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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 08/21/2008

Forecast: Too Good to be True

By Josh Larson

Near-ideal August weather lingers through weekend

Why do I have a nagging feeling that we're going to pay for this continued very pleasant weather (for August) with lots of 90s in September? Despite the fact that we need rain -- two-thirds of the month has passed with just 16% of normal monthly rain -- weather will remain dry for at least the next four days. During this time expect lots of sunshine, low humidity today and tomorrow, and only moderate humidity this weekend. The next chance for rain appears to be on Monday.

TODAY (THURSDAY)

Mostly sunny; pleasant. Mid 80s. Soak in the abundant sunshine and continued very low humidity levels. Afternoon high temperatures will reach the mid 80s -- a few degrees above where they were yesterday -- which is normal for this time of year.

Expect clear skies and very comfortable sleeping weather tonight with lows ranging from near 60 across the cooler 'burbs to the mid 60s downtown.

Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the beginning of next week.

TOMORROW (FRIDAY)

Mostly sunny; nice. Mid 80s. As high pressure remains parked over the area on Friday, expect very similar conditions to those we'll experience today. That means a big serving of sunshine with afternoon highs in the mid 80s amid low humidity levels. A light breeze from the southeast may be felt later in the day.

If you go out Friday night, plan on clear skies and light winds with temperatures eventually dropping to the mid to upper 60s in most locations.

A LOOK AHEAD

High pressure will move off shore during the weekend which will mean a slight increase in humidity, but still nothing remotely unbearable for August.

On Saturday we can expect partly to mostly sunny skies with the aforementioned uptick in humidity and highs again in the mid 80s, with milder overnight lows near 70. Confidence: High

Similar conditions can be expected on Sunday, though temperatures may rise by several degrees. Prepare for partly to mostly sunny skies, moderate humidity levels and highs in the upper 80s, with overnight lows ranging from the upper 60s to low 70s. Confidence: High

The outlook for Monday calls for increased clouds and humidity and a 50/50 shot at showers and thunderstorms -- especially later in the day -- courtesy an approaching cold front. Highs will probably be in the mid to upper 80s with overnight lows near 70. Confidence: Medium

By Josh Larson  | August 21, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Fay Just Won't Go Away

Comments

May I suggest you leave the adjectives out of your weather summary? While much of the area is burning out and lawns and ornamental shrubs like azaleas dying, and rivers and creeks dry up, you say its too nice to believe. Why not just stick to the objective facts (dry and comfortable) and let your readers decide whether its too nice to continue?

If I liked living in a desert, I'd love the current weather pattern continuing. However, I've lived in the driest desert in the world (coast of Peru) and rock and sand don't really excite me or many other folks. I'd much rather have occasional rain and all the beautiful things it supports (including the water you need to survive as a human being!). Buy the way, have you noticed that deserts around the world are not filled with people or other natural life....there's a pretty fundamental reason. Think about it.

I really wish the media would stop worshiping sun,sun,sun, and 90 degree days as if everybody loves that stuff! Stop feeling you have to apologize if there's a cloud out there or heaven forbid, a shower. And please don't keep assuming everyone is a condo pool freak or has stock in an ocean front resort.

Each of your readers has there own definition of what's nice. I seriously doubt if many like the current drought conditions that are developing.

Thanks for your consideration.

Posted by: Robert Leffler | August 21, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I love your forecasts, descriptors and all.

Posted by: Anon | August 21, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

May I kindly suggest you go here for a more blandly written forecast? http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/lwx/

No one is forced to get here forecast from here. I for one enjoy the writing style here.

Posted by: Randall J | August 21, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with most here that we could use a good soaking rain. I'm sick of watering my garden and newly planted hedge. However, this type of weather is not the norm for this area, and for August is just glorious. Since I can't change the weather I'll at least enjoy it.

Posted by: GhettoBurbs | August 21, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with Mr. Leffler. While the forecasts are usually accurate and writing is very professional the forecasters assume that everyone who comes to this site is a fair weather friend. I think that it is more that the guys who write on this site all live inside the beltway or close to it and the amount of rainfall has no effect on their lives. While the city crowd basks in the sun the people in the countryside are literally starving for rain and some farmers are taking a bit hit because their crops are drying up. This is the time of year when the plants and trees absolutely need moisture to survive the winter and we are not getting the rain to do that. The possibility of getting rain from Fay seemed to be real but now it seems to be a long shot.

