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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/27/2011

Forecast: Storms signal the weekend send-off

Heat builds towards Memorial Day

Holiday Weekend Beachcast | NatCast

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

 
Early sun and warmth bring promise, but storms roll in to foul the ride home/out of town. Warm/muggy, too.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Warm, afternoon t’storms likely. Mid-to-upper 80s. | Tonight: Evening storm risk, then clearing. Muggy. Upper 60s to lower 70s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Shower/t’storm late? Mid-80s. | Sunday: Mostly sunny. Upper 80s to near 90. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Warm and sticky weather remains on the docket as we head into the unofficial start of summer. Today’s mass exodus out of, and through, the area this holiday weekend could be a messy one as afternoon thunderstorms threaten to slop up our always tricky Friday commute. Once we clear this hurdle though, conditions improve. Outside of a few additional storms Saturday afternoon/evening, the weekend provides plenty of sun and warmth, plus the humidity that comes with it. We may have a real scorcher for the holiday!


Radar & lightning: Latest D.C. area 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 (Friday): It won’t be quite as warm as yesterday thanks to a more weakly capped (keeping clouds from forming in abundance) atmosphere and more afternoon clouds/chances for thunderstorms. Still, it definitely feels summerlike. It’s warm and muggy to start the day, and we’ll stay that way as the sun warms us into the mid-to-upper 80s. Clouds build during the afternoon, when we have a 60% chance for a few thunderstorms. Some storms may reach severe levels, with hail and strong winds being the main threats. Winds blow from the south at 5-10 mph, with higher afternoon gusts. Confidence: Medium

Thundercast:

Probability: 60%
Coverage: Scattered to numerous
Most Likely Timing: Mainly after 2:30 p.m.

Tonight: Ongoing storms begin to wane through the overnight hours with a few boomers (30%) maybe putting on a lightshow after dark. Skies stay mostly cloudy through a chunk of the night, and that keeps us plenty humid, with temperatures and dewpoints only a few degrees away from 70. Winds decrease, but keep blowing from the south. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the holiday weekend...

Tomorrow (Saturday): Maybe not the perfect way to start (or continue?) your Memorial Day weekend, but you could definitely do much worse. Skies oscillate between partly and mostly sunny, maybe more partly sunny during the afternoon, and chances for thunderstorms are lower — 30% — but present. Even so, who doesn’t like a little afternoon thundershower once in a while? Highs are a few degrees cooler, though still warm and humid, in the mid-80s most spots. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: After leftover storms diminish, cloudcover begins to follow suit, leaving us with partly cloudy skies by late tomorrow night. It stays muggy though, with lows once again in the low 70s (downtown), to upper 60s (elsewhere). Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday ushers in a bright and sunny 2nd half of the holiday weekend for us to get out and enjoy, as long as you’re not one that minds building heat. Mostly sunny skies probably bump our afternoon highs back up to near 90 degrees, so make sure you’ve got plenty of hydration available if you’re out and about. There’s still likely chances for thunderstorms up in the mountains, but east of the Blue Ridge, we’re more likely to stay high and dry. Confidence:Medium-High

On Sunday night we’re looking at partly cloudy skies and continued warm and muggy conditions, with low temperatures in the low-to-mid 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

For your Memorial Day, burgers and hot dogs won’t be the only things cookin’. High pressure builds over the area and lots of sun leads to our temperatures jumping quickly during the day. Highs should reach at least the low 90s, and potentially mid-90s for some. Luckily, Memorial Day weekend is almost always when pools open up. I’d suggest you take advantage! Confidence: Medium-High

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/27/2011

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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