PM Update: Terrific temperatures tonight and Thursday; SAILS radar upgrade

Temperature Map

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

Highs in the upper 70s and low 80s on one of our typically hottest days of the year? Sign me up for that! Even more unusual, it happened under quite sunny skies today. In fact, only about 15-20% of July 16ths throughout history have been this cool or cooler in D.C. It’s also the coolest we’ve been on this day since 2000. Better yet? We do it again tomorrow.

Through Tonight: One word for this evening. Spectacular. If you seek details: Breezes of the day diminish as the sun sets, with temperatures falling through the 70s. Under clear skies and along with light winds, lows make the upper 50s in the cooler suburbs to the mid-60s downtown. Some spots may even head into the mid-50s!

Tomorrow (Thursday): If you liked today, you’ll be a big fan of tomorrow. Pretty much a carbon copy. Temperatures are in the 70s through lunch or so in the city, with highs ranging from near 80 to the mid-80s. Winds continue to blow from the north and northwest around 5-10 mph, keeping humidity LOW!

See Dan Stillman’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

A sunny day at the Arboretum. (evegophotos via Flickr)

Celebrating a sunny day at the Arboretum. (evegophotos via Flickr)

SAILS: The primary Doppler radar covering our area was recently upgraded with Supplemental Adaptive Intra-Volume Low Level Scan (SAILS). SAILS allows for more frequent scans in the low-levels that will allow for better and quicker tornado or wind detection. Soon, all WSR-88 Doppler radars will be outfitted with this software upgrade, along with another called Automated Volume Scan Evaluation and Termination (AVSET).

NWS Baltimore/Washington put out a handy info-graphic on the upgrade today:

(NWS Baltimore/Washington)

(NWS Baltimore/Washington)

If you want more details about SAILS and AVSET, The Vane’s Dennis Mersereau has a must-read on the upgrades.

Also on Capital Weather Gang

On D.C.'s hottest days of the year, sweet relief from sweltering