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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 09/16/2010

Forecast: Summery today, a little p.m. rain

By David Streit

Gorgeous weekend ahead

* Will hurricanes keep avoiding the U.S.? | Hurricane Tracking Center *
* Outside now? Radar, temperatures & more: Weather Wall *

updated at 11:55 p.m.

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


A little more heat & a bit more humidity; with a late-day rain chance, we'll save the 10s for the weekend.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Increasing clouds & breezy. Chance of late-afternoon showers 84-88. | Tonight: Chance of showers. 64-68. | Tomorrow: Clearing, dry. 81-85. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


By David Streit, CWG Meteorologist

The shower event coming through later today into tonight does not have the tropical moisture that Sunday's weather system did so rain amounts are unlikely to do better than a quarter inch. Don't put away that watering can! Despite the pleasant temperatures today through at least Monday, we are still running above normal temperature-wise (normal high at National is now 79). Hurricane Igor looks like it follows all of the previous Atlantic storms and stays well offshore on Sunday with only some high waves and rip tides at the beach to show for it.

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 (Thursday): The morning is still bright but the approaching front from the Midwest should spread increasing clouds across the area by afternoon with showers becoming possible once we get to about or past 4 p.m. Highs still manage to peak in the mid-to-upper 80s in this amazingly warm year. Winds pick up from the south at 10 to 15 mph and help to pull in a little humidity (dew points up to near 60). Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Shower chances continue into the evening, so umbrellas are a good idea. Due to the warmth, thundershowers are a possibility. Coverage from these showers is expected to be about 60% of the area and amounts will be light. Readings in the 80s quickly fall to the 70s when the showers move through. Overnight lows only fall to the mid-to-upper 60s as clouds are slow to clear out. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through Monday....

Tomorrow (Friday): A few clouds are likely to linger in the morning but drier air moves in on brisk breezes from the west. Temperatures are on a slower climb today and peak in the low-to-mid 80s. Expect a brilliant sunset. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: The drier air really takes hold in the evening and temperatures quickly fall through the 70s; 60s for the late night crowd. Winds calm which keeps the chill minor. Look for overnight lows in the 50s. Confidence: High


Saturday wins the beauty contest with non stop sunshine, low humidity and only a breath of wind. Highs still make it to the upper 70s to lower 80s under the strong late summer sun. Evening remains mild with 70s dominant. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday temperatures are still delightful starting out near 60 (50s in the cooler suburbs) and ending up near 80. A few clouds are likely to zip by in the afternoon from a weak upper air disturbance. Showers might have been possible with this system but Hurricane Igor offshore should actually dissipate the system and keep us dry. Evening temps hold in the 70s despite the earlier sunset (7:10 pm), partly due to the upturn in breezes from the north in the wake of Igor. Confidence: Medium

Monday is a fine day with readings in the upper 50s to lower 60s to start the work week. Sunny skies should be unabated. Highs only in the upper 70s to lower 80s make a lunch break a really good idea. Confidence: Medium-High

By David Streit  | September 16, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Ragweed pollen above average this year


I've been reading CWG for some time now, and I don't quite understand an attitude--not atypical--exemplified in yesterday afternoon's posting: "I mean, (the weather) is pretty great, but after a while a weather lover starts to hope for something a little more "extreme" to talk about."


Like paralyzing blizzards, destructive wind or devastating heat, perhaps? Interestingly, I don't hear a lot of traffic reporters saying, "Yeah, traffic's moving pretty smoothly on 95, but, boy, could I use a 10-car pileup or a tractor-trailer jacknife to perk up my day!" Maybe they just have more tact. Or sense.

It's lovely pre-fall weather. As a result of its tranquility and predictability, however, extremes of human drama and endurance are necessarily precluded. Sorry about that. Let's hope dry conditions at least generate some property-endangering brushfires or something to break up the monotony for meteorological rubberneckers. Fingers crossed!

Posted by: dcreader6 | September 16, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse


Appreciate the comment. But "paralyzing blizzards, destructive wind or devastating heat" are your words, not ours. No one here at CWG hopes for any of that. And in fact, a big reason we are here is to help warn and prepare people for such events.

The sentiment in yesterday's post is that the weather, while beautiful, is also boring. It's no secret weather lovers and many forecasters get more excited about rain and storms and snow than a quiet sunny day. Just as a traffic reporter would probably get kind of bored if there was never a traffic jam to talk about.

But not every traffic jam has to be a 10-car pile up. And not every weather event has to be a "paralyzing" blizzard or "devastating" heat wave. Sometimes it can just be a chance of rain, which gives us a chance to make a forecast that hopefully helps people make informed decisions.

Likewise, blizzards and severe weather may get our adrenaline going, but not because we hope they'll cause hardship or cripple the city. Rather, because they are an exciting demonstration of Mother Nature's power -- which will happen or not happen no matter what a forecaster hopes or doesn't hope for -- and present an opportunity for us to help you plan your life by predicting when and where they will strike and how impactful they will be.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | September 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for your considered response. Two points I think want clarification, however.

First, while "paralyzing" and "devastating" were my words, "extreme" was used by the original blogger. So a "chance of rain" wouldn't seem, on the face of it, to be included in that description, whereas severe weather--and its attendant difficulties--would.

