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D.C.-area forecast: Heat, humidity and thunderstorm chances return

Some storms later today may be heavy or even severe

A mix of sun and clouds on Sunday at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington. (Jeannie in D.C./Flickr)

Today’s daily digit

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

5/10: Summer shifts to simmer and storms, which can be a bummer for some.

Express forecast

  • Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, chance of p.m. storms. Highs: 86 to 90.
  • Tonight: Chance of early-evening storms, muggy. Lows: 72 to 77.
  • Tomorrow: Partly sunny, very humid, chance of p.m. storms. Highs: 88 to 94.

Forecast in detail

Heat happens, especially in July. Temperatures and humidity move back to uncomfortable levels for the next few days, but we at least get some breaks from the heat in the form of clouds, showers and thunderstorms. Similar to the June pattern, our hotter periods are not long-lived, so the relatively good news is that cooler conditions and lower humidity arrive in time for the weekend.

Today (Tuesday): Increasing clouds, heat and humidity with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms, some of which may be heavy or severe (gusty winds and heavy downpours). Highs should reach the mid-80s to near 90 by early afternoon before clouds and storms show up on the scene. Moderate to high humidity is expected, as dew points lift to the mid- to upper 60s to even near 70. Winds from the south are mainly 5 to 10 mph, except gustier around storms. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: More showers and storms are possible during the early evening, with partly to mostly cloudy skies through the overnight. It’s still moderately muggy, with lows ranging through the 70s as light breezes blow from the south at 5 to 10 mph (except higher around storms). Confidence: Medium

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Tomorrow (Wednesday): Partly sunny with the hottest weather of the week as highs reach from 90 to maybe even the mid-90s with very muggy conditions (dew points into the lower to maybe even mid-70s). The heat index should reach the upper 90s to perhaps the low 100s. Showers and thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon and evening to try to break up the heat a bit. Otherwise, we just have light winds from the west at around 5 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Partly to mostly cloudy as mugginess is maintained. Scattered showers and thunderstorms continue, too, with lows from near 70 to the mid-70s. Confidence: Medium

A look ahead

Thursday should deliver less intense heat thanks to a cloudier start to the day, and even some morning rain is possible if a weakening thunderstorm complex makes it here from the Midwest. More showers and storms are possible in the afternoon, too, with partly to mostly cloudy skies, highs in the lower to mid-80s, and moderate to high humidity. Thursday night continues partly to mostly cloudy with more chances of showers and storms as lows range from the lower to mid-70s. Confidence: Medium

Friday features more partly to mostly cloudy skies with scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms as a cold front tries to finally push through. We should see highs in the mid-80s with moderate humidity again, but some spots could swelter closer to 90. Friday night continues the chance for showers and storms under partly cloudy skies and lows from around 70 to the mid-70s. Confidence: Medium

The latest forecast trends move the front far enough south for a relatively drier weekend, with lower humidity, partly to mostly sunny skies, and just 80s for highs. If the front were to slow slightly, we could still see some clouds and storm chances on Saturday, especially in southern areas. Sunday should be the best day, with lower humidity and the better chance for more sunshine. Saturday night also looks more comfortable, with lows in the 60s. Confidence: Low-Medium