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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 09/ 3/2010

Forecast: Earl passes by, then cooler air rushes in

By Camden Walker

Friday's heat gives way to an almost autumnal weekend

* BeachCast | Hurricane Tracking | Storm coverage: *
* Warmest summer on record | The t'storm & the Battle of Ox Hill *
* Outside now? Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall *
* Later this a.m.: the latest on Earl & its impacts on the beaches *
* Number of 90+ days: 59 (Record: 67, 1980) *

(updated at 8:30 a.m., originally posted at 5 a.m.)

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


Another 90-degree day possible and a tad humid. Not to mention Earl too close for coastal comfort.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Partly sunny - isolated showers early. Near 90. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. 60s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, refreshing & breezy. Upper 70s to near 80. | Sunday: Yet another beauty. Mostly sunny. Upper 70s to near 80. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A. Camden WalkerAside from a lone shower or two, the D.C. area escapes any wrath from Hurricane Earl, finally catching a break in this year of crazy weather. Our coastal neighbors & friends are not as lucky, though fortunately Earl is significantly weakened from yesterday's Category 4 status as it brushes the Eastern Shore on its way up the coast today. Locally, it's more of the same for one last day today -- hot & sunny. But then, WOW, we get almost a full taste of autumn this holiday weekend with highs in the upper 70s and 80s. Enjoy it, because warmer stuff probably returns next week.

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 (Friday): Same ol' same ol'. Despite showers and winds around and east of the Chesapeake Bay associated with Earl, here in the D.C. area we'll just see an isolated shower or two early and then heat up under partly sunny skies. What a difference 60-100 miles makes, I suppose. We probably won't even have much in the way of a breeze -- so near 90 will feel pretty warm. Moderate humidity remains one more day, creating that slightly sticky feeling we've all gotten used to. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: As Earl pulls well away from the area, we're partly cloudy as a cold front comes through. It'll be difficult to squeeze even a lonely shower out of this front. Window-opening weather is coming but maybe not quite yet, with lows only down to the 60s. If for some reason you venture out before sunrise, you'll notice a palpable drop in humidity. Confidence: Medium-High

How do you rank this last day (for now) of summer heat? Vote your call for today's Daily Digit (see Daily Digit box above). And keep reading for the forecast into next week...

Tomorrow (Saturday): A slight chance of an early-morning shower. Otherwise, we'll wake up to a completely different season outside. Mostly sunny skies and splendidly low humidity feel great with highs only in the upper 70s to near 80. Earl will be far north & east of us, but perhaps enhancing our winds that are mainly due to the cold front passage. Winds from the west could gust 20-30 mph at times before decreasing later in the day. The winds make it a borderline day for a Nice Day Sun. Check back tomorrow for the final call on that. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: The evening should feel very nice -- a bit crisp even -- with calming winds and temperatures dropping into the 60s. Overnight, lows reach the 50s, even downtown! Coolest suburbs could dip to the low 50s to near 50. Skies stay mostly clear. Consider opening the windows! Confidence: High

Sunday: Ahhh. Again it will be mostly sunny and comfortable, this time minus the wind. A great day for almost anything outdoors. Just don't forget the sunscreen (don't be deceived by the cooler temps; the sun remains strong until the equinox later this month). Morning temperatures rise through the 60s and into the 70s, with afternoon highs in the upper 70s to near 80 again. The air will have so little moisture in it that the heat index may be a few degrees below the actual temperature. Confidence: High


Sunday night is another great night for a barbecue. Mostly clear with evening temperatures falling into the 60s. Winds should be light with overnight lows mainly in the 50s, maybe near 60 in the warmest parts of downtown. Confidence: High

Labor Day should be a great ending to our 3-day weekend. Humidity will still be low with highs in the 80s (generally at least a few degrees warmer than Saturday and Sunday). Don't see any chance of rain. Enjoy celebrating the "end of summer" in style and with little worry. Confidence: Medium-High

Tuesday may very well see the return of summer weather, perhaps adding on to our 90-degree day count and a little more humid, too. Highs could reach the low-to-mid 90s under partly to mostly sunny skies. Ooof. Joggers and outdoors people will want to watch the air quality. At least our heat reprieve coincided with the long weekend, right? Confidence: Low-Medium

By Camden Walker  | September 3, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Earl eyes New England after lashing N.C.


Showering here between Gaineswille and Manassas enough to clean the bus windshield.

Posted by: eric654 | September 3, 2010 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Today (Friday): Same ol' same ol'. Despite showers and winds east of the Chesapeake Bay associated with Earl, here in the D.C. area we'll be baking under partly to mostly sunny skies. What a difference 100 miles makes, I suppose.

Radar shows Earl showers WEST of Fairfax County. Last time I checked Fairfax County wasn't east of the Chesapeake Bay. You might wanna revise that forecast.

Posted by: rwalker66 | September 3, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Gotten used to the heat, can do without the humidity and ready to take the fall. Looks like we have about 10 more days before "real" fall arrives.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 3, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

As much as I love thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain I guess its better that this storm stayed further to the east because we don't really need the power outages and distruction. The sunshine and cooler air on Saturday will be so nice.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | September 3, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

It appears Earl is giving the metro area a little smooch before running away. The last several frames of the satellite seem to show him bouncing off of the continental airmass and changing to a NNE course. Isn't it amazing we have this size of a 'cane just off the coast and we'd barely even know it were it not for the news?

As much as I'd like the rain, glad to see this one walk on by... we don't need any more power outages up here in Montgomery County.

