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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 09/ 3/2010

PM Update: Approaching front pushing Earl away

By Ian Livingston

Weekend looking pretty awesome

* Hurricane Earl sunset photos | Earl eyes New England *
* Hurricane Tracking Center | Warmest summer on record *
* Outside now? Radar, temperatures & more: Weather Wall *

We've spent much of the day under high clouds from the weakening Hurricane Earl, but an approaching cold front is pushing the storm and its back edge of high-level moisture away. Despite the high clouds, temperatures have still managed to warm quite well -- into the upper 80s or around 90 most spots. The approaching cold front promises to deliver a pleasant, if a little windy to start, first weekend of September.

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.

Through Tonight: As Hurricane Earl departs to the northeast, clouds generally dissipate through evening, though a few more may float by as the cold front (and maybe a shower) passes by. Temperatures drop through the 80s and toward the upper 70s around sunset. By late night, much drier air will begin filtering in and lows should fall to the lower 60s in the cool spots to near 70 in the warm.

Tomorrow (Saturday): Lots of sun, cooler temperatures and dry air infiltrate the area to make this a pretty nice day. The one down side may be fairly stiff winds, from the northwest, up to about 15 or 20 mph sustained with gusts potentially around 30 mph. Highs rise to near 80.

See Camden Walker's forecast through the beginning of next week. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Is this still a beach weekend? Simple answer, yes. While swimming was restricted at many regional beaches today, things are expected to be better this weekend. Large swells and potentially dangerous currents will still be possible, but area beaches such as Ocean City, Md., are expecting few or no issues. Further south in N.C., Gov. Perdue said there was no major damage and urged folks to "have a little fun and spend some money." Though most of the restrictions have been lifted in N.C., some still remain near Hatteras Island due to sand on roadways and minor flooding. If headed to areas such as Hatteras, it is worth checking with local lodging and officials before setting out.

By Ian Livingston  | September 3, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Bingo! Looks like another 90-degree day and yes, I wish we could get some rain here and in Shenandoah Valley. We're about five inches below normal at DCA.

But now 2010 is now only the second year that temperatures have reached or exceeded 90 degrees. And hopefully that 1980 record of 67 90-degree days will stay intact.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 3, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Floyd, I know how u feel, I've only had about 5" of rain the whole summer in Spotsy. Looks like the next 2-3 weeks will be extremely dry & warm, still at least 4-5 more 90 days in the future. Outside chance of setting a new record.
Go Hokies.

Posted by: VaTechBob | September 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Meant to say in above post that 2010 is the only second year that the temperature we have reached or exceeded 90 days for 60 or more days.

And now please bring this region some much-needed rain! I'm worried about my favorite fall/winter snack, Nittany apples, which around here are primarily in the Shenandoah/Cumberland Valley.

And the dairy farmers I talk to at the farmer's markets are having to buy hay for their cows because there's not enough grass for forage. A tough year for many farmers in our region.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 3, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Very sorry to hear of these drought impacts in the Valley :-/

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 3, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Camden, it's really been tough for many farmers; according to the dairy farmers the February snows hit when cows were giving birth, which made it difficult for to even get to the barn to feed the cows. And as noted they're having to buy hay to feed the animals, because there is not enough natural fodder.

The farmers who sometimes speak up about us city dwellers wanting to see weather records broken (and there's not a local snow record I wouldn't like to see surpassed), have very legitimate concerns. In fact, snow caused the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market to shut down twice last winter, once just before Christmas.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 3, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunate to hear all the troubles farmers have faced this year. Fortunately wishing for broken records didn't make it so, it's just been one of those years.

Posted by: crazer | September 3, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Gorgeous colors in the western sky this evening!

Posted by: natsncats | September 3, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Today's high of 91 and low of only 77 = 19 more cooling degree days. YTD total of 1,819 and I now it looks more like the 1980 figure of 2,006 cooling degree days could be eclipsed this year.

Hey, we're not the Imperial Valley (although some might argue otherwise), so turn the heat machine off, already.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 3, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Should be a great weekend at the beach/

As it became clear by lunchtime that Earl was moving away into the Atlantic and wouldn't be a major weather event to land dwellers at this latitude, I left Arlington and drove to Assateague. Weather was fine on the drive out except for some light showers East of Salisbury sometime after 3 pm. But judging from puddles along the road in much of the Delmarva there had been heavier rain earlier.

I got to Assateague by 4 but both State and National Parks were closed due to the high surf. The parking lots around the State Park were barricaded off but I was able to park illegally at the turnaround (where they were allowing folks to just go round to head back across the bridge) for a few minutes and check out the ocean visually from the entrance thru the dunes onto the beach. The waves were quite strong and, while they were crashing below the dunes, their high water froth was reaching well up into the dunes.

I saw the State Park Ranger eyeing my car and getting ready to write a ticket and decided it was a good time to leave. He recommended the jetty / amusement park end of Ocean City as a better ocean viewing spot and I drove over there.

Plenty of people in Ocean City on the beach but no one was allowed in the water. Lots of nice viewing spots all along the beach, the beginning of the pier, and the jetty area. The waves had washed up over the gradient of the beach and into the big parking lot between the amusement park and the jetty side. But the boardwalk was dry and had plenty of folks strolling along and all shops and restaurants seemed open.

The weather (comfortable, mostly cloudy and breezy but nothing remarkable) was nice at both Assateague and Ocean City between 4 and 6 pm. But the surf was impressively rough. The teen lifeguards enjoyed the authority of blowing their whistles at anyone who got anywhere near the water but the decision to close the beach to swimming was completely necessary.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 3, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

It's 11:45 and still in the 80s. Where's that cooler weather?

Posted by: marathoner | September 3, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

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