WASHINGTON – Pinning down the forecast for the Nationals home opener has been giving us a headache since the beginning of the work week.
First we were calling for around 60 degrees, then upper 60s. Chances for rain, then no chance for rain (insert weather guessers/you get paid for this jokes here). So what is really going on with the weather for the Washington Nationals opening day against the Atlanta Braves?
A warm front will be draped across the region Friday dissecting the listening area but edging north throughout the day. High pressure will be situated off the New England coast keeping us in an easterly flow, transporting moisture off the ocean and putting most of the area in the “mostly cloudy” category. Areas south of this warm front will have a little more sunshine compared to areas north of the warm front.
The surface front forecast at 8 a.m. for Friday morning shows a warm front just to the south of the D.C. metro area with a cold front trailing behind it stretching from Indiana to Louisiana.
The main issue with this forecast is this: Where will the warm front set up Friday? That is the question we have been facepalming ourselves with since Monday. Depending on where the front is during peak daytime heating hours, will determine our daytime highs across the area.
You can clearly see the warm front across the region in these two models above. The model on the left is the EURO depiction of where the warm front will be at 2 p.m. on Friday and the model on the right is the NAM depiction of where the front will be at 5 p.m. on Friday.
The areas shaded in blue are temperatures in the 50s while the darker oranges and reds are temperatures in the 60s and 70s. As you can see, D.C. is right smack dab in the middle. Therefore, current thinking is temperatures will be in the lower 60s at Nats Park by first pitch.
Without additional sunshine, temperatures will likely stay in the lower 60s through the game only dropping into the upper 50s by the ninth inning.
For those not going to the game, general rule of thumb will be cooler daytime highs north of D.C. and warmer daytime highs the closer to Central Virginia you are.
There could be a few passing sprinkles or showers through the game but most of the rain will hold off until the late afternoon/early evening hours when a cold front sweeps through the region bringing some light rain with an isolated thunderstorm from the west to the east. The front will clear the area after midnight and the region will dry out quickly.
The weekend looks spectacular. Winds will be a little breezy on Saturday, out of the west at 10 to 20 mph, with some gusts possibly up to 30 mph. Expect plenty of sunshine Saturday with temperatures in the mid-60s. We’ll see a few more clouds on Sunday but still dry with less of a wind. Temperatures will also be slightly cooler on Sunday, only topping out right around 60 degrees.