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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 08/19/2008

Forecast: High and Dry

By Matt Rogers

Weather to cool after today, needed rains elusive

As readers have pointed out on these pages, the nice weather in the past few weeks has come at a price: drier than normal weather. Through the first two-thirds of August, Reagan National Airport is reporting a monthly rain deficit of almost 1.5 inches. Is there any relief coming anytime soon? The answer appears to be 'no,' but our one chance could be remnants from Tropical Storm Fay later this week. The weather models are mostly keeping the storm's debris away from our area, but their skill has been notoriously poor with Fay so far, so we will need to watch the situation.


Hottest day of the week. Low-to-mid 90s. Sunshine should dominate, but it will drive temperatures well into the 90s today. We could see some afternoon/evening clouds and a very, very slight chance of an isolated thunderstorm as a cool front works its way southward from the Northeastern states (let's say 20% chance). West winds should prevail in the 5 to 10 mph range, slowly decreasing the humidity.

The winds are forecast to turn so that they come from a northerly direction this evening. This will allow for additional cooling and lows should drop well back into the lower to middle 60s throughout the area.

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend. Stop by later this morning for a closer look at Fay's possible future.


Nice day on the way, but still no rain relief. 82-86. With these new northerly winds, expect temperatures to only rebound into the lower to middle 80s for Wednesday along with very low humidity. Partly to mostly sunny skies should be the prevailing feature with chances of rain continuing to be quite minimal.

Same to cooler conditions are expected Wednesday evening with lows in the lower 60s and dare we say, upper 50s in the outer suburbs? It could happen!


Thursday and Friday will begin the watch for any sort of tropical influences from the south. Most weather models are currently saying that Fay will stay away and our area will continue to see dry, sunny conditions with slowly warming temperatures and slowly increasing humidity. But knowing that tropical systems can be a bit wily, let's keep a 30% chance of showers and storms for the period with highs in the middle 80s Thursday and middle to upper 80s Friday. Look for lows in the 60s again. Confidence: Medium

The weekend is setting up warmer and more humid than the end of the week with highs popping toward the upper 80s, humidities increasing, and overnight lows holding closer to the lower 70s in the city (slightly cooler in the suburbs). This uptick in humidity could mean a better chance for thunderstorms, especially on Sunday, where it looks like a 30% chance of the afternoon boomers. The rain watch marches on. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Matt Rogers  | August 19, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: In Focus: Fay's Foggy Future


So what will the humdity/dew point be Wed-Fri? Can I turn my AC off or will the nights be cooler but muggier and miserable?

Posted by: Mark1 | August 19, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Our dew points are going to go way down too so the overnight temperatures should be quite comfortable like we saw at times last week too. Assuming that breeze holds up, it should feel great with the windows open during the evenings/overnight.

Posted by: Matt Rogers, Capital Weather Gang | August 19, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Looks as though Fay is now headed for the Gulf Coast inland area; we may see no rain up here even on the weekend. Bigger threat is possible lightning for dance night this evening.

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

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