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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 09/08/2012

D.C. area forecast: Damaging storms possible today before a fall preview arrives


Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, p.m. thunderstorms likely. Mid-80s to near 90. | Tonight: Storms end by late evening, clearing. Near 60 to mid-60s. | Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny. Mid-70s to near 80. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10

Still quite warm and humid. Add in a risk of powerful late-day storms and it’s not the best one ever. Get the Digit on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook


Our summery conditions of late are about to be given the boot by a strong cold front. Unfortunately, that means strong to severe afternoon storms are a pretty good bet across much of the area. While this isn’t looking on par with the derecho in June, it has the potential to end up being more significant than many storm events around here. If you’re heading out, particularly this afternoon or evening, please do pay close attention to the weather. When thunder roars, head indoors. The good news is, it’s going to turn amazing once we’re behind the front.

Today (Saturday): We may start the day with some sunshine, though there’s a good chance of clouds as well.Variably cloudy sounds good. Either way, clouds increase as the day progresses, but that won’t keep highs below the mid-80s to near 90. It appears that storms will want to roll off the mountains around mid-afternoon and into the area (80% chance) by late afternoon. With D.C. as an example, the peak period appears to be 4-6 p.m., so a little earlier west and a little later east. This might shift a bit, and a 3-9 p.m. window is favored overall. The main threats from storms should include frequent lightning, gusty winds, and the potential of hail and isolated tornadoes. Rain could be briefly heavy, but should move fast enough to not cause much flooding concern. As with most storms, it's possible some areas in close proximity see vastly different weather, though this one appears to be more widespread than you’re average storm threat. Confidence: Medium

What is the Storm Threat Level?

Tonight: If storms last — or hold off — into the evening, they should still generally be pushing east and south in the hours around sunset. By late evening, we’re probably storm free with a friendlier wind from the northwest taking over. As the night wears on, that wind helps pump in cooler and drier air. Lows might even make the upper 50s in some suburbs, while mid-60s are more likely downtown. Confidence: Medium

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast into next week...

Tomorrow (Sunday): It looks like the front should kick east far enough to get our superb stretch of weather started. Any morning clouds, which I really don’t expect to be numerous, should depart pretty quick. After that, pretty sunny, with perhaps a some additional clouds late thanks to cold air aloft. Add in a nice northwest breeze, and highs in the mid-70s to near 80. Wooohooo!!! Yep, it’s nice day stamp time. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Mostly clear skies and light winds promote another cool night. Good time to open the windows and enjoy some sleeping! Lows reach the mid-50s to near 60. Confidence: Medium-High


On Monday, things are rather glorious. It’s too bad we’ll spend a lot of it indoors at work. Mostly sunny skies match up with temperatures reaching the upper 70s to low 80s for highs. Humidity? Good luck noticing it. A bit of fresh cool air arrives for Monday night, bringing lows down to near 50 in the chilliest suburbs, perhaps even into the upper 50s downtown! Confidence: Medium-High

If you thought Monday’s weather couldn’t get any better, Tuesday may just throw you for a loop. Temperatures in the mid-and-upper 70s under tons of sun. Pinch me! Then try to drag me back indoors.... Camden says: “grab that sunscreen.” Confidence: Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 09/08/2012

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