From the ABC 7 Weather team

Coldest air of the season heading for D.C.

November 20, 2013 - 04:33 PM
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Reagan National hasn't recorded high temperatures in the 30s in November in 5 years.

A very strong cold front will push through the region this weekend, bringing more than likely the coldest air of the season. If you remember correctly, just 7 days ago on the 13th, high temperatures only reached the 45 degree mark. This time around, highs may not escape the 30s.

A lot of cold air is located over Alaska and northwestern Canada and will spill into the United States over the next few days. It's already in the single digits in parts of Montana this afternoon, but the real cold air in the -20 to -30 range has been hanging out in Canada and Alaska. As you can see in this image, Billings, MT is 47 degrees colder than it was at this time yesterday!

24-Hour Temperature Change for 5pm Wednesday

The cold air is expected to spill into the U.S. by Friday and work its way to the East Coast by Sunday as a cold front moves east and a very strong area of high pressure spills into the Midwest and Northern Plains.

Interactive Alaska Weather Station Map

Temperatures on Saturday ahead of the front will be seasonal in the low to mid 50s, but they should fall behind the cold front and continue to do so through Saturday night. Below is a look at the temperature anomaly Sunday early afternoon, showing temperatures around 20 degrees or more below where they typically are this time of year.

Temperature anomalies Sunday (Courtesy: WeatherBell Models)

Very gusty winds will accompany the cold air intrusion with the potential for wind gusts to 45 or even 50 mph during the day on Sunday. Combined with temperatures in the 30s, it will make it feel like the teens the majority of the day. The image below is a model forecast of the 850mb (around 5000ft) temperatures and winds. Over the D.C. area, winds are around 50-55 kts at that level, and some of that energy may make it to the surface which would allow for the higher wind gusts in the 45-50 mph range.

850mb Temperatures and Winds Sunday Morning

If Reagan National only reaches the upper 30s for high temperatures Sunday, it will be the earliest time to do so since 2008, when it only reached 37 degrees on the 22nd of the month.

The past two years in 2013 and 2012, high temperatures in the 30s for the first time in the season didn't occur until January 3rd.

Oddly enough, both 2010 and 2009 experienced the 30s for highs on the same date as well, but not until December 6th. I guess we'll have to wait and see how cold Sunday turns out!

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