Archive: July 2010

July warmth record tied at Washington, D.C.

83.1 average temperature warmest of any month on record * How's tomorrow looking? Full Forecast | NatCast * Regional temperature departures from July 1 through July 30 show most of the area well above average. Image courtesy: High Plains Regional Climate Center. Though still unofficial, it appears that D.C. has...

By Ian Livingston | July 31, 2010; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (15)

Forecast: Satisfactory Saturday, showery Sunday

If there's one really good thing to say about this weekend, it's that we won't have to contend with any extreme heat. We may, however, have to deal with showers and thunderstorms -- mainly Sunday. The other negative is that our reprieve from the humidity only lasts through this afternoon. Tonight, tomorrow and well into the next week, characteristic August humidity will assert itself - right on schedule.

By Jason Samenow | July 31, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

NatCast: Feeling good for the Phillies

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Phillies at NationalsSaturday July 31, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Stadium First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of RainLow 80sUpper 70sPartly cloudy15%I'm expecting a pleasant evening at the Park. I can't totally rule out a thunderstorm, but any activity should hold off until after...

By Jason Samenow | July 31, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

PM Update: Some payback for all the heat

After all the heat we've gone through recently, I think we deserve more days like this one. Just a few clouds are floating by in an otherwise blue sky. High temperatures generally in the mid-80s are actually a few degrees below average in most spots, and humidity levels are delightful. This time yesterday we were still sitting in low 70s dew points. Today they have fallen about 20 degrees -- enough to not even think about a "stickiness factor" (unless reading this).

By Ian Livingston | July 30, 2010; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (6)

Weather with 'attitude' - that's the point (sort of)

Our weather gang here was subject to a bit of criticism recently.

By Dan Stillman | July 30, 2010; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (32)

Forecast: Fantastic Friday & semi-sweet Saturday

These seasonable, average high temperatures in the upper 80s the next couple days? They will feel downright awesome. I am extremely excited, I bet you are too. We have slowly increasing chances of showers on Saturday evening into Sunday evening, and probably Monday too. By the middle of next week, we could be back into our hot regime. So enjoy it while you can!

By Camden Walker | July 30, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (14)

Natcast: Nice, dry, comfortable!

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Phillies at NationalsFriday July 30, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Stadium First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of RainLow 80sMid-70sDry & comfortable0%Dress for comfortable summer weather & enjoy! No chance of storms. Nearly perfect evening.   NatCast appears on the day of every Nationals...

By Camden Walker | July 30, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

PM Update: Clearing and drying this evening

Pretty nice Fri and Sat; Rain threat after? * Severe Thunderstorm Watch canceled * * Record snow not due to global warming | A colorful D.C. sunset * * Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall * Temperatures that quickly rose into the low-and-mid 90s have been knocked...

By Ian Livingston | July 29, 2010; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (11)

Strong thunderstorms slowly moving southeast

Heavy rain and isolated damaging wind main threats * Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 7 p.m. * * Friendship Heights Metro Station closed due to power outage * * What about after the storms? See our full forecast * 2:50 p.m. update: Slow-moving storms with lots of lightning and heavy rain...

By Ian Livingston | July 29, 2010; 2:50 PM ET | Comments (36)

D.C. record snow in 2010 not due to global warming

A new study by a team of scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory argues that global warming was not involved. Rather, the study finds the anomalous winter was primarily the result of convergence of an exceptionally strong El Nino and unusually strong negative phase of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

By Steve Tracton | July 29, 2010; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (34)

Forecast: Storms today no match for last Sunday's

The storms today should be fairly benign and they mark the leading edge of one of the driest air masses we have seen in a long time. The break in the heat and humidity make for a great first half of the weekend. Unfortunately, showers (not storms) should return on Sunday so get the outdoor activities in on Friday and Saturday. Below normal temperatures in July have been limited to the first 3 days of the month. Glad to say good bye to July!

By David Streit | July 29, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

NatCast: A rain delay is likely but not a rainout

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Nationals vs. BravesThursday July 29, 12:35 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of RainNear 90Low 80sThundery60%This is a forecast I would be happy to have bust! However, a line of thundershowers is very possible during the game. With a...

By David Streit | July 29, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

PM Update: Heat's back for short stay

Our friend, the 90+ day, has returned! Ok, maybe it's not that exciting. Partly-to-mostly sunny skies during the day and a south wind pumping in high humidity have reminded us that summer still has a way to go before it's over. Fortunately, this stretch of higher heat will be relatively short lived and includes some cooling rain chances.

By Ian Livingston | July 28, 2010; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (5)

Last week: A colorful DC sunset instead of storms

This has been a fairly boring D.C. storm season if you're interested in photography (remember 2008?), at least until recently when much more frequent showers and storms visited the area.

By Ian Livingston | July 28, 2010; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

Were you caught off-guard by Sunday's storms?

For those outside and/or away from television or digital communication devices, the combination of the storm's swift arrival, power and fury was undoubtedly surprising, if not startling.

By Jason Samenow | July 28, 2010; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (26)

Forecast: Steaminess returns and thunder chances

After the briefest respite from the heat and humidity, we're destined to return to the steamer. Humidity and heat build once again today as the mid-90s are back. Luckily, this time it won't last nearly as long before another cold front brings thunderstorms and cooling rain to the area, ushering cooler and drier air once again. Our upcoming weekend looks promising to start but a tricky disturbance may bring some troubles later on Saturday.

By Brian Jackson | July 28, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

NatCast: Braves bring their weather on the road

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Nationals vs. BravesWednesday, July 28, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of RainLow 90sUpper 80sMostly cloudy30%It will feel like a typical night in the deep south. A quick shower or thunderstorm may briefly disrupt the flow, but expect...

