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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 08/15/2010

Forecast: Clouds usher in rain chances

By Brian Jackson

* Heat incited storms | Humerous heat | NatCast *
* Outside now? Radar, clouds, temps & more: Weather Wall *

updated at 9:45 a.m. & at 3:30 p.m.

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


Clouds and shower chances dampen the mood.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Mostly cloudy, some showers. Near 80. | Tonight: Cloudy, showers. 72-76. | Tomorrow: Humid, afternoon showers & t'storms. 86-90. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Well, the overbearing heat has broken, so that's good. We've had two straight days with cooler than average afternoon temps. But today, showers threaten what would otherwise be a fairly pleasant summer day. Shower as well as thunderstorm chances stick around through midweek as a lingering front takes up residence in our area, with plenty of clouds and humid air as well.

Radar & lightning: Latest regional 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 (Sunday): Weak high pressure off to the east isn't enough to hold off showers moving through from the west. Rain should be off and on into the evening. We'll be mostly cloudy, if not completely overcast. This keeps our temps down once again to around 80 for highs. Winds come from the south-southeast at 5-15 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: The evening and overnight will be a bit more humid as our moisture continues to increase and the threat (40%) for showers continues through the night. Skies will be mostly cloudy and our overnight lows will be in the low-to-mid 70s. Winds will be from the south at around 5 mph. Confidence: Medium

Not liking 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 (Monday): A bit more sunshine early tomorrow will make for a increase in our heat and humidity to begin the week. But with the heat, we'll also see chances (60%) for some garden variety afternoon thunderstorms, a bit tamer than what we saw last week. Afternoon highs reach the upper 80s to near 90 and winds will be from the south-southwest at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Tomorrow night will continue to hold thunderstorm chances (40%) and I wouldn't be surprised if we were woken up by a few rumbles. We'll stay sticky as well, with mostly cloudy skies and lows in the mid-70s. Confidence: Medium-High


A stalled cold front will park itself overhead Tuesday and Wednesday and it's not going to go anywhere fast. This will provide focus and energy for a 50/50 chance of afternoon thunderstorms each day. Skies will be partly sunny in the mornings and turn mostly cloudy with the heat of the day, and highs will be in the mid-to-upper 80s. During the evenings/overnights, thunderstorm coverage will wane, but there still remains the chance (20%) for some lingering storms. Skies will be mostly cloudy, and lows will be in the mid-70s. Confidence: Medium

By Brian Jackson  | August 15, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Sticky, stormy, unsettled week


Brief heavy downpour in Centreville VA.
It's going to be another DEET day in the garden.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | August 15, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Only 6 days in the 90s in August at IAD so far.
Looking at next ten days only one day north of 90.

So where is this heat wave everyone's been expecting for August in DC? I'm enjoying this weather.

Posted by: LoudounGeek | August 15, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Brief, heavy downpour in Lincolnia neighborhood west of Landmark Mall... Looks like more coming

Posted by: KPosty | August 15, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

A steady, moderate rain is falling in Stafford. I am glad I chose to mow the lawn yesterday evening!

Posted by: david_in_stafford | August 15, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Hoping to walk the dog in what's now drizzle in Chevy Chase -- preceded by heavy rain for about 10 minutes.

Posted by: summerlover | August 15, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the radar loop, it's unclear if the next batch of rain, i.e., the cluster of showers over The Valley, will move directly over DC or pass just north of town. There's also an area of precip to the southwest, so DC (and DCA)could get squeezed out or at most a light shower?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 15, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh, such a nice rain. No wind, no torrents of water, just a nice soaking wetness. My garden says thanks.

Posted by: tbva | August 15, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Friday evening your forecast was for sun through Wednesday. I must find a better source.

Posted by: johng1 | August 15, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Our moderate rain has turned into a monsoon-like downpour. So much for the NWS's forecast for a slight chance of showers today with less than a tenth of an inch accumulation....

Posted by: david_in_stafford | August 15, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

As it appeared would happen the latest batch of precip moved to the south and north of town with not much here in NW D.C.

And now that the rain is moving east of here, the NWS has upped the rain chances to 80%. Maybe that's true for south and NE or town. But in DC, it already appears the rain is kaput and except for a brief heavy shower around 10 p.m., we were left high and mostly dry.

Sundays don't appear to be a day when the NWS does a "Sterling" job of forecasting.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 15, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

'fraid to say i agree w/johng1 about how this sunday-plans-ruining rain was not suppoed to happen. here's friday's forcast for today:

Sunday: Continued pleasant highs in the mid-to-upper 80s are likely. But you'll notice a stickier feeling to the air with humidity back up -- blame a light a breeze from the south. The increased moisture in the air leads to the return of shower/storm chances, but for now only around 20-30%, which continue in that range Sunday night as lows fall back to the upper 60s to near 70. Confidence: Medium

worse yet, here's yesterday's forcast for today:

"Tomorrow (Sunday): As winds change from the east to more from the south (at around 10 mph), we'll feel a noticeable increase in humidity. This southerly flow also causes an increase in cloud cover - applying a light brake on high temperatures which reach the mid-to-upper 80s (instead of 90). A couple spots well west of D.C. (out towards I-81) could see an afternoon shower but most of us stay dry. Confidence: Medium-High"

i mean seriously, what the heck happened?!?! we were supposed to go to a county fair today, but now are probably bagging that plan...

what can you say about the chances of more rain btwn now and say, 5:00, for MoCo (where the fair is)?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 15, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

brian, CWG, other "weather people",
what say you re chances of rain for MoCo btwn now and 5:00?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 15, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Daily Digit tallies: fully 60% of us gave today an 8 or above versus only 20% a 3 or below. Suggests a clear majority of us REALLY appreciate today's rain and clouds after this awful summer.

