D.C. area forecast: Last-minute summer sizzle delivers humidity and storm risks into weekend

Today’s Daily Digit

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

5
Summer’s gonna take one more swing at us on its way out the exit.

Express Forecast

Today: Mixed clouds. Shower/storm chance. Highs: 87-92.

Tonight: Partly cloudy and muggy. Lows: 69-74.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy, shower/storm chance. Highs: 86-91.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


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Meteorological summer ends this weekend, but we can still get summer-like weather into early September.  And even though the typical August “dog days” have been more like puppies this year, our outgoing summer wants to fetch us some heat and humidity before all is said and done.  Summer’s been good to us, so let’s throw it one last bone.

Higher humidity and warm-to-hot temperatures are expected over the next several days with occasional risks of showers and storms.  The pattern is complicated since the primary heat dome of high pressure is over the Midwest, and our position on the eastern flank leaves us subject to occasional disturbances with showers and storms.  This situation looks to continue into the summer close-out holiday weekend.

Today (Tuesday):  Partly to mostly cloudy this morning with a chance of early showers or a rumble of thunder.  Higher humidity today (dew points approach 65-70 after only topping out at 63 yesterday) makes the upper 80s to low 90s feel more like the middle 90s at times.  Mixed cloud cover in the afternoon with a chance of another shower or storm. Overall probability of precipitation is about 30% today with rainfall totals from a trace to a tenth of an inch but maybe higher in a localized downpour.  West winds at 5 to 10 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: A possible evening shower or storm, but otherwise partly cloudy overnight and warmer with lows in the upper 60s in the outer suburbs to the warmer low-to-mid 70s in the city.  Light winds from the west and northwest. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Wednesday):  Partly cloudy with more shower and storm chances.  A stronger disturbance dropping down from the Great Lakes could pass to our south, our north, or hit us head on with more widespread downpours.  For now, the odds seem better that the D.C. area just gets scraped, so we’ll aim for a 40% chance of showers and storms as early as the midday hours but also into the afternoon.  Highs should manage the upper 80s to low 90s again, but should not stay as long at those peak levels due to clouds and rain risks.  Winds are light and variable.  Confidence: Low-Medium

Tomorrow night: Some evening shower and storms are possible (30% chance) before partly cloudy skies and muggy conditions prevail as lows only manage to dip into the upper 60s to low 70s.  Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday and Friday are similar days with highs in the upper 80s to low 90s along with moderate humidity and partly sunny skies.  Our location on the eastern edge of the Midwestern heat ridge means we could still see widely scattered showers and storms, so we’ll leave a running 20% risk in there. Humidity could be slightly lower Friday afternoon vs. Thursday.  Lows Thursday and Friday night range from the middle 60s to low 70s.  Confidence: Medium

The holiday weekend keeps the summer-ish weather around with partly to sometimes mostly sunny skies, highs in the upper 80s to low 90s, moderate to high humidity, and a continued small daily chance (20%) of a shower or storm that increases to 40% on Labor Day Monday ahead of a possible cold front.  It’s not the best holiday weekend forecast (especially compared to last weekend), but it’s no washout either, and we should find some decent sun at times.  Lows are warm in the mid-to-upper 60s and low 70s again.  Confidence: Medium

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