By Brian Jackson | July 28, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

PM Update: Mini heat blast arrives tomorrow

Cooler air inbound for late-week and weekend * An inside view of Sunday's severe weather | Storm clouds at sunset * * Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall * A fair amount of cloudiness today has held temperatures in check, but humidity levels are back on the...

By Ian Livingston | July 27, 2010; 3:25 PM ET | Comments (3)

An inside view of Sunday's severe weather

The severe thunderstorms that tore through the Washington metro area on Sunday afternoon were fueled by a combination of historically hot and oppressively humid weather, and ignited by a cold front barreling east-southeastward. They were not the strongest thunderstorms ever to affect the region - after all, there were no confirmed tornadoes - but they happened to barrel right through the heart of some of the most populated areas of Loudoun and Montgomery counties, as well as the District itself.

By Andrew Freedman | July 27, 2010; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (40)

Forecast: Remove from boil and then simmer

We were finally able to remove ourselves from the heat as yesterday saw the first day below 90-degrees in about two weeks. Unfortunately, we have a second course of humid heat here in the next few days, but do not expect as much of a scalding. A cold front arriving just in time for Friday and the weekend promises to be stronger than our last one, which means an entire weekend of 80s and low humidity. Bon Appetit!

By Matt Rogers | July 27, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

NatCast: Weather that's easy to brave

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * updated at 9:30 a.m. Nationals vs. BravesToday, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of Rain8780Low humidity = comfortable. 20%The odds look good that tonight will be a very pleasant weather experience. Can't rule out an isolated thundershower, but...

By Matt Rogers | July 27, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

PM Update: Near average never felt so good

Wow, who knew near-average temperatures (89/71 at DCA) would feel so good? Readings in the upper 80s to near 90 this afternoon are combining with drier air to make it a rather pleasant day out there, especially considering what we just went through. Our heat wave, which at 12 days 90+ became the longest of the year yesterday, is threatening to end today.

By Ian Livingston | July 26, 2010; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (13)

A week ago: thunderstorm clouds at sunset

The sky over the Washington area was alive with clouds and color during the evening of Monday, July 19. The setting sun produced shades of yellow and red light which glowed on the clouds above.

By Kevin Ambrose | July 26, 2010; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (5)

Baltimore making 100-degree history

As we mentioned yesterday, BWI airport hit 100 - breaking the previous record of 99 from 1934. But more notable is the fact Baltimore reached 100 for the fifth time this month - the most ever 100-degree occurrences for any month in Baltimore in recorded history. And yesterday marked Baltimore's seventh 100 degree or higher day in 2010 - tying 1988 and 1930 for the most ever in a summer.

By Jason Samenow | July 26, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Forecast: Heat breaks, but to briefly bounce back

You know it's been a painfully hot summer when we're calling a high of 90 today "relief". But it is what it is. At least, the humidity will be relatively low today into tomorrow. The all-too-familiar heat and humidity combination returns Wednesday and Thursday but it's my pleasure to inform you that we *may* see temperatures hold in the 80s Friday into the weekend.

By Jason Samenow | July 26, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (17)

Whew! Storms move out, heat advisory canceled

What a day: record or near-record heat and then violent thunderstorms. Wind gusts between 55-70 mph were common. Thankfully, the thunderstorms and associated front bring cooler air in overnight -- but not sufficiently cool to assist the thousands without power. Lows will be 70-75 inside the beltway, with some upper 60s in the cooler suburbs. Tomorrow, we see full sunshine but much lower humidity as highs head up to around 90. That certainly beats 100.

By Jason Samenow | July 25, 2010; 5:15 PM ET | Comments (21)

Severe thunderstorms sliding south

As an approaching cold front clashes with near record heat this afternoon, strong to severe thunderstorms are likely to develop. These storms will be capable of produce torrential rain, dangerous lightning, and damaging wind. To the northwest in WV, Pa., and Md., numerous reports of downed trees associated with the approaching line of storms have been logged by the National Weather Service.

By Jason Samenow | July 25, 2010; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (54)

Forecast: Cold front late today signals break in heat

While we probably avoid the century mark today, we'll still have to deal with one more day of rather stifling conditions. This heat combined with an approaching cold front provides the ingredients for possible afternoon thunderstorms. Once they're through though, some more comfortable heat settles in for the first part of the week . Another front approaches by late Wednesday and will bring another threat of thunderstorms. So was anyone this desperate for shade yesterday?

By Brian Jackson | July 25, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (20)

Today's worst is over; still really hot tomorrow

Thankfully the District's fourth 100-degree afternoon of 2010 has come to a close. All three area airports set record highs today as the mercury neared or surpassed triple digit levels across the region with heat indices up to 110.

By Jason Samenow | July 24, 2010; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (14)

Records fall, and it feels close to 110

* Hottest day in hottest summer: Full Forecast * * Excessive Heat Warning expanded to entire area thru 10 p.m. * * It's so hot (news story) | Post Local coverage | Heat Tips | UnitedCast * * Outside now? Radar & more: Weather Wall | Tropical Tracking * *...

By Jason Samenow | July 24, 2010; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (34)

Forecast: Hottest day in hottest summer

More than two thirds of the way through July, the year 2010 is warmer than any prior year this deep into the summer (defining it as June-July-August) on record. And today could be the hottest day. It may not be the hottest in an absolute sense - as July 6 and 7 hit 102. But when you factor in the humidity -- which will be much higher than those scorching days earlier in the month -- it will feel like a stifling 105-110 degrees. No other day has been that oppressively hot. Sunday, regrettably, remains steamy but some modest relief arrives for early next week.