Maybe the writers need to take into consideration that there is another popular weather site that thrives on those who study and anticipate severe and unusual weather. At any given time there are a hundred or more people logged on not counting those who do not have accounts. If they concentrated on sunny days with highs in the mid-80's their site would die off.

Posted by: JT | August 21, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I find it hard to agree with a single sentence of Robert Leffler's commentary. If he wants to see the true soul of CapWX, he should come back in the winter--where forecasters like Josh Larson treat blizzards as miracles and happily anticipate 20-degree temperatures and 12-inch snowstorms.

As a snow lover myself, it's refreshing to open up the site and find forecasters who actually LIKE the onset of a winter storm. Rest assured, just about everyone here becomes a poor weather fan once we get into December.

Posted by: mcleaNed | August 21, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

About Robert Leffler

Bob has 30 years of professional service in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He has held the positions of geodesist, oceanographer, climatologist, and scientist. His current position is the National Weather Service focal point for stewardship of the climate data record. National Weather Service Headquarters is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

He has published over 50 articles on the subjects of climate and weather. He has been an invited guest speaker for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council, White House staff, and numerous universities and colleges. His greatest interest lies in mountain climatology.

He received his Bachelor's of Science degree from the University of Maryland's Geography Department in 1973.

Bob was born in Lima, Peru in the shadows of the world's loftiest tropical mountains (the Andes). He has resided in the Washington, D.C. area for 46 years.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

We are needing rain down here even more than you guys. Some trees are already starting to drop some leaves... bad news for any kind of fall color. And as for Fay.. what a disappointment. The original track had it bringing needed drought relief to northeast Georgia, the western Carolinas, and southwest Virginia. Now it looks to track along the gulf coast, dropping yet more rain in an area that gets plenty.

Posted by: Jim in Blacksburg | August 21, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Josh keep up the great work!

Robert, start your own dour blog, okay? Then everyone who thinks the next couple days of low humidity&sun is lousy can go there.

Posted by: big fan | August 21, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what the purpose is behind the posting of credentials by "anonymous." Do we all need to cite our CVs before opining?

That said, regarding the persistent grousing, I believe the appropriate Internet acronym is GYOFB. Barring that, don't frequent blogs whose writing you don't enjoy.

Posted by: dcreader | August 21, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I second dcreader's comments....

Posted by: Dave Richardson | August 21, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Good gosh, people. The lead paragraph of the post highlights that "Despite the fact that we need rain -- two-thirds of the month has passed with just 16% of normal monthly rain -- weather will remain dry for at least the next four days." What's more, the lead paragraph of every morning forecast post this week has mentioned the need for rain.

And yeah, the headlines tend to express enthusiasm for the sun, comfy temps and low humidity. Why? ... Because the large majority of our audience thinks these conditions are pretty darn awesome.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | August 21, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Bob, while I've never been to the Peruvian deserts, I'm pretty sure that "dry and comfortable" (your proposed "objective facts") are subjective adjectives too. Gasp!

As for CWG being overrun by suns and heat lovers, I personally detest both teams. But since you seem to have a crush on objective facts, why don't you pop in on a severe weather day and compare the blog activity to the activity on a "dry and comfortable" weather day; then you'll see where CWG's true loyalties lie.

Posted by: Parker | August 21, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Parker I would definitely agree with you that on the day before a snowstorm or during a snowstorm that this blog explodes with posts. In fact I contribute frequently with temperature readings, snowfall depths, and observations. But it is has been my experience that the majority of those posters are kids who want to get out of school, adults who don't want to go to work, clueless people who start their posts with "how much is it going to snow in (name the town). The others are true lovers of extreme weather.

