D.C. area forecast: Heat and humidity step up before better weather Thursday onward

* Code orange air quality alert: Unhealthy for sensitive groups *

Today’s Daily Digit

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

5
Another middle of the road summer day- not crazy hot, but humidity/heat edging up.

Express Forecast

Today: Mostly sunny.  Highs: 86-90.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows:  65-70.

Tomorrow: Partly sunny.  PM showers/storms.  85-89.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Temperature Map

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

Every once in a while this summer, we must endure just a few short days of more typical summer weather as Mother Nature dutifully reminds us of the season.  But as quickly as they pop up, we immediately see their endgame with cool fronts briskly sweeping the area to offer more Nice Day conditions.

The heat over the next two days offers only a modest bump in otherwise smooth sailing.  Watch for more widespread thunderstorm risks tomorrow afternoon to perhaps fill in some of the dry patches before humidity and temperatures drop again by later Thursday, setting us up for nice weekend weather.

Today (Tuesday):  Our very-slowly “muggifying” air mass brings humidity up just a bit higher than yesterday with biggest impact expected in the afternoon as we reach the middle to upper 80s (some folks could hit 90F).  Mostly sunny skies with some scattered cloud cover at times that could translate into a stray thunderstorm by mid to late afternoon (20% risk).  Light winds.  Confidence: High

Tonight: Partly cloudy and warmer along with a lingering evening chance of a shower or isolated storm (20% risk).  Lows dip into the middle to upper 60s, warmest in the city as usual.  Light breezes blow from the southwest at around 5 mph.  Confidence: High

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

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Partly sunny skies with a moderate chance of afternoon showers and storms (40%) as a cold front approaches the area.  We should see sufficient cloud cover to hold high temperatures down into mainly the middle to upper 80s.  Winds start the day from the south and southwest at 5 to 10 mph, but then shift to come from the northwest late in the day.  Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Partly cloudy evening conditions with a 40% risk of lingering showers or storms before cooler air filters into the region following the cold front.   Lows toward dawn should dip down to the more comfortable lower to middle 60s.  Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday finds us back into a more pleasant air mass.  There is a 20% chance that the cool front hung up to our south triggers some showers south and east of the city, but otherwise, we aim for partly sunny skies with low humidity as highs crest to the lower to middle 80s around the area.  Thursday night is more pleasant with just a few clouds as lows dip to the upper 50s to lower 60s throughout the area.  Confidence: Medium-High

Friday looks like a fine front-door to a pleasant weekend with mostly sunny skies, afternoon maximum temperatures in the lower to middle 80s, and low humidity.  Friday night should be mostly clear with lows in the 60s as humidity stays low.  Confidence:  High

The weekend weather guidance has improved with a pleasant, low-humidity air mass deciding to extend its visit over the area (and a disturbance riding farther to the south into the Carolinas- but we will keep an eye on it).  Highs in the middle 80s, lows in the 60s with mostly sunny days and mostly clear nights will make an excellent birthday weekend for me.  I will need to find something to do outdoors- any suggestions??  Whatever I do, I’ll be sure to wear Camden-approved sunscreen!  Update:  Latest model guidance has edged the moisture shield back toward DC for the weekend, especially later Saturday into Sunday.  After a string of beautiful (easy forecast) weekends earlier this summer, the more recent outlooks have definitely gotten more challenging! I lowered confidence, and we’ll need to watch it closer.  Confidence: Low

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