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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 07/23/2010

Forecast: Super hot... Saturday record?

By Camden Walker

Hot & humid conditions tighten grip on region

* Heat Advisory today, Excessive Heat Watch for tomorrow *
* Did melting ice cause D.C. earthquake? | Hurricane Tracking Station *
* Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall *
* Consec days of 90+: 9; Total 90+: 39 (Apr: 2; May: 3; Jun: 18; Jul: 16) *

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


A little hotter than yesterday & a lot more humid... the digit takes a dive.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Partly to mostly sunny, humid. Upper 90s to near 100. | Tonight: A few clouds. Mid-70s to low 80s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, Oppressively hot & humid. 20% chance of late-day t'storm. Near 100 or low 100s. | Sunday: Mostly to partly sunny. Possible p.m. shower/storm (40% chance). Mid-90s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A. Camden WalkerHIghs 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?

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMapWeather (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 (Friday): Yesterday's brief break from high humidity is gone. Temperatures and humidity surge higher today. By late afternoon, most spots should hit highs in the upper 90s to near 100 with the heat index near 105. (Today's records are 101 at National and 99 at Dulles.) Light winds from the southwest don't bring much relief. Walk in the shade, and avoid strenuous outdoor activity. Hoping for a late afternoon or evening thundershower to cool things off? Chances aren't good -- only about 10%. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Lows may not drop below 80 downtown, which would be a record as the highest Saturday minimum temperature on the books is 78. Only a little cooler outside the Beltway with lows in the mid-to-upper 70s. What a treat, right? Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast into next week. It's got to get cooler, no?

Tomorrow (Saturday): Even hotter and more humid. Highs should be near 100 or in the low 100s. Afternoon heat indices flirt with 110. The records of 96 at National and 97 could easily be broken. Plan to be indoors as much as you can. Light breezes from the southwest offer little relief; they'll likely just feel hot on the face. Late-day t'storm chances continue on the low side, but can't be ruled out -- about a 20% chance. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Keep that A/C on high -- all night. Even after sunset, you'll sweat like you would in the middle of an average summer day. Overnight lows only drop to the low 80s to near 80 downtown, upper 70s in the suburbs. Yes, that humidity keeps a locked grip on us. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday: Mostly sunny skies in the morning could turn partly cloudy later in the day as a cold front approaches. Highs could stop their climb around the mid-90s -- a small victory! It will still feel blazing hot for much of the day, so continue to play it cautious when outdoors. That front means a 40% chance of a shower or storm during the afternoon or evening. Confidence: Medium


Partly cloudy Sunday night with a slight chance of a shower or thundershower. Temperatures remain warm, but not as warm as the previous couple nights with lows ranging through the 70s. Confidence: Medium

Monday and Tuesday may or may not break our streak of highs at or above 90. But at least it won't be quite as hot or as humid. Highs probably reach near 90 or the low 90s with moderate humidity. With a weak cold front nearby, I'd venture to say skies will be partly sunny with a 20-30% chance of afternoon/evening showers or storms. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Camden Walker  | July 23, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Just how hot tomorrow?
Next: Saturday: Perfect timing to set a D.C. record


make it stop...

Posted by: esmith22015 | July 23, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

This weather is teaching me why my late mom loved to get up before dawn in Houston -- you can take care of chores, enjoy the relative cool, and then relax in the heat of the day. Good strategy!

Posted by: rosilandjordan | July 23, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I love summer! Turn up the heat.

Posted by: smirkman | July 23, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Daily Digit of 1???? Its summer, it is supposed to be hot! Daily digit of 1 is reserved for 5F and 40MPH wind, with a wind chill double digits below zero.

Posted by: tychocand | July 23, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the rating of 1. I mean, there is hot and then there is Pakistani-hot.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | July 23, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

esmith22015 - my thoughts exactly

rosilandjordan - good habits indeed. We should take your mom's wisdom for our Houston-like weather here in DC right now. eesh!

smirkman - you are serious, aren't you :-)

tychocand - I respect your opinion. I say this is equivalent to those same winter conditions that make it equally difficult (and dangerous) to be outdoors. Shall we agree to disagree? ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | July 23, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Don't get crazy with the a/c or we'll have a lot more brown outs, and please don't forget about your pets. Don't leave your dogs outside these next two days. If it's code orange for you, it's code orange for them too.

