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D.C.-area forecast: Sunny and warm for Independence Day; storm chances return Tuesday

After today, humidity increases and lingers for a good part of the week

American flags fly in Old Town Alexandria on Saturday. (Lee M.)
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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: A sunny, rain-free Fourth of July is reason to celebrate.

Express forecast

  • Today: Mostly sunny. Highs: 84 to 88.
  • Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows: 64 to 72.
  • Tomorrow: Increasing humidity, chance of storms late. Highs: 86 to 90.

Forecast in detail

So often on the Fourth of July, we’re worried about storms, but not this year. Sunny skies are the rule, and storms should hold off until Tuesday. Those storms might be on the strong side. If they miss us Tuesday, there will be more chances as the week wears on. Temperatures this week will actually tend to be a little below normal — mostly in the 80s. The normal high ticks up to 90 on Wednesday.

Today (Independence Day): A great-looking day for hanging out near a body of water. We’ll have mostly sunny skies, and humidity levels are held in check (dew points in the upper 50s to near 60). Highs are in the mid- to upper 80s with little in the way of wind. The lack of wind does allow some air pollution to linger — hence the code orange air quality alert. Confidence: High

Tonight: If you’re venturing out to watch the fireworks, temperatures are pretty pleasant, falling back to near 80 by 9 p.m. Note, however, that limited breezes and a possible low-level temperature inversion may help trap smoke near the ground. In addition to fouling the air, the smoke could obscure views for people set up to watch the fireworks from the north, including downtown. Winds are light — around 5 mph — from the south. Overnight temperatures drop to the low 70s downtown and 65 to 70 elsewhere. Confidence: Medium-High

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Tomorrow (Tuesday): It’s partly sunny and more humid (dew points climbing to near 70). Highs head for the upper 80s. Scattered storms become possible during the afternoon (30 percent), especially late. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: The chance of storms increases during the evening (to a little above 50 percent), and some could be intense, with damaging winds and hail. Showers and storms could linger into predawn hours, with muggy lows from 70 to 75. Confidence: Medium

A look ahead

Wednesday and Thursday remain warm and muggy. Highs range from the low 90s on Wednesday to upper 80s on Thursday, while overnight lows are pretty close to 70. Late-day storm chances are somewhat lower compared to Tuesday but remain a possibility (30 percent chance). Confidence: Medium

A front approaching the region Friday probably produces numerous showers and storms (60 percent chance), some of which could be heavy. It’s probably not a washout, though, with partial sunshine before any storminess and humid highs in the mid-80s. Scattered showers and storms probably continue at night, with lows near 70. Confidence: Medium

On Saturday, it’s not clear whether Friday’s front will have pushed far enough south to allow drier air to filter in. Right now, I’m guessing it probably won’t have, meaning clouds linger with the chance for showers and storms — especially from the District south. Highs are in the 80s. It should finally start to dry out Saturday night into Sunday, which has the chance to be a nice day, with increasing sun, lower humidity and highs 80 to 85. Confidence: Low-Medium

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