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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 07/28/2010

Forecast: Steaminess returns and thunder chances

By Brian Jackson

* An inside view of Sunday's severe weather | Storm clouds at sunset *
* Outside now? Radar & more: Weather Wall | NatCast *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.


"Above normal" is the new normal.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Hot and humid, with chance of t'storms. 91-95. | Tonight: Steamy, storms possible. 78-82. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny, storms likely. 88-93. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


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.

Radar & lightning: Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Wednesday): If "above-normal" has replaced "normal" as the new normal, then we're in for a "normal" day. Everybody follow? Good. Dew points creep back up to sticky levels and partly sunny skies will build the heat with highs in the low-to-mid 90s. Those in the mountains could see some storms pop up but the metro area should stay rain-free through the majority of the daytime, with some storms possible this evening. Winds will be generally from the south-southwest at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High


Probability: 30-40%
Coverage: Widely scattered
Most likely timing: 7-10 p.m.

Tonight: a weak line of thunderstorms could make their way through in the late evening hours, 7-10ish or so. Otherwise, humidity levels continue climbing as the dew point maxes out in the mid-70s overnight. Lucky for us, most of us will be asleep comforted by air conditioning, assuming power is back on of course. Muggy overnight temps are in the 70s to near 80 degrees downtown. Confidence: Medium

Like today's weather? Vote your call for today's Daily Digit (see Daily Digit box above). And keep reading for the forecast into next week...

Tomorrow (Thursday): Our rain threat is most promising (70%) tomorrow as a cold front sweeps through. We're looking at another steamer too, with highs possibly in the mid-90s. A complication is the possibility that clouds leftover from any nighttime rain/storms could lower temps for those stuck in the gray, and could also amplify temperature contrasts that could spark more storms. Nonetheless, expect a sultry summer day with partly sunny skies, warm temperatures, and a good chance of afternoon storms. Winds will be from the west at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Rain should be working its way out of the area by the evening and skies will begin to clear overnight. We'll once again feel the luxury of drier air moving in as a breeze from the north develops overnight at 5-15 mph. Lows will generally be around 70 degrees. Confidence: Medium-High


The work week concludes on Friday with a resurgence of pleasant weather. I, for one, won't blame you for playing hookie. Lots of sun and highs in the mid-to-upper 80s will greet those who do, and the rest of us can stare longingly out the windows. We'll also get to enjoy a refreshing overnight, with starry skies and lows in the upper 60s. Confidence: Medium-high

Saturday has gotten a bit tricky. A fast moving system may come rocketing out of the Plains just in time for the late afternoon, though guidance is all over the place with placement and strength. I don't have very high confidence in that right now though so I'll give it a <20% chance. Otherwise, skies will be mostly sunny, with some clouds late, especially with the approaching system, and highs will be in the upper 80s. Overnight, skies will be mostly cloudy, and the possibility of some more showers and storms remains (20%). Lows should reach the low-to-mid 70s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Sunday we'll struggle to break out of the clouds with a disturbance nearby. We'll have a small chance, 30%, for showers and storms late in the day. Daytime highs, should reach the mid-to-upper 80s. Confidence: Low

By Brian Jackson  | July 28, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Were you caught off-guard by Sunday's storms?


First. Signals mixed. Atmosphere currently appears to be capped, CAPE is low, but IAD Skew-T appears to indicate some thunderstorm risk; energy index is
-3.1. PW is 1.32".

Posted by: Bombo47jea | July 28, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Do you have any indication on the timing of the t'storms tomorrow? Is it looking bad for a 1:30 flight out of Dulles? (nothing we can do about it, but just wondering if it is going to be an afternoon stuck in the airport) Thanks.

Posted by: egengle | July 28, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean that the electricity I just got back 30 minutes ago will go out again??? The CWG should consider a power cast!

Posted by: see1 | July 28, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Are there any signs that the cold front on Thursday will be anything like the one on Sunday?

Posted by: brando3000 | July 28, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse


Expect the storms tomorrow will be later in the afternoon. Flight should be ok.


There is potential for the storms tomorrow to be strong, but unlikely to be as widespread.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | July 28, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@CapitalWeatherGang: from your lips to Thor's ears. Or something.

Posted by: egengle | July 28, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

egengle - have a safe flight :-)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | July 28, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

No dance tomorrow, but an afternoon errand and an evening study meeting. The latter could be at issue if a power outage hits the apartments near Columbia Pike and Court House Road.

Dancing Friday night at the Dulles Hilton and Saturday night at the Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo. The latter venue has no A/C and has been really impacted by the recent heat waves. In addition the Chevy Chase Ballroom has been hit. There was power at CCB Monday night but no A/C. Dancing w/o air conditioning has been a REAL HASSLE this summer at some locales.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | July 28, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

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