A sundrenched holiday weekend lies ahead

Holiday Weekend BeachCast | CWG’s 2011 Summer Outlook

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

Our 1st 90? If you’re like me let the summertime roll! For those who aren’t, I’ll dock a point each for heat & humidity, and 1 more just cause the weekend is so close yet so far
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Today: Partly sunny. Chance of isolated morning t’shower. 87-93. | Tonight: Humid but nice breeze. Slight chance of t’storm. 66-71. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny. 50% chance of p.m. storms. 86-90. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


What a great summer holiday weekend coming up. Maybe not ideal for you “humidiphobes,” but by D.C. standards it won’t be oppressive. In the meantime, the storm that’s been ripping the Plains and Midwest disintegrates as it approaches our area, but a few thundershowers are still possible at times into the weekend with the greatest threat for a severe one Friday afternoon. The weekend itself is beach weather around here, though a bit cooler out at the beaches themselves as you’ll see in our BeachCast at the end of this post.

Radar & lightning: Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Thursday): There is a chance (20%) for a few isolated showers or t’showers this morning, mainly north of the city. Otherwise, the ratio of sun to clouds is about 70/30 and that should be enough to push temperatures steadily upward. Many areas should reach the 90-degree mark for the first time this year with some likely into the low 90s along with moderate humidity. However, with winds from the south at 10-15 mph, the cooling effect of the Potomac could keep National Airport to highs in the upper 80s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Breezes from the south at 10-15 mph are welcome this evening as they make the muggy air and temperatures dropping through the 80s to the upper 70s fairly comfortable. Just a slight chance of a thunderstorm as lows likely hold up in the mid-60s to near 70 under partly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Friday): Look for sun early, but clouds increase by midday as that big Midwest storm moves east. What’s amazing to me is how dramatically it loses strength as it approaches the area. That’s good news on the storm front but I still bet at least half the area sees afternoon thunderstorms, and a few could be strong enough to produce damaging winds, small hail and blinding downpours. Highs should still make the mid-80s to near 90 despite the added clouds. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Evening skies are still on the cloudy side but shower chances should decrease to around 20% or less by later in the evening. Warmth remains with readings only slowly slipping through the 80s to the upper 70s for your evening excursions. Overnight lows reach the mid-to-upper 60s. Confidence: Medium-High


Saturday sees a tug of war as high pressure builds down the East Coast while the tail end of the Midwest storm still has a little life left in it over the Appalachian ridge. Afternoon thundershowers are likely (70% chance) toward the mountains but that high on the coast makes it hard for them to advance east into the metro area (30% chance). Bottom line: a fine day around here with highs in the mid-80s and more sun than clouds. Confidence: Medium

Sunday should be a great day to get up before sunrise and check out a beautiful sliver of a crescent moon playing tag with a very bright Venus on the eastern horizon. Of course, sunrise is now before 6 a.m. so I ‘m guessing that will limit my takers? Breezes pick up from the southwest and temperatures jump notably under mostly sunny skies. From morning 70s, highs should make the upper 80s with ease and a few low 90s for the overachievers. There is a slight risk of isolated thundershowers but only about 20% or less (best odds may be south of town). Confidence: Medium

Memorial Day (Monday) sizzles and hopefully so will a few barbecue grills! Morning readings quickly push through the 70s into the 80s under that hazy summery blue sky. Making the low 90s may very well be inevitable for many spots, so keep the cooler handy. Rain chances are slim to none, likely making it an uneventful drive for all you returnees after the long weekend. Confidence:Medium


Posted May 26, updated May 27

The beach forecast is a pretty darn easy one this Memorial Day weekend with a good deal of uniformity from southern New Jersey down to the Outer Banks. The only real risk of a thundershower is on Friday and Saturday, and those risks are low (30% or so each day). Otherwise, plenty of sun means a high probability of some of you looking like lobsters, so don’t forget the sunscreen!

Highs are a good bit cooler than in the D.C. area, ranging from the mid-70s to near 80 around Cape May south to Ocean City, to the mid-80s for Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. Word of warning; there will be some notable afternoon onshore breezes all weekend and with ocean temperatures only in the 60s, a chill on the beaches is inevitable. Overnight lows run from the lower 60s north to upper 60s south. Confidence: Medium-High