Posted by: JT | August 21, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

JT -- Appreciate your comments and your participation here. But not sure I get you on this one -- "If they concentrated on sunny days with highs in the mid-80's their site would die off" ... This is the forecast post. We have thousands of people who come to the site every day to find out what the weather will be like over the next several days. At the moment, the forecast happens to be for sunshine and mid 80s. So that's what we focus on. Some day soon, the forecast will be for severe thunderstorms. So that's what we'll focus on then. Guess what, we also have other posts, like one on Tropical Storm Fay that just went up. And sometimes, believe it or not, we even have posts that talk about rain deficits and drought.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | August 21, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I love severe or odd conditions as much as the next weather-lover. But there's no reason not to give props to a beautiful day in August when we often see stifling humidity, etc.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | August 21, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Dan I was talking about another site (I'm sure you know which one) that concentrates on severe and unusual weather and attracts some of the pro mets on the east coast. I meant that if their discussions concentrated on sunny days then they would have no one posting.

Posted by: JT | August 21, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I went out yesterday to do some fishing up around Frederick, and it sure is dry out there, rain would help the streams to fill up a little more and what not. Really though nature is prepared for drought, its a cycle, and eventually it will rain and everything will work itself out. I'm gonna enjoy this weather while its hear because soon enough it will be 35F and pouring down rain, while 20 miles away there's a foot of snow on the ground. Now thats something to get excited about, haha.

Posted by: arnoldkh | August 21, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

This is a good discussion, and I appreciate all of the comments/feedback. Of course, we're dedicated to providing useful and credible forecast information. But we also like to provide insight about how the weather may impact our lives and make us feel (i.e. weather effects). This "effects" assessment is the most subjective but the blog medium provides everyone an outlet to agree or disagree. In communicating about the weather, we won't be shy and hope you won't be either. I think the end result will be a richer, more entertaining weather resource and community.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | August 21, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

If it were possible, I'd bottle this nice weather and save it for future use - like when the heat/humidity returns; for a cold/raw/rainy day not snowy) in January; on days when winter cold lingers into April; when just one more day at the beach in October is just what one needs; for an "Indian Summer" day in late November for foliage viewing; etc.

Of course it would be nice as well to have a couple rainy days on the shelf for otherwise long dry spells.

Posted by: Steve Tracton | August 21, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

We're actually in better shape on soil moisture than this time last year--so why is everyone whining about a "need" for rain??? Just go ahead & water your lawns--there are no watering restrictions this summer [there were last August!] It's that pesticide crud, not the watering, that bugs me!!! As for the rain it will get here in due course [with my luck about the time I have to begin returning library books to Arlington Central Library.] When in drought, leave it out.

Right now, 84F, winds trending SE/ESE, 30.26, steady, Cu [w some scattered Ac dissipating earlier this morning]. Yesterday PM, saw some very good lenticular Ac which dried up ca. 4:30 PM.

Posted by: El Bombo | August 21, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Drought or no drought, today's weather is great to be outside in (for me at least)!

My dieing moonflowers and azaleas may feel otherwise though

Posted by: Jamie Jones, CapitalWeather Gang | August 21, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

El Bombo do you ever get out of your neighborhood?

Posted by: JT | August 21, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Dieing? Maybe instead of dropping adjectives, I should drop verbs....

Posted by: Jamie Jones, CapitalWeather Gang | August 21, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I was all set to jump on how ridiculous Mr. Robert Leffler's suggestion is, but now I just feel a bit sad for him.

Posted by: rjm | August 21, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, I don't live inside the Beltway...

Posted by: Brian, Capital Weather Gang | August 21, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to second the comments of Robert Leffler; I make my living as a farmer, and need rain; 21 days with no precipitation is not "nice" for me. Your words clearly don't influence the weather itself, but recognition of the need for rain, and the fact that severe departures from the moisture norms pose difficulties for those of us with agricultural interests would be great.

Posted by: Steven Wolff | August 22, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Steven -- Thanks for the comment. See my comment above noting that we've mentioned the need for rain in the lead paragraph of our forecast every morning this week.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | August 22, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

This conversation is great, and displays the unavoidable human impacts that weather conditions (esp. those outside of the norm) present.

For all you farmers, gardeners, severe-weather addicts, etc., out there...

Please feel free to make suggestions for new weather/forecast related topics we can cover that address your concerns, including heat and drought. Though our priority is getting out the most accurate forecast possible to our audience, some of the Capital Weather Gang contributors also write about the human and environmental aspects of weather and climate in the region. I, for one, welcome your ideas.

Posted by: Ann, Capital Weather Gang | August 22, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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