D.C. area forecast: Muggy with off and on showers today, weekend much cooler

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the days weather, on a scale of 1 to 10.

4
Bad enough that we still have the humidity but now we have to dodge showers/thunderstorms to boot.

Express Forecast

Today: Scattered showers/p.m. t’storms. Highs: 80-84.

Tonight: Showers/t’storms linger into evening. Lows: 61-65.

Tomorrow: Cloudy and windy with morning showers possible. Highs: 66-70.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


Radar & lightning:Latest regional 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 is unlikely to be a panacea for those seeking persistent, heavy rains as a widespread soaking is no guarantee. For the “I hate humidity” crowd, no luck either, but at least it’s not quite as hot as Wednesday.

The real problem is what to do with Saturday. The European model is wrapping up an upper level storm in the vicinity that would keep us socked in with clouds and quite cool. Yuck! The American model is still bringing out the sun by Saturday, so fingers crossed.

I have a BeachCast at the end of this forecast, but with highs struggling to make 70, windy conditions and clouds slow to pull out, you may not want to read it!

storm threat

Today (Thursday): The sun takes it time in making a morning appearance with lots of clouds.  There is a chance for a shower at just about any time of the day, but the most likely time comes in the afternoon If the clouds break, allowing the atmosphere to warm and become more unstable, a few strong thunderstorms can’t be ruled out. About 80 percent of the area should get wet before the day is done.  Humidity is still palpable and with highs topping out in the low to a few mid-80s, cue the whining. Winds are brisk coming from the south at 10-20 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms remain likely (90% chance) through the evening. Some may produce heavy downpours. Daytime and evening rainfall amounts will be highly variable depending on where localized downpours materialize, but should average out around 0.25 inches (locally heavier and lighter amounts are a given). Winds come from the southwest at 10-15 mph, gusting to 30 mph. Things quiet down after midnight with lows reaching the low-to-mid 60s. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Friday): Our weather world turns upside down with winds switching to come out of the north at 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph. Highs will struggle to make 70. A few lingering showers are still possible before noon under cloudy skies (40% chance). Breaks in the clouds are possible by late afternoon.  Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Clouds continue to fly by, winds continue to gust out of the north and temperatures take a fall. 60s in the evening should be enough of a shock but lows in the 40s promise to be an eye opener come Saturday morning. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday is when the forecast could go one of two ways: clearing and mild, or cloudy, showery, and cool. If you want the sun, root for the American model. The European is really wrapping up an upper level low pressure system and seems to present a worst case scenario. I am guessing the answer lies in the middle with frequent  bouts of clouds but showers unlikely. Highs in the mid-to-upper 60s are probably the best we can hope for while overnight lows are again in the 40s. Confidence: Low

Sunday should start to break out of the clouds even in the worst case scenario as the “Nor’easter looking” storm moves up the New England coast if the European model is right. I would still not rule out a few banks of clouds in the morning but by afternoon, sun should dominate. Unfortunately winds still gust out of the northwest and temperatures are only in a slow climb. Highs should be upper 60s to lower 70s and lows fall to the mid-40s suburbs to lower 50s downtown. Confidence: Low-Medium

Memorial Day has more sun to offer and much calmer conditions. Highs should even make more respectable low-mid 70s. So fire up the grill and enjoy. Confidence: Low-Medium

BEACHCAST

Southern New Jersey Beaches look the worst with showers Friday, clouds likely to persist Saturday along with strong northerly winds and highs only in the low-to-mid 60s. Clearing and breezy Sunday with highs around 70. Sunny and calmer with lower 70s Monday.

Delaware Beaches are only slightly better with clouds and a few showers Friday, frequent clouds Saturday and strong northerly breezes both days with highs in the mid-to upper 60s. Sunday should clear but breezes are still brisk most of day and highs are in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Monday is sunny, calm and highs reach low-to-mid 70s.

Virginia Beaches have the best chance to be worth a trip to lay on the sand. Cloudy and windy on Friday with highs in the upper 60s. Partly cloudy, breezy on Saturday with highs in the low-to-mid 70s. Sunday and Monday could make the mid-to-upper 70s under sunny calm conditions.

Also on Capital Weather Gang

PM Update: Showers/storms likely, especially Thursday; Bob Ryan's last TV weathercast