D.C. area forecast: Warm and calm today, serious downpours tonight; weekend a winner

May 15, 2014

* Flash Flood Watch late Thursday night to early Friday afternoon *

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 1 to 10.

6
Mugginess detracts from a fairly nice start to the day but at least most rains hold off until night.

Express Forecast

Today: Morning fog, then partial sunshine, warmer. Highs: 80-84.

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms. Heavy rain possible. Lows: 62-66 .

Tomorrow: Rain diminishes in the afternoon. Highs: 72-76.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

A wall of water is approaching but for much of today you wouldn’t know it as it remains fairly tranquil. The real deal rains should hit the Blue Ridge by early evening but could take until after midnight to reach downtown. The slow motion is the key to picking up over an inch across much of the area and 2 inches or more  in areas of thunderstorms. Rains diminish Friday as the day wears on, ending in the afternoon. After that, a delightfully mild, dry spring weekend is off and running (literally at the Preakness in Baltimore).

Today (Thursday): Sunshine should gradually break through patches of fog early in the morning and is likely to keep the upper hand into the afternoon. The clouds can’t be held off forever and they increase steadily for a cloudy evening rush hour. A few showers could develop between around 5 and 8 p.m., but most stay west of town before sunset. A brisk southeast wind at 10-15 mph gusting to 25 mph is pushing in the tropical air, complete with surging humidity levels and highs reaching the low-to-mid 80s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Waves of rain (near 100% chance) with embedded heavy downpours should slowly but steadily press from the western burbs across downtown late evening,reaching the eastern shore by late night. Much of the area stands to pick up at least an inch of rain. Thunderstorms, especially west of the city could easily push totals to 2 inches or better. The winds remain very brisk from the southeast at 15-25 mph through the night. Lows only slip to the low-to-mid 60s. Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Friday): The morning commute – especially early on – may be a mess due to downpours. Although the heaviest rains depart by mid-morning, additional rounds of showers may cycle through into the early afternoon.  There is even the potential for another surge of thunderstorms in the afternoon favoring the Bay and the beaches. Winds shift from southeast to northwest around midday in D.C. and that begins the scene change; Act 2: Spring Awakening! This also heads off much of a temperature climb with highs only topping out in the mid 70s in most areas. Drier air should bring an end to showers by evening in all but the Delmarva.  Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: The skies should clear out fairly quickly with a diminishing northwest breeze expected. The lower humidity levels are noticeable and make for a fine evening in the area. Temperatures drop steadily overnight bottoming out in the low-to-mid 50s. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday dawns mostly sunny but with a boat load of cold air overhead, look for a good amount of clouds to build up in the afternoon. Highs struggle to do better than the lower 70s in most areas but no complaints here! Breezes are light and humidity is very low. The clouds quickly disappear at sunset and should allow a good view of Mercury and Jupiter by 9 p.m. fairly low on the western horizon. Overnight lows fall to the upper 40s to lower 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday should be as pleasant as Saturday with just a few less afternoon clouds. Highs again mainly lower 70s and overnight lows upper 40s to lower 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday makes going to work a real chore as yet another day of sunshine with afternoon pop-up clouds is on hand. Highs climb to the low-to-mid 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

David Streit grew up on a farm/ranch in Nebraska. Witness to severe weather of all varieties focused his career path. Degrees from the universities of Nebraska and Wisconsin prepared him to be a forecaster for Capital Weather Gang as well as his day job as COO of Commodity Weather Group.
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Washington, D.C., Snow Tracker

Current Snow Total
18.3"
Record Most Snow
(2009-10)
56.1"
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0.1"
Last Winter's Snow Total
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