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Bad Hair Week

Dan Stillman @ 12:05 AM

Today will be yet another in a string of days featuring hair-curling humidity. Let's call it a three-blow dryer day -- the worst possible.
I hate to say it, but there is no break in sight to our stretch of uncomfortable humidity. The only saving grace is that there is also no sign of the oppressive heat that, as Matt pointed out yesterday with this remarkable statistic, has eluded us for some time now.

Temps should top out in the mid-to-upper 80s today with dewpoints in the low-to-mid 70s for the second day in a row -- that translates to heat indices in the mid-90s. We'll see a better chance of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms today than yesterday, although a lot of the activity may stay to our south and west. Showers and thunderstorms remain a possibility tomorrow as well, as highs head for the mid-80s.

Taste of the Tropics

Why the extended streak of high humidity? Well, for one, it's July in Washington. The ghost of Hurricane Dennis isn't helping matters, either. The remnants of that storm continue to exert their tropical influence on us as it dies a slow death in the Ohio Valley. The National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory on Dennis last night. Meanwhile, the Hurricane Center also reported last night that Tropical Storm Emily was getting better organized and was on track to reach the Windward Islands, possibly as a hurricane, late today. Check the NHC Web site for the latest.

All Fun and Games Until ...

Spent a good part of Sunday watching coverage of Dennis making landfall -- that is between innings of the Nats game, of course. One of the most impressive and at the same time stupid pieces of reporting came from CNN's Anderson Cooper and John Zarrella, who were live from outside a Ramada Inn in Pensacola, Fla. They were on the air when furious winds took down a large Ramada sign in front of the hotel. At one point, Anderson and Zarrella had to scamper out of the way as the debris tumbled past them. "Unbelievable, I've never seen anything like this," Anderson said. Zarrella agreed, and also said to Anderson, "I'm holdin' on to you." While putting themselves in the position they did was dangerous and probably irresponsible, it did make for good TV -- much better than when our local reporters stand outside surrounded by nothing but a few snow flurries. Here's the video.

Return to Flight

As of press time, today's space shuttle liftoff -- the first since the Columbia disaster in February 2003 -- was still scheduled for 3:51 p.m. However, a chance of showers and thunderstorms was in the forecast for Cape Canaveral today. See the NASA Web site for updates. [1:50 PM: Launch has been scrubbed for today due to problems with the shuttle's fuel-tank sensor system.]

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