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Posted at 2:30 PM ET, 07/18/2008

CommuteCast: Hot with Unhealthy Air

By Jason Samenow

More heat this weekend

Current D.C. area temperatures, courtesy Weather Bonk. Map by Google. Hover over and click temperatures for more info. Click and hold on map to pan. Refresh page to update.

Humidity and bad air quality have decided to join company with our 90-degree weather. Under partly cloudy skies, mid-afternoon temperatures have pushed into the low-to-mid 90s, but in some places it feels like the mid-to-upper 90s factoring in the humidity. The air quality index -- forecast to peak at code red levels (unhealthy) -- was hovering in the orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups) range. Prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion is discouraged, especially for people with asthma or lung disease.

Tonight: Temperatures won't dip below 90 until about 8 p.m., falling through the 80s by midnight. By early morning, temperatures will bottom out in the mid to upper 70s downtown and near 70 in the cooler suburbs. Skies will be mostly clear and rain-free.

Tomorrow: We'll have to suffer through another hazy, hot and humid day. The air quality index, forecast to reach code orange levels, will be a category lower than today but still unhealthy for sensitive groups. So take it easy. Afternoon highs will reach the mid 90s under mostly sunny skies, but will feel like 100 with humidity even a bit higher than today. Rain chances are very low, although an isolated storm somewhere can't be ruled out.

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

By Jason Samenow  | July 18, 2008; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Hey Jason et al.--
If it's a code red air quality day tomorrow my wife's riding lesson will be canceled. Do you think it will go code red tomorrow, and when do those determinations usually happen? The barn is in Chevy Chase.


Posted by: Drew | July 18, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Among the best additions to The Post, in my 23 yrs of reading, is the Capital Weather Gang, whose erudite, earnest attention to our most widely-shared reality has made following the weather a new pleasure. Thanks, Gang.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 18, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I second the comments of the above post but I do miss the old site.

Posted by: Greg | July 18, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Also----we are just a few months away from gearing up for the winter of 08-09!!!! Let's hope that we finally get some juicy storms and there will be hundreds of posts per day.

Posted by: Greg | July 18, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

If you miss the commentary of PM Update, it can now be found here.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | July 18, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree with both "jhbyer " and "greg". The folks who produce the Capital Weather site are the BEST, but I do miss the original format.

Case in point; just moments ago, I surfed to CapitalWeather dot com and was immediately hi-jacked to a full-screen Arena Stage advertisement. That's a bad omen.

Washington Posties, are you listening? Please don't make me abandon this blog for the bland old NWS pages!

Posted by: Nostalgic in So. MD | July 18, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Steve S! So that's where you went....

Posted by: ~sg | July 18, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Drew: I don't think tomorrow will be a code red day. Right now the forecast is for orange. Forecasts are updated at 9am each day

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | July 18, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

JHByer, Greg and others: Thanks for the nice comments. I think the new format has pluses and minuses compared to the original, but we plan to keep improving. We've only been with the Post six months so this blog will evolve and improve...

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | July 18, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

TD 3 (Cristobal wannabe) has formed.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | July 18, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Drew, forecast is for "Code Orange" but I'm suspicious of a possible upgrade to "Red".

Just checked Eastern U. S. Wx Forums and found a post with a preliminary forecast for the upcoming 2008-09 Winter. It seems as though the cold gets started early, in November. December continues cold, but there are no significant snowstorms, i.e. it gets dry as cold spells here can do. January has a reasonably good cold spell with the promise/threat for one SECS, i.e. a possible good snowstorm! Then February becomes a real bummer!!! The whole month or six weeks into March turns into a mild blowtorch.

Well, now that I'm retired, I can consider booking that trip to Arizona or Panama Canal cruise for next February/March secure in the knowledge that I will miss nothing more than a boring old "blowtorch" mild spell. Provided, of course that I can afford the airfare and the nuisance charges they are tacking onto my luggage!

Posted by: El Bombo | July 19, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

TD Three is predicted to become a minimal tropical storm, warnings posted for S. and N. Carolina coasts.

Also, it seems everyone has forgotten about poor Bertha. It is a Cat. 1 hurricane again, and an eye can be seen once again. Bertha may impact Iceland in the next few days.

If tomorrow is a Code Red day for air quality, I suggest that everyone hold your breath. No breathing allowed. :-)

Posted by: Model Monkey | July 19, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

capital climate, no one wants to see a link to your site 6 times in every post.

Posted by: CapitalClimate-spam | July 19, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

That's why it doesn't appear 6 times in every post.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | July 19, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

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