, in contrast to last year, conditions should be dry.

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