Most Read: Local

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/17/2012

D.C. area forecast: Maximum-melt, searing heat with relief starting Thursday


Today: Sunny and very hot. 97-102. | Tonight: Very warm. 75-80. | Tomorrow: Very hot with late day clouds, possible storms. 96-100. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


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

I was thinking this was a 1 or even 0, but the humidity is slightly lower than yesterday. It’s still a bad day to be outside. Get the Digit on Twitter| Discuss on Facebook


As we enter the hottest hours of the current forecast period, it is important to point out that this one is not as strong or as long-lasting as what attacked us earlier this month. An imminent cool front is poised to sweep through our area tomorrow night and set the stage for a cooler/wetter pattern on Thursday and Friday. The weekend should clear out, and then we’re back in the more comfortable 80s at least for a little while. In the meantime, brace yourself for instant-perspiration and be careful in that hot sunshine today.

Today (Tuesday): Mostly sunny skies help to escalate that temperature to its highest readings in over a week with upper 90s to low 100s favored. Washington Reagan National’s 102 record may be safer than Baltimore’s 101 and Dulles’ 100 high temperature marks. A light breeze from the west advances slightly drier air into the region, so our dew points should be a few notches lower than today. That still doesn’t stop heat indices from easily getting into the low 100s. Be careful out there. Confidence: High

Tonight: Mostly muggy, mostly clear, and very warm with lows in the mid-to-upper 70s, but I bet the city holds in the low 80s to near 80. Light winds are not strong enough to offer any comfort. Confidence: High

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Our last day (for this week anyway) of searing heat with more upper 90s and maybe some 100s possible. The only thing that could prevent Wednesday from being as hot could be some mid-to-late afternoon clouds and a 30% chance of late afternoon thunderstorms. Recent trends are slower with this cool front approach, so I’m more concerned about hotter results. Also, the winds start to come from a more southwest direction, meaning the humidity will tick up higher. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Rain to the rescue! Showers and thunderstorms likely (60%) with temperatures dropping mainly into the low-to-mid 70s (maybe cooler in heavier downpours). Confidence: Medium


Thursday features a semi-stalled cool front over the area. There should be enough lingering heat and humidity around to push us up into the upper 80s and low 90s. But frequent showers and storms (60% likelihood again) should keep us from holding at the hottest levels for very long. Also, sky conditions range from partly to mostly cloudy. Thursday night sees partly to mostly cloudy skies with more scattered showers and storms (40% chance) as lows dip into the upper 60s to low 70s. Confidence: Medium

Friday is trending wetter with the cool front lingering near or to our south. We now expect partly to mostly cloudy skies with a 40% chance of scattered showers and storms. Highs only in the low-to-mid 80s (a big wow for mid-late July!). Partly to mostly cloudy Friday night with lows in the mid-to-upper 60s. Confidence: Low-Medium

The weekend may find some lingering showers on Saturday morning, but otherwise, improving conditions are seen by midday and afternoon with partly sunny skies and highs in the mid-to-upper 80s. Partly to mostly sunny skies are favored on Sunday with similar high temperatures that are near or slightly below normal. Lows Saturday night dip into the mid-to-upper 60s under mostly clear skies. Confidence: Low-Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/17/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company