Forecast: Steamy day sets stage for thundery night
Some storms could be strong to severe
FORECAST IN DETAIL
By David Streit, CWG Meteorologist
The only comforting thought about the sweltering today is that it'll be gone tomorrow! The problem is that dislodging this heat requires a cold front and that may mean some strong thunderstorms later today. The cooling comes at a price as we'll be socked in with clouds and showers tomorrow. Part of Saturday and all of Sunday are worth the wait, both promising to be mild with sunshine returning. Memorial Day marks the start of summer in style with above normal temperatures and the return of humidity under a bright sun.
Today (Thursday): Sunny skies and rising humidity levels lead to discomfort by mid-morning with little breeze to help cool. The clouds start popping up early afternoon but any thunderstorms (20% chance) would be isolated and mainly in the northwestern suburbs. Highs peak in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Confidence: High
Most likely timing: 5-10 p.m.
Tonight: A cold front interrupts our muggy evening, possibly triggering thunderstorms. The cold front is a "back door" variety sweeping down from New England instead of the typical west to east slider. Storms that develop have the potential to be severe with damaging wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain. After a possible initial line of intense evening storms (40-50% chance -- not everyone will get hit), scattered thundershowers may continue off and on overnight (50-60% chance). Lows fall to the 70s in the showers and bottom in the upper 60s overnight. Confidence: Medium-High
Keep reading for the outlook through the Memorial Day weekend...
Tomorrow (Friday): Dampness is the rule with dense clouds supporting drizzle and occasional showers (80% probability). Light winds from the east keep the moisture flowing in from the Atlantic. Temperatures will be lucky to gain a degree an hour to peak in the low-to-mid 70s. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow Night: The damp lingers through the evening with a 60% chance of a shower mixed in with the drizzle. Evening readings hold in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Support for the showers dies out after midnight but clouds persist. Lows fall to the upper 50s to lower 60s. Confidence: Medium-High
Saturday depends strongly on the winds from the east dying out early to allow the clouds to break. This is a tall order and the best bet is that the breaks won't begin to show up until late afternoon. Temperatures spend their time in the 60s in the morning but should reach low-to-mid 70s in the afternoon. There is a 20% chance of a lingering early morning shower, especially south of the city. Confidence: Medium
Sunday weather wins the award for best in class. The morning readings quickly jump from 60s to 70s but stop in the lower 80s by mid-afternoon. A distinct lack of clouds through the day should be a treat. The final icing on a great day is low humidity and light winds. Confidence: Medium
Memorial Day gets back to the business of summer with both climbing temperatures and humidity. Sunny skies ensure a quick jump in the morning from 60s at daybreak to 70s by mid-morning and upper 80s by late afternoon. A pop up thundershower by late afternoon can't be ruled out but the probability is only 20%. So if you get wet at least I can say you were warned! Confidence: Medium
The weather at the beaches is conspiring to keep you at work on Friday! From Cape May south to the Outer Banks, including the Maryland & Delaware shore, shower chances range around 70% with highs in the upper 60s from Cape May to Ocean City and lower 70s for points south.
Saturday is the transition day with clouds slowly parting along the Jersey shore around midday as sunshine works slowly southward through the Md./Del. beaches and down to the Outer Banks by evening as high pressure builds in from the north. Nobody's warm as onshore breezes come off waters that are still only in the 60s, keeping highs in the upper 60s. Good news is ocean temps are warmer than average this year so hitting the surf won't be too painful if you're so brave. Waves will be potent reaching heights of 3 to 5 feet in most areas through the weekend, so be careful.
Sunday is a marked improvement up and down the coast with highs in the low-to-mid 70s under mostly sunny skies.
Memorial Day will make you wish for another week of vacation with highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s. An intense sun will require plenty of the high SPF lotion for any tanning. Have a great holiday weekend!
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