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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 08/31/2010

Forecast: Heat repeats 'til Friday; weekend cooler

By Matt Rogers

Earl probably misses metro region, close call for beaches

* Code Red air quality alert | No. of 90+ days: 56 (Record: 67, 1980) *
* Hurricane Earl could be a close call | Lessons from Hurricane Katrina *
* Outside now? Radar, temperatures & more: Weather Wall *

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


Yes, it's sunny and it's a dry heat, but it's still scorching and the air quality is unhealthy.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Sunny and hot. 94-98. | Tonight: Clear and warm. 64-72. | Tomorrow: Sunny and hot again. 95-99. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A very large dome of high pressure has taken up residence along the East Coast and it plans to dominate our weather through the balance of this week with sunny skies and dry, hot weather. The lack of air mass movement means that we probably continue with the poor air quality alerts through the work week. Powerful Hurricane Earl makes an attempt to menace the East Coast by week's end, but a sizable cold front is forecast to act like a pinball flipper and knock Earl back out to sea. Then a first-class weather weekend arrives!

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 (Tuesday): Think yesterday. Big high pressure remains anchored over our area. We see mostly sunny skies, highs in the mid-to-upper 90s, light breezes, and low-to-moderate humidity. If you suffer from dry skin, you already know this air mass isn't the best for you. Also, while the light breezes should help, air quality levels are unhealthy as stagnant air sits and bakes. Confidence: High

Tonight: Clear skies with lows ranging from the upper 60s in the suburbs to the low 70s in the city (but we could sneak in a few mid-60s in the outlying areas). Light breezes again. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the Labor Day holiday weekend...

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Forecasting doesn't get much easier than this as the same air mass is in place to give us the same weather as Monday and Tuesday. Each morning should be slightly warmer than the previous morning and this may allow temperatures to inch up another degree or two compared to Tuesday. So highs should be in the mid-to-upper 90s again, but it may feel very slightly hotter. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Mostly clear again with lows in the upper 60s to mid-70s downtown. Light winds. Confidence: Medium


Thursday could find some high clouds around the area, but I don't believe that will be enough to stop this air mass from cooking again. So like a broken record, it looks like mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid-to-upper 90s. And yes, mainly light breezes. For Thursday night, we could see some additional clouds approach due to the offshore activity associated with Earl. No rain is expected though. Confidence: Medium-to-high.

Friday finds us in between two weather systems- a cold front to the west and a moderate to strong hurricane off the Atlantic Seaboard. Tropical systems are notoriously wily, so stay tuned for any track changes. But for now, we are looking at Earl remaining far enough offshore to only offer a few clouds (partly to mostly sunny skies). And temperatures should remain hot with at least into the low 90s. The cold front finally arrives Friday evening, but not much moisture is expected (20-30% chance of showers/storms). Lows Friday should drop into the 60s. Confidence: Low-Medium

The holiday weekend is looking like a winner with cooler temperatures and partly to mostly sunny skies. Highs should range through the low-to-mid 80s, but it could be even cooler on Sunday (highs in the 70s?). Lows should primarily be in the 60s. Friday's cold front "freshens" up our air mass and likely removes the air quality alerts. But if you are looking for rain, you will probably find little through the weekend, so keep watering what you need to water. Confidence: Medium

By Matt Rogers  | August 31, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Piling on more 90s
Next: Core of Earl still likely to stay offshore


Was watching CNN last night and it seems one or more of the computer models is showing the Earl getting a lot closer than
some have forecast. If he wobbles a little more to East off his rhumb line things could get interesting.

last time OC took a direct hit was Labor Day weekend about 47 years ago right.

Posted by: sheepherder | August 31, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Yes, we definitely need to keep a close eye on Earl, but the models are in generally good agreement on a sea-ward turn. Most of these types of storms tend to miss us, but the surf at the beaches will likely be rough either way this weekend.

Posted by: MattRogers | August 31, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Greetings from a sunny but muggy OBX. Thanks for all the Earl info, it sounds like you are pretty confident the storm won't directly hit the OBX, what kind of weather can we expect and for how long? I'm thinking Thursday might be a wash out, how about Friday? How long will we be getting battered by the wind and rain? Oh, any chance they might want to evacuate us? Thanks!!

Posted by: ana_b | August 31, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Hi Ana_b, yes looks like midday Thu through Fri AM should be your threat window. The local NWS may put up a hurricane watch for that area by later today and then maybe a warning tomorrow if they feel it will get close enough. Right now, it looks like you would get the outer bands in the Outer Banks from the weaker side of the storm. Showers and gusty winds to tropical storm strength. But definitely follow the local NWS there for the latest guidance.

