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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 08/27/2008

Forecast: Will Fay Fulfill Forecast Fantasy?

By Dan Stillman

Fantasy Forecast: The remnants of Fay bring gentle, soaking rains today and tomorrow, wiping out this month's precipitation shortfall -- so far this August, National Airport has seen only 20% of its typical rainfall. Then, sunshine and comfortable warmth take hold for Friday and the holiday weekend.

Oh, you want the actual forecast? Well alright. Here goes...


Partly to mostly cloudy. Rain chances vary by location. Upper 60s to mid 70s. Not an easy forecast. Certainly not a high-confidence one. The metro area will be on the northeastern fringe of the remnants from Tropical Storm Fay. Overcast skies, on-and-off showers and some periods of steadier rain are a good bet south and west of the District. While areas north and east of town could see partly sunny skies with just a few passing showers, mainly in the afternoon. Inside the Beltway is a toss up between the two. Highs should range from the upper 60s south and west to the mid 70s north and east.

Shower chances continue tonight under cloudy skies, with the best chance of rain again being to the south and west. Lows in the low-to-mid 60s.

Confidence: Low

Keep reading for the forecast through the Labor Day Weekend. Also, see NatCast for tonight's game at Nationals Park, and SkinsCast for Thursday's preseason game at FedEx.


Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers. Low-to-mid 70s. Thursday looks like a more uniform forecast for the entire metro area. Scattered showers are likely, with about a 50% chance that you'll see some where you happen to be. Skies should be mostly cloudy with highs probably only reaching the low-to-mid 70s.

Overnight, clouds hang around as does a chance of showers (30%). Lows in the mid 60s.


As Fay's leftovers exit and a cold front approaches, shower chances stick around Friday and Saturday, but as of now only a 30% chance. Otherwise, both days should be rather humid with a mix of sun and clouds and highs in the 80s. Nighttime lows? Upper 60s in the burbs, low 70s downtown. Confidence: Medium

On Sunday, it's not impossible that the cold front lingers with an early shower chance. But I think the better odds are that high pressure will move in with partly to mostly sunny skies, decreasing humidity and highs in the 80s. Confidence: Medium

It's still early, but Labor Day Monday is shaping up to be a spetacular unofficial end to the summer, with mostly sunny skies, low humidity and highs in the 80s. Confidence: Medium-High

By Dan Stillman  | August 27, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: NatCast: Kinda Cool ... Showers?
Next: Gustav: Katrina Reincarnated?


The rain-seekers out there can't be happy with the force field (high pressure) that appears to be stopping precip in its tracks as it gets close to the metro area.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | August 27, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Top of the mnorning from the Outer Banks of North Carolina where we are under a tornado watch and we are having heavy rain this morning. Leaving later today to head home as work calls :(

Posted by: In North Carolina | August 27, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

What is cloud cover going to look like Friday AM? Are we talking mid to high overcast? Low overcast? Private pilots want to know!

Posted by: Soulie | August 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

From what I can tell, drought conditions persist in Georgia (except the southeast coast, which is in the clear) even after Fay passed through. One meteorologist said it will take several more storms like Fay to repair the two years of drought damage.

It's amazing how one storm can wreak so much havoc in one place and receive a warm welcome in another.

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | August 27, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Dan - any chance that force field will yield a bit to allow some rain today? the ragweed is out in full force and some rain would be most helpful!

Posted by: Rishi | August 27, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

OK, someone help me out here. The tone here seems to be - oh well, perhaps a shower but the high pressure will mostly keep the rain out of the metro area.

But per the WX Underground Radar it looks like there's a huge amount of rain & storms that are going to move right through us.

I'm going to the Nats game tonight so I'm a little curious. Thanks.

Posted by: NovaHoo | August 27, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Rishi, NovaHoo -- Very difficult forecast in terms of figuring out how much and for how long high pressure will hold strong and limit precip inside the Beltway and to the north and east. The best I can tell you is what is written in the forecast above. Beyond that it's a matter of watching radar, like the one shown in the post above, to see how the rain progresses.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | August 27, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Inside the beltway is a tossup"?! Huh? Did everyone all of a sudden move to Chantilly? Thanks, a lot.

Posted by: Carol | August 27, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Since a shortfall is the "amount by which a supply falls short of expectation", the month-to-date rainfall of 0.56" is a shortfall of 80% from the long-term average of 2.86".


Posted by: CapitalClimate | August 27, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Posted by Carol, August 27, 2008 11:38 AM: "Inside the beltway is a tossup"?! Huh? Did everyone all of a sudden move to Chantilly? Thanks, a lot.

I'm sorry—I don't even know what this means.

Posted by: JGC | August 27, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Good point CapitalClimate ... tweaked the wording a bit.

Carol -- Sorry you don't like our frank honesty here. You're welcome to get your forecast from other sources that pretend to be more confident about the forecast than the scientific data warrants. So far, the forecast above is actually verifying quite well -- that could easily change though.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | August 27, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

As acknowledged in the post, this forecast certainly had bust potential; National and College Park were both at 77 by 11 am.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | August 27, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to rainfall totals? Or even, what the maximum would be if it soaked the whole area?

(My garden is thankful for ANY rain!)

Posted by: a.k. | August 27, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Currently 78F, 30.12, rising slowly, cloudy (mainly As translucidus), winds generally easterly. No rain yet E of Baileys Crossroads.

Fay's remnants approaching from S. Probably up to 36 hr. of intermittent light/moderate rain once it starts. Thunderstorms in NC at present.

Gustav seems likely to threaten Gulf Coast in 3-4 days; could hit near New Orleans. Impossible to say exact landfall site 5 days out.

Posted by: El Bombo | August 27, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Is there any particular reason so many posters are hammering the CWG today? Must be something weird in the air. In exchange for a thoughtful, detailed forecast--along with frequent updates--some posters feel entitled to be incivil. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | August 27, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks tinkerbelle -- We're ok ... we can stand the heat from a vocal minority. (But do appreciate your kind words of support!)

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | August 27, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

That high pressure and its dry air are certainly persistent. In the last couple of hours, the edge of the rain on radar has actually retreated from a little south of the Beltway to around Fredericksburg, and at least some of that is probably not reaching the ground. The overall area of precipitation has also shrunk by at least a third, and the intensities have decreased, at least in the northern portion.


Posted by: CapitalClimate | August 27, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

This really is a let down. I thought for sure that we'd be getting soaked by now, but so far, nothing but a few winds and lots of clouds. And the clouds aren't even ominous IMHO. This storm is moving so slow that by the time the rain comes it, it could be close to bed time. I was so looking forward to the rain that I intentionally left my umbrella at home and wore a skirt and open toed shoes. It's no fair that Richmond got all the rain today while we're stuck with nothing but wait and see advice.

I wish that someone could create a weather device like Stewie did in that episode of Family Guy.

Oh well. I guess I'll have to settle for listening to my rain forest instrumentals because for now it looks like that's the only rain I'll get.

Posted by: I expected a rain storm and all I got was this lousy cloud | August 27, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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