DC region experiences first freeze of the season with heavy winds and cold air

Winds from the northwest ushered in a cold snap for the D.C. area, including the first freeze of the season. Here’s what you need to know.

Tuesday had lots of sunshine, but highs only topped the low 40s. The gusty winds made it feel even colder. 7News First Alert meteorologists branded Tuesday a “cold alert” day.

Those heading outside Tuesday evening can expect some of the season’s lowest temperatures thus far, with parts of the suburbs dropping down to the teens, 7News First Alert meteorologist Eileen Whelan said, calling the drop a “hard freeze.”

“[If] you’re going downtown for the Capitol Christmas Tree lighting, make sure that you are properly bundled [with] the hat, the gloves, the scarf,” she said. “Also, make sure you have your Chapstick and your hand lotion because the air is so dry. That’s what allowing these temperatures to drop.”

The National Park Service said it was optimistic that the “show must go on” after a wind gust toppled the National Christmas tree Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning may be the coldest of the last six months, with lows starting in the teens to lower 20. However, a southerly wind will help increase temperatures into the 40s in the afternoon.

Thursday will be better as it will be mostly sunny, with temperatures soaring into the 50s across the region, even though it will be cold in the morning.

Friday will bring scattered cold rain showers as forecast models suggest that “the highest amounts will be around a quarter of an inch,” Whelan said. Temperatures that day will be in the 40s.


  • TUESDAY NIGHT:  Clear and cold. Lows: Near 20 degrees. Winds: West 10-20 mph.
  • WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny and breezy. Highs: 35 to 45 degrees. Winds: Southwest 5-15, Gusts 20 mph.
  • THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs: 50s. Winds: Southwest 5-10 mph.

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Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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