By Jason Samenow | July 24, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (22)

UnitedCast: Sweaty, steamy, stifling soccer

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Soccer Insider * United vs. Portsmouth F.C.Saturday July 24, 7:30 p.m., RFK Stadium KickoffFinal WhistleWeatherChance of RainNear 95Near 90Hot5%Thank your lucky stars that you're spectating and not playing this game with temps in the 90s and heat indices near 100. But even...

By Jason Samenow | July 24, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

PM Update: Very hot today, even hotter tomorrow

Temperatures near and above 100 likely Saturday * Excessive Heat Warning I95, Heat Advisory N&W 12 p.m.-10 p.m. Sat * * Saturday's record high will fall | Bonnie impacts FL on way to Gulf * * Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall * * Consec days 90+:...

By Ian Livingston | July 23, 2010; 9:20 PM ET | Comments (25)

Tropical storm Bonnie over Florida

The tropical disturbance we have been monitoring the past several days (see last blog entry) officially became tropical storm (TS) Bonnie late yesterday. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded this system to tropical storm status based on recent evidence of a closed circulation at the surface with winds of 40 mph.

By Capital Weather Gang | July 23, 2010; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (8)

Saturday: Perfect timing to set a D.C. record

Usually when we talk about threatening record highs this time of year, the bar is set pretty high. 98, 99, often the the low 100s is what it takes to tie or set a record. It just so happens that tomorrow's date, July 24, carries the month's lowest record high temperature for Washington, D.C. -- 96 in 1987

By Dan Stillman | July 23, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

Forecast: Super hot... Saturday record?

HIghs are destined for near 100 today and tomorrow, and still well into the 90s Sunday. To make matters worse, high humidity surging back into our region will make the air feel more like 105 to near 110 at times. Don't mess with this kind of heat. Drink a lot of water and stay out of the direct sun. Not until Monday and Tuesday do we see the heat step back to more typical summertime levels. Will we at least see a chance for relief in the form of showers or thunderstorms?

By Camden Walker | July 23, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (34)

Just how hot tomorrow?

* Excessive heat today & tomorrow: Full Forecast * document.domain = "washingtonpost.com"; function onQuizFrameLoad() { var iframe = document.getElementById("quizFrame"); var doc = iframe.contentWindow.document; var db = doc.body; var dde = doc.documentElement; var docHeight = Math.max(db.offsetHeight, dde.offsetHeight, dde.scrollHeight, db.clientHeight); iframe.style.height = docHeight + "px"; window.scrollTo(0, 0); }...

By Jason Samenow | July 23, 2010; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

PM Update: Season's longest heat wave grows

This heat wave will become our longest of the year -- passing the 11 day long one that occurred June 19-29. Mostly sunny skies and a downsloping wind off the mountains have combined to create a hotter day than recent as highs reach the mid-90s most spots this afternoon. It's also a little less humid, but our "break" is only a day long. With higher humidity, we head closer to 100 tomorrow and likely past that mark on Saturday.

By Ian Livingston | July 22, 2010; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (9)

Did melting ice cause D.C. earthquake?

The news rang out across the nation: Mild earthquake shakes D.C. area. A real earthquake it was -- not the rumblings so often emanating from "inside-the-Beltway" political battles. Although the largest earthquake in the area since tracking of such began in 1974, it was minor in intensity (3.6 on the Richter scale) and no injuries or damage were reported. But, could there be more to this?

By Steve Tracton | July 22, 2010; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (13)

Coming soon: Tropical depression or storm Bonnie

VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE BAHAMAS INDICATE THAT THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IN THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS HAS BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED AND A CLOSED CIRCULATION HAS FORMED. ADVISORIES ON A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR A TROPICAL STORM WILL BE INITIATED AT 11 AM EDT... THIS ADVISORY WILL LIKELY INCLUDE TROPICAL STORM WATCHES AND WARNINGS FOR PORTIONS OF THE BAHAMAS AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA.

By Jason Samenow | July 22, 2010; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Forecast: Heat today, humidity tomorrow

The good news is that climatically speaking, we are at the peak of summer heat and it should be all downhill after this weekend. The problem is there are probably going to be quite a few bumps of heat before we return to consistently more comfortable levels. Thundershowers will be few and far between now and this weekend which is good for outdoor activities. But oh the heat and humidity! We should easily break a record on Saturday. The bonus for this period is lower humidity today and again on Monday.

By David Streit | July 22, 2010; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (16)

PM Update: After a week of heat, bigger coming

We saw pesky midday clouds again today for the third time in a row, but as with the last two days, the additional clouds couldn't keep highs from rising to near 90 or into the low 90s. The clouds have become a bit more scattered late in the day and breaks are likely to continue. One or two spots may see a storm still into the evening, though we're at least temporarily moving away from higher rain chances of recent. Attention can now fully turn to rising heat levels that last into and probably through the weekend.

By Ian Livingston | July 21, 2010; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (14)

In focus: The heat & humidity double whammy

Back on July 6 and 7, when we suffered through the hottest days of the summer thus far, you may recall it wasn't all that humid. Though Reagan National sizzled to 102 both of those days and BWI touched a jaw-dropping 105 on 7/6, afternoon relative humidity values averaged just over 20% and dew points were in the relatively comfortable mid-to-upper 50s. Compare those conditions to what we're predicting for this Saturday - when we think highs will reach the upper 90s to near 100 but relative humidity values will likely be closer to 40% with dew points around 70. Due to the added humidity, the coming heat may feel more oppressive than the record-breaking heat of just two weeks ago.