Second, you noted that "blizzards and severe weather may get our adrenaline going, but not because we hope they'll cause hardship or cripple the city." And it was not my intention to imply that CWG ghoulishly hopes for "extreme" weather for the spectacle of human suffering it portends. However, the "blizzards and severe weather" that get your "adrenaline going" also bring with them real, tangible problems for real, tangible human beings. So, while a huge rainstorm may be very non-boring for you, it represents power outages, property damage, flash flooding and even fatalities for people in our area. And I no more understand how that can be divorced from the adrenaline rush you enjoy than I understand how people on this board can hope that snow or heat records will be broken even as other residents of this area are, at a minimum, inconvenienced and, often, seriously and negatively impacted.

Posted by: dcreader6 | September 16, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Lighten up, Francis!

Posted by: DJVA | September 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I am not hoping for "paralyzing weather," but I am definitely suspicious of this delightful weather trend. Normally it's still scorching in September and hot every day of October until Halloween (which is freezing, just to spite your carefully chosen Halloween costume).

What I'm trying to say is, should I still plan a fall trip to the beach or is going to be so darn lovely for the next two months that the seashore will actually be a little chilly?

Posted by: ginniemae | September 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Traffic goes up on the CWG up when a moderate rain shower passes through the region, partly because people want to share their experiences. And that's what I see happening. It's not that any of us relish "extreme" weather, well, maybe except for the very odd blizzard...; ))

Plus, CWG forecasters have a very high degree of accuracy (sometimes bringing us snowaholics back to reality with the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball), and CWG provides a forum for all this.

But I doubt there is anyone who posts here who rubs their hands in glee when a severe thunderstorm or a heat wave, drought, etc. strikes our region. If anything, the posts are more an expression of concern.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 16, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Not sure how much rain will affect us later today--maybe up to a quarter inch if we're lucky.

Thus far this is one of our drier falls.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | September 16, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Definitely dry recently... hopefully the rain does indeed hold together. A quarter inch is at least something :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

But I doubt there is anyone who posts here who rubs their hands in glee when a severe thunderstorm or a heat wave, drought, etc. strikes our region. If anything, the posts are more an expression of concern.

You might want to check some of the posts from this past winter's storms before putting too much faith in that statement.

Posted by: Axel2 | September 16, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Axel, go back and read my post carefully; snowlovers get a pass. ; ))

I don't need to read last winter's posts, because I was an active poster, esp. during February's round of snows. I remember all the back and forth between the snowlovers and those who dislike snow.

A very lively, interesting discussion and no question that people who lost power, were dealing with ice-clogged roof gutters, etc. were having a rough time. Especially those folks in Kensington who were without power for days and were really hurting.

And this summer (and numerous other times this year), the power went out for a lot of us, sometimes because of thunderstorms and sometimes because a little bird must have perched on a power line.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, the great debate of "is it okay to enjoy extreme weather." Of course it is. The thing sun worshippers don't seem to get is that those of us who are weather hobbyists - those who enjoy extreme stuff - DO NOT HAVE THE POWER TO CAUSE IT. Sure, things like blizzards have downsides. But they have positives too, like natural beauty.

I merely choose to take it as it comes, and enjoy the good sides of these severe weather events. And for some reason that gets "normal" people agitated. The fact that I can be happy, running and playing in the snow, while they are downright miserable, makes them angry. News flash - it's your choice to be miserable. If you want to be, fine, but don't expect me to follow suit.

I fully recognize that extreme weather causes hardship. But I also recognize that it happens no matter what - humans have no control - so I may as well enjoy it. Oh, and frankly, I could care less about people's "inconvenience." The level of self-importance in our society is astounding. Contrary to popular belief, the world will NOT stop turning if you miss one day of work or can't make your yoga class.

Posted by: jahutch | September 17, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I am just happy that there are still things (as of this posting, anyway) over which humans have no control. The weather presents itself to us and we have to deal with it. I know sometimes it may cause incovenience for some, myself included, but really, isn't it grand that Mother Nature can say to us: "Oh really, I think not!" It makes one pause and realize just how insignificant in the scheme of things we mortals really are.

Posted by: cgindc | September 17, 2010 4:11 AM | Report abuse

A short note to cap this conversation, one that will hopefully clarify the point of my original posting(s) for those it may have eluded.

What I wrote was not about people somehow preventing extreme weather or really much about people enjoying extreme weather. I simply noted that I found it to be, at a minimum, poor form for the CWG to be wishing for extreme weather, given the hardship, dislocation or even, yes, "inconvenience" occasioned, simply to alleviate their boredom.

And to address, variously, some of the commenters who've shared their thoughts on the topic:

a) Please refer to the comments last February and even last month from those who wanted even more snow or even more 90+-degree days just to, you know, "break the record." Not a lot of "concern" expressed there, just thrill-a-minute desire.

b) The phrase is "I couldn't care less." And aren't you a drop of sunshine?

c) I don't really need to have snow up to my waist or a string of 102-degree days to understand my "insignificance" vis-a-vis creation, so why not enjoy pleasant weather instead?

Posted by: dcreader6 | September 17, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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