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Colder weather in the future

By Lee Carlaw On Monday, January 14, 2008 At 2:55 PM
Current Conditions:
Temperatures around the region are currently hovering near 40 degrees, but a weak surface trough has just cleared the area, which should usher in slightly colder temperatures for tonight.

Washington, D.C. reported 0.03" of rain with the storm system last night, and BWI only picked up about 0.07" from a thin line of showers.

Many areas to the north, were anticipating snowfall totals at or above 12", but most locations only received (generally) between 3 and 6 inches. Numerical computer models failed to accurately predict the dynamics of this coastal low, which lead to significant forecast busts across the Northeast.

Tonight and Tomorrow:
The sun is breaking out in many locations as a large winter storm, currently hammering upstate Maine with heavy snow, slowly pulls away to the northeast (see image above).

Skies will continue to clear, gradually overnight. Temperatures will fall into the mid to upper 20s around town, and near 20 farther to the north and west.

Expect partly cloudy conditions tomorrow, with temperatures rising in the lower 40s by mid afternoon. Breezy northwest winds will make it feel like it's in the upper 30s, however.

Entering a Cold and Stormy Pattern--Snow is again a Possibility:
A few models have been hinting at the possibility of yet another coastal storm developing Thursday night and Friday morning. While precipitation may start off as either a mix of rain and snow, or pure snow Thursday night, thermal profiles would seem to favor everything changing over to rain by Friday morning.

(Image at right: Surface precipitation and temperatures about 10,000 feet up. Notice how DC is above freezing at this level (+2C or so) which, with surface temperatures above freezing, would translate into rain for the Mid Atlantic).

So at this point, here's the forecast: Brief period of rain/snow Thursday night, quickly changing to rain by midnight. Things could change, but significant changes look unlikely at this point.

On the heels of the aforementioned storm is yet another disturbance which has the potential to drop snow on the region. While not a classic set-up, current forecasts offer us a slightly higher probability of snowfall Saturday through Sunday evening.

After these storms move by, a massive outbreak of Canadian Cold air is forecast to overrun much of the United States in below-average temperatures from around Sunday, January 20th, through the end of the month.

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