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10-Day Outlook: From soupy to dry?

Josh Larson @ 12:00 AM

Today's weather

We will continue to be in the steam bath today, the result of a stubborn tropical conveyor belt bringing very warm, moist air to the Mid-Atlantic via the Gulf of Mexico. Like yesterday, today will feature varying amounts of cloud cover and sunshine. The areas that see the most cloudiness will likely stay in the upper 80s, while the locations that see the most in the way of sunshine may very well eclipse the 90 degree mark. We will look for scattered late afternoon and evening thunderstorms, just like yesterday, with the potential for torrential rain and gusty winds. Widely scattered showers may linger into the overnight hours, with muggy lows near 70.

Nationals vs. Pirates, 1:05pm, RFK
It will be muggy and uncomfortably warm (in the 80s to near 90) during the game, with partly sunny skies. There is a slight chance of a stray thunderstorm, though most storminess will likely hold off until after the game is over.
Friday's weather

Friday's weather will be very similar to today's: expect times of clouds and sun, very humid conditions, and highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s. The big weather news will be the long-awaited cold front that will push through the area during the second half of the day. Scattered showers and thunderstorms, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours, are probable. The very moist atmosphere, coupled with dynamics from the approaching cold front, will give way to an elevated risk of severe storms, possibly forming along a squall line, which will carry a greater chance of hail and damaging winds than storms earlier in the week.

10-day outlook

If we get through heat and humidity (and threat of severe thunderstorms) today and Friday, then it looks like we're smooth sailing for quite a while. Temperatures will go from above-normal to below-normal, and humidity levels from thoroughly oppressive to quite comfortable, by Saturday. What a difference a summer cold front makes! This cold front, which slides through the region on Friday, will allow cooler, drier air to filter into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic from Canada. (See the GFS' representation of the cooler air bleeding into the Northeast at 850mb by this weekend.)

As a result, Saturday through Wednesday, including Independence Day, July 4th, will feature picture-perfect July weather with abundant sunshine, comfortable levels of humidity, and highs ranging from 82-88, with lows from 62-68 in most locations. Chances for rain stand at less than 10% Sunday through Tuesday, with a slight increase to 20% on Wednesday. There is some indication that a slightly warmer, more humid, air mass will enter the region by Thursday. As such, I will call for partly to mostly sunny skies Thursday through Saturday, with moderate humidity levels and widely scattered afternoon thundershowers; expect highs during this period to range from 85-90, with overnight lows from 65-70.

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