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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 07/14/2010

Forecast: Warm & swampy, just like it should be

By Dan Stillman

* Ball lightning: real or fantasy? | NASA eyes Greenland glacial melt *
* Outside now? Radar, lightning temps & more: Weather Wall *

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


Lingering showers dampen our day, but continue to satisfy thirsty lawns.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Cloudy a.m. with showers around. 30% chance of p.m. shower/storm. Mid-to-upper 80s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. Upper 60s to mid-70s. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny & hot. Low-to-mid 90s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


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.

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): Showers remain likely in many spots this morning, especially for Mont. Co., Arlington & points east, and may include a heavy downpour or two under cloudy skies. Some afternoon brightening should lift highs to the mid-to-upper 80s. Humidity remains where it's been since Monday -- in the super-sticky high range. And the afternoon brings a 30% chance of a shower or storm. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Rain chances should dwindle as we get into evening, as higher pressure tries to exert control. The air mass continues muggy and partly cloudy with lows ranging from the upper 60s in the cooler suburbs to as high as the mid-70s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

How would you rate today's weather? Vote your call for today's Daily Digit (see Daily Digit box above). And keep reading for the forecast through the weekend....

A rainy Cleveland Park last night. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Tomorrow (Thursday): We turn the heat up, and rain chances down. Highs head for the low-to-mid 90s under partly to mostly sunny skies, with only a slight chance of an afternoon or evening shower or storm. Humidity in at least the moderate range should be enough to push the afternoon heat index to the mid-to-upper 90s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Partly cloudy with lows in the 70s pretty much across the board -- low-to-mid 70s in the suburbs to mid-to-upper 70s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High


The work week finishes with a partly to mostly sunny, hot and humid Friday. Highs are likely to reach the mid-90s, with afternoon heat indices closing in on 100 and a 30% chance of an afternoon or evening shower or storm. Friday night lows get hung up in the soupy 70s again. Confidence: Medium

The weekend shows no sign of a pattern change. We're stuck with moderate to high humidity and highs somewhere around the low 90s. With a cold front in the vicinity, Saturday probably brings a decent shot (50-60% chance) at primarily afternoon or evening showers and storms. Shower/storm chances may continue into Sunday, but for now it's hard to put a percentage on it due to uncertainty regarding the location of the front. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Dan Stillman  | July 14, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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My rain gauge recorded 2.5" of rain for the two waves of rain we got last night and into the morning (s. arlington). Also, FIRST!

Posted by: jojo2008 | July 14, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Is the possible precipitation/storms this afternoon affected by this morning's sustained drizzle/mist? I'm downtown and we have an office event outside from 2:00 to 3:30... trying to figure out how much of a back-up plan we need.

Posted by: hils | July 14, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse


Just updated the forecast, and I'd say around a 30% chance of a shower or storm this afternoon. Any activity will probably tend toward being isolated as the afternoon progresses. So you should certainly have a back-up plan, but the odds are tilted toward you being able to carry on outside.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | July 14, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

No rain gauge, but the two downpours at my house last night must have totaled at least two inches.

Why are we running such extremes this year? Extreme snow in the winter, extreme heat and dry for a while and then extreme rain.

Posted by: mhardy1 | July 14, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Hello CWG, can you post a Drought update, the official "Drought Monitor" web site is only updated through July 6?
TIA and these deluges seem to have helped at least in my area of town!

Posted by: drewbird911 | July 14, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Here in Falls Church/Lake Barcroft, got 0.9" in 11pm downpour Monday eve, 1.0" around 8pm Tues, and the 1.0" Weds early morn. So, near 3" in just over 24 hours. I declare my backyard drought concluded!

Posted by: KPosty | July 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Today's weather rating: -2. I felt like I was walking inside of a wet sponge today.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | July 14, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Now, let's see. My lot is around 7/10 of an acre, just over 30,000 SF. A cubic foot of water weighs around 62 lbs. So that 3 inches of rain on my property equates to around 15 lbs on each square foot of land, and 30,000 SF x 15 lbs is 450,000 lbs. Divided by 2,000 lbs per ton is 225 tons of water on my lot.

If my math is right, ma nature in just over a day gave me 450,000 lbs. / 225 tons of free water! That beats running the sprinkler.

If only I could bottle it. One pound of bottled water sells for around 12 cents ($3 per 24 pack), so 450,000 lbs has retail value of around $50,000. Almost makes the property taxes seem like a good deal.

Posted by: KPosty | July 14, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse


We may have some recent rain total info in today's PM Update... check back between 3 and 3:30. Note, the Drought Monitor is updated on Thursdays, though even that update this Thursday won't include any rains we've received since Tuesday morning.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | July 14, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Almost exactly 2" in Hillcrest, DC the last 24 hours. 4" since Friday night. My rain barrels are full, thank goodness.

Posted by: monongahela79 | July 14, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

About 2.7" since Saturday at my house in TP/SS area...

Posted by: weatherdude | July 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I give today's digit an '8' because the weather is just too interesting to ignore. It's fascinating to watch the clouds rolling in out of the northwest. This is much better than 100 degrees with no action whatsoever.

Would have been a '9' were it not for the stinking humidity, though.

Posted by: ennepe68 | July 14, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Great rain totals! I am loving the clouds and rain too... agreed about the humidity really being high and making it far less pleasant. ugh!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | July 14, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Is autumn arriving early???

This morning's windy mist and drizzle seems more typical of mid-October than mid-July. Maybe our summer is over already...will have to see if the heat wave returns.

BTW I was able to get to the dance last night...but had some issues with an ART bus refusing to pick me up and displaying an "Out of Service" sign around 8:15 PM. This is rather atypical of ART but sometimes happens with Metrobus, even in fair weather. What happened was that I tried to board at the local bus stop instead of going down to Columbia Pike & Dinwiddie as I generally do in fair weather. Rain/storms can be messy--it even makes public transit do strange things on occasion.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | July 14, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I just wanna know if VatechBob got any rain at his place. Yesterday's and last night's rains left us with 1.5 inches in the gauge, and we're closing in on 3 inches total from the weekend's storms ...

Posted by: weathergrrl | July 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I just wanna know if VatechBob got any rain at his place. Yesterday's and last night's rains left us with 1.5 inches in the gauge, and we're closing in on 3 inches total from the weekend's storms ...

Posted by: weathergrrl | July 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the double post. computer got hung up ....

Posted by: weathergrrl | July 14, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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