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D.C.-area forecast: Strong storms late today, then better weather through the Fourth

A flood watch is in effect from 2 to 10 p.m. today

Radar courtesy MyRadar | © OpenStreetMap contributors

8:10 a.m. — Flood watch in effect from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the corridor that include Washington and Baltimore and their immediate surroundings.

“Showers and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and evening, with the most widespread activity late this afternoon into early this evening,” the Weather Service writes. “Thunderstorms will produce heavy rainfall with localized rainfall amounts around 1 to 3 inches within an hour or two. Heavy amounts of rain in a short period of time may lead to rapid rises of creeks and streams as well as the potential for flash flooding in urban areas.”

Short-term models do indicate we should stay rain-free until at least 2 or 3 p.m. in our western areas and perhaps until 4 or 5 p.m. closer to Interstate 95. So there should be plenty of dry time before having to head inside.

Today’s daily digit

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

6/10: Similar to Friday, but with storms that are more widespread during the afternoon or evening. Stay hydrated, and weather aware!

Express forecast

  • Today: Partly sunny. Afternoon/evening storms. Highs: Upper 80s and low 90s.
  • Tonight: Evening storms, then occasional showers. Lows: Upper 60s and low 70s.
  • Tomorrow: AM shower? Clearing. Highs: 80s.

Forecast in detail

We’re starting July off in classic summertime fashion. High heat and humidity of today becomes somewhat more tolerable heat for the rest of the holiday weekend. Independence Day should be storm free, which is always a positive given all the outdoor plans. To get to that better weather, we have to go through today first. We could see some big storms later this afternoon and evening.

Today (Saturday): Skies are probably sunniest in the morning, with increasing clouds over time as temperatures head upward. By afternoon, some of the towering clouds are beginning to throw out some rain. The main threat for strong to severe storms is in the 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. window. Some storms may contain damaging winds, in addition to heavy rain and frequent lightning. Before the storms, highs rise to 90 or above on a south and southwest wind around five to 10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: While the strongest storms should focus early, there’s some chance for additional showers or garden-variety storms at times through the night. Lows make the upper 60s and lower 70s. An overnight south wind turns to come from the north around sunrise. Confidence: Medium-High

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Tomorrow (Sunday): Showers are out of here pretty close to sunrise, but could linger deeper into the morning, especially in southern Maryland. Otherwise, look for clearing skies as temperatures reach the mid-80s for highs. Humidity heads downward on north and northwest winds during the day. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Skies are mainly clear, and humidity is tolerable. That mix helps send temperatures into the seasonably cool 60s across the region. Confidence: Medium-High

A look ahead

The average high for Independence Day is 89, and it ticks upward to its annual peak of 90 on the following Wednesday. In typical fashion, temperatures make a run at 90 Monday. In less-typical fashion, humidity is on the low-moderate side, which helps if you’re camping out waiting for fireworks. Grab the sunscreen and a lot of water as sunshine will dominate. Temperatures are in an 80 to 85 range by fireworks. A light south wind may blow smoke toward the city and obscure views. Confidence: Medium-High

A chance of afternoon and evening storms returns by Tuesday. It’ll be a hotter one than the Fourth, as well. Look for partly sunny conditions with those afternoon clouds bubbling up in the heat, and highs in the low 90s as humidity rises. Confidence: Medium