By Jason Samenow | July 21, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

Forecast: Any hope for break in heat?

This same old hot and humid pattern -- and it really is getting old at this point -- continues through the weekend. A comment left yesterday by CJWill1 probably sums up what many are wondering -- "How long can this pattern continue?? I know nothing about meteorology, but it would seem that this would have to break just based on history, odds, whatever." Unfortunately, there's no sign of any extended stretch of below-normal temperatures. The only real hope in the short term is that a cold front, due to arrive late in the weekend, has enough umph to at least briefly knock the heat and humidity down a notch or two for early next week.

By Dan Stillman | July 21, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (14)

PM Update: Some risk of showers/storms

Clouds that rolled in this morning continued across the area for much of the midday, but breaks of sun have become more common this afternoon. The earlier clouds tried to keep us below 90, but they mostly failed as highs reach near 90 and into the low 90s this afternoon. Today's 90+ at Reagan National makes 37 for the year, which equals D.C.'s typical annual average with plenty of warmth left to go. Like most of the last 10 days or so, we run the risk of a shower or storm through the evening.

By Ian Livingston | July 20, 2010; 7:45 PM ET | Comments (7)

Heat waves, then and now plus...

After the warmest June on record at Reagan National Airport (DCA) and, as of mid-month, on track for one of the warmest Julys, even the Baltimore/Washington National Weather Service Forecast Office at Sterling, Va. has seen fit to make comparisons. According to the official Washington weather record and as verified by a Sterling meteorologist in a recent forecast discussion, the summer of 1930 was one that we definitely don't want to repeat, even though we do seem to be well on our way.

By Don Lipman | July 20, 2010; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (14)

Tropics: Caribbean not so quiet anymore

Just one week ago, only a few tropical cumulus clouds dotted the sky over the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. However, as discussed in my previous blog,there were signs that the local conditions were about to change.

By Greg Postel | July 20, 2010; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Forecast: A few storms, humidity, heat - repeat

Well, it's been exactly one week ago today since we've had a high temperature in Washington below 90 degrees. And as it looks right now, we'll probably see another week go by before we see anything that "cool" again. Most days over the next week should be in the low-to-mid 90s with moderate humidity, along with opportunities for thunderstorms. However, I worry about Friday and Saturday when we could approach the upper 90s to near 100. These are hot times.

By Matt Rogers | July 20, 2010; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (14)

PM Update: Shower and storm threat yet again

Despite midday clouds and some spits of rain, we broke back into sunshine this afternoon and temperatures soared toward 90 and above. Now eyes turn to the west and northwest as new showers and storms begin to form and move this direction. We've seen a bit of a turnaround in our "rain luck" recently, so we'll be on the lookout for more showers or strong to severe storms into the evening.

By Ian Livingston | July 19, 2010; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (21)

Climate expert warns of blogosphere's divisiveness

I recently came across a fascinating interview in Stanford Magazine with a prominent climate scientist there, Stephen Schneider, who has spent decades pondering and trying to improve climate science communication. A professor of interdisciplinary environmental studies who has published widely on climate change, Schneider is the author of the 2009 book "Science as a Contact Sport." Recently, he has spoken out against the "political assaults" and hate speech that have been directed against him and some of his colleagues due to their climate research. In the interview, Schneider makes a thought-provoking case that the blogosphere is fracturing, rather than unifying, the public when it comes to climate science and policy.

By Andrew Freedman | July 19, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (28)

Forecast: Summer stickiness and storms

Chances of thunderstorms will come and go this week and high temperatures will vary within about a 5-10 degree range, from the upper 80s to the upper 90s. The one constant though -- all week long -- will be the heinously high humidity. But wait, remember I'm not letting it bother me...

By Jason Samenow | July 19, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (14)

Some Sunday evening storminess

* Hot & even more humid: Work-week Forecast * * Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall * An area of thunderstorms containing pockets of heavy rain, frequent lightning and gusty winds has blossomed in northern Fairfax County and will affect D.C, southern and eastern Montgomery County, and...

By Dan Stillman | July 18, 2010; 11:00 PM ET | Comments (4)

Forecast: Heat locked in, humidity to get worse

So, which kind of heat wave do you prefer? The one earlier this month that featured attention-grabbing highs near and over 100, but only moderate humidity with no rain? Or the current one, which is more of the mid-90s variety but humid (and increasingly so it appears) with occasionally decent shower/storm chances? You know it's a rough summer when these are your choices. Can't decide? With no end in sight to this latest heat wave, you'll have plenty of time to consider.

By Dan Stillman | July 18, 2010; 4:15 PM ET | Comments (30)

UnitedCast: Seriously warm soccer

A thunderstorm isn't impossible but is unlikely. Otherwise, it'll be just as warm and humid out there as it has been the past few evenings, and will be for quite a few to come.

By Dan Stillman | July 18, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Forecast: Relentless heat & no sign of relief

I am tired of being annoyed about this heat and humidity so I've come to just accept it. We all should for our collective sanity. This offensive weather pattern is essentially locked in for at least the next 5-7 days. That means a continuation of 90+ days, high humidity, compromised air quality, muggy nights, and the occasional late night or evening storm risk. Think about it this way: we're becoming pros at this...

By Jason Samenow | July 17, 2010; 5:10 PM ET | Comments (26)

PM Update: Dog days heat and humidity

Today starts our climatologically warmest time of the year as the average high hits 89. The true "peak" comes from the 19th to the 27th when our low averages 71 (compared to 70 right now). Right on cue, we are seeing very hot conditions yet again. Highs today have risen to the mid-and-upper 90s. Add in high humidity and heat indices past 100 are not terribly uncommon. Unfortunately for those ready to ditch the heat, there is no major relief ahead.

