Forecast: Hot thru Friday, much cooler weekend
Earl likely to graze coast & miss metro region
FORECAST IN DETAIL
By David Streit, CWG Meteorologist
The constant chatter about heat and 90+ days takes a brief backseat to the unnervingly close approach of Hurricane Earl. This storm is a monster and will batter the mid-Atlantic beaches hard on Friday with 10+ foot waves. The region's salvation comes in the form of a strong cold front rumbling across the Midwest, arriving in the nick of time to probably nudge Earl just far enough east to spare the metro area. Not only that, it brings a cooler and drier air mass to grace the holiday weekend.
Today (Thursday): Another day of rapidly climbing temperatures through the morning makes short work of 70s and 80s and has us back in the low-to-mid 90s for the afternoon. Unrelenting sunshine and increasing afternoon humidity keeps the sweat factor high. Light breezes come in from the south at 5 to 10 mph. Confidence: High
Tonight: Clear and calm conditions give no clue of Hurricane Earl coming up the coast. Evening readings still hold in the 80s due to the humid air. Lows only bottom out in the mid-to-upper 60s in the suburbs with low 70s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High
Keep reading for the forecast through Monday....
Tomorrow (Friday): A veil of high clouds should greet the daybreak but it does little to keep temperatures from steadily cruising to the upper 80s to lower 90s. Unless something goes seriously wrong with all the forecast models, Hurricane Earl stays far enough out to sea to keep rain chances low and breezes from the north should not exceed 15 mph. Confidence: Medium
Tomorrow Night: The evening 80s are a little more bearable as breezes blow from the west at 5 to 15 mph. The "great" cold front arrives after midnight and humidity begins to tumble. Lows dip into the mid-to-upper 60s. Confidence: Medium-High
Saturday is a shockingly different day with brisk winds off the Appalachians dropping the humidity steadily. Temperatures forget how to climb, lounging in the 70s most of the day and barely touching 80 downtown. Sunny skies allow some pop up clouds mid-to-late afternoon. Evening readings in the low-to-mid 70s are heavenly. Confidence: High
Sunday has almost a chill in the air with 50s in the burbs to just 60 downtown. Perfectly sunny skies give temperatures a chance to still make the upper 70s to lower 80s but no farther. It is dry, with dew points in the 40s. Evening is yet another delight with low-to-mid 70s. Confidence: High
Labor Day is a great day for that last picnic of the season with readings rising from the 50s at daybreak (except low 60s downtown) to the lower 80s by afternoon. Dry air reigns supreme and skies follow suit with nary a cloud to be seen. Confidence: Medium-High
VA/MD/DE beaches likely take a beating from Hurricane Earl during the day on Friday with wave heights reaching 10+ feet! Do not even think about getting in this surf. In addition, occasional rain showers are possible as Earl's outer bands skirt the coast. Winds may peak at 25 to 35 mph, with gusts to 45 mph during the day and temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s. Some mainly minor flooding is possible, but showers are long gone by evening.
Saturday through Monday
Surprisingly, seas subside on Saturday to 3 to 5 feet thanks to winds from the west. Beware of riptides still likely to linger in the area. Highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s should be the norm through Monday. Lows range from the 50s in Delaware and Maryland to 60s in Virginia. Wave heights are a manageable 2 to 4 feet on Sunday and Monday. Don't forget the sunscreen as bright sunshine rules Saturday through Monday.
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