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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 07/29/2008

Forecast: Will the Delayed 90s Finally Arrive?

By Matt Rogers

Fearless forecaster will make another attempt

Back on Friday, over the weekend and yesterday, there were gobs of various weather reports forecasting the return to 90-degree weather in the Washington area. But the reality has been that the last time the official D.C. observing station, at Reagan National Airport, saw 90 degrees was a week ago. Instead, temperatures have rested in the mid-to-upper 80s. That is a great way to be here in July. So, do I risk ridicule by calling for 90 today? I'm going to give it a try. Increasing southwest winds should make today and tomorrow increasingly hot and humid.

TODAY (TUESDAY)

A little hotter with a touch of humidity. A few clouds around too. Highs near 90. Some forecasters are braving it and forecasting low to middle 90s today, but given expected intermittent cloud cover as well as recent under-performing temperature expectations, we'll go for a nice round high near 90 for the metro area today (hottest downtown and to the south, of course). Winds will be southwest and generally light. One cannot rule out the threat of a thunderstorm (let's give it a 20% chance for now).

Partly cloudy skies with that humidity sticking to the air (and your skin) a bit more than last night. Lows in the lower 70s.

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend. See NatCast for the outlook for tonight's game.

TOMORROW (WEDNESDAY)

Hottest day of the week with isolated storms. Low-to-mid 90s. The trusty weather models are telling us that tomorrow should be the hottest day of the week. This makes sense as a burst of hotter weather from the Midwest and Plains races eastward. The combination of the heat and increasing humidity will make it feel like 100. Some clouds and scattered afternoon/evening thunderstorms cannot be left out of the picture (35% chance).

A shower or storm is possible in the evening period (running that 35% chance onward here) with lows dropping down toward the lower to middle 70s (warmest in the District as usual).

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday and Friday will highlight another round of widespread thunderstorm activity. The focus of this threat should be from Thursday afternoon into the morning hours of Friday. Look for a 60% chance of storms through this period. Highs Thursday and Friday should be in the upper 80s, but Friday afternoon will feel more comfortable as humidities trend lower once again. Confidence: Medium-High

The weekend is looking a little tricky on the temperature side of things.

Saturday looks to continue Friday's theme of drier humidities and more comfortable temperatures. Again look for highs in the upper 80s with generally sunny skies. Confidence: Medium

Sunday should be mostly sunny as well, but some weather models are also making that day very, very hot. Forecast confidence is very low this many days ahead, but we could see a burst of heat well up into the 90s that would linger into early next week as well. Stay tuned to the fine forecasters of the Capital Weather Gang for updates on this possible stronger heat event. Confidence: Low

By Matt Rogers  | July 29, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: How Do You Like Your Humidity?

Comments

West Springfield (Accotink Lk/Mixing Bowl): Surprise rainfall total last night= 0.03"

It was wet and drippy out there under the pre-dawn sky.

Posted by: Bikerjohn | July 29, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

very humid in capitol hill this morning...

Posted by: madison | July 29, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes indeed. Those dewpoints have really shot up. About 10 degrees in the last 24 hours? eesh. Drink that water. And find air conditioning!

Posted by: Camden, Capital Weather Gang | July 29, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Dear CWG, I was at the Delaware shore this weekend and the ocean was wonderfully cool: 68 degrees. I seem to recall late July ocean temps at mid-70s. When I asked the lifeguards, they said the water had been cool like this but for a few days. They didn't think the warmups didn't had anything to do with the recent tropical storms. One speculated that the warm southerly currents hadn't arrived yet. Your thoughts on local ocean temps?

Posted by: wgf | July 29, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Today's Bombocast: Today, warm and humid, high 90F, low 72F in town to 64F outside Beltway toward Blue Ridge. Tonight, muggy, but clear for swing dance. Tomorrow, hot and humid, 25% chance of afternoon thunderstorm moving in from W. High 95.

Current: 84F, 29.98, rising/steady. Haze. Clouds; Altocumulus, clearing. Tropics, generally quiet. Several tropical waves from Africa to Caribbean. ITCZ, SeneGambia--Trinidad--Panama--Pacific. Lows (2): (a) with tropical wave exiting Africa [bears possible watching for intensification] (b) over Darien region of E. Panama. Thunderstorms most prominent near and to W of the Panama Canal. No systems of tropical depression or greater strength at present over Atlantic, Caribbean or E. Pacific [though system exiting Africa might bear watching].

Highs (2): Azores/Bermuda, 1025 & 1027 mb (2 ctrs.). E. Pacific subtropical @ 1033 mb is stronger.

Local issues of note: Heat and/or AQI issues tomorrow, perhaps even during PM rush today. Thunderstorms tomorrow PM/Thursday?

Posted by: El Bombo | July 29, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

What is up with the Weather Channel forecasts these days? They have the end of the weekend as over 97 and then Monday as 103. I've been noticing they "over forecast" and are off a lot more than they ever use to be. Is this a trend or a result of the buy out? I use to find them very reliable - even far out - but not recently.

Posted by: alexandria | July 29, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Alexandria, there are some signals for intense heat early next week. I think it might be a little early to forecast such extremes though.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | July 29, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

wgf:

I was in Ocean City a few years ago in August and the ocean temperature dropped from 75 to 55 in the span of a week. The explanation I received was that consistently strong SSW winds blew the warm top layer of water out to sea and caused upwelling of cold water along the coast.

About two weeks later, I was down in the outer banks (it was a good summer) and the sea temp at Nags Head had only recovered to about 65. We took a trip around the tip to Hatteras and the sea temp was a balmy 82. Love that gulf stream!

Posted by: GhettoBurbs | July 29, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

wgf: The cold water at the beaches is probably due to a relatively persistent southwest wind that has caused upwelling of cold ocean bottom water. The Delaware Sea Grant page has a great explanation.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | July 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CWG, for the explanation and reference. Good stuff. And thanks GhettoBurbs for the personal report.

Posted by: wgf | July 29, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

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