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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 04/11/2008

CommuteCast: Quite Warm and a Little Humid

By Ian Livingston

Evening t'storms?; unsettled Saturday before cool down

Latest D.C. area radar loop and recent lightning strikes (key). Courtesy Weather Underground. Click here to zoom. Refresh page to update.

Under variable cloudiness, high temperatures have reached the upper 70s to near 80 this afternoon. A few places are likely to exceed 80 degrees before temperatures begin to drop during the commute. Gusty southerly winds have also brought humidity levels up to what is more common for late spring and early summer around the area. The ride home should be mostly dry, with a few showers possible, mainly north or west of D.C.

Tonight: Headed out tonight? You may want to bring an umbrella. Showers and isolated thundershowers are expected, with the primary focus being late evening through a few hours after midnight. Most area rainfall totals should be light, though a few spots may receive briefly moderate or heavy showers. Lows will bottom out in the low 60s most places -- a muggy night.

Tomorrow: Saturday will be unsettled, though likely not a washout. As with tonight, much of the area should see relatively light overall precipitation totals, with a few passing heavier showers in spots, primarily during the morning hours. The greatest chance for higher totals should be to the east of the area, towards the coast. Highs will make it to the low 70s before cooler air filters into the area late in the day and for the rest of the weekend.

See NatCast for tonight's game at Nationals Park and Camden's forecast through early next week.

By Ian Livingston  | April 11, 2008; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: NatCast: Mild, Slight Shower Chance


85.2 degrees in Lake Ridge now @ 337 PM.

I was gonna open the windows but forget that. LOL

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | April 11, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

81 at both DCA and IAD. Feels nice, too bad we have to get more cold this weekend.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | April 11, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Doug Hill's outlook for tomorrow per WTOP: Possible morning showers, then clearing, temps to low seventies. Possibly heavier showers late afternoon as front passes.

Posted by: El Bombo | April 11, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Ian - feels nice? Haha not if you are actually working outside.

Weather channel's headline was "storm to dominate the Eastern U.S." YEAAAAAAAHHHHH RIGHT!

Posted by: Period | April 11, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Pretty good squall line just west of the Blue Ridge at 9:15 PM. The cell over Martinsburg looks especially heavy...the one between Front Royal and Strasburg only a little less so.

Posted by: Mike | April 11, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Line of storms on the doorstep. Lightning and thunder just as Ovechkin scored!

Posted by: JT | April 11, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

At 9:00pm I was in Sterling and the temp was 76 degrees. Arrived at home in Leesburg at 9:18pm and the temp was 68 degrees. 2 minutes later a heavy thunderstorm hit with torrential downpours.

Posted by: Greg | April 11, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Some decent lightning with this line, and yes -- go caps!

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | April 11, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man's checking CapitalWeather...

Posted by: mcleaNed | April 11, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Some nice downpours and wind here in N Arlington.

Posted by: Period | April 11, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Visability near 0 due to rain in Rockville. Lightning frequent, winds steady from the west at 12 mph.

Posted by: Havoc | April 11, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Flash! Thunder! Rain in Vienna

Posted by: Matthew@Tysons | April 11, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Wind just picked up dramatically and suddenly here in NWDC about 2 min ago along with rain. kids over there screaming...

Looks like a good spring storm is coming!

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | April 11, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Dimming power here in east Silver Spring. Thunder and heavy rain. Hopefully we won't lose power.

Posted by: Murre | April 11, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

So not QUITE as electrical as I'd hoped for. Especially the way that wind came in.

That reminds me of a question I have. It seems like this spring there have been a lot more branches falling off the tulip poplar in my backyard than last year. Could that be because the drought has left the tree weaker, or have the winds just been stronger this spring than last?

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | April 11, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Rain's over. Storm's gone. Power stayed on. Yay.

Posted by: Murre | April 11, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Nothing here in Lake Ridge.. Seems like we missed the storms...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

No blog post on the storm? What's up with that? What happened to the good old capital
Disappointed once again.

Posted by: What Happened? | April 11, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

What Happened? -- Our still-valid forecast was up along with live radar showing the storms approaching and coming through along with lightning strikes. Not sure how much more you could want at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. Had there been any severe watches/warnings or anything that warranted an update from the forecast and information that was in the lead post, there would have been an update. The new Capital Weather (Gang) has more posts and more updates than the old one ever did, better in-post radar, and a brand new Severe Weather Tracking Station that will be shown when conditions warrant.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | April 11, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

What Happened?: In our entire history, we have never done individual posts for ordinary thunderstorms. If there were severe weather and watches/warnings, we would've done something -- but that was not the case tonight. If you have content suggestions for us, please feel free to email us.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | April 11, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

NWS got caught with their pants down on this one. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning clearly should have ben issued for Fairfax County...and wasn't. I had more or less sustained winds of 40 knots for almost a half an hour with gusts over 50. It looked like either a bow echo or a borderline supercell

Posted by: Mike | April 11, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

A high of 82 today here in Loudoun, and a nice thunderstorm this evening. Some lightning, nothing spectacular, and much needed rain. I'm hoping for some shower or thunderstorm activity tomorrow morning for the yard, what are my prospects?

Posted by: Model Monkey | April 11, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mike -- While impressive, that doesn't quite meet NWS's criteria for a severe t-storm warning.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | April 11, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Mike is correct. NWS did, in fact, seem to blow it this time. I agree that a Severe Thunderstorm warning should have been issued. The squall line, when it came through Fairfax County, had MUCH more wind than the Special Weather Statement, which NWS put out just before the line moved past Dulles, implied. I, too, had gusts over 50 knots, and torrential rain.

I don't know what happened.....if the guys at Sterling just weren't looking closely at the radar, or if, for some reason, the strong gust front just didn't show up clearly. In fact, with the strong jet stream and wind shear overhead, this line could have easily been tornadic...fortunately, it wasn't.

Posted by: Bob | April 12, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

The PWC Bubble does it again. It goes AROUND us. Lake Ridge didn't even get rain I don't think? Usually hear it dripping down the gutters but I didn't hear anything and nothing looks wet from my point of view.


Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | April 12, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I have to disagree, Dan (and I used to be with Skywarn). A Severe Thunderstorm, by definition, is 3/4 inch hail, 50 KT/58 MPH winds, or any sign of rotation, wall cloud, funnel, or tornado.

This squall line, while obviously not the worst I've seen, with 50 KT winds, did meet the criteria.

I think Bob, above, is right....they just didn't look at the data close enough, or, for some reason, the powerful gust front didn't show up clearly.

Posted by: Mike | April 12, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Eastern Panhandle stayed pretty much within NWS' predicted parameters for wind. Which is unusual. Generally we're gusting so much higher that the NWS numbers are either humorous or infuriating, depending on one's mood. Lots of lightning, but I've seen plenty worse storms. About 2" of rain altogether. My rain dance--watering the garden a few hours in advance--might've helped; second time in a row!

Posted by: tinkerbelle | April 12, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Storms (with a handful of lightning) were nowhere close to severe in DC, so if they were in Fairfax County, they died really quickly (and with no visual clues of such on radar). We had maybe 3 minutes of strong wind gusts in the city.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | April 12, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mike, Bob -- I'm not here to defend or not defend NWS criteria for issuing a severe t-storm warning, or how much on the side of caution they should err. But neither at Dulles or National do I see wind gusts of over 50 mph from last night's storms, nor am I aware of any damage reports. So according to NWS criteria it would be a stretch to even call last night's storms as borderline severe.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | April 12, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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