Stormy days cool off the Washington area

July 12, 2013

Sudden deluges in the Washington area over the past two days contributed to closed roads, water rescues and a daily rainfall record. In addition, gray skies helped turn Friday into a day of uncommonly cool July weather.

Dulles International Airport set a July 11 rainfall record Thursday, with 3.71 inches, far outstripping July 11, 1977’s 1.12-inch mark, the National Weather Service said. With Friday’s 1.13 inches, the two-day total came to 4.84 inches.

Often accompanied by lightning, especially Thursday night and Friday morning, the rain fell swiftly onto waterlogged soil.

In low-lying areas, water rose rapidly and blocked roads at times, prompting reports of rescues in Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

It was a day for mushrooms, umbrellas, curbside puddles and swift dashes from houses to cars.

Meanwhile, temperatures around the area remained in the 70s, startlingly low for July.

At Reagan National Airport, the temperature rose no higher than 76. That was 13 degrees below the normal July 12 high of 89. On July 12, 1898, the mercury never rose above 73, setting a record, but that was a long time ago.

At National, only one day last July had a high in the 70s. The year before that there were none.

However, with what appeared to be the constant threat of rain, it was not clear how many people could enjoy the respite from summer.

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