Posted by: lidiworks1 | July 23, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all of the feedback on the digit. For some reason, the code that lets you vote for the digit yourself was omitted. I just put it back in -- so click on the "Your Call" link beneath the digit and tell us what you think!

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | July 23, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I was going to go to the baseball game in b-more. Forget about that...

Posted by: luvdc808 | July 23, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Record blizzards in the winter, record heat in the summer - Can we move on to 2011 now? Agree with all who advise caution for pets. PLEASE do not take them with you to the store and "crack a window open slightly" for them and believe that's enough in this heat.

Posted by: faygokid | July 23, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I omitted the code today - oops :(

authorofpoetry, thanks!

lidiworks1 - good point about pets. I hope everyone remembers that, and to check on neighbors who are elderly and may believe fans are sufficient cooling in this heat. The electric grid seems to be performing much better than our last big heat wave(s) in the 1990s. I am kinda impressed...

luvdc808 - yeah I would be hesitant to attend a game, too

faygokid - 2010 has been a crazy-impressive year, I would agree. Don't forget about the minor earthquake a week ago ;) eesh!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | July 23, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

This may be too far out to consider, but any sense of what type of temperature and precipitation we might see on August 7th? My daughter is getting married that day and I cannot imagine what it will be like if we have conditions like those expected this Saturday. The groom and many guests will be wearing CG dress whites while I will be dressed in a black tux. The ceremony is at 2pm, but we may need to take pictures in the early morning.

Posted by: TheOneWhoHurtsMost | July 23, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Those feet of snow and single digit temperatures seem mighty darn nice right now. I can only hope for a repeat of last winter.

Posted by: cgindc | July 23, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

TheOneWhoHurtsMost - that far out I will have to make an educated prediction for you, based on August 7th climatology for that date. 88F/70F are averages for the date, but we have been running easily 5 degrees over. And our pattern has been for more heat & humidity in almost an 8-day pattern. So: 93F-96F with a 15% chance of a shower. But it could be blazing hot sunshine & very humid till that small chance of shower comes through after 3pm (most days showers are waiting until after 6pm)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | July 23, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"Daily digit of 1 is reserved for 5F and 40MPH wind, with a wind chill double digits below zero."

I respectfully disagree. When it's cold, one can simply put on more clothes and go on with life. When it is infernally hot and humid, it becomes impossible to shed sufficient heat while being active outside, forcing one to retreat to the shade.

Posted by: psilosome | July 23, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I would argue these conditions are MORE dangerous than wintertime. One can bundle up in winter. You can't do the same in summer without facing a morals charge.

I've spent some time walking around Minneapolis in winter time. If you have the right clothes, you're fine. I'm staying indoors.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 23, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting to compare the perils of extreme heat to cold, but my biggest concern this time of year is with air quality. When it's hot, pollutants in the air are activated to form ozone, which can aggravate respiratory problems - especially in the young and old.

My mother in-law has been complaining of problems breathing lately. It's especially troubling given the report just released on pollution from the coal-fired power plant in Alexandria.

So stay cool enough, but try to conserve electricity where possible. The government's Energy Star program recommends putting the AC at 78.

Posted by: WorldCup | July 23, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

What does everyone feel about spending time at a pool this weekend? I find it is always a little cooler near a pool, for some reason. Given this extreme heat, should we absolutely avoid the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. timeframe? Or would we be okay during that time with rash guards, sunscreen, and lots of water? -- CNMD

Posted by: CarefulNervousMotherDriving | July 23, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

All I have to do is think about last winter and then this weather becomes just fine to me! That said I feel for folks who have to work in it or who cannot affort AC etc. Stay safe.

Posted by: soyboy99 | July 23, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I am glad the climate bill was shelved so we can look forward to more 110 degree days every year. Danger is my business.

Posted by: johng1 | July 23, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

This heat is nothing... ;) I'd rather be too hot than too cold. And I'm cold most of the year so I have to enjoy this while I can.

Posted by: rumbly45 | July 23, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

If today's a "one", its time to break out the negative digits for tomorrow!

