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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 07/17/2008

CommuteCast: Hot with Humidity Returning

By Ian Livingston

More of the same for Friday

Radar: Latest D.C. area radar loop from Weather Underground. Click on image to expand, zoom and for other options. Refresh page to update.

5:30 p.m. update: A very isolated thundershower popped up over downtown. It shouldn't last more than about 20 to 30 minutes before drifting southeast.

Today marks day two of 90 degree or higher readings for this mid-July heat wave, and day fifteen on the season at Reagan National. With mostly sunny skies, temperatures have had no trouble rising into the low and mid 90s across the area today. Dew points have also crept up into the mid 60s at many locations, causing heat indices and discomfort levels to rise higher than recently.

Tonight: We stay mostly clear, warm, and somewhat muggy overnight. Temperatures will slowly drop through the 80s during the evening and down to lows in the upper 60s and low 70s around sunrise. A light south wind may be noticeable from time to time.

Tomorrow: Friday brings more mostly sunny skies and hot temperatures to wrap up the work week. Expect a day similar to today and perhaps a smidge warmer in some locations. Either way, most everyone hits the mid 90s -- and what's a degree or two at that point anyway? Humidity should tick up another notch as well on continuing south winds, and heat indices could flirt with 100 degrees during the afternoon.

See Josh's full forecast through the hot weekend and into early next week.

By Ian Livingston  | July 17, 2008; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Hot & Muggy Weekend; Sunday Storm?


it's way too hot out today!

Posted by: madison | July 17, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Quick pop-up thunderstorm at Franklin Square. Ever felt like Charlie Brown with a single rain cloud over your head in an otherwise bluebird sky??

Posted by: Parker | July 17, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Thunder shower here in Dupont Circle. Came out of nowhere.

Posted by: Blackcloud | July 17, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Making up for the DC Split, Part IV: hit the radar right now and zoom in on the District. We've got a thunderstorm downtown, with the rest of the region completely quiet.

Posted by: Max | July 17, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

What ya doing in Dupont Circle? Trolling?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Nasty little storm, heavy downpour at potomac park near jefferson memorial... ended my softball game in a hurry... we didn't even see it coming....

Posted by: Tim, Alexandria, VA | July 17, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Still partly/mostly sunny in Silver Spring.

Posted by: Murre | July 17, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

These pop-up thunderstorms seem a bit unusual. The morning clouds (a few cirrus+contrails) did not really foretell this. The building cumulus clouds may have hit a weakness in the inversion cap.

Makes me think we could have as much as a 20% chance tomorrow afternoon.

Steve Tracton, it will be interesting to see the "official criteria" for a tropical depression. The criteria I've generally heard of involve warm ocean temperature, a symmetrical warm-core low-pressure system, and upper air winds which favor rather than discourage intensification. The upper-air flow pattern has to encourage outflow rather than wind shear. In addition tropical systems tend to gain their energy by heat of condensation while extratropical systems tend to gain significant energy through the temperature differential between contrasting air masses of different temperature.

Posted by: El Bombo | July 17, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Completely unrelated question, but: what difference in pressure would someone going from the bottom of the Empire State Building to the top experience? (I was riding up the Rockefeller Center elevator a few weeks ago and felt my ears pop as we raced up 850 feet.)

Posted by: mcleaNed | July 17, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse


From street level to the 102nd floorof the Empire State is 1250 feet. Based on a "standard atmosphere" (close enough) the pressure drop from ground level to floor 102 would be about 45 millibars (1.4" mercury). This is approximately equivalent to the drop you'd experience as a CAT 4 hurricane approached and passed directly overhead. Of course if that happened, ear popping would be the least of your problems.

Posted by: Steve Tracton, Capital Weather Gang | July 17, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I helped a friend clean out their shed and backyard (and basement) today as they are moving tomorrow. Even at 1130 AM it's stifling hot outside. Takes the punch right out of you, especially when you're moving big heavy things everywhere, taping up things, and fighting a colony of THOUSANDS of ants...EEK! At least the people I'm helping move are pleasant, that makes the work and sweat and dirt getting all over you worth it. A few years ago I helped my neighbor (who lived a few FLOORS above me) move...and we'll just say that you don't find out really how nice someone is until you help them move. I never wanted to see that woman again after that disaster-of-a-move. UGH. haha... :P

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | July 17, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info, Steve!

Posted by: mcleaNed | July 18, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

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