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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 09/ 8/2010

Forecast: Can cold front knock out 90s for good?

By Dan Stillman

* Rapping weatherman won't be rapping | D.C.'s last August sunrise *
* Outside now? Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall | NatCast *

updated at 8:45 a.m.

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


A little cooler & less humid than yesterday. But gotta save anything higher for the superb stretch that starts tomorrow.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Chance of passing a.m. shower. Turning partly to mostly sunny & less humid. Upper 80s to near 90. | Tonight: Mostly clear. 50s to near 60. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Very low humidity. Upper 70s to near 80. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Yesterday was the 61st day this year of 90 or above at Reagan National. As you may know by now, 1980 is the record-holder for 90-degree days -- a total of 67. 2010 has already beaten out 1980 for warmest summer on record. Do we have a chance at the 90+ record as well? The final 90-degree day of 1980 wasn't until Sept. 22, so there's still time. But with a cold front coming through early today, opportunities for 90+ are looking limited after today, and my guess is we'll fall short of setting yet another weather record in 2010.

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 (Wednesday): A cold front moving through could spawn a passing shower or sprinkle this morning. Otherwise, skies should become partly to mostly sunny with decreasing humidity and highs in the upper 80s to near 90. Kind of breezy, too, with winds from the west near 15-20 mph at times. In other words -- a pretty great day! Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: While daytime temps and humidity may still be too high for some, both should be in pretty much everyone's comfort zone this evening as the drier air locks into place and readings fall through the 80s into the 70s. Skies are mostly clear with diminishing breezes and overnight lows in the 50s (suburbs) to near 60 (downtown). Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Thursday): Breezes from the northwest (10-20 mph) push temperatures and humidity down even more. Highs should max out in the upper 70s to near 80 under mostly sunny skies. Dew points find themselves in the very comfortable 40s to near 50. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: It really starts to feel more like fall with evening temperatures dropping into the 60s and sunset at 7:26 p.m. -- that's 11 minutes earliler than a week prior. Skies continue mostly clear and overnight lows settle in the 50s (suburbs) to near 60 (downtown). Confidence: High


Friday is just as spectacular as Thursday and almost identical -- mostly sunny, low humidity, a bit of a breeze from the northwest, and highs capped in the upper 70s to near 80. Biggest difference from the day before?... we lose two more minutes of daylight with sunset at 7:24 p.m. Overnight lows continue their reign in the 50s to near 60. Confidence: Medium-High

A few minor flaws work their way into the forecast for Saturday. Skies may only be partly sunny instead of mostly sunny. And humidity probably climbs a notch, though should still be quite comfortable. Highs will be comfy as well, likely near 80 or in the low 80s. A shower or two can't be ruled out later in the day as a cold front advances from the west, but I'd lean toward the shower threat holding off until nighttime (even then raindrops aren't guaranteed). Confidence: Medium

The early read on Sunday is for a cloudier and more humid day with a chance of showers and perhaps a thunderstorm -- all courtesy a cold front in the vicinity. The timing of the front is uncertain at this point, and it's conceivable the front could clear out early enough to allow sun for at least part of the day. Highs aim for near 80 or in the low-to-mid 80s. Confidence: Low

By Dan Stillman  | September 8, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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There may truly be light at the end of this tunnel; Acuweather has three days with highs in the 60s listed later this month. After today, the heat should be outta' here, at least for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 8, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

The last time we were developing a La Niña in the Pacific, we saw three days in the 90s in early October. 10/7/07: 92F, 10/8/07: 91F, 10/9/07: 94F.

The one thing that may save us from six more 90-degree days could be a different pattern in the North Atlantic compared to 2007 (North Atlantic Oscillation).

Posted by: MattRogers | September 8, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

What are the chances we have a totally dry Sunday at this point, say from 10:00 am on? I have an outdoor event I would like to attend in Crofton, MD and hope it does not get rained out.

Posted by: snowlover | September 8, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Snowlover, I believe the take on Sunday right now is that they will be scattered showers or maybe storms, but not an all-day washout. The odds of a totally dry day for there are probably at about 30-40%.

