Two hour radar loop of rain and storm movement through the area. Refresh page to update.

TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

4/10: Cloud-enshrouded skies prolong the gloom as more showers loom.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Cloudy, muggy, p.m. showers. Highs: 76-81.
Tonight: Cloudy, muggy, some showers. Lows: 66-73.
Tomorrow: Cloudy, humid, showers. Highs: 75-80.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

What a fine mess this is! So far our cloudy skies have been all bark and very little bite, but now we have a convergence of weather systems that tries again to deliver significant rainfall to the area over the coming days. A cold front arriving from the west is pulling up lots of humidity as it grabs onto some tropical moisture lifting north from the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This cool front pushes through our area Wednesday, but then stalls along the East Coast as another tropical feature — Tropical Storm Joaquin — tries to then interact with it.

Based on this atmospheric “drama,” we could see some very big rains, but it all depends on exactly how these features line up. The pattern turns cooler later this week into the weekend, and our best shot to see the sun again might be on its namesake — Sunday.

Today (Tuesday): Clouds, clouds and more clouds dominate our story with the chance of rain increasing by afternoon, especially north and west of the city. Most of the day should be dry, though, despite the near-constant cloudiness. Temperatures range from the upper 70s to the low 80s, but humidity runs slightly higher than yesterday (dew points in the low 70s!), which offers a muggy, summery feel. Light breezes blow from the east. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Cloudy and muggy with more widespread showers including a chance for a rumble or two of thunder. Lows fall only into the middle 60s to low 70s range thanks to the higher humidity. Overnight rainfall totals of a tenth to a quarter of an inch are expected, but heavier totals are possible in the far western to northwest suburbs. Light winds from the south and east at 5 to 10 mph. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Cloudy again with more widespread showers and some isolated thunderstorms. Rainfall could be heavy at times with daytime totals ranging from ¼ to ¾ inch locally and up to one inch in areas of heavy rain, especially west of the city. Highs are in the 70s, and we could see temperatures cool off fast in the late afternoon as the cold front sweeps through. Winds from the south at 5 to 10 mph switch to come from the northerly direction late in the day. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Turning cooler with more showers around. Lows fall toward the upper 50s to low 60s with cooler breezes from the north. Confidence: Medium


A foggy morning on Monday in Loudoun County. (John Sonderman via Flickr)

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday and Friday aim for a rawer, cooler feeling as highs only manage the 60s with cloudy skies and frequent showers or light rain chances. Thursday and Friday night also both look cloudy with showers or light rain around as lows dip into the 50s. Confidence: Low-Medium

The weekend is a tough cookie right now as big questions about Tropical Storm Joaquin persist. If it moves farther north and east, we could start to clear out by Saturday, but right now, the safest bet for more sunshine seems to be on Sunday. We’ll aim for mostly cloudy skies, scattered showers, and highs in the 60s for Saturday with a partly cloudy and cool Saturday night as lows again dip into the 50s in the city with a shot for brisk 40s in the outer suburbs. Sunday should be partly to mostly sunny with highs a bit warmer into the middle to upper 60s. Confidence: Quite low for now