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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 04/ 7/2008

Forecast: Cloudy and Cool, Count on It

By Jason Samenow

But slow warming trend begins

For about the next 48 hours, we'll remain socked in with cloudy skies, bouts of drizzle and temperatures below seasonal norms. But a little each day, afternoon skies will become brighter and brighter and temperatures will warm until another shot of cool air arrives over the weekend.

TODAY

Morning drizzle, cloudy. 50-55. Flow directly off the ocean will keep it cool and moist. When you're heading out this morning, expect overcast skies and areas of drizzle. By late morning, the drizzle should end and by afternoon, skies may brighten just a bit -- especially as you head west. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 50s.

Clouds hold strong overnight, with drizzle developing towards morning. Temperatures will edge down to the mid 40s.

TOMORROW

Overcast a.m., some p.m. sun? 55-60. Tomorrow morning will be exactly like this morning as we continue with the maritime flow from the east. But by afternoon, the overcast may erode a bit, with sunshine poking some holes in the clouds -- nudging temperatures towards 60.

Tuesday night will be mostly cloudy, but we should be spared overcast and drizzle as the flow from the east weakens. Lows should drop down into the mid 40s.

Keep reading for the forecast for the rest of the week. See NatCast to view forecast conditions for tonight's game.

A LOOK AHEAD

A cool wedge of air will remain over the area Wednesday, but with winds from the south (as opposed to the east) and partly sunny skies, temperatures will warm to near seasonable levels in the mid 60s. Confidence: Medium

Skies should be partly to mostly cloudy Thursday, with mild temperatures in the mid to upper 60s -- assuming we're on the south side of a front dividing cool air from warm air; otherwise, temperatures may be 5-10 degrees cooler. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Friday, confidence grows higher that we'll be into the warm air. Temperatures may make into the 70s! Confidence: Medium

On Saturday, a strong cold front will plow through the region with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Before it passes, temperatures should reach around 70. Confidence: Medium

Much cooler air arrives Sunday, with variably cloudy skies and highs only in the 50s. Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | April 7, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Comments

What the heck happened this weekend???

As I left everyone Friday evening the forecast was for a dance-disrupting deluge of "Noachian" proportions. Nothing happened on dance night, except that a number of the ladies didn't show up (I bet the "extended" Cherry Blossom Festival is messing things up here, as rain wasn't a real problem Friday night!)

Saturday was supposed to be a rainy day perhaps with the rain letting up late in the day. Sunday was supposed to be the "nicest day of the weekend", but rather cool.

Instead Saturday was very nice, clear to cloudy and in the mid sixties. I got all my errands finished and my laundry done.

Then everything really got messed up Sunday. It started raining some time after midnight and kept raining or drizzling all day long!!! It was supposed to clear up overnight. Instead we have nothing but this drizzly, dreary CRUD!!! Jet stream data suggests the jet is north of us (hence we're supposed to start clearing out and getting warm according to the conventional meteorological wisdom!) Now I'm beginning to hear that this drizzly crap could continue well into tomorrow!!! At least the weather tomorrow evening will be dry (relatively speaking!) for my next Tuesday evening swing dance, tomorrow night. No more big Friday night dances until May 2nd. With my recent luck that will be the date of our first big P.M. severe weather outbreak of the spring! The reason we haven't been seeing thunderstorm activity here is because the air east of the Blue Ridge seems to remain stable and causes the storms west of us to dissipate as they move toward us. North Carolina hasn't been quite so fortunate as we have been, or so I hear. Haven't checked the Canadian lightning data for North America yet.

Posted by: El Bombo | April 7, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Now for the "missing" Canadian lightning data:

There's not too much, chiefly isolated strike activity out in the Gulf of Mexico, where the oil rigs sit. However we have our first "genuine" Canadian strike this spring or close to it, near Sault Ste. Marie or Mackinac Island. It still may be on U.S. territory, but I bet you can hear the thunder in Canada!

Posted by: El Bombo | April 7, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I know it's early but any sense of the timing of the showers/storms on Saturday? I have family coming from out of town and we have tix for the 1:05 Nats/Braves game, I hope it won't be washed out.

Posted by: Ana B | April 7, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Ana-- Way too early for me to pinpoint this, but I'm doubting a washout. Probably just some scattered showers

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | April 7, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

In the previous post on why this weekend's forecast was a bust, it was mentioned that fronts often move much slower than forecast this time of year. Could someone eleborate as to why? I guess I'm trying to understand better what factors were invloved in creating the weather as it actually happend, compared to what the forecasters and models thought would happen, and why. Thanks....

Posted by: CM | April 7, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

In the previous post on why this weekend's forecast was a bust, it was mentioned that fronts often move much slower than forecast this time of year. Could someone eleborate as to why? I guess I'm trying to understand better what factors were invloved in creating the weather as it actually happend, compared to what the forecasters and models thought would happen, and why. Thanks....

Posted by: CM | April 7, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Jason,

The scramble was on last Saturday. Thanks for the impetus. I got out there with the masses and had some awesome blue skies for picture-taking.

Posted by: Jake in Reston | April 7, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the weather this weekend really messed us up. We had great seats (some of the best I've ever had...free, right behind the plate and they came with a free parking pass)for the O's game at Camden Yard on Sunday. All the rain was supposed to clear out, but we ended up sitting there in drizzle most of the afternoon with a cold wind coming through every so often...yuck! We have tix for the Wednesday night game at Nats Park and hope the weather turns out better!

Posted by: ft washington | April 7, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

CM: The flow in the atmospheric is driven by temperature contrast. During spring, as cold air starts to wane, temperatures contrasts can weaken, slowing down the flow. That's your simple answer.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | April 7, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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