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D.C. area forecast: Humidity hangs around with daily risk of downpours; severe threat later today

Today’s Daily Digit

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

Low score for high humidity and potential for afternoon downpours and severe storms.

Express Forecast

Today: Very humid with afternoon showers and storms likely, some heavy. Highs: Upper 80s.

Tonight: Muggy with scattered heavy showers likely. Lows: Upper 60s to low 70s.

Tomorrow: Still humid with occasional showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs: 80s.


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.

If you’ve been outside at all the past couple days, you don’t need me to tell you how much moisture there is in the air. All that humidity is in no hurry to leave, which means we’ll continue to see the daily chance of scattered downpours through the end of the work week. Temperatures run warm to hot through the period. The humidity finally relents this weekend, which could be yet another rain-free one.

Today (Wednesday): Scattered showers and storms (some with heavy downpours) during the morning rush hour range, but then partly sunny skies and stifling humidity mid-to-late morning. Showers and thunderstorms then become likely again as we get into the afternoon. Today’s air mass is extremely unstable, which means some storms could turn severe with damaging winds and/or hail in addition to heavy downpours that could affect the afternoon commute. Highs should reach the upper 80s most spots, with that high humidity (dew points near or over 70) courtesy light winds near 5-10 mph from the southeast. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Scattered, heavy, slow-moving showers and thunderstorms seem likely during the evening with flooding possible. Showers should decrease in coverage and intensity after midnight with muggy lows in the upper 60s to low 70s. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Thursday): The air mass remains a soupy one, and that means occasional heavy showers and thunderstorms are likely through the day with more flooding concerns. The high humidity is unchanged as highs top out in the 80s under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Wind stay on the light side, around 5-10 mph from the south-southeast. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: The pattern persists with a good chance of more showers and thunderstorms, more flooding problems possible, and moisture-laden lows in the upper 60s to low 70s. Confidence: Medium


Sorry for the broken-record forecast. But the way it looks now, Friday brings a continued likelihood of scattered showers and thunderstorms and similar levels of humidity, with partly sunny skies helping highs back to the 80s. Sometime Friday night we should finally start to see the rain risk diminish and drier air start to work in behind a cool front. Confidence: Low-Medium

High pressure builds in for the weekend, giving us a good chance of continuing our streak of rain-free Saturdays and Sundays. The front could linger close enough that I’m not ready to totally rule out a shower at some point. But most signs point to a partly to mostly sunny weekend with lower humidity, highs in the 80s, and Saturday night lows in the 60s. Confidence: Medium

(Forecast completed overnight)

Dan Stillman is a meteorologist and editor for the Capital Weather Gang. He earned an M.S. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University, and a B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan.
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