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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 04/ 7/2010

Forecast: April heat wave still in high gear

By Dan Stillman

Chance of t-storms late-Thurs., then much cooler

* Cherry blossom sunrise | March recap | Nats-Phillies forecast *
* Enhanced fire threat | Pollen, UV & AQI: Health page *

Today's Daily Digit
 
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
 
8The summer preview is still kind of fun. But the afternoon heat is a bit much for April.
 
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly sunny & very warm. Upper 80s to near 90. | Tonight: Mostly clear & mild. 60s. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny. Increasing chance of p.m. showers/storms. Mid-80s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

My goodness, was yesterday a warm one or what? Dulles's high of 93 not only set a record for the day, but tied for the airport's warmest April day on record. And National's high of 90 fell just 2 degrees short of tying the record for the day. The unusual warmth hangs around through tomorrow, before a cold front passing through tomorrow night ushers in much cooler, but overall still pleasant, weather for Friday and the weekend. The only chance of disruptive weather over the next several days comes later tomorrow into tomorrow night.

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMap (base map by Google). Click and hold on map to pan. Double-click to zoom. Refresh page to update. See larger map on our Weather Wall.

Today (Wednesday): It'll feel about as summery as an April day can. Morning temperatures start out mostly in the mild 60s (where daytime highs ought to be this time of year) and rocket up to the upper 80s to near 90 under mostly sunny skies. You may notice a hint of humidity in the air, but that should be balanced by a refreshing 10-20 mph breeze from the southwest. Confidence: High

For reference, today's record highs are 94 at National (1929), 84 at Dulles (1991), and 93 at BWI (1929).

Tonight: A summery evening with temperatures falling through the 80s and into the 70s. Overnight, lows only drop to the 60s as skies stay mostly clear. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend....

Tomorrow (Thursday): Tomorrow brings the final day of this impressive April heat wave. Partly sunny skies and breezes around 15-25 mph from the south should lift highs to around the mid-80s. A cold front arriving from the west could spark some late-afternoon showers and thunderstorms (about a 40% chance) mainly after 4 p.m. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: The chance of showers and thunderstorms increases to around 70% for the evening and overnight as the cold front closes in and passes through. Overnight lows drop back to the 50s with mostly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Maybe a lingering early-morning shower on Friday. Otherwise, it's a breezy and sharply cooler day with clearing skies and highs in the upper 50s to low 60s -- that's a few degrees below average, for a change. Continued breezy Friday night with lows in the upper 30s to mid-40s. Confidence: Medium-High

OK... so this past weekend's highs in the beautiful 70s are history and the blossoms are fading fast. Still, the weather this coming weekend, albeit cooler, is nothing to sneeze at (unless you're an allergy sufferer, of course). We're looking for partly to mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 50s to mid-60s on Saturday, and closer to 70 come Sunday. Confidence: Medium

By Dan Stillman  | April 7, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Comments

How low did your temperature go last night? DC downtown was 80 at midnight, 74 now... man oh man! too warm. :-)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | April 7, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

At 6 AM, in McLean, it was 74 as well.

Posted by: wiredog | April 7, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The building I work in won't have the air turned on until May...ugh! Yesterday it was SO uncomfortable. Thankfully, I have air at home, but I read here that some of you don't have the air in your resident buildings available.

I don't get why the central air for buildings can't be switched on and off according to the outside temps? I wonder what the reasoning is for maintenance only able to run air conditioning for a block of uninterrupted time.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | April 7, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

It was 83 degrees inside my house around 11 p.m. last night. Not the best sleeping weather, to say the least. Jason, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | April 7, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

My instruments show a low of 61.7F last night at 1900 ft in eastern Warren Co. Current temp=77.9 and rising...

Posted by: spgass1 | April 7, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about all the resident buildings issues with switching over, but at my work the entire system has to be switched over from warm water to cool water - not something that happens with a flip of a switch. The same pipes bring warm water to heat the air in the winter and cool water to cool the air in the summer. It doesn't seem like the best system, but at least it explains why it can't have the capacity to do both heating or cooling at the same time.

Posted by: cqjudge | April 7, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It was 85F in my apartment when I went to bed, it was only down to 78F when I got up. I think for some of the older physical plants it's a 2 or 3 day process to make the switch from heat to A/C. I actually wouldn't complain too much if I could get a cross breeze but the way my apt is designed all the windows are on one wall. I'm grateful for fans until they can get the switch made.

Posted by: ana_b | April 7, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, ana_b and cqjudge! I always wondered why it wasn't just a matter of flicking a switch.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | April 7, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

what cq says is essentially right on for large commercial properties....also, office buildings have MASSIVE heat loads, both internal and external. Sometimes people don't realize it, but copy machines, lights, computers, other appliances, and yes even humans give off tremendous amounts of latent heat. Windows, wall type, and roof type also have an effect. You could turn the A/C on and it would probably run for 2 days before having any noticeable effect. Its really inefficient to continue the heat/cool cycle, which can cost the building literally tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in wasted electricity.

it is extremely cost and space prohibitive in construction to have separate heating and cooling systems, which is why no one builds like that, unless the building designers specifically call for it (as in something that has a special need or is extremely high end..most speculative construcion uses a singular system)

Posted by: npc109 | April 7, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Red Flag Warning issued for Frederick, Carroll, & Washington Counties (& areas further west)

Posted by: LLLrrr555 | April 7, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

MDZ003>005-501-502-VAZ021-072300-
/O.NEW.KLWX.FW.W.0002.100407T1600Z-100407T2300Z/
WASHINGTON-FREDERICK MD-CARROLL-EXTREME WESTERN ALLEGANY-
CENTRAL AND EASTERN ALLEGANY-HIGHLAND-
957 AM EDT WED APR 7 2010

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM EDT THIS EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
RED FLAG WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM EDT THIS
EVENING.

THE COMBINATION OF LOW FUEL MOISTURE...WINDS AROUND 20 MPH AND
MINIMUM RELATIVE HUMIDITY OF 20 TO 25 PERCENT WILL CREATE
CONDITIONS FAVORABLE FOR THE SPREAD OF WILDFIRES THROUGH EARLY
EVENING ACROSS THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS OF VIRGINIA AS WELL AS NORTH-
CENTRAL AND WESTERN MARYLAND.

OPEN BURNING OF ANY TYPE IS CONSIDERED VERY HAZARDOUS AT THIS
TIME OF YEAR. BE CAREFUL WHEN OPERATING MACHINERY OUTDOORS...AS
HEAT AND SPARKS COULD EASILY IGNITE A WILDFIRE..

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

Posted by: LLLrrr555 | April 7, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear of all the "switching" delays. ugh! I can't imagine 93F yesterday w/o my ability to turn on airconditioning at both home & office. whew!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | April 7, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the information, npc109!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | April 7, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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