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

Forecast: Stifling heat, strong storm risk

By David Streit

Foul weather banished for the weekend

* Heat Advisory for entire area 11 a.m. thru 8 p.m. *
* The great weathercaster switch | Heat records falling left and right *
* Send in your sunset photos | Stay cool with a CWG T-shirt *
* Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall *
* Number of 90+ days so far in 2010: 45, Record: 67, 1980 *

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


As if the heat & humidity weren't enough, throw in the chance of a severe t'storm for bad measure.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Very hot & humid. Late afternoon t'storms. 93-98. | Tonight: Showers end early. 69-74. | Tomorrow: Sunny, drier. 89-93. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


By David Streit, CWG Meteorologist

Just get through today somehow and the weekend will be your reward. Temperatures are likely to outdo yesterday and humidity hangs a steam bath on the area. And a line of strong to severe thunderstorms may come just in time for afternoon rush...ugh. Conditions improve markedly Friday and get downright nice on Saturday and Sunday. Heat and humidity won't start to sneak back until Monday.

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 (Thursday): With humidity already in place, the morning should be no treat with temperatures hovering around 80. The only salvation would if the morning's thick cloud deck persisted into the afternoon. But this is not likely as a fair amount of sun should push highs into the mid-90s and perhaps upper 90s south of town. Thunderstorms, which harassed the Midwest through the western fringe of our area yesterday, are likely to pass through the region just at the peak of the heat in the late afternoon. A few of the stronger storms could produce damaging wind gusts. The probability of thunderstorms is 70% and severe chances are 30%. Keep an eye on the sky. Confidence: Medium

Probability: 70%
Coverage: Scattered to widespread
Likely timing: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tonight: The area should be free and clear of the storm threat no later than 9 p.m. Don't expect humidity to depart rapidly but it will drop. Evening temperatures should be in the low-to-mid 80s thanks to the rain cooling. Skies clear by midnight and lows make it all the way down to upper 60s and lower 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through Monday....

Tomorrow (Friday): Lots of sun and a lot less humidity make this a much better day to be out and about. But the cooler air in Canada is only begrudgingly sliding toward the area so highs will still manage the upper 80s to lower 90s. Breezes will be light from the northwest. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Temperatures rapidly fall through the 80s and into the upper 70s for evening activities. The blessings of lower humidity are strongly evident. Lows end up in the 60s to near 70 downtown. Confidence: High


Saturday brings the best out in a D.C. summer day. Blue skies, low humidity and highs only slowly reaching the mid-to-upper 80s. A great day to be out and about and a super evening with readings in the mid-to-upper 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday is almost as good as Saturday. Start with readings in the mid-to-upper 60s, throw in a pinch more humidity, a smattering of cumulus clouds and an extra degree or two and you have the recipe for another very pleasant day. Highs top out in the mid-to-upper 80s. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday is no cause to complain. Morning dawns with upper 60s to lower 70s and pushes up to upper 80s and lower 90s by mid afternoon. Sun still reigns supreme with only the typical pop-up scattered afternoon clouds. Humidity starts to become more noticeable but is nothing compared to what lies ahead later in the week. Confidence: Medium

By David Streit  | August 5, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Looks like winds will be light both weekend days: NE on Saturday, SE on Sunday, aoa 5kt both days. Still, hope springs eternal - CWG, is there any chance for something sustained at a little bit better than 5? If not, I guess I can stand a maintenance weekend...

Posted by: --sg | August 5, 2010 5:40 AM | Report abuse

Yes we are pretty much in the dead zone for breezes this weekend. Looks like maintenance may be on your agenda...or a very slow ride.

Posted by: davidstreit1 | August 5, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Is it me, or was the humidity lower and the air just a bit cooler than expected this am? And do you think the storms will be gone by 6ish? Doing a fundraiser outside tonight and debating needing to postpone.

Posted by: hereandnow1 | August 5, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

@ hereandnow1: You may be right about the slightly lowered humidity this morning for two reasons-

1) The dew point was in the upper 60s instead of lower 70s like yesterday, and
2) My glasses didn't fog up when I stepped out of the air conditioning :)

To second your question... CWG, I am planning on kayaking a stretch of the Potomac this evening; any chance the storms are gone by 6:30 or 7? Your input is appreciated.

Posted by: Sterlingva | August 5, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

So there's no chance of storms tomorrow around say, 2:30pm? I'm flying out of BWI for the first time in a year (after a very bad experience with a 9 hr weather delay), and I'd hate to possibly have another one! Just tell me there will be clear skies and I'll be a happy camper!

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 5, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

First, yes it is not as hot or as humid as expected this morning. The clouds are helping on the temperature side and the humidity dropped when that non-producing band of storms blew through last night. Unfortunately both will rise during the day. As for storm timing, the window of opportunity is still 2 pm to 7 pm but I do believe the most likely push through here will be in the 4 to 6 pm time frame. I don't think the flight should be delayed but would hesitate about activities outdoors early this evening.