By Ian Livingston | July 16, 2010; 10:10 PM ET | Comments (17)

D.C. 2010: Blizzards, heat waves... earthquake?

The year 2010 is proving to be a strange one around these parts. It started with extreme winter snow. Which has been followed by extreme summer heat. And now, early this morning, the largest earthquake in the area since 1974. Fortunately, it was minor as earthquakes go -- 3.6 magnitude -- and no damage or injuries have been reported. Here's what some of you have had to say about this morning's trembler...

By Dan Stillman | July 16, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

Forecast: 90s here to stay, again

Man oh man, we will sweat this weekend. Temperatures, for the most part, will be in the 90s through the foreseeable future. This despite a cold front that moves through Saturday, but has little impact on the heat or humidity. Rain chances are few and not terribly impressive, so the prospect for any consistent cooling relief from storms isn't great. Lather on the sunscreen and keep the outdoor strenous activity to a minimum. Another extended hot streak is upon us, even if it doesn't feature highs flirting with 100.

By Camden Walker | July 16, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (25)

I felt it too: Earthquake information...

* Heat advisory today - will feel like 100-105: Full Forecast * A compilation of this morning's earthquake report from the U.S. Geological Survey. Graphic adapted by CWG. I thought the rumbling propagating through my house around 5 a.m. was either the air conditioner or a truck passing through the...

By Jason Samenow | July 16, 2010; 7:40 AM ET | Comments (13)

PM Update: Another heat wave beginning

Highs reaching the low-to-mid 90s today are accompanied by fairly uncomfortable dew points in the mid-and-upper 60s. This combination is creating heat indices about 5 degrees higher than the apparent temperature. So, after a bit of a break, it's pretty hot again.

By Ian Livingston | July 15, 2010; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (7)

The thunderstorm that saved Washington

Of all the weather-related stories of Washington, this ranks as one of the more interesting. Washington weather historians will have to dig deep to find information on this storm event. But, before I begin, you may wonder how any storm could possibly save a city? Here's a hint: If an invading army sets fire to a city's buildings, a drenching East Coast thunderstorm is extremely helpful in putting out the flames. This is what happened to Washington in the summer of 1814. The invading army was the British, our city was burning, and a severe thunderstorm helped to extinguish the fires. The storm also produced serious wind damage in Washington, but that was far less destructive than the fires that burnt down the Capitol and White House.

By Kevin Ambrose | July 15, 2010; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (14)

Forecast: Muggy until further notice!

We know this drill very well by now, 90s and plenty of humidity through the weekend. Well it is the heart of summer so what can one expect in DC. The humidity - amplified by the recent rains - is sufficiently high to dampen our day time heating by a degree or two or three. I am not sure it is a fair trade but the big upturn in rains has been the salvation for many of our trees and gardens cashing that much-needed moisture in.

By David Streit | July 15, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (19)

UnitedCast: Very warm and humid

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Soccer Insider * United vs. SoundersThursday July 15, 8:00 p.m., RFK Stadium KickoffFinal WhistleWeatherChance of RainUpper 80sMid-80sMuggy5%This is not Seattle weather. That should work in our favor right? Dress for heat and humidity but no storms.   UnitedCast appears on the day...

By David Streit | July 15, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

PM Update: Rain departs, heat to fill place

After two days of dousings across much of the area, the daytime hours today have proven fairly benign outside an isolated shower or storm. Sunshine began to break through the clouds around midday and temperatures have responded by shooting into the mid-80s to around 90. All that rain of recent mixed with temperatures in the 90s over the next few days will lead to some more hot and muggy weather across the area.

By Ian Livingston | July 14, 2010; 3:20 PM ET | Comments (21)

The curious case of Tom Sater

In July 2005, FOX-5 morning meteorologist Tom Sater mysteriously disappeared from the airwaves. Five years later, DCRTV reported Sunday that Sater has re-emerged on D.C.'s television scene.

By Jason Samenow | July 14, 2010; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (12)

Tropics: Caribbean may not be quiet for long

fter a quick burst of tropical activity just a couple of weeks ago, with Hurricane Alex and Tropical Depression #2 rolling across the western Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, much drier air has settled in across that region. In fact, recent satellite images across this part of the tropics show hardly any thunderstorm activity at all.

By Greg Postel | July 14, 2010; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (5)

Forecast: Warm & swampy, just like it should be

As we become more and more removed from our intense early-July heat wave, we become more and more entrenched in classic D.C.-area summer weather -- warm and humid with occasional storm chances (and, for the past 2 nights at least, the occasional deluge). And while the humidity may be uncomfortable, it has helped to fuel the rain we needed to avoid a serious drought situation. So, let's take our licks now so we can enjoy, guilt-free, a drier pattern whenever it may come

By Dan Stillman | July 14, 2010; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (17)

PM Update: Showers and storms again tonight

Flash Flood Warning for Fairfax Co., D.C. and Montgomery county through 5 a.m. Another cluster of thunderstorms with heavy rain and lightning will move through the metro region. Additional rainfall of 1 to 1.5 inches is possible in the warned area (see map below). Do not attempt to drive across flooded roadways. Turn around, don't drown.

By Ian Livingston | July 13, 2010; 11:15 PM ET | Comments (40)

Ball lightning: real or fantasy?

