D.C. area forecast: High heat nearing its end, but storm threats just beginning

July 19, 2013

* Excessive heat warning D.C. and urban surrounds noon to 8 p.m. | Heat advisory remainder of region from noon until 8 p.m. | Air quality alert *

Today’s Daily Digit

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

3
HOT! Toooo HOT! But at least there’s the chance for a cooling late-day storm.

Express Forecast

Today: Still hot!  Better chance for p.m. storms. Highs: Mid-90s to near 100.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, isolated showers or storms. Lows: Mid-70s to low 80s.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy, afternoon storms likely. Highs: Low-to-mid 90s.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, afternoon storms possible. Highs: 80s.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map. See interactive map on our Weather Wall.

It’s almost over!  Almost.  Once we make it through today’s brutal heat, and tomorrow’s less brutal heat, cooler times are ahead. However, we’ll have to pay for that improvement.  As temperatures decline, our chances for thunderstorms rise, with some severe weather possible tomorrow afternoon ahead of a cold front.  Behind the front, we’re back into the 80s for a while, still contending with some scattered thunderstorms popping up now and then through the first half of the week.

Today (Friday): Well, it’s still hot out there, that’s for sure.  Highs head back into the mid-and-upper 90s most spots, as developing clouds and a 50% chance at a thunderstorm by later afternoon should help keep the triple digits from being widespread.  Also, with a bit more of a southwesterly breeze, those insanely high dew points may come down a bit in the afternoon, but heat indices between 105-110 are possible! Confidence: High

Tonight: Any storms mostly die off following sunset, but a couple could linger about until midnight or so.  Following that, we’ve got partly cloudy skies through the nighttime and another hot and muggy night.  Lows downtown only get to around 80 with the low-to-mid 70s elsewhere. Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow (Saturday): Now we’re getting somewhere, kind of.  It’s still warm, but a change is in the air as the approaching front gets close enough to bring partly-to-mostly cloudy skies to the region instead of the full-on blazing sun.  Still, we’re looking at another day in the 90s, but more of the low-to-mid variety this time.  Storms are likely (60%) during the afternoon as we lose the squashing high pressure.  Some of these could be strong to severe, with damaging winds the main threat — all of that becoming more likely the further north you are.  Winds continue to be breezy out of the southwest. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: With the front around to provide some kick, storms aren’t quite as quick to die off after sunset, but coverage and intensity dwindle.  With the cooling rains, lows should get a bit cooler than recent days, with most everyone dropping into the 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday: Our front can’t quite clear out of here by Sunday, but at least it’s done its job of breaking the heat dome over us.  Our skies above stay mostly cloudy throughout the day and showers and storms are likely (50%) to bubble up once again during the afternoon.  High temps finally drop below 90, with mid-to-upper 80s likely for most, though a select few may touch 90 to keep the streak alive. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night: It’s generally quiet overnight, with just an isolated threat for a shower or storm.  Skies are partly cloudy, with lows in the low-to-mid 70s. Confidence: Medium

There’s another dome of high pressure moving in on Monday, but to our north this time and that means a break from the heat.  Don’t expect spring freshness to the air though! Highs are mainly in the mid-to-upper 80s.  Skies vary from partly-to-mostly cloudy, with just a 20% chance for some afternoon showers and/or thunderstorms. Confidence: Medium

That area of high pressure moves away by Tuesday and our chances for precipitation rise (50%).  Partly-to-mostly cloudy skies and those scattered storms prevent temperatures from rising too high, with highs in the mid-to-upper 80s. Confidence: Medium

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Brian Jackson · July 19, 2013