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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/29/2011

Forecast: Turning up the heat in a big way; record highs could be challenged

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

 
If you like it hot but not too hot, then today's your day, especially compared to the heat on tap for tomorrow.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Partly to mostly sunny. 20% chance of late-day storm. 85-91. | Tonight: Partly to mostly clear. Small chance of passing evening shower. Near 70 to mid-70s. | Tomorrow: Sunny and hot! Slight chance of late-day storm. Mid-to-upper 90s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Heat-misers should love our forecast through at least midweek, with record highs in play Monday through Wednesday. As high pressure takes hold, the sun takes no prisoners (once any morning clouds today clear out) and shower/storm chances through at least Tuesday don’t rise above 20%. Reaching 90 isn’t a sure thing today, but if we do then it’s likely the first of at least four straight days at or over that mark, with a puncher’s chance at 100 on Tuesday.


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 (Sunday): An upper-level area of high pressure building in from the west means mostly sunny skies once any early-to-mid morning clouds clear. Before the high can fully get a grip, though, we do run the small risk (20%) of a quick late afternoon or evening thundershower. Otherwise it’s muggy and very warm with highs mostly in the upper 80s to near 90 and a light breeze from the south. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Outside of the small chance for a quickly passing evening shower, we look to have a tranquil summer-like evening. Skies vary from partly to mostly clear and temperatures remain on the mild side. Lows drop only into the low-to-mid 70s downtown, maybe a touch under 70 in the suburbs. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through midweek...

Tomorrow (Memorial Day): Whatever your plans for the holiday, make sure to take along plenty of liquid refreshment and layer on the sunscreen. It's gonna be a hot and humid one. High pressure keeps skies mostly sunny as the mercury rockets to highs in the mid-to-upper 90s (records: 98@DCA in 1991; 95@IAD in 2006). Just a slight chance that a bit of afternoon cumulus bubbles up into an isolated thunderstorm where you happen to be. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Mostly clear skies may give a false sense of pleasantness as we move into the night. Dewpoints near or over 70 and a still wind make it seem a bit stifling. Temperatures back down ever-so-slowly after sundown, bottoming in the balmy 70s just about everywhere, maybe even upper 70s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

The axis of warmth is pretty much centered over our area on Tuesday. The temperature itself may not reach the century mark - right now it looks like highs in the mid-to-upper 90s, though that could still nudge upward - but heat indices likely will, so be prepared (records: 99@DCA in 1991; 94@IAD in 1991). With high pressure overhead, don’t expect much relief from the sun other than a few afternoon cumulus clouds and the smallest chance of a late-day storm. Tuesday night is another warm and muggy one with mostly clear skies and lows in the 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

Wednesday may see highs come down to the low-to-mid 90s rather than mid-to-upper (records: 97@DCA in 1895; 93@IAD in 1989), but that’s probably only if a weak front approaches early enough in the day to increase afternoon clouds and potentially light off a few showers and thunderstorms (30% chance). Confidence:Low-Medium

A more certain and more significant cool down should take hold Thursday into the upcoming weekend.

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/29/2011

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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