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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 08/31/2009

PM Update: Hot August Ends With Cool Day

By Ian Livingston

September arrives in beautiful fashion

* Making Hotter Augusts Not Quite as Hot | Hurricane Tracking Center *
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Meteorological summer is coming to a close, and even if you follow the calendar that says summer still has a few weeks to go, today's conditions sure made it feel that fall is not too far behind. Morning clouds gave way to increased afternoon sunshine and pleasant temperatures rising only to the low-and-mid 70s. Some fair-weather cumulus clouds will continue to diminish as we head toward sunset with the loss of what daytime heating we saw today.

Temperatures: Current area temperatures. Powered by Weather Bonk. Map by Google. Hover over and click icons for more info. Click and hold on map to pan. Refresh page to update. See map bigger on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: Expect a cool and refreshing end to an August full of heat. We'll be mostly clear throughout the night, with maybe some lingering clouds southeast, as sunset temperatures near the upper 60s fall to lows ranging from the lower 50s in the cooler suburbs to around 60 downtown. If National Airport falls below 60, it will be the first time since the start of meteorological summer on June 1 (when it hit 55).

Tomorrow (Tuesday): September (and meteorological fall) arrives beautifully on Tuesday. Mostly sunny skies should allow cool morning temperatures to rise to highs into the upper 70s across much of the area. Winds will be light from the north or northeast.

See Jason Samenow's full forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Tropics: Both the Atlantic and Pacific remain active. Of most immediate concern for land is Hurricane Jimena in the Eastern Pacific. A rare hurricane hunter flight to the area today has found that Jimena is on the cusp of category 5, with sustained winds now at 150 mph. Jimena is expected to weaken but remain a major hurricane prior to impacting Baja California. In the Atlantic, Invest 94L is trying to become better organized as it heads toward (and probably north) of the Caribbean islands. Additional strengthening over the next few days should be slow as conditions may not be the most favorable for development. This system will need to be monitored for possible impacts on the U.S. early next week.

By Ian Livingston  | August 31, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Mr. Livingston, you titled this article, "Hot August Ends With Cool Day". Why did you title it that? Wasn't this year's August normal or below normal, temperature wise?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | August 31, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr_Q, as of yesterday August was running 2.7 degrees above normal at DCA and 4.2 above normal at IAD. It will come down a bit after today but that's pretty warm for August (you can check yourself here -- see F6 data). Nothing else from me on that front, I usually stay out of the climate change battles. ;)

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 31, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Q - as far as I am aware, we had at least 15 days consecutively above average in August. August was very warm.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | August 31, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

All, did you feel the cool breeze and crisp air (in the shade) today? it was stunning! :-)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | August 31, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane hunters found even higher winds before departing, Jimena is now 155 mph sustained. Jeff Masters says it's the strongest storm of the year on the planet.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 31, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I should also mention I know someone who is chasing Jimena. He just arrived in the area and is posting about his journey as much as internet allows.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 31, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

At least August ends with great dance weather...and a return to fall-like conditions. Met summer ends on a note much nicer than it began...

Just wondering...has anyone yet seen the spectacular pyrocumulus displays associated with the big wildfires in the Los Angeles area??? The fire seems to be so big that it's creating its own weather, and one news source reported a "smoke cloud" [actually a pyrocumulus] which "collapsed upon itself".

Posted by: Bombo47jea | August 31, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes...Invest 94L could become Erika within 3 days...and Jimena is actually exceeding expectations.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | August 31, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, not only has it been warmer than average, but it's been drier, too.

After our wonderful, above-normal rainfall in April, May and June, National Airport has had two months of below-average precipitation, with only 3.53 inches of rain over two months. That's almost 3.6 inches below normal.

There is some solace in the fact that other parts of the metro had generous rainfall amounts with localized thunderstorms, although these locations are not the official recording stations. Let's hope the Potomac watershed had more than its share!

Posted by: TominMichiganPark | September 1, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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