Winter Solstice occurs this Saturday but temperatures may feel more Spring-like.
The Solstice occurs Saturday at 12:11pm EST, marking the beginning of astronomical winter. Meteorological Winter began on December 1st and continues through the end of February. Astronomical winter will run through March 20th, when Spring begins. Thus far, temperatures have been running slightly below average this month, with 10 of 16 days recording below average temperatures.
This appears likely to change by the end of this week and into the weekend. High temperatures Friday should make it into the upper 50s before jumping into the 60s both Saturday and Sunday.
There is an outside chance that temperatures may actually reach the 70 degree mark ahead of a strong cold front Sunday. This would only be the first time since November 18th that Reagan National would hit 70°F if it occurs. Two of the past five December months recorded temperatures hitting 70, including twice last year. The record high Sunday is 72°F which is a record that goes all the way back to 1889.
A strong low-level jet stream will help temperatures bump into the 60s this weekend as a cold front approaches from the west. Above is a look at the 12z GFS forecast valid Sunday around lunch time. Winds are screaming out of the southwest around 75mph only 5,000 feet above the ground helping usher in the much warmer air mass to the region. There is some indication of severe weather being possible in the Deep South and Southeast this weekend with the cold front, but none is expected in the D.C. area.
The cold front is forecast to bring precipitation in the form of rain to the area Saturday and Sunday, and the front should pass through the region Sunday night into Monday morning. This may allow for precipitation to hang around for Monday morning. Much colder air is expected to settle back into the area Tuesday through Christmas week with highs back in the 40s. A White Christmas does not appear likely at this time, but we'll continue to keep you well informed!