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D.C.-area forecast: Heat through Friday before a steamy weekend with storm chances

The highest chance of storms comes late Saturday

The National Mall on Wednesday. (angela n./Flickr)
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* Code Orange air quality alert — unhealthy for sensitive groups *

Today’s daily digit

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

7/10: June comes to a warm end but the humidity does not yet offend.

Express forecast

  • Today: Sunny, calm, moderate humidity. Highs: 89-93
  • Tonight: Clear, minimal breeze. Lows: 67-73
  • Tomorrow: Sunny, breezy, building humidity. Highs: 91-95

Forecast in detail

Typical summer heat without too much humidity is pleasant enough today, but things get a lot steamier into the weekend. Add an approaching cool front, and showers and storms are likely to bubble up — especially Saturday. Headed to the beach? Check out the Beachcast at the end of this forecast.

Today (Thursday): Lots of sun and very few clouds. Temperatures are on the rise with highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s. But with humidity levels held in check (dew points near 60), the heat is tolerable, especially if you are parked poolside! Winds are minimal. Confidence: High

Tonight: Skies remain clear and south winds are but a whisper. Lows reach the upper 60s to lower 70s. Confidence: High

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Tomorrow (Friday): Morning sunshine abounds as humidity heads higher (dew points climb to near 70). Breezes from the southwest at 5 to 10 mph take a slight edge off the mugginess, while partial cloud cover offers intermittent shade. Highs top out in the low to mid-90s on July’s first day. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: It is possible that a few thunderstorms could pop up west of the city late in the day and could hold together long enough to briefly dampen a few spots as they progress east. Most areas should stay dry though as lows settle in the low to mid-70s. Confidence: Medium

A look ahead

Heat and humidity are givens on Saturday. When thunderstorms arrive in the area is a bit more guesswork this far out, but probably most activity holds off until late in the afternoon into the evening. Although widespread severe storms aren’t likely, lightning and heavy downpours are possible. Highs should be in the upper 80s to lower 90s and overnight lows are mainly lower 70s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday is tricky. If the cool front pushes in strongly enough, most showers stay south of the city. But if the front stalls out, then showers and storms could pop up yet again, especially in the afternoon. Highs should be in the mid- to upper 80s, but humidity is still on the higher side. Overnight, any showers fade away and lows slip to the mid- to upper 60s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Skies are partly sunny for the Fourth of July (Monday) and, with a little luck, the fireworks on the Mall will not be disturbed by passing storms. While rain is unlikely, we can’t rule out an isolated shower or thunderstorm. Highs creep up to the upper 80s to lower 90s, so dress cool! Confidence: Low-Medium

Beachcast

N.J./Del./Md. beaches: Plenty of sunshine all weekend. Highs are in the low to mid-80s, with lows in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Thunderstorms are likely Saturday afternoon and evening, and isolated possible Sunday to Monday. Water temperatures near 70, with waves 1 to 3 feet.

Va./N.C. beaches: Mainly sunny all weekend. Highs reach the mid- to upper 80s, with lows in the low to mid-70s. Isolated afternoon and evening storms are possible each day. Water temperatures are in the low to mid-70s near Virginia Beach and in the upper 70s along the North Carolina Outer Banks, with waves 1 to 3 feet.

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