Another record watch today plus t’storm chance

Heat advisory noon to 8 p.m. | Air Quality alert - unhealthy for sensitive groups (code orange)

Today’s Daily Digit
 
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

 
The last day of the season’s first heat wave is another steamy one, plus a t’storm chance for good measure.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly to partly sunny & oppressive. 50% chance of p.m. storms. Mid-90s. | Tonight: Chance of storms early, then clearing skies. Mid-60s to near 70. | Tomorrow: Sunny, breezy, much less humid. Mid-80s to near 90. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

The high at Reagan National fell two degrees short of the record on Monday and one degree short yesterday. We’ll find out if the third time’s the charm later this afternoon as highs likely reach into the mid-90s - today’s record to tie or beat is 97 in 1895 - before the threat of thunderstorms. Then, we can put all this record talk behind us for a bit as cooler and drier air settles in for tomorrow and Friday. The heat and humidity trend up again this weekend but it’s garden-variety heat, not record-setting.

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMapWeather (base map by Google). Click and hold on map to pan. Double-click to zoom. Refresh page to update. See larger map on our Weather Wall.

Today (Wednesday): Relief from the extreme heat is on the way in the form of a cold front but it won’t arrive before another day of potential record highs. Highs should reach the mid-90s, and it’s a suffocating kind of heat with high humidity pushing heat index values past 100. Skies are mostly to partly sunny with a 50% chance of thunderstorms, mainly during the mid-afternoon into early evening, as the cold front approaches from the west/northwest. Any storms that develop have the potential to be severe with damaging winds and large hail. Confidence: Medium

Probability: 50%
Coverage: Scattered
Most Likely Timing: Approx. 2-8 p.m.

Tonight: Any storms (50% chance) should move off to the south and east by around mid-evening, followed by clearing skies into the overnight as drier and a bit cooler air filters in by morning behind the cold front. Lows in the mid-60s (suburbs) to near 70 (downtown). Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Thursday): If there’s such a thing as refreshingly warm I think tomorrow might be it. Temperatures are still plenty warm with sunny skies and highs heading for the mid-80s to near 90, but the air is dry and a delightful breeze blows at 10-20 mph from the northwest with gusts near 25 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Mostly clear with calming winds and lows in the mid-50s to low 60s. That’s gonna feel cool compared to previous nights, but it’s actually right around average for this time of year. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

A cooler morning start on Friday should lead to afternoon highs a little cooler than Thursday, probably low-to-mid 80s under partly to mostly sunny skies. You’ll enjoy the continued low humidity, this time with less of a breeze. Partly cloudy Friday night with lows in the upper 50s to mid-60s Confidence: Medium-High

Humidity increases toward moderate this weekend and temperatures are on the upswing too, from highs in the mid-80s to near 90 on Saturday, to upper 80s to low 90s Sunday. Both days look to be partly to mostly sunny and for now I’d ballpark thunderstorm chances at 20-30%, mainly in the late afternoons/evenings, but that could go up or down as some of the smaller-scale details come into better focus. Confidence: Medium