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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 09/ 2/2010

Forecast: Hot thru Friday, much cooler weekend

By David Streit

Earl likely to graze coast & miss metro region

* Tropical Storm Warning for VA/MD/DE coast | BeachCast *
* Warmest summer on record | The t'storm and the Battle of Oxen Hill *

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


Sure temps are hot & humidity is higher but I'm anticipating the transformation of haze to beautiful blue skies this weekend.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Mostly sunny and hot. 91-95. | Tonight: Fair and calm. 65-71. | Tomorrow: High clouds and breezy. 88-92. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


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.

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 (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.

By David Streit  | September 2, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Impressive Earl intensifying, turning up coast
Next: Intense Hurricane Earl barrels toward East coast


When was the last time the Mid-Atlantic had a Cat 4 come this (relatively) close?

Posted by: jaybird926 | September 2, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse


Probably Isabel--although it weakened to Cat 2 before landfall and did not maintain cat 4 status as close to land. Not sure what the last storm of cat 4 intensity to be this close to land. There are some signs of that Earl might have peaked in intensity and is starting to weaken.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | September 2, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Is there any hope for rain in the next 10 days. Nothing on I guess we are going straight back to a drought and joining our friends out in the Shenandoah Valley.

Posted by: rocotten | September 2, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

It takes a hurricane to give us seasonal weather???

It looks like we start reheating as soon as Earl is gone. When is this 10+average weather going to stop? We've been overheated since early April!

Posted by: AxelDC | September 2, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately there is little hope for rains in the next 10 days and yes temperatures ratchet back up into the lower 90s next week. Obviously, the weather has not heard that meteorological fall has arrived. A drought is unlikely but sprinklers will be needed for the first half of September.

Posted by: davidstreit1 | September 2, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I grew up around here, and it often seems that it takes a hurricane to usher in the cooler weather. Maybe just a coincidence, because hurricane season kicks off at the same time as the cooling weather. But it does seem that a hurricane passing seems to break up the high that keeps us warm and humid.

Posted by: wiredog | September 2, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Hurricanes sometimes start losing strength once they cross the 30th parallel (i.e., Jacksonville's approximately latitude). Happened with Isabel (but not Hugo!). Earl has just crossed 30 degrees so it will be interesting to see if the storm does indeed begin to weaken.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 2, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

@CWG What are the chances that my flight plans for Friday afternoon won't be entirel messed up? I'm flying to Vegas from DCA through Philly.

Posted by: Bainbridge | September 2, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

How cold does it need to get before we start getting some mosquito relief? We get chased back indoors even during the daylight hours and I am getting sick of it. And no, there are no tires or other sources of standing water around our yard.

Posted by: rightsaid | September 2, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

David, it seems the 7 heat waves we got this summer - most of them are hot & dry patterns, very unusual for someone who has lived here 10+ years. It seems the "normal bad" summer weather in this area is low to mid 90s, high humidity but good chance for T-Storm if it gets too hot. But this current hot & dry weather, likely caused by the "high pressure system" which seems to dominate this summer, is KILLING us.
Any meteorological reasons behind this or is this just luck of the draw?

Posted by: LoudounGeek | September 2, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@Bainbridge, As long as Earl follows the projected path your flights should not be affected.
@rightsaid, The cooler the better to slow the mosquitoe larva development but we won't be free and clear until the first freeze which in DC is not until late Oct/early Nov normally.
@Loudongeek, One of the contributing factors for the heat was the onset of La Nina in the Pacific where waters have cooled dramatically. This sets up a downstream pattern that fosters persistent ridges (high pressure systems) that help maintain the heat.

Posted by: davidstreit1 | September 2, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Loving the cool morning's in the forecast. Nothing like putting the kids in the radio flyer wagon and walking the neighborhood to the local coffee shop, before hitting the playground on a crisp morning!!!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | September 2, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

CWG, I am scheduled to fly over the Atlantic at 6:35pm tomorrow from Philadelphia. How will my flight be affected?

Posted by: apz1 | September 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

David - La Nina makes sense. Thanks.

Posted by: LoudounGeek | September 2, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse


Don't think it will be impacted much. Perhaps minor delays.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | September 2, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Trying to decide whether to go to an outdoor theme park in Lancaster, PA on Friday or Saturday. Friday looks to be very hot and humid, while Saturday looks to be cool and windy. Just how cool will it be Saturday? Too cool to be outside most of the day?

Posted by: markows | September 2, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

My forecast 4 the summer was correct. I predicted temps would b 3-5 degrees above, they were 4.3. Called 4 at least 50 90 degree days, had 52. Called 4 3-5 100 degree days, had 3, & below normal rainfall, only had 5" here in Spotsy, amounts varying between 50 - normal depending on the location.
Fall prediction calls 4 above average temps, 2.5-4.5 above & below rainfall. Expect the 1st half of fall 2 b extremely dry. Really need a tropical sys. 2 break the dry cond.
Winter still looking mild with below snow.

Posted by: VaTechBob | September 2, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Basically, my grade for meteorological summer was B-minus.

The summer has been hotter than normal, with near-records for overall heat, though not for absolute high temperature. The highest temperature was 102F compared with an absolute high of 106F for the area.

Precipitation was near or above normal though the surrounding area has reportedly been rather dry, thus prompting the rather high incidence of "much-needed-rain" whining. Unfortunately a lot of this rain happened as severe storms on dance or travel days, making it "unneeded" by my criteria. It has been moist enough that fireflies have been out on evenings from Memorial Day to Labor Day and perhaps well into September if warm weather continues. Singing insects [crickets and katydids] have been enjoying a banner year this summer as we move towards fall.

Fewer violent rainstorms and more general rain is expected as the weather cools during meteorological autumn. However the continuation of a robust Cape Verde hurricane season could delay the onset of autumn cooling for a couple more weeks or so.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | September 2, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse


Depends on what you feel is too cool... should be a decent amount of sun with highs in the mid-70s. Not cold, but may feel pretty cool compared to what we're used to, especially with occasional wind gusts around 20-30 mph.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | September 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Markows - After this summer swelter, nothing is too cool! I'd find it comfortable laying in a bed of ice naked in January after the summer we've had...

Posted by: authorofpoetry | September 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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