Imagine -- or perhaps you've experienced something like this for real -- you've taken shelter at a picnic table under cover with thunderstorms roaring nearby. All of a sudden you notice a ball of light appear out of nowhere floating toward you. As the ball enters the shelter, you're amazed to hear it sizzling like a burning branch but feel no heat. It appears to float undisturbed through and then out the shelter where it bounces across the ground before disappearing. You scratch your head and wonder -- was this an illusion, a natural phenomenon, or perhaps a probe from an alien mother ship circling the Earth? If you are an oldies-but-goodies fan (or just an oldie like myself), maybe your first thought is the refrain from Jerry Lee Lewis's 1957 hit song, Great Balls of Fire: "I say goodness gracious great balls of fire...oooeee, oooee". What you might have witnessed is ball lightning, a luminous orange or reddish spherically shaped object, which averages about 6 to 20 inches in diameter and lasts a few seconds to a few minutes before disappearing (much longer than a split-second lightning bolt).

By Steve Tracton | July 13, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

Forecast: Storms today with more heat later

The showers and storms yesterday afternoon were quite hit-or-miss. Before a late evening storms produced a brief deluge across the immediate area, National Airport had only managed .1" and Dulles fared even worse with just a wee .06" of rain. For our rain-starved metropolitan area, we'll have another chance to fill in those gaps as the exact same air mass (warm, humid, and unstable) as yesterday dominates our weather. By later this week, the storm chances will die down, but unfortunately the heat will build stronger.

By Matt Rogers | July 13, 2010; 7:15 AM ET | Comments (18)

PM Update: Showers and storms into the night

A batch of widespread showers with embedded storms has moved in from the west and southwest and should last into at least mid-evening. This may be the first of several batches of showers and storms to roll through over the coming 24-48 hours. Highs today were stunted in the mid-to-upper 80s by abundant clouds. Humidity, however, has made a big return with levels pretty close to -- if not fully -- oppressive.

By Ian Livingston | July 12, 2010; 4:10 PM ET | Comments (26)

NASA eyeballs glacial melt in Greenland

The Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier, one of the largest glaciers in Greenland, swiftly lost a 2.7-square mile chunk of ice between July 6 and 7, NASA announced late last week. The ice loss pushed the point where the glacier meets the ocean, known as the "calving front," nearly one mile further inland in a single day. According to the space agency, the new calving front location is the farthest inland on record.

By Andrew Freedman | July 12, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (27)

Forecast: Muggy, warm, and at times wet

So far this summer, we've had the heat, we've had the humidity, we just haven't had the rain. This week, we'll finally get some of that rain we've been missing along with the heat and humidity we've come to know so well. At least a chance of showers and thunderstorms is in the forecast every afternoon and evening except perhaps Thursday. Maybe, just maybe, we can put away the sprinklers and our lawns will turn back to green.

By Jason Samenow | July 12, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (16)

Forecast: Monday starts nice; rain chance late

Lots of sun and dry heat spell out quite a nice day for us. Enjoy it while you can because as we head into the week, the humidity grows and we'll begin to see extended periods where we have chances for showers and thunderstorms. While rain in the forecast this week won't single-handedly pull us out of our moderate drought, by week's end our lawns could be looking significantly greener.

By Brian Jackson | July 11, 2010; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (17)

NatCast: Wonderful day for a ballgame

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Nationals vs. GiantsSunday, July 11, 1:35 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of RainLow 80sUpper 80sMostly sunny%The last game before the All-Star break couldn't get much better for mid-July: sunny, dry, and warm. Only a bit more of a...

By Brian Jackson | July 11, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Forecast: Showers end, then hot but less humid

The rain we get today is unlikely to either satisfy parched lawns or put a serious dent in the drought. Then we slowly dry out, but characteristic summertime heat sticks around. At least we'll get a semi-reprieve from the humidity on Sunday and Monday. The mugginess starts to build back into the region towards the middle of next week when we'll get the next chance for showers and storms.

By Jason Samenow | July 10, 2010; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (25)

NatCast: A warm Washington evening

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Nationals vs. GiantsSaturday July 10, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of RainLow 80sUpper 70sDecreasing clouds10%It's a pretty nice summer evening for baseball in Washington. The rain should be long gone with clouds departing and comfortably warm temps....

By Jason Samenow | July 10, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

PM Update: Rain chances go up into tomorrow

We took another slight step downward in the temperature department today, but high humidity levels helped mute that change. Despite partly-to-mostly cloudy conditions, temperatures have still been able to rise to around and above 90 across most of the area. A cold front (really a wind shift and lowering of humidity) headed toward us is likely to bring needed rain to at least some spots tonight into early tomorrow.

By Ian Livingston | July 9, 2010; 7:55 PM ET | Comments (40)

A deadly combo: heat, cars and kids

As temperatures rise across the nation, sadly so do the number of children who die after being left inside hot vehicles. Already this year there have been 20 deaths of children in hot cars. And it does not have to be a blazing hot day in a southern state for these tragedies to take place as evidenced by the fact that, over the years, there have been deaths of children in hot vehicles in 46 states and with temperatures as cool as the upper 60s.

By Capital Weather Gang | July 9, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

Forecast: Sweatin' it out... plus Sat. showers

The upper 90s and low 100s have departed, at least for now. Despite our slightly cooler highs the next several days -- mainly low-to-mid 90s, with a brief dip to the 80s tomorrow -- high humidity keeps the air feeling sweaty through tomorrow. At least the increased moisture translates to our first significant rain chance since June 28. If you can make it through the mugginess, Sunday offers some drier heat. But the keyword is "heat," with 90s persisting as we get into early next week. Ooof!

By Camden Walker | July 9, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (11)

NatCast: Warm, humid and small shower chance

There's a decent chance that any showers or storms wait until after the game. But a small umbrella in your pocket or bag might be advisable. (We'll update later if we can say anything with more confidence.) Dress for typical summer warmth and humidity.

