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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 09/ 2/2008

Forecast: Some Summer in September

By Matt Rogers

Brief bout of heat about; Here comes Hanna?

New Orleans Appears To Avoid Disaster | Interactive Tropical Tracking Map

The Labor Day weekend was spectacular around the area, especially on Sunday and Monday. But the atmospheric thermostat is going a bit higher over the next few days, reminding us that the heart of summer is not so far off in the rear-view mirror. Look for highs near or just above 90 today through Thursday, and gradually increasing humidity.

Our next big weathermaker?... Tropical Storm Hanna, which could bring wind, rain and storms by Friday or Saturday.


Gobs of sunshine. Hot. Near 90. The sun should dominate today, helping to push temperatures to near 90 across the metro area. Despite the heat, humidity will remain low.

Tonight, the low humidity along with clear skies and very light winds should allow temperatures to find their way back down into the 60s in most places, though I wouldn't be surprised to see the official reading at Reagan National Airport -- often a warm spot -- stay up near 70.

Keep reading for the forecast through the weeekend, which includes potential impacts from Hanna. Also, see NatCast for the outlook for tonight's game, and check back later this morning for the latest on Gustav and Hanna.


Tons of sun. Still hot. Low 90s. Wednesday should be a general repeat of Tuesday with the only exception being a slight increase in humidity and maybe a degree or two warmer. Look for highs in the lower 90s across the board.

Wednesday night looks to be a nice scene again, but slight humidity increases will mean warmer low temperatures -- in the upper 60s and low 70s. Mostly clear skies again.


Thursday is forecast to see the return of at least a few clouds, but should still yield a mostly sunny day overall. Increased (but not oppressive) humidity will likely make this the sweatiest day of the week, with highs topping out in the low 90s. Some typically hotter spots (like right downtown) could score a mid-90s reading. Thursday night should see lows drop to around 70 in the city and upper 60s in the suburbs. Confidence: Medium-High

Friday is expected to see the first inklings of change with clouds and then possibly showers arriving as the outskirts of Hanna approach from the south. Highs should be capped in the middle 80s, but cooler onshore flow could keep them even lower. Look for a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon and evening. Lows Friday night should be in the upper 60s with increasing winds and increasing chances for showers and storms. Confidence: Low-Medium

Will this be the the weekend of Hanna? Several weather models are consistently bringing the remnants of the storm, after it comes ashore along the Southeast coast, here to the metro area starting Friday, but with more impact on Friday night and Saturday. If this scenario holds, we could be in for a gusty, rainy Saturday with highs in the 70s. But the storm could move through quick enough so that sun returns for Sunday as highs get back well into the 80s. As with any tropical system, uncertainty as to the track, timing and intensity of the storm is fairly high this far ahead of time. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Matt Rogers  | September 2, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Computer Models Nailed Gustav's Track


A great article (in the Post) regarding the "dramatic" coverage of the hurricane yesterday!

Posted by: Greg | September 2, 2008 5:20 AM | Report abuse

I see that Hanna is still likely to be a tropical storm by the time it gets up close to here. Good news is it will be flying north at the time, so maybe we will still get some sports in next weekend.

Posted by: MDScot | September 2, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

love the coverage, but "summer in the rear-view mirror? Um, it still is summer.

Posted by: a fan | September 2, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the latest NHC track of Hanna looks like it might be directly over DC on Saturday afternoon. Am I reading this incorrectly?

Posted by: Dsmac | September 2, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"a fan"

Meteorologists define summer as the three months beginning June 1 and ending August 31. So, from this perspective, summer has ended and is "in the rear mirror"

Astronomically speaking, summer ends and fall begins at the autumn equinox (Sept. 21). From this point of view summer has about three more weeks.

For most, summer is thought more of in cultural terms, namely, extending from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.

I have no doubt that if we have a few really cold days between now and Sept 21, media will hype fall weather even though autumn has not yet begun.

For all things "season", see:

Posted by: Steve Tracton | September 2, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

a fan -- a good point, even with the meteorological definition of summer. Just tweaked the language a bit.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | September 2, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link. It was a truly funny piece.

