DC area forecast: Dry through mid-week, but then becoming blustery and cold

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A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather on a scale of 0 to 10.

6/10: The wind chill fades as the sunshine calls for shade.

  • Today: Sunny. Heights: 40 to 45.
  • This evening: A few clouds. Lows: 23 to 31.
  • Morning: Mostly sunny, some increases in high clouds. Maximum values: 44 to 48.

Sunny conditions will continue today and for most of tomorrow as the weather remains slightly cooler than average. We’ll warm up through Thursday when rain arrives, but a powerful arctic front will sweep across the area on Friday and could turn the ongoing rain into a few snow showers. The bank holiday weekend is expected to be dry but windy and unusually cold for the time of year.

Today (Tuesday): It’s another cold day. However, mostly sunny skies and light winds mitigate the cold. Look for elevations that reach 40 to 45, with light northerly winds at around 5 miles per hour. The air mass is still very dry, with dew points in the teens. Confidence: High

This evening: A few clouds at times but mostly clear with lows drifting into the low 20s in the outer suburbs and near 30s in the city. Winds are light or almost calm at times. Confidence: High

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Tomorrow (Wednesday): More sunshine is likely, but some high clouds may filter the sunshine later in the day. Highs range from the low to mid 40s. Light winds come from the east at about 5 km/h. Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: Here come the clouds. Finally, mostly cloudy conditions prevail with low near-dawn temperatures ranging from the high 20’s (in our colder areas) to the mid 30’s (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

Thursday should see light rain showers beginning in the morning, but that could initially mix with sleet and freezing rain in our typically colder far west and northwest areas (generally west of Route 15). It should rain for most of the day as elevations climb into the mid to high 40s. Rain could become moderate to heavy at times through Thursday evening and overnight as temperatures mostly remain in the 40s or even rise slightly. Confidence: Medium

Friday is characterized by high volatility. Morning rain continues and temperatures rise into the warmer 50s before a strong arctic cold front arrives in the midday hours. This front causes temperatures to drop by 15 to 25 degrees within a few hours. Temperatures could be near freezing in the late afternoon or early evening.

There’s a chance that some humid areas outdoors could freeze in a flash, although strong winds could dry things out before that can happen. The rain should stop fairly quickly around the time of the midday cold front, but may turn to snow briefly before it ends.

Winds are strong in the morning, sustained at 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts. Stormy conditions in the afternoon will produce very little wind chill, but skies can sometimes be partly sunny behind the front. Friday night will be freezing with lows in the high single digits to mid teens and sub-zero wind showers, sometimes possible with a storm or snow showers. Confidence: Medium

christmas eve and Christmas Day are quite cold with mostly sunny skies. Highs remain below freezing on both days with highs in the 20’s to around 30’s. Wind chills are even lighter. Saturday night should see mostly clear skies with teenage lows but some single digits are again possible in our far western to northwestern areas. Confidence: Medium-High

A daily rating of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow over the next week on a 0 to 10 scale.

1/10 (→): Snow showers or flurries are possible Friday afternoon through Friday night after the Arctic blast.

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