By Camden Walker | July 9, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

PM Update: A little cooler, but still hot

Typical summer heat sticks around; Saturday rains? * Do rainmakers work? | Tuesday heat stats | NatCast * * Stay cool with a CWG Snowmageddon t-shirt: Check it out * * Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall * It's cooler, but I didn't feel too cool outside...

By Ian Livingston | July 8, 2010; 3:25 PM ET | Comments (11)

The Rainmakers: Did they make it rain? Can they?

After the warmest and one of the drier (60% of average rainfall) Junes on record, drought, or at least the perception of drought, enters people's minds, as it is now. In the past, however, when rain was badly needed (or sought for military advantage), people used the most bizarre methods imaginable. What were some of them?

By Don Lipman | July 8, 2010; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (10)

Tuesday: 100 earliest in day & for longest time

THE EARLIEST REPORTED READING OF 100F IN A CALENDAR DAY WAS RECORDED YESTERDAY JULY 6 2010 ... JUST BEFORE 12 PM NOON EDT ... OR 11 AM IN EASTERN STANDARD TIME...EST. PREVIOUSLY THE EARLIEST RECORD OF A 100F READING IN WASHINGTON DC WAS AUG 21 1930 AT NOON EST ... OR 1 PM EDT.

By Jason Samenow | July 8, 2010; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

Forecast: Somewhat cooler through weekend

It is painful to say that 90s are an improvement but here we are! The cooling is actually courtesy of an offshore low drifting closer to the coast and pushing in some maritime air. Finally, by Friday night a more traditional cooling source arrives as a cold front should set off a good round of thundershowers for the first time in over 10 days. Saturday should be the coolest with most areas not even breaking 90.

By David Streit | July 8, 2010; 9:20 AM ET | Comments (15)

Update: Heat advisory for D.C., close-in suburbs

As David discussed in his full forecast, though air temperatures will be slightly cooler today, the humidity will be worse. The net effect is that it's not going to feel much different today than the last several. As such, the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for the District and Va. suburbs inside the beltway (see map) from noon to 9 p.m. tonight.

By Jason Samenow | July 8, 2010; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

NatCast: May our batters be as hot as the weather

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Nationals vs. PadresThursday July 8, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th Inning WeatherChance of RainUpper 80sLower 80sFair and humid10%Toasty temperatures fall only slowly. Dress light and drink plenty of fluids. Pray for lots of strikes to stir up a...

By David Streit | July 8, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

PM Update: Heat wave breaks more records

Our heat wave continues its crest and records are again falling across the area. National, with a high (so far) of 102, has solidly destroyed the old record for the day by several degrees and BWI's old record has also succumbed while Dulles nears historic numbers. With another 100+ day behind us, D.C. has accomplished back-to-back readings this high for the first time since July 6-7, 1999.

By Ian Livingston | July 7, 2010; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (22)

Flashback: Five months ago, epic snow

* Mild relief coming?: Full Forecast | NatCast | Snowmageddon t-shirts * Generally 20-50"+ of snow fell in the first tens days of February, 2010 across the region. Snow map courtesy Paul Kocin, adapted by CWG. Here are some links from the vault so you can relive the magic (or...

By Jason Samenow | July 7, 2010; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (16)

Reader questions on the heat wave...

During this intense heat wave, the questions are coming in fast and furious. Matt took a quite a few during yesterday's online chat but we've heard many more from CWG readers via post comments, our Twitter feed, and email. Here's a sampling along with responses:

By Jason Samenow | July 7, 2010; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (5)

What do you like about summer heat?

The D.C. area has already experienced its fair share of summer conditions ... and it's only the first week of July. We've heard -- and said -- plenty of complaints about the heat and humidity: sweaty work clothes, lack of energy, moldy basements. Yet, some residents actually seem to like the heat. Are you one of them?

By Ann Posegate | July 7, 2010; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (12)

Forecast: Brutal heat wave hits day 3 of near 100

Ridiculous, record-threatening heat is on the agenda again today -- yesterday's highs of 102 at National and 100 at Dulles were one and two degrees short of the respective record highs for the day, while BWI's 105 broke the old record of 101 -- before we return to more garden-variety summer warmth starting tomorrow. What doesn't seem to be coming anytime soon is any significant stretch of below-normal temperatures. Still, after three days with highs near and over 100, we'll take low 90s to near 90 tomorrow through the weekend, even if it means higher humidity. And maybe a thunderstorm or two to go with it?

By Dan Stillman | July 7, 2010; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (37)

NatCast: Home team would gladly hit the road

This evening's forecast for San Diego? Cloudy with temperatures in the 60s. So what the heck are we playing baseball here for?

By Dan Stillman | July 7, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

PM Update: Heat wave keeps area boiling

A lot of hot days climax in the late afternoon, but on this first of two heat advisory days we've been "treated" to 95-100 degree heat since around lunchtime. Tomorrow's going to be another scorcher with the thermometer threatening to hit 100 again.

By Ian Livingston | July 6, 2010; 5:50 PM ET | Comments (50)

Washington D.C. fireworks from the Potomac River

The heat wave that started on the 4th of July was certainly not enough to keep anyone from the fireworks show. CWG's Ian Livingston shares some photos taken on the banks of the Potomac River.

By Ian Livingston | July 6, 2010; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (5)

Thinking cool thoughts during the heat wave

I am acutely aware that it's hot outside, since the idea of writing a blog post on the ongoing heat wave, and the heat that preceded it in June, has caused me to start sweating. Well, that and the fact that it is ridiculously hot outside. Did I mention that it's hot out? I'm not sure if I did, since the heat is making me a bit woozy.