Here's a good collection of satellite images from a SC station.

Posted by: dprats21 | September 3, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

I realize that this weekend's temps are going to feel nice compared to some of the temps we've had this summer, but I still think calling it "almost autumnal" or "a completely different season" is a bit of a stretch. Anytime the temps are at or near 80 it's summer to me. To be fall-like the temps this weekend would have to peak around 70 and that looks unlikely to happen.

Posted by: wanker16 | September 3, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse


Admit we missed the isolated showers that briefly touched a few spots well west of the Bay. Earl seems to have thrown back some bands a little further west than we anticipated. Radar looking mostly clear now, but not out of the question a few more showers reach into the region. Forecast tweaked.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | September 3, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I've heard it mentioned many times on here that September can see very hot days, such as those mid-90's we've had to contend with most of this summer. But it is the humidity that is my concern...I can deal with mid-90's for a few more weeks, but the humidity zaps me. So, when you speak of the potential for high temps, are you also speaking of the potential for July-like nastiness?

Posted by: authorofpoetry | September 3, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I see in your forecast CWG no rain thru Wed., in Moco that means at least 12 days have passed with no rain. Getting pretty dry out here. Any ideas on when next rain drops might fall?

Posted by: VikingRider | September 3, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

authorofpoetry - nothing like July. It will be very warm, possibly, this month--but climatology indicates it is MUCH less likely we will have dewpoints in the mid-to-upper 70s like we had in July :-) small victories.

VikingRider - I know the dryspell has re-established itself. I am hopeful, but not confidently optimistic, rain may fall before next weekend. The atmosphere is changing modes to Autumn (slowly but surely) and this should bring a couple cold fronts are way, which should spark showers. Really want some rain, too.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm w/dprats, I know we need the rain but I'm glad this one is passing us by.

It can rain all next week if it wants to, just keep it at bay the week of the 11th to the 18th when we're going to VA Beach!!

Posted by: wadejg | September 3, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Would someone please go over to the WashPo newsroom and tell the reporters that Hurricane Bob in 1991 wasn't "the last hurricane to threaten the East Coast." Floyd, Dennis, Isabel, hello?

Seriously, it makes the paper seem so amateurish.

Posted by: Russolini | September 3, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Would someone please go over to the WashPo newsroom and tell the reporters that Hurricane Bob in 1991 wasn't "the last hurricane to threaten the East Coast." Floyd, Dennis, Isabel, hello?"

Yes, last time I checked North Carolina was on the East Coast, and that state was brutally hit by Hurricane Fran in 1996 and Floyd in 1999.

And Isabel in 2003 was a hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm as it passed over the DC area, and many of the Post's readership aren't likely to forget it, particularly those Pepco customers who had to endure that utility's typically pathetic response to major storms (I was lucky in that I lost power only briefly, if at all, but some were without it for up to a week.)

Posted by: mkarns | September 3, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Having been through many hurricanes, including significant events, such as a typhoon in Taiwan in the 70's (can't remember the year, I was a child, but boy do I remember the storm!) and Hurricane Andrew I realize how serious hurricanes can be and don't mean to make light of the situation but... that said...
I miss hurricane parties.

Oppressive summer days stink. Looking forward to this weekend :)

Posted by: Snowlover2 | September 3, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

My guess from Washington Post using Bob as an analog, is the sheer number of people along the East Coast that it is/could effect. The skirting nature along the entire East Coast of Earl.. is like Bob. There are many similarities. But I know where you all are coming from. Just remember from Washington to Boston is the heavily populated Megalopolis of the U.S. - that is important to consider, right? Very few hurricane effect population in that corridor.

Snowlover2 - this weekend is going to be amazing. I miss hurricane parties too ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 3, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually Fran and Floyd directly hit us during the late 1990's with plenty of rain during September. More recently, Ivan [which then backtracked to the Gulf] caused numerous thunderstorms and a tornado or two in the Dulles/Chantilly area. Ivan was the last such storm to keep me home from a dance due to tropical rain and windy weather. We were east of Ivan, in the sector which gets more violent weather.

What's interesting here is that Earl keeps losing steam while out to sea while some historic East Coast storms [e.g. 1938 Long Island Express, 1955 Connie, 1954 Hazel and Carol] seem to have maintained their intensity around our latitude and farther north. What's going on??? Is sufficient ocean warmth the only factor involved? In fact, as posted recently, Hazel maintained plenty of intensity even inland while moving north and actually regained some strength over the Great Lakes while moving north into Canada. I suspect there's more than just warm water involved, especially in a case like Hazel. If I'm correct, Hazel was "going extratropical" even while heading into a frontal trough overland.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | September 3, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

In addition, I've had no rain, not even sprinkles, here near Baileys Crossroads.

I suspect that those rain bands observed over Fairfax County and other areas west of me on radar were not reaching the ground.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | September 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

we gonna make it to 90 today?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | September 3, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch - hey I think more than 50% chance of hitting 90... we are close... clouds should break some... fingers crossed ;) [i.e. I didn't see these clouds sticking around this long - fascinating how much Earl changed the atmosphere overhead today... I don't think anyone expected the clouds & sprinkles near dc. sigh. :) ]

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 3, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

thanks camden. i'll still gunning for that 68 90 degree days record. i love the idea of breaking snow records and heat records in the same year.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | September 3, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Camden, hopefully we can make it up with a blizzard party! (fingers crossed)

Posted by: Snowlover2 | September 3, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

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