D.C. area forecast: Brief burst of summer heat and humidity before late week retreat

July 22

Today’s Daily Digit

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

4
Humidity drifts into dreaded territory (dew points near 70)

Express Forecast

Today: Partly sunny, humid.  Highs:  87-90.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows:  69-74.

Tomorrow: Partly sunny, hotter, p.m. storms.  Highs: 89-94.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

Summer heat and humidity gently returns today and Wednesday with highs edging up to the upper 80s and 90s before another cool front slices through the area to improve our late week weather.  Along the way, we should see some thunderstorm activity that is more widely scattered Wednesday and then widespread instead by Wednesday night and Thursday.  Then our humidity levels drop by Friday and Saturday with another soft slide into summer humidity and some storms by Sunday again.

I’ve started calling this a “soft serve summer” partly to invoke ice cream imagery, but mostly to emphasize that this summer tends to serve us very short-lived, soft attempts at summer heat and humidity rather than the sustained severe heat waves that we can sometimes see around here.

Today (Tuesday): High pressure moving offshore offers up a Bermuda high taste of summer at least for a short time.  Temperatures push on up a bit hotter today with upper 80s to around 90 humidity drifts into the moderately high range (dew points near 70).  Sky conditions should show more sunshine than yesterday, which is a double-edged sword in summer (brighter, but hotter).  Winds from the south and southeast at 5 to 10 mph are boosting the air’s moisture content.  A very slight risk of a thunderstorm exists this afternoon into evening, mainly south of the city.  Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Partly cloudy and muggy with lows stalled out in the upper 60s to low to middle 70s.  Winds are light and from the south mainly.  Confidence: Medium-High

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

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Partly sunny again as temperatures truck up toward their hottest levels of the week.   Expect a range from near 90F to just about the middle 90s with continued moderately high humidity.  Winds from the south and southwest help intensify the temperature, and we have a 30% threat of afternoon to evening showers and storms.  Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Partly to mostly cloudy as showers/storms remain scatter over the area (60% likelihood by this point with a tenth to quarter inch, but up to .5″ possible).  Lows are expected in the low to middle 70s with muggy air persisting, but a heavier downpor could briefly cool temperatures a bit more.  Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday is our wettest day of the week with scattered showers and storms as a cold front carves its way through our hot/humid air mass.  Highs should only get up to about the middle 80s with still moderate humidity levels that start to lower by later in the day.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies should prevent us from hitting the upper 80s, but timing is tricky and we could see a short-lived hotter pop at some point in the afternoon until the cooler air mass works its way into the area.  Thursday night should see partly cloudy skies with lowering humidity levels and low temperatures resting more comfortably in the 60s.  Confidence: Medium

Friday brings back the nice weather potential with a cooler, more comfortable air mass.  Highs are in the middle 80s with lowering humidity levels (dew points potentially as cool as the 50s in the afternoon).  Sky conditions become partly to mostly sunny.  Confidence: Medium-High

The weekend seems somewhat mixed as of this writing. Saturday looks relatively nice with mostly sunny skies, highs mid-to-upper 80s and  low humidity. Then Sunday turns gloomier with higher humidity and increasing afternoon thunderstorm risks as a disturbance heads our way.  At least Sunday still sees highs in the middle to upper 80s vs. 90s.   Saturday night looks a touch muggier with middle to upper 60s for lows along with just a few clouds.  Confidence: Medium

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