WEATHER NEWS: D.C.-area forecast: Dry through midweek but then stormy and turning frigid


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

6/10: Wind chill fades as sunshine calls for shades.

  • Today: Sunny. Highs: 40 to 45.
  • Tonight: Few clouds. Lows: 23 to 31.
  • Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, some increase in high clouds. Highs: 44 to 48.

Sunny conditions continue today and most of tomorrow as somewhat chiller-than-average weather continues. We’ll warm up into Thursday as rain arrives, but a powerful Arctic front blasts the area on Friday and could change lingering rain to a few snow showers. The holiday weekend is expected to be dry but windy and unseasonably cold.

Today (Tuesday): It’s another cold day. However, mostly sunny skies and lighter winds take an edge off the chill. Look for highs to reach 40 to 45, with light winds from the north at about 5 mph. The air mass is still very dry, with dew points in the teens. Confidence: High

Tonight: A few clouds at times, but mostly clear with lows drifting down into the low 20s in the outer suburbs to near 30 in the city. Winds are light or close to calm at times. Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow night: Here come the clouds. Mostly overcast conditions ultimately prevail with low temperatures toward dawn ranging from the upper 20s (in our colder areas) to mid-30s (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

Thursday should see patches of light rain starting in the morning, but that could initially be mixed with sleet and freezing rain in our normally colder far west and northwest areas (generally west of Route 15). The majority of the day should feature plain rain as highs rise into the mid- to upper 40s. Rain could become moderate to heavy at times by Thursday evening and overnight as temperatures mostly hold in the 40s or even rise slightly. Confidence: Medium

Friday features high volatility. Morning rain continues with temperatures lifting into the warmer 50s before a strong Arctic cold front arrives in the midday hours. That front causes temperatures to plunge 15 to 25 degrees within a few hours. Temperatures could near freezing by late afternoon or early evening.

There’s an outside chance some wet areas could flash-freeze, although strong winds might dry things out before that can happen. Rain should cut off fairly quickly around the time of the midday cold front, but it could briefly change to snow before ending.

Winds are strong in the morning, sustained at 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts. Blustery conditions in the afternoon produce very low wind chills, but skies may be partly sunny at times behind the front. Friday night is bone-chilling, with lows from the upper single digits to the midteens and subzero wind chills at times with a flurry or snow shower possible. Confidence: Medium

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are quite cold with mostly sunny skies. Highs stay below freezing both days, with highs in the 20s to about 30. Wind chills are even lower. Saturday night should see mostly clear skies with lows in the teens, but a few single digits are possible again in our far western to northwestern areas. Confidence: Medium-High

A daily assessment of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.

1/10 (→): Snow showers or flurries possible Friday afternoon into Friday night behind the Arctic blast.

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