I'll endure today's humidity as long as it is accompanied by rain!!

Closest Weatherbug station in NE: 3.89" this month to-date, and 5.07" in July. Yeah!!

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | August 15, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Not saying rain is bad (also here in NE), just the forecast. as Walter accurately points out above. I had an argument last night with the wife about leaving all our wettable patio stuff out for Sunday. I said, it is not going to rain, I checked the forecast! She took it in anyway and I got the "I told you so," lol. the forecast was diabolically wrong.

Posted by: johng1 | August 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Walter, Looks like once this batch clears out, we're looking mostly dry for a while. I don't think it will be nice per say, with some drizzle about, but there is a bit of clearing headed our way from the west.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 15, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

thanks brian.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 15, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Looks like our above 80 high temp streak may come to a close in D.C.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 15, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

johng1, I haven't done a thorough check but would guess most people "busted" on today around here. Yesterday was pretty much as forecast, but these marine air masses are always very tricky, especially the kicking them out of the area part.. then you add in a passing disturbance from the west and it's a recipe for missed forecasts. Guidance is typicall very good, at least for building a forecast behind, and was showing highs between 85 and 90 around here today last night and even in the early runs this morning.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 15, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@walter and @johng1

Yes--we missed the forecast for today in yesterday's forecast (and on Friday) and we regret that. Unfortunately, weather forecasting isn't perfect nor are the tools we use to make the forecast (none of the models we use showed appreciable rain for today until late yesterday). No forecast outlet in the area was calling for anything but a small chance of late afternoon showers, and mainly west.

This is simply a case where a couple lines of showers developed in the moist southerly flow ahead of schedule as high pressure moved away. We got the clouds and southerly flow right, just not the timing/intensity of showers. Yes--it's disappointing we missed these details as we strive to provide the best forecast info. However, as this is an imperfect science, every once in a while we'll miss something. Our goal remains to provide the most useful and accurate weather content and, despite the occasional mistake, I think we have a decent track record.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | August 15, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@Ian, so far the DCA high has been 79 degrees at 3:59 p.m., so maybe the streak of 80-degree days dating back to June 9 finally has ended. And hopefully you'll be able to let us know whether this was a record number of consecutive 80 degrees-or-higher days.

Re: weather forecasts, I'm delighted when the SLCB underestimates snowfall (which alas happens far too infrequently). A missed rain forecast? C'est la pluie!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 15, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Update for tomorrow's forecast specifically SE Fauquier County from 4 to 7pm. Goldvein area?

Posted by: sheepherder | August 15, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

It isn't the forecasts that have been driving me away from this website - it is the moronic commenters. Seriously people, you want personalized forecasts? You want error-free forecasts? Those don't exist anyplace, so good luck finding them.

Sheepherder, do you really expect your very own forecast for a three-hour window tomorrow? How much are you paying to look at this site? Last I checked we are all paying ZERO, so your expectations seem a tad high.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | August 15, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

80 at 7p keeps the streak alive, just enough late-day sun. Jerry, the raw data shows 84 in 1872 but on a check the number averages dont match what LWX shows on their site, so I'm not sure about that year anymore. If we throw that out the top stretch is 71 days in 1971. In 2008 we had 68 in a row.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 15, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

@Ian, thanks for your research.

Re: today's 80-degree reading, had a hunch... just came back from a brisk uphill walk and my indoor/outdoor thermometer went up a couple of degrees while I was out. So it looks like we're up to 67 consecutive 80-degree plus days and if Acuweather's two-week outlook pans out, that would be 81 consecutive days of 80 degrees or higher. Arrrgh!

(Having topped 1,500 cooling degree days at DCA, I believe we're fast approaching our annual DCA average for an entire year. I don't have access to have the exact average, so I leave it to you guys to flag this, when and if you think it's worth doing so.)

The past three days have been an all-too-brief interlude in an overheated, overlong weather drama.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 15, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse


No change in the forecast. Decent chance of showers and storms tomorrow afternoon (50-60% chance) in Fauquier during that time.


Good to hear from you and thanks for coming to our defense. We're ok with sheepherder's comment though -- we don't mind helping people with personal forecast requests from time to time.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | August 15, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

you can count me in w/sheepherder (in this one and only circumstance) in that i occasionally ask for a personalized forecast - usually when i'm going to be in charge of children for a few hours was the case today.

though i criticized you for missing today's forcast, you guys are still the best by miles... your up-to-the-minute forecasts/updates are appreciated and relied upon in ways you don't even realize. keep it up!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 15, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the nice remarks.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | August 15, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@Walter, yeah, CWG does a very good job even when the SLCB isn't as flakey as I'd like it to be.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 15, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

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