Posted by: MattRogers | September 8, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Does the NAO, combined with El Nino, auger a mild, wet winter for our region?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 8, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hi Jerry, we are already on the border between moderate and strong La Niña as of this past week. That leans us drier and warmer for this winter...especially compared to last year!

Posted by: MattRogers | September 8, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Matt, and I meant La Nina. El Nino and the Arctic Oscillation/Greenland Block were so last winter.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 8, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Completely out of left field. I've noticed that temperature readings at Ft. Meade, MD are consistently 7-10 degrees cooler than any of the surrounding weather reporting stations (e.g. BWI, Annapolis). Has anyone else noticed this? Has it ever been looked into? Is it a problem with the reporting devices at Ft. Meade or is there some sort of unique local environment in that area?

Posted by: mickb1 | September 8, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Hi mickb1 - I have long noticed the Odenton MD area to be cooler than surrounding areas. Less densely populated...Ft Meade is also perhaps able to collect cooler air in the slight valley in which it's situated. Also it is between the two core urban heat-islands of DC & Baltimore. All seems intuitive, at least to me. Want to talk about hot spots? We can talk about Culpeper or Fredericksburg VA - our region is uniquely situated on the Fall Line (tides line) between the Bay & Blue Ridge. Can you tell I love observing microclimates? ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 8, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Any ideas on when we'll get back to a more normal pattern with some rain? It's very dry out there now, and as this is the best time of year for lawn repair, I was hoping to get some grass seed down without the need for constant daily watering.

Posted by: FH59312 | September 8, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Is Igor (what a great name!) going to be another fish hurricane? Or will it eventually threaten the Bahamas and the east coast? Or, too soon to say?

If Igor turns into a monster, threatening storm, the wags are going to have a field day.

Glad Gaston tanked; could have created serious problems for Hispanola.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 8, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | September 8, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse


I remember those hot October, 2007 days. I took Columbus Day week off that year thinking I'd get some lovely early October weather here that we usually get and was instead transported back to mid-July for half the week. I was not happy! Luckily they last few days had more seasonal temps and enjoyed the weather.

Thanks for the note about the change in North Atlantic pattern. Maybe we are done with 90 degrees this year.....

Posted by: -pj- | September 8, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Camden!

Posted by: mickb1 | September 8, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Dang, another 90 day, looks like 62 will b the total. Had 61 as my guess but 2day did me in. Fire Danger is now very high, if the rain holds off much longer we will move to extreme in the not 2 distant future. Next 10-14 days looking dry, except 4 maybe a few showers on Sun.

Posted by: VaTechBob | September 8, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

62! 62! As long as there are no more 90+ in the next couple of weeks, my guess holds.

Posted by: crazer | September 8, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

FH59312 - hard to say when our pattern will become more moist. I want it to be sooner rather than later, of course. If I had to make a low-confidence educated guess, I would look toward October. I am also quietly hoping that Hermine's remnants could perhaps (small chance) get entrained in the current East Coast trough trying to build over DC... we'll watch it!

mickb1 - definitely welcome

Can you all believe 62 days at or above 90 for DC?? (groan) - and Baltimore hit its all time high yesterday I think? 55 days at or above 90 this year.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 8, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

We're done with the nineties for a while.

Chicago's seven-day outlook features seventies and the Northwoods, Eau Claire and Rhinelander feature highs in the sixties to 74. On the other hand, low temperatures won't drop to freezing levels up there, although a few areas of scattered light frost in northeast Wisconsin aren't out of the question.

Rain??? Possibly some on Sunday...we get brushed by Hermine's moisture field. Otherwise, the jet stream is not dipping far enough southward for major autmnal rains.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | September 8, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

What's with these dry cold fronts? The last two, despite hot, humid conditions and high dewpoints east of them, produced no rain at all in this area. Are we getting a situation where parallel winds (and warm-air motion)above the front prevent the lifting of the surface warm air in a manner sufficient for clouds and rain?

Posted by: MMCarhelp | September 8, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

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