Posted by: davidstreit1 | August 5, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

CuseFan07, I too hesitate to go "way up" to BWI for flights. Ugh. I live & work around Metro Center, you too? BWI feels like a major trek. But sometimes the $100+ in savings can be enticing ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | August 5, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

This is what we missed yesterday when the storms fell apart. All three transmission towers at station WWVA in Wheeling, WV were toppled by the winds.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 | RSS




Click Here to see the pictures. We'll have more on Thursday.

Posted by: MKadyman | August 5, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse gosh

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | August 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Here's a question for all you weatherbugs: why isn't the air quality today Code Orange or Code Red? It's certainly disgustingly hot and humid. Is it because of the recent rainstorms that have cleared the pollutants out of the air?

Posted by: csdiego | August 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I had an off site meeting around Gallery Place. As of 10:30 am, the heat and humidity were still tolerable. That may change. I'll go with the flow regarding evening activities, although I did not bike commute to work, following my 40 percent of better chance rule.

BWI is much better than either of the two area airports. I'll gladly drive up there and pay $8 to park for a short trip or sukc it up and go from Braddock / Greenbelt / $6 B30 Bus than deal with the other two. Or one, I don't go places before I fly out of Dulles.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | August 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@Camden - I actually live in Silver Spring, but BWI is still a bit of a trek. The prices to Boston can't be beat though, and I travel up there about once a month. This will be the first flight in a year though - I drive every time! Fingers crossed for an incident free flight to Boston and back on Monday morning!

I was so excited about that storm last night - I moved my car three times to parking spots not under trees (car got smushed by falling tree last year!) and then... nothing. What a bummer! I missed the big 7/25 storm, just waiting for a good storm. Maybe today?

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 5, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Chiming in on BWI: I live in BURKE, and I don't mind BWI a bit. Easy in-out; the parking's great. Yeah, it's a drive, but National is just a nightmore, and Dulles isn't a heck of a lot better. Dulles WILL get better, but for now, BWI is fine.

Posted by: Gunga2009 | August 5, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Problem with BWI is...Metro doesn't go up there! Perhaps Metro should extend the Greenbelt Line to BWI...then you could go Washington/Baltimore & back completely by mass transit! Baltimore's subway goes to BWI and you could then transfer direct between the two systems if Metro went out to BWI.

But don't expect Metro to do this soon--they're already so ham-handed the way they handle everything from fare increases to safety issues to system planning. I'm NOT buying a SmarTrip card until Jan. 15, 2012--you have to replace your "regular" card with a "senior" card when you turn 65! Frankly it would be SO MUCH BETTER to have one "lifetime" SmarTrip card which has your DOB encoded on it--the day you turn 65 the card would deduct your proper senior fare! As it is, they couldn't even get the current fare increases coded right in the system. Why not simplify the fare to, say, a base Metrobus fare of three dollars even? How many of us want to spend all our time digging for coins when the base fare is $2.65 per trip???

And...this does not cover the anticipated Metro response to a major weather event...something like the flash floods Chicago and Milwaukee have been having...

Posted by: Bombo47jea | August 5, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Severe tstorm watch may be issued soon for DC/VA/MD during the afternoon into early evening, stay tuned.

Posted by: afreedma | August 5, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy! WGN once again has pulled Tom Skilling for yet another White Sox game! Weather still gets short shrift for baseball!

At least they've got news at ten PM. No funny home videos tonight. Last night was a surprise...they like to do this whenever one of their movies runs overtime. At least Channel 5 does the news a half-hour late whenever a late movie overruns.

One reason I like WGN's news relates to what I just posted above...I can get news on how CTA responded to the flash flooding.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | August 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"I was so excited about that storm last night - I moved my car three times to parking spots not under trees (car got smushed by falling tree last year!) and then... nothing. What a bummer!"

I was so excited because I was rushing to clean out my gutters and would have really liked a heavy rain to "finish" the job. I didn't miss the 7/25 storm - that was the one which produced a really incredible and impressive waterfall over my gutters off my back porch...hence the gutter cleaning activity [well that and the mini trees growing out of the gutter]. Normally i use the hose to do this but in the rush to get it done before the line of storms arrived, I opted for the hand scooping/getting really mucky method.

On a different topic, I might have missed it but how does stable air cause a line of storms to break up? And just what is 'stable' and 'non-stable' anyways, technically speaking?

Posted by: amaranthpa | August 5, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Another prop for BWI, for whatever reason, I flew to Boston on AirTran Dec 23 last year, yes two days before Christmas. Not only did I get through security in five minutes, but there were 20-25 unfilled seats when we took off. No overbooking worries.

Back to the subject, I have not been outside since 10:20. Haven't even been able to check and see if the clouds have roared in. If we get storms I hope for rain, not hail.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | August 5, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@amaranthpa I'm glad to see someone else had a reaction like I did! I am completely paranoid about trees falling on my car (again) and there are a very limited amount of parking spaces available at my apartment complex that aren't covered by trees - I watched like a hawk from my balcony and when a spot opened, I zipped outside and moved my car to it. The neighbors think I'm nuts.

I missed the 7/25 storm (was following it from Boston - got excited and then quite worried when I saw the tornado warnings - visions of trees through my car dancing in my head). I missed the earthquake. I keep missing stuff! Gimme a good storm please!

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 5, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

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