... Low pressure will loop over the northwestern Atlantic Ocean through Friday. High pressure will gradually build in from the Midwest through the weekend. A cold front will follow Sunday night, then stall nearby before returning north as a warm front early next week.
NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... A large and deep area of low pressure will be the main driver of the weather locally today, despite its location several hundred miles offshore. A thin scattered (to perhaps broken) deck of stratocumulus clouds will likely develop today over northern Virginia and central Maryland closer to the low, with a mostly sunny start becoming partly sunny for a time this afternoon. Elsewhere, mainly sunny skies should prevail.
Northwesterly winds will gust 30 to 35 MPH at times today. 850 mb temperatures around 0 C with steep low-level lapse rates and downsloping flow should result in highs of 55-60 F, perhaps a touch warmer over central Virginia. May need to nudge temperatures up a little based on trends this morning, but otherwise the forecast is in good shape.
Sustained winds of 15-20 MPH and relative humidity dropping to ~30- 35% this afternoon could result in some enhanced potential for fire spread, but recent rainfall likely keeps the threat marginal for most of the area.
Gusty winds and dry conditions will continue overnight with lows in the upper 30s to lower 40s.
SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... Dry and breezy conditions are expected on Friday. Clouds will increase further Friday evening as the spiraling offshore low makes its closest approach. A few high resolution models develop a few showers over portions of northeastern Maryland and near the Chesapeake Bay, but would rather defer to later forecasts before including any rain chances given dry northwesterly winds.
The low will move out to sea Saturday leaving lighter winds and warmer temperatures in its wake. Clouds will increase Saturday night in advance of a cold front approaching from the Midwest.
LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... There will be a ridge axis overhead Sunday that global models hold through Monday. A weakening front may bring a few showers Sunday with only trace or light rainfall amounts. Heights aloft will begin to fall during the middle and second half of next week as very deep upper low for this time of the year evolves over the region south of James Bay. Lots of spread shown amongst the global models with amplitude, placement, and timing of the associated trof axis moving through the local area. Expect a cooling trend, potentially significant with potential for freeze, toward the end of next week if the more amplified Euro solution pans out. Given the more dominant northern stream, don't expect a lot precip with the associated frontal passage.