Posted by: MattRogers | August 31, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

ana_b - Rumor has it that if you put your ear to a seashell during the hurricane, you'll hear it say 'my name is Earl' instead of hearing the waves. Give it a shot and good luck!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | August 31, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm beginning to think we really, really might need a Friday FedCast for Earl given its projected path. Isabel was on a similar path in 2003 and it was the possibility of tropical storm strength weather that prompted the closure of the Federal government.

Posted by: Hanz1 | August 31, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

For those of us who may be headed to the Delaware beaches for the weekend, is there a link to a site that has projected wave heights starting Friday? And how long might the surf be rough enough to keep beaches closed?

Posted by: jmbethesda | August 31, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey Hanz1, if you don't feel like working on Friday, take the day off. Stop fear mongering.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | August 31, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@HanzB, one difference between Earl and Isabel is the cold front that might push Earl back out to sea. After all the power outages this summer, I'm not up for trop force storm winds. But right now it looks a (relatively close) miss for our region. Earl might be more like Gloria (1985).

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 31, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Hanz1, we're not even supposed to be grazed by Earl. There isn't even a possibility at this point. The FedCast would say "sunny, low 90s with a chance of scattered clouds" for Friday. Not much of a FedCast. Isabel was at least forecast to hit North Carolina.

Posted by: crzytwnman | August 31, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey Jerry, I agree that Gloria might be a better analog, but ultimately, I believe Earl may even go farther east than Gloria did.

Posted by: MattRogers | August 31, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes there is website for local wave heights. I don't have it as favorite here at my office but do at home.

Do a google for the Bethany surf shop? they should have a link

I am thinking 6 to 10ft by late tonight maybe and maybe above 10ft+ for Thurs and Fri. Could be higher but surf won't return to normal until Tuesday. Maybe Monday.

There is nothing more impressive than surfing 14 to 18ft waves off Bethany Beach. In person they are monster waves.
A 10 ft wave is impressive standing on the beach.

Beaches may not be usable until the middle of Sept depending on how much beach erosion they suffer.

Here is a link go to Northeast then Delware and MD beaches

Unless you are a strong swimmer and have experience with rip tides do not go in the water. Swimming parallel to the beach works to get out the rip but you have to be a strong swimmer and be able to ride the waves in. Panic is your enemy.

I love to body surf in this past weekends surf but I know what I am doing after 40+ years of body surfing and surfing.

After today I do not recommend going in the surf.

Posted by: sheepherder | August 31, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"The holiday weekend is looking like a winner with cooler temperatures and partly to mostly sunny skies....if you are looking for rain, you will probably find little through the weekend..."

YES!!! excellent!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 31, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@Matt, concur. Looks like if Earl makes landfall it will be in the Maritimes, certainly not Long Island as Gloria did (although one scenario yesterday did show it hitting the US in a couple of spots).

But we're moving into the 48-72 hour window and right now there is nothing from the NHS that shows this being anything much more than a nuisance storm for the immediate mid-Atlantic/NE coastline and for areas further inland, forget it.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 31, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

If you want to know the actual air pollutant levels -- that is, not just the EPA index -- where can you find that information?

Posted by: Groff | August 31, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hi Groff, I use this wunderground link and scroll to below the forecast to see the actual pollutants. Right side.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | August 31, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

That works. Thanks.

Posted by: Groff | August 31, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Earl is an "Isabel", but maybe a "Belle" [1976] or a "Gloria".

Danielle has been more like "Candice" [again, 1976], though Candice was a far longer-lived storm in the North Atlantic, which ended up terminating a big heat wave and drought in the British Isles that summer. It was so hot in Great Britain during June and July, 1976 that Wimbledon [104 degrees, Centre Court] and the British Open [if I'm correct, one of the few held at St. Andrews without a day or two of typical Scottish adverse golfing weather] were both affected. One of the challenges involving golf in Scotland is that you usually have at least one day of very blustery wet weather even in summer. However the Scots invented golf and usually will play right through the wind and rain, unless thunder and lightning enter the forecast. However, cool blustery and rainy weather generally raises golf scores, something the Scots have historically taken in stride as one of the challenges of the game; it's only recently that factors such as divorce [Tiger Woods] have played a major role in affecting golf scores.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | August 31, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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