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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 06/11/2008

CommuteCast: A Nice Change of Pace

By Capital Weather Gang

Warm and dry replaces hot, humid and stormy

Webcam: Latest view of D.C. from the Netherlands Carillon at Arlington National Cemetery. Courtesy National Park Service.

For a change, temperatures this afternoon are climbing through the mid to upper 80s, rather than the mid to upper 90s, under mostly sunny skies. Meanwhile, a now-diminished breeze from the north has dropped dewpoints to the comfortable mid 50s. All in all, a much more pleasant drive home than in recent days, and a nice evening for outdoor activities.

Tonight: Clear skies continue with temperatures falling back into the 70s after sunset (8:34 p.m.), then down to overnight lows in the upper 60s downtown and low 60s in the burbs. Winds will be light or calm.

Tomorrow: Another sunny day with highs 85-90. The humidity will remain fairly comfortable but slightly increased thanks to light winds out of the east and southeast.

When will humidity and storm chances make their return? See Dan's full forecast through the weekend.

By Capital Weather Gang  | June 11, 2008; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Mostly Benign June Weather Prevails


Now that the weather has calmed down maybe I can get an answer on this question that I asked two days ago.

When there is a general weather warning for the area such as a high wind warning or heat advisory why does the NWS include little dinky incorporated towns that are obviously located inside the counties already mentioned? Time after time I see Manassas Park, Gaithersburg, Falls Church, St. Mary's City, Leonardtown, Charles Town, Waldorf, etc, etc. Prince William, St. Mary's County, Jefferson County, Montgomery, etc, etc are already included so why bother with the towns inside these counties? I can understand thunderstorm warnings because they tend to affect smaller areas.

Posted by: JT | June 11, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

JT -- I can't say I know what the Weather Service's reasoning is, but my guess is they include towns because people are more likely to take notice of a warning if they hear their specific town mentioned rather than the county. I see your point, that scientifically there's no reason to mention individual towns when talking about warnings for broad-scale weather like a heat or high wind advisory. But, again, my guess is that from a sociological/psychological perspective the NWS feels that the town/city names are more likely to register.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | June 11, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

In some cases, those are independently incorporated locations - not part of counties. For example, Falls Church is technically a "city," and is not part of Arlington County or Fairfax County. Same for Manassas Park, or Fairfax City, or Alexandria (which is also not a county, and is not part of a county). So, because these are separate jurisdictions, they are listed separate.

Posted by: DC_Mike | June 11, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The NWS is committed to improving literacy rates, so they give people as many words and terms to practice reading as possible.

(Never mind.)

Posted by: mcleaNed | June 11, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

It's a beautiful evening! If you haven't gone outside yet - go now.

Posted by: ~sg | June 11, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

mcleaNed: You absolutely, positively made my day. I laughed for about 5 minutes. Thank you :)

It was a pretty nice day today, compared to the other days. Of course, I only went outside a few times today, but the times I did I liked it. The sun was blinding this evening though, sheesh. Also...I'm eying the 79 degrees shown on the "AT A GLANCE" box for Tuesday, that'll be nice...

And here's my question for the day, keep the weather guys on their toes ;) ...

How come the sun seems much, much brighter on some clear days than on other clear days?

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | June 11, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a meteorologist, but AFAIK the difference in perceived sunlight has to do, at minimum, with the following factors. First, the time of year (and related to that, the time of day), as it affects the angle of the sun's light to a given location. Second, even if the day is clear, the amount of pollution of various sorts would affect the perceived brightness of sunlight. The really brilliant days are the ones right after precipitation has cleared out a lot of the air pollution. Finally, it seems to me that high humidity also reduces brightness, whether the actual moisture in the air acts similarly to chemical and particulate pollution in diffusing sunlight, or whether the moisture just gathers pollutants to itself, amplifying the effect.
BTW, the most striking example I ever saw of the second factor was one New Years Eve, when I drove down I-5, through the pass north of Los Angeles, right after a snowstorm. The air was crystal clear, and the next day, we had brilliant (almost desert-quality) sun and could see the entire ring of mountains around the city.
Comments from the experts, please?

Posted by: RobinD | June 12, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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