By Andrew Freedman | July 6, 2010; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (24)

Forecast: Super scorcher today and tomorrow

Our brutal broiling heat wave is forecast to continue today and tomorrow as big high pressure delivers a pressure-cooker pattern to the area. Humidity levels will not be severe, but they are slowly increasing each day. If there is any good news to be found, it looks as though that super hot upper level high pressure area could start breaking down sooner than expected, meaning that Thursday and Friday could see about a ten degree pullback on high temperatures along with increased chances for thunderstorms.

By Matt Rogers | July 6, 2010; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (51)

NatCast: Foul heat

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Nationals vs. PadresToday, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of Rain9488Mostly clear, hot.10%Dress cool and let the professionals brave the hot weather on the field tonight.   NatCast appears on the day of every Nationals home game. Also,...

By Matt Rogers | July 6, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Forecast: Blistering heat takes hold

If you hate the heat, then staring at forecast highs near 100 for at least the next 3 days is surely painful. But maybe the fact the humidity levels - while bad - could be worse provides some consolation. Or perhaps this forecast's only saving grace is the chance of some relief by later in the week or the weekend...

By Jason Samenow | July 5, 2010; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (45)

Forecast: Here comes the heat

Well, we knew summer wouldn't let us get away with picture perfect days in the low-to-mid 80s all summer. But it's a shame that our reality check has to come on a day where many of us will be outdoors for a good portion of it. While it might be a scorcher temperature-wise, humidity should still be low enough that it won't be brutal. As we continue into the week, temperatures close in on a return to 100, and higher humidity levels begin to make themselves known once again.

By Brian Jackson | July 4, 2010; 4:25 PM ET | Comments (13)

NatCast: At least it's a dry(ish) heat

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Nationals vs. MetsSunday, July 4, 1:35 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of RainUpper 80Low-to-mid 90sBright sun%Hot but dry. With little wind, a shaded seat might be nice. Can the Nats provide some early fireworks?   NatCast appears on...

By Brian Jackson | July 4, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Forecast: Pleasantly warm today, then scorching

Today marks the transition between the blissful low 80s of the last few days and the sizzling hot temperatures to come. If there's any consolation, humidity levels -- at least in the near term -- shouldn't be oppressive. But the lack of humidity means little to no chance of rain -- which we really do need.

By Jason Samenow | July 3, 2010; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (9)

NatCast: Super for Strasburg

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall | Nationals Journal * Nationals vs. MetsSaturday July 3, 4:05 p.m., Nationals Park First Pitch9th InningWeatherChance of RainNear 80Mid-80sMostly clear0%A warm and toasty afternoon, but not super humid. Will the Nats finally bring some offense?   NatCast appears on the day of every...

By Jason Samenow | July 3, 2010; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

PM Update: 4th of July weekend starts right

Well, at least we squeezed in one last day with low humidity and comfy temperatures. In a few days we'll undoubtedly be looking back wishing for this weather to return. Delightful afternoon highs near and just above 80 have kept our short-lived "spring wave" (thanks, Camden, for coining the phrase) going, but it's fleeting and will soon be replaced by more of those 90+ days we've already seen so many of.

By Ian Livingston | July 2, 2010; 4:20 PM ET | Comments (5)

Heat safety tips for July 4th and beyond

Another prolonged stretch of what looks to be highs in the mid-90s and higher is set to begin Sunday (July 4th) and last for much, if not all, of next week. While it may not be as epic as the heat waves of the 1930s, as CWG's Kevin Ambrose recently wrote about, this next round of heat is likely to keep firefighters and paramedics as busy as the first. Here are some tips to keep you, your family and friends out of harm's way this holiday weekend and beyond...

By Dan Stillman | July 2, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

Forecast: Next heat wave starts July 4th

Anticipation of serious heat returning by July 4th is all the more motivation to cash in on today's final wonderful day in this mini "spring wave," if you will. Highs skyrocket well into the 90s Sunday. And it appears the heat will set up shop for another extended stay, with temperatures possibly flirting with 100 at times next week. So get ready to roast -- and with little to no chance of cooling rain in the foreseeable future.

By Camden Walker | July 2, 2010; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

NatCast: Amazin' weather for the Mets

Dry air with a slight breeze. Comfortable -- perhaps cool enough for a windbreaker by game's end? Enjoy the amazing weather!

By Camden Walker | July 2, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

PM Update: Beautiful summer weather persists

July is off to a fine start as we get treated to another below average day across the region. Temperatures in the upper 70s and lower 80s this afternoon are running a good 5 to 10 degrees below the typical average high this time of year. We've got one more of these glorious days to go before temperatures rise near normal on Saturday and then probably way back above normal for the 4th and into next week.

By Ian Livingston | July 1, 2010; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (4)

June 2010 sets warmth record in Washington D.C.

The speculation is over, it's official. Even with a somewhat chilled final day of the month, June 2010 finished as the warmest on record for both D.C. and Dulles.

By Ian Livingston | July 1, 2010; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (13)

Forecast: July comes in like a lamb!

The most stunning thing to me about this forecast is low humidity for the next 3 days and barely a cloud for the next 5 days. If only we could lock in these pleasant temperatures. Regrettably, the dry soils across the region lend themselves to a fast heat up. As a result, we skyrocket from nearly 10 degrees below average today to about 10 degrees above average by Monday. Speaking of dry soils...we have now received less than 60% of normal rain in the last 3 months, which by my definition is a drought. If you can water your street trees, please do. Help keep our city green!

By David Streit | July 1, 2010; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (6)

 

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