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Still Hot and Humid, But End is in Sight

Dan Stillman @ 12:15 AM

Yesterday's scorcher tied the record at one local airport, and the heat and humidity make a return appearance today, albeit several degrees cooler. There is an end in sight to both the heat and humidity, but not before a round of showers and storms late tomorrow and Friday. Here's how the forecast details shape up ...


Current Air Quality Index
Current Air Quality Index
     Good        Moderate        Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups        Unhealthy        Very Unhealthy  Explain
Temps come down a little bit from yesterday under partly sunny skies. It'll still be warm and quite humid, with highs in the mid-to-upper 80s and the heat index topping 90. Like yesterday, there is a slight (25%) chance of a pop-up shower or thunderstorm during the afternoon or early evening. Air quality is forecast to be in the unhealthy range for sensitive groups. Tonight, it will be partly cloudy with lows in the mid-to-upper 60s.

Pictured: Track today's deteriorating air quality index, courtesy MWCOG (refresh page to update).


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighWