NowSunny, warm. The near 80° temperatures (National was at 80° for 3 consecutive hours) in the Washington metro area this afternoon are significantly warmer than average, but nowhere near the extremes of which October is capable. The earliest measurable snow at National Airport fell on this date in 1979 (0.3"; Dulles had 1.3"). Today is also the latest date in the year which has seen a temperature above 90° (92° in 1939).
Tonight and TomorrowIncreasing clouds, cooler. Clouds will increase overnight with lows in the upper 50s in the city to the lower 50s in the cooler 'burbs . Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with highs near 71° and a 40% chance of showers by evening.
For the outlook through the rest of the week, scroll down to Jason's post below.
Winter OutlookNOAA's Climate Prediction Center today announced the winter weather outlook for December to February. Weak to possibly moderate El Niño conditions are expected to produce warmer than normal conditions across most of the U.S., including a greater than 33% chance of above normal temperatures in most of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast regions. There are equal chances of wetter than normal, drier than normal, or near normal precipitation in the DC area.
NOAA's outlook was released in conjunction with the annual Winter Fuels Outlook Conference, sponsored by the Department of Energy. This event was carried live by CSPAN, so rebroadcasts will probably be available in coming days. The news of an expected warmer than normal heating season was greeted with much interest by both the producers and consumers of energy. Natural gas bills are predicted to decrease by an average of 13%.