WASHINGTON -- After an extremely warm weekend ahead and possible record- breaking temperatures, this mini winter warm-up will rapidly come to an end -- just in time for Christmas.
Daytime highs began to climb Thursday as a swath of warm air was transported from the south. With a Bermuda high in place off the East Coast and an area of low pressure situated over the Midwest, the D.C. area will continue to see a warming trend through the weekend. Temperatures will gradually go up through Sunday, when some locations could pass the 70 degree mark.
In 1923, the record daytime high for Dec. 21 -- Saturday -- was measured at Reagan National Airport at 68 degrees. The record daytime high on Sunday is 72 degrees measured in 1889. Breaking a 90-year-old record and a 124-old-record is absolutely in the cards at this point. And even breaking high minimums on Sunday morning is doable. The record high minimum for Sunday morning is 49 degrees set in 1923. With overnight lows Saturday night into Sunday forecast to drop to around 50 degrees. Our average daytime high for this time of year is in the mid-40s.
But don't get used to the warmth.
Big changes will come and they will come rapidly Sunday night into Monday as a cold front approaches the region.
The cold front will bring rain showers from the West to the East. Some areas could even experience isolated thunder.
By Monday morning, rain showers will come to an end and the front that cleared the area will unleash cold air into the region. Temperatures will fall from the 50s and eventually into the 40s by the afternoon and the 30s during the overnight hours.
Moving ahead into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it will feel a lot more like winter and a lot more like the holiday season. Again, average daytime highs for this time of year are in the mid 40s, we fall into the mid to upper 30s to right around 40 degrees on Dec. 24 and 25.
Unfortunately, it does not look like a White Christmas around the region. That pesky Canadian high pressure will be in charge by Tuesday night and a lot of the snowpack that is still on the ground from the last two weeks will mostly melt over the warm weekend.
Thankfully, some areas did receive a white Christmas last year with snow unloading. D.C., Dulles and Baltimore all received minor amounts on Dec. 24. So snow lovers, you may just have to migrate slightly north to find the White Christmas.
Saturday is the first day of the Winter Solstice -- beginning at 12:11 p.m. -- so you will only have 9 hours and 26 minutes of daylight to enjoy the warmth on Saturday. You still have the warm and delightful day on Sunday. We will slowly increase the time of daylight after Saturday and by Jan. 4, the sun will once again set in the 5 p.m. hour.
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