11:40 a.m. update: The afternoon storm risk is coming together about as expected. Last night, the Storm Prediction Center included our region in a “slight risk,” the second lowest of five severe weather categories from them. They highlight isolated damaging wind potential as mentioned in the forecast below, and also don’t rule out some hail. Watching the day come together, CWG’s severe weather expert Jeff Halverson noted we could be in for a bumpy ride this afternoon. I tend to agree.
One question is coverage, as the line probably wants to be broken. This doesn’t look like a major severe weather event, but given all the people out and about, it’s worth keeping apprised of until it passes. As far as timing, the storms have not formed, so it’s somewhat uncertain. Best guess is about 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. or so as the window, but shorter range guidance has really focused on mid-afternoon locally. We’ll update as necessary, and plan on PM Update arriving before the storms do.
From 5:00 a.m…
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
5/10: Humidity is gross. Temperatures are hot. Storms may pop. Standard July.
Today: Partly cloudy. Afternoon showers/storms. Highs: 88-93.
Tonight: Clearing. Lows: Upper 60s to mid-70s.
Tomorrow: Partly-to-mostly sunny. Highs: Near 90 to mid-90s.
View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post headquarters.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
July is our hottest month of the year, so it’s probably no surprise that today and the next several are all going to be rather toasty. In July, heat usually comes with a heavy dose of humidity, and that’s certainly the case here. Classic summer in our region. Another part of classic summer is the near-constant risk of thunderstorms during the afternoons and evenings. That’s the case up ahead, with the focus likely to be today.
Today (Saturday): I think sun probably tends to win out overall, but some cloudier periods are likely as well. Odds of scattered thunderstorms increase as we get into early afternoon. We should see at least a broken line of storms pass by through the remainder of the afternoon and perhaps into early evening. Any of these storms can be strong, with briefly torrential rain and frequent lightning. Isolated wind damage is possible in the worst of storms. Because yesterday ended up a little hotter than expected, it’s tempting to factor that in today. But the increased cloudiness, higher humidity and greater chance of storms should try to counteract it. Still, highs near or just above 90 are not too friendly. Winds are out of the south and southwest about 10 to 15 mph. Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: Any showers or storms should be over by sunset, but if not, that activity is winding down. Skies end up partly to mostly clear as winds shift to come out of the northwest and north. This wind shift behind a weak cold front passing through allows slightly cooler and drier air to settle in. Lows are still rather warm, though, ranging from the upper 60s to middle 70s. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Sunday): Behind the front, humidity is down a smidge, and skies are probably clearer overall. It’s always tough to totally rule out a few pop-ups in a hot and still relatively humid environment. Coverage of storms will be lower than today, and today could certainly be somewhat hit-or-miss. In other words, most spots stay dry. Winds start off the morning coming out of the north and northwest but shift to south and southwest over time. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow night: We’re still in the midst of a slight respite in the humidity — it goes from very high to just high. Lower moisture levels in the air, plus fewer clouds in the sky, conspire to send us slightly cooler temperatures. Look for lows to settle into the mid-60s across the cooler suburbs north and west, ranging up to as high as the low 70s or so in the city. Confidence: Medium
A LOOK AHEAD
Pre-Fourth festivities should go off without much problem on Monday. As long as you’ve got a plan to stay hydrated during the day. Sunshine is dominant and temperatures are again near and above 90. Humidity is high, and the sky is hazy. I think this one tries to be completely storm free in the local area, with anything confined to the mountains to our west or north. Confidence: Medium
Tuesday generally delivers more of the same for Independence Day. A weak front in the region probably sends enough clouds our way to help keep temperatures in check. In this case, “in check” means upper 80s to low 90s. Pretty typical. Unlike last year’s show, which was largely wrecked by cloud cover, a chance of an afternoon or evening storm shouldn’t mean much for the fireworks festivities. Partly cloudy skies seem most likely by then. Confidence: Medium