PM Update: Thursday brings big warmth once more; damaging winds sweep through the Great Lakes region

A beautiful day in Arlington. (Joe Flood via Flickr)

Gorgeous weather was around for most of today, as abundant sunshine helped boost temperatures into the mid- and upper 60s. Tonight remains quite mild, and we’ve got another extra-warm one on Thursday. After that, it could be a while until we see temperatures near or above 70.

Through Tonight: A few clouds roll by in an otherwise mostly clear night. Temperatures are cool but certainly not cold for the time of year. Lows end up ranging from near-40 to the mid-40s. Winds are out of the northwest around 5 mph.

View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post.

Tomorrow (Thursday): We finish off this warm spell with a beautiful ending. Skies are partly to mostly sunny as temperatures rise into the mid-60s to near-70. Winds are out of the southwest around 10 mph, with higher gusts.

See Dan Stillman’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Pollen update: Tree pollen is HIGH at 188.18 grains/cubic meter of air. Grass pollen, weed pollen and mold spores are LOW.

Strong winds: Powerful winds have been sweeping across the Great Lakes region and into the northeast today. Reports of gusts in the 60-to-80-mph zone have been widespread. Rochester, N.Y., gusted as high as 81 mph. All of this without thunderstorms.

The cause? A strong low-level jet stream rounding the base of a powerful low-pressure system in Canada. Low pressure dipped into the upper 960s (mb) this morning, which is on par with a strong hurricane as far as pressures go. A cold front that passed through the lakes and northeast helped clear the skies in time for sunshine to help mix the air mass enough to tap into the very strong winds aloft.

Here are the gusts that have been observed today.

And here’s a sample of what those winds have caused.

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