Posted by: science teacher (Arnold) | September 2, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry too much about Hanna here in DC. Hurricanes need ocean water (not because it's "ocean" but because it's a large source) to fuel the storm's engine. As soon as it hits land, it weakens considerably. Ton of rain and strong winds? Sure. Calamity? No.

Posted by: wdc | September 2, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

wdc: I agree calamity might be a strong word but we could experience some high impact conditions which we haven't had to deal with for a long time. I have a post on a Hanna that will come up shortly after 11 a.m.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | September 2, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Anything like Isabel a few years ago? I hope not.

Posted by: weatherwomanwannabe | September 2, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Hanna is being hit pretty hard by shear this morning, another decrease in intensity is likely at 11am.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 2, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I'll be going to Ocean City on Saturday. I hope that Hanna either tracks west enough to give OC dry (if not clear) weather, or east enough to give us some surf.

Posted by: wiredog | September 2, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Latest discussion from Sterling office still bullish on remnants of Hanna hitting us over the weekend. We can certainly use whatever she can give us.

Posted by: jmbethesda | September 2, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Bostonian originally, and the only hurricane/TS that I've been through that still had a name when it hit my area was Bob, which did absolutely nothing except rain a bit for a few hours...

Hypothetically speaking, let's say Hanna is still a Cat 1 or a TS when she gets here. What do I need to have handy around the house? A flashlight would be a good idea, I'm sure. I have enough bottled water to last for a week or so. Should I stock up on canned goods and granola bars? Anything else I'm not thinking of? (I live in a high-rise apt. building, so, while I do need to worry a bit about my windows, there's not much I'm allowed to do about it, and I DON'T have to worry about ground flooding, given the floor I'm on).

Thanks, all!

Posted by: Worried about Hanna (still) | September 2, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Worried -- Check out this list of emergency items from FEMA:

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | September 2, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Josephine has become the 10th named tropical system this morning, out in the eastern Atlantic.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 2, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I noticed Accuweather's extended forecast has temps lowering into the 70's - near the 70 degree mark. Is there anything in the models suggesting a nice extended cool down? I don't want to get too excited because I am all too familiar with hot sticky DC weather lasting into late September. But a nice taste of Fall would be much welcomed right about now. Any hope??

Posted by: MoSnow | September 2, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Mo, we're getting to that time of year where temperatures can take wild "swings". We can see obnoxiously hot weather, as well as seemingly fall-like conditions, and neither one would be a terrible suprise. Cold fronts start to pack more of a punch and have more of an effect on the area going forward. I wouldn't bet that we've seen the end of summer, but chances are good for a few pleasantly cool days.

Posted by: Brian, Capital Weather Gang | September 2, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

MoSnow -- The Climate Prediction Center does have the DC area on the edge of below-normal temperatures 8-14 days from now, and in their discussion they assign a forecast confidence of 4 out of 5. So, highs in the 70s is plausible. But generally speaking, forecasts beyond 5-7 days are never too reliable. And if you're from around here, you know that in September, forecasts for cooler temperatures often have a way of warming up as the period in question gets closer.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | September 2, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Brian! I can't wait for that first breezy, cool and crisp autumn day.

Posted by: MoSnow | September 2, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan. I remember a couple DC Halloweens as a kid being quite uncomfortably warm. Hopefully the Climate Prediction Center is right on.

Keep up the GREAT work Gang.

Posted by: MoSnow | September 2, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Currently 82F, 30.16, falling then steady. No clouds, sky completely clear.

More on Hanna later.

Posted by: El Bombo | September 2, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

there is a race in Richmond this weekend, and I have to be on a plane on Monday, so I am hoping the tracks for Hannah are right and she gets in and out of here in quick fashion. :-) I can't stick around until Monday to see the cars go around in circles if she slows down.

Posted by: Kim in Manassas | September 2, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Been awhile since I've been here - due mainly to the Southern California type August we just experienced. What was that? Nicest August I've ever experienced in my 18 years in DC...anyway, if anyone has any concerns about preparedness for Hanna Montana, check out the Red Cross site for "Preparing for a Hurricane" -,1082,0_253_,00.html

Its highly unlikely that Hanna is our next Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane or even Isabel, but just in case...

Posted by: Dulles ARC | September 2, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

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