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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 07/18/2008

Forecast: Hot & Muggy Weekend; Sunday Storm?

By Camden Walker

*Today's air quality forecast: Code Red. How can you help? Take action.*

WeatherCamHot and increasingly muggy will be the theme today through the weekend. Rain could stay out of the picture through most of the weekend. But this is a weekend after all. We seem to always have rain chances on weekends, don't we?


Mostly sunny. Around 95. Light winds from the south will really begin to pump in our muggy air. Mid 90s will really drive home our midsummer feel, too. And you know my usual caution on sunny days -- slap on that sunscreen! Very few clouds will shade us from UV rays.

Skies will stay mostly clear overnight. Temperatures will slowly fall to the mid 70s downtown and mid-to-upper 60s in the suburbs. Enjoy a mild evening out on the town. Yet the mugginess could make it somewhat unpleasant at times.

Keep reading to see when storms enter back into the picture this weekend.


Sunny, hot. Mid 90s. Another scorcher! Afternoon highs will be in the mid 90s again in most spots, with bright sunshine adding to the sizzle. Light winds from the south will continue to subtly pump in muggy air. T-storm chances (about 10%) are pretty low. But check back to see if this increases.

Into the evening, skies should remain clear. Temperatures, however, will remain fairly high. Areas outside the Beltway may only drop down to 67-70 degrees; even warmer downtown (as usual).


More humid. PM storms? Lower 90s. Partly cloudy skies will offer periodic breaks from the direct hot sunlight. Yet despite the clouds, temperatures will still top off in the lower 90s. Be advised, the heat index could approach 100. By late afternoon, there is a 30% chance of storms. Grab that umbrella in case, or at least check radar with the Gang!

Mostly cloudy overnight with storm chances about 20%. Lows should be around 70-75. And it will be fairly humid... indeed.


Some clouds and a 20-30% chance of showers and thunderstorms could hang tough on Monday. Expect afternoon high temperatures around 90. Confidence: Medium

On Tuesday, shower/storm chances remain low (but not impossible). High temperatures could be near 90 again. Confidence: Medium

By Camden Walker  | July 18, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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What was up with the rain last night? I was in Crystal City and it poured from around 5:30ish to almost 6:00. Poured. I went to Alexandria after that and it was dry as a bone.

Posted by: Mark1 | July 18, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

A dream?

Posted by: Period | July 18, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Mark1 -- Incredibly, a lone thunderstorm popped up downtown at that time yesterday and then quickly dissipated, with another small one in western Fairfax. Nothing else for miles around it. You can see the storm if you look closely at Weather Underground's archive radar loop for yesterday.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | July 18, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

2008 Hurricane Season, Alma to Fausto: Photo Recap of the 8 Named Storms of the Tropical Storm Season

Posted by: Steve Tracton, Capital Weather Gang | July 18, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I was looking at the air quality chart and wondering if we ever get Code Purple days? I don't ever remember one but I've only been here for a couple of years.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous: I can't recall a Code Purple Day here. The environmental conditions usually don't favor that because the air isn't sufficiently stagnant... Fortunately, enough mixing occurs as a result of our geography.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | July 18, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I work in DC and that was an odd storm yesterday evening. I watched it on the accu-weather radar loop from 5 pm nothing, to 5:30 big red splotch covering the district. Over the next 30 minutes it seemed to rain itself out. When I got home in SoMa, not a drop.

Posted by: ft wash | July 18, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Big issue for me is that, technically, I'm still waiting for the first completely RAIN-FREE weekend (5 PM Friday to 8 AM Monday) since my retirement from NRECA on May 30. This doesn't look like it, thanks to the diurnal pop-up risk all three days and the somewhat enhanced chance due to the nearby frontal boundary on Sunday.

Note to Jason & Anonymous: There seems to have been one "Code Purple" day last summer but I can't remember it having been forecast as such. What I think happened is that it was forecast as "Code Red" and in at least one area of the District the AQI exceeded "Code Purple" standards as actually measured. This sometimes happens. It can happen the other way, too. Recentlty we seem to have had a Saturday forecast as "Code Orange" which never made it out of "Code Yellow". The reason: Most likely a combination of fewer cars (& lawn mowers!) in operation and breezy conditions unfavorable to air stagnation. It's true that, in a sense, higher gas prices are resulting in better air quality due to the fact that less fuel is being burned and what's being burned is being burned more efficiently!

Posted by: El Bombo | July 18, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure it happens, but the only places I've noticed with Code Purple AQI are places getting socked in by smoke from wildfires. At least that seems to be the most common culprit.

Posted by: Jim in Blacksburg | July 18, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Jim, I concur. That is my experience too. I think once in Atlanta, I had a magenta day. It was rough. You could barely see anything because of the haze!

4 areas of interest in the tropical Atlantic.

On a day like today, would anyone else like to see a "refreshing" thunderstorm??

Posted by: Camden, Capital Weather Gang | July 18, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

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