‘Delightfully warm’ temps could break records Saturday, followed by rare thunderstorm

Christmas is only two weeks away, but the weather Saturday will feel downright spring-like — and the “delightfully warm” temperatures are likely to break records.

A wave of low pressure is set to bring a “surge of warm air” to the region, Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell said.

“Even with all the clouds outside, we’ll stay near 50 degrees tonight and leap to what is likely to be a new record high for tomorrow,” he said Friday afternoon.

The record high for Dec. 11 in D.C. is 68 degrees, which has stood since 1979, according to the National Weather Service. “And I think we can make it all the way to at least 72 in some areas, especially around downtown,” Bell said.

Not quite hot cocoa and mittens weather.

Overall, though, the warmest December day in D.C., according to the weather service, was when the mercury hit 79 degrees on Dec. 7 in 1998 — that record seems likely to stand.

That was the nice part of the forecast. Now for the naughty: another wave of low pressure Saturday evening is expected to bring a cold front through the area, bringing a “rare chance for a December thunderstorm,” with potentially heavy wind gusts, Bell said.

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory covering most of the D.C. area from 4 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m., warning of 15-to-25 mph winds with gusts up to 55 mph.

The rain is expected Saturday between 5 p.m. and midnight.

“The good news is, sunshine is back for Sunday with temperatures near 50, and we’ll be warmer than average all the way through next week.”

Here’s a more detailed look at the forecast:

Weekend forecast

SATURDAY: Partly sunny in the morning. Windy, unseasonably warm, and a bit humid. Increasing clouds with a few showers or thunderstorms arriving late in the afternoon, ending late in the evening. Near record highs in the upper 60s to low 70s.

SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Breezy and more seasonably cool. Highs in the low 50s.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny and a bit milder. Highs in the mid-to-upper 50s.

Current conditions:

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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