Posted by: dhb2 | July 23, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

WorldCup - totally concur. Air quality has definitely been a coinciding issue during our heat waves :-/

CarefulNervousMotherDriving - sounds like you're taking appropriate precautions during the strongest sun hours between 10am-4pm. But the level of oppressive humidity combined with hot sunlight may be too much. Play it on the safe side, if possible. Even at the pool!

johng1 - you have a good sense of humor, methinks...!

rumbly45 - you are one of those people who revels in this! Enjoy! I have an officemate like you who always hates when the AC is turned on... meanwhile, I am sweating by the time it hits 78 degrees in the office. oof! But glad someone can enjoy :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | July 23, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

dhb2, you are funny & apt. Luckily I am not in charge of tomorrow's digit. I would score it a "0" at best--indeed.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | July 23, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse


as for this heat? You think it's bad? Well, maybe I'm used to really tropical climates, like Laos-so I don't mind this at all-I think 90 degrees feels lovely, and anything below 75 is COLD!

Posted by: Spring_Rain | July 23, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Heat is replacing rain as a dance threat this weekend...two of the Gottaswing venues at Glen Echo [the bumper-car pavilion and the Spanish Ballroom] are NOT air-conditioned, nor is there winter heating. In winter the dancers can provide body heat, now, only fans are available.

As for Sunday, my afternoon trail hike is imperiled by the heat and the afternoon rain threat; looking ahead, moisture from Bonnie might be here just in time to mess with my trip to the Tuesday night dance. As usual for this summer, whenever I have a free evening, nothing happens; when I have a dance or errand on schedule, lightning and downpours threaten.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | July 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Hi CWG -- A question -- Just anecdotally, it seems to me that whenever we've had a really extreme summer or winter, an equally extreme winter or summer would immediately follow. (I noticed this growing up in the Midwest, too.) So last winter -- blizzards and record-breaking snow; this summer: super-intense heat and humidity. When we've had a boring winter (weather-wise), an equally boring summer seems to tend to follow, and vice versa. It's like the weather wants to maintain some sort of overall equilibrium. Is there any scientific basis for this observation, or is my brain inventing a pattern that really doesn't exist?

Thank you for everything you do, btw -- this is an incredibly informative site and I consult it nearly every day.

Posted by: kate_nagy | July 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Although I liked having time off from work in Feb, I prefer summer. I've heard tell of it being 111 in Phoenix in April.

Posted by: ronjaboy | July 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Remember when the northeast was in the grip of winter and we had the big snows- Rush Limbaugh was using that transient weather pattern to tell the the legions of brain-dead right-wing death merchants that global warming is a hoax. No mention of it now. Surprise, surprise.

Republican Conservatives have done more damage to the USA than all of the terrorists and all of our enemies throughout history combined. Don't allow these scum to go unchallenged in the media on the street over the dinner table or anywhere else!

Posted by: CheneyinChains | July 23, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

DC hot ? Nahh. 96/68 gives heat index of 101.

Come to KC ... where the dewpoint is 80 and the heat index is 111 (and rising).


Posted by: gregpostel | July 23, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Bring it on - it's summer!

Sounds like an ideal day for some shade, a hammock and an adult beverage or three . . .

In too short a time period folks will be crabbing about how cold it is.

Posted by: palmtree2001 | July 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, funny that we don't see Jim Demint (who built that igloo in front of the Capitol this winter to make fun of the scientists who are telling us about climate change, apparently confusing precipitation with temperature) talking about this heat wave much.

What a dangerous element the Republican party is in this modern age.

Posted by: B2O2 | July 23, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@Camden -- sorry to burst your bubble, but one reason the grid is doing so well is that the economy isn't up to speed yet. If this were a boom year, regional grids could have broken records several times this summer.

Posted by: kperl | July 23, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Samuel Clemens (a/k/a Mark Twain) once wrote, "Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."

Assuming the grid doesn't blackout or brownout (what engineers call "graceful failure"), and in consideration of the fact that houses are not designed to work without HVAC, one thing people can do is LOWER THE FRICKIN SHADES.

Posted by: TechConsultant | July 23, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

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