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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 09/ 7/2009

Forecast: Overcast, Damp Weather Moves In

By Jason Samenow

* Radar, Temps, & More: Weather Wall | Hurricane Tracking Station *
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Today: Cloudy, 40-50% chance of showers, especially in the p.m. 75-79. | Tonight: Increasing rain chances (50-60%). 64-67. | Tomorrow: Chance of rain (40% chance). 75-79. | A Look Ahead


What the heck happened to our dry, partly sunny Labor Day forecast? That's a good question. In earlier forecasts, we knew flow off the ocean might give us some clouds today. But we thought high pressure to the north would eat away a lot of the incoming moisture and win out. It doesn't look like that's happening anymore. Instead of holding tight, the area of high pressure will glide offshore while, at the same, low pressure develops to the south. This low will very slowly move northward, socking us in with cloud cover and possibly some substantial rains -- especially east of I-95.

Radar: Latest regional radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past two hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Monday): The aforementioned ocean flow will produce mostly cloudy skies for the bulk of the day. A few showers are possible (40-50% chance) -- especially east of town and during the afternoon. Without much in the way of sunshine, high temperatures will probably end up just shy of 80. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Rain showers are likely and may be heavy at times, especially south and east of I-95. Lows will mainly be in the mid-to-upper 60s. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the work week

A beautiful afternoon at Mt. Vernon Saturday. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Rain showers may linger (40-50% chance) as low pressure slowly drifts from the Carolinas to off the Delmarva coast. Highs will probably be in the mid-70s under cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Any lingering rain showers should gradually end though low clouds and drizzle may persist. Lows should be in the mid-60s. Confidence: Medium


On Wednesday and Thursday, the easterly flow isn't going anywhere. This will probably mean persistent cloud cover and the chance for some drizzle -- especially during the morning hours. Skies may brighten about during both afternoons, with the best chance Thursday. Highs both days be around 75-80, with overnight lows 64-68. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Friday, there's a decent chance we'll see some partial sunshine, as high pressure attempts to re-assert some control over the weather and highs head up towards 80.Confidence: Low-Medium

By Jason Samenow  | September 7, 2009; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: NatCast: Bring Rain Gear


Before I chickened out, I was going to ask Jack Williams about this when he was on the Kojo Nnamdi show last week. I believe that you guys and the forecasters do a great job, but as we see with the current situation with the high pressure moving on instead of holding on, weather can be hard to predict.

With better and better technology and resources, will the future provide more accurate forecasting? Or will the weather such as the current situation always be tough to predict?

Posted by: jaybird926 | September 7, 2009 5:49 AM | Report abuse

What happened? The forecast was way off, that's what. We all make mistakes.

Also, in the screwups department. The Wapo's metro section has national airport getting no rain in the 24hrs preceding 11pm. I recorded 1.25" of rain. Someone else sleeping at the switch.

Posted by: jojo2008 | September 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The problem: Once again this rainy, cloudy weather is MUCH UNNEEDED...EVERYBODY, not just CWG, was calling for a warm, dry, pleasant and CLEAR to only modestly cloudy [at times!] Labor Day weekend! We haven't had a completely fair three-day holiday weekend in quite a while and I was really looking forward to this one, so I could get some trail-hiking in. Unfortunately, the "much-needed-rain" folks seem to be working overtime at the least sign of a "drought" these days!

It's true I'm missing a few dances over the weekend, but this is mainly the fault of Metro/Metrobus, and not due to the weather. Last night at 6:20PM or later a Route 25 Metrobus ran right past me at the bus stop, but the dance I was planning to attend was rather costly, so I saved quite a bit of money. I also was not carrying an umbrella due to the prevailing wx forecasts, and it rained right during the dance! I was back home before the shower hit. I must admit, however that the Metrobus was so late that I might not have made my 6:30 PM Route 1A connection at Ballston. This bus was supposed to be at Ballston at 6:22; it was running as much as 10 minutes late!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | September 7, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Another factor...poor TV fare. My usual noon news/weathercasts on Channel 9 & WGN are being bumped by tennis tournaments and Labor Day telethons...wouldn't it be great to have a CWG WEATHER TELETHON??? We could add AccuWeather and the Eastern U.S. weather board in for features, and possible even the Weather global warming updates, etc.

As for sports events I'm PLAIN FED UP with the practice of bumping the 6 PM news & weather for golf playoffs, etc. on weekends...we'll have a LOT MORE of this nonsense as the college/pro football seasons get into high gear!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | September 7, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

we must be getting that type of rain that doesn't show up on the radar. Does NWS use rain gauges to correct the radar estimated precipitation maps?

Posted by: rocotten | September 7, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse


I think we will see improvements in forecasting in the coming years, but the improvements will occur at a slower rate than they did over the last couple of decades. Computer models have gotten to the point where they do a nice job simulating large-scale weather systems, but still struggle with smaller scale systems/processes (e.g. thunderstorms). We're getting close to the limits of predictability due to chaos theory, etc... so returns may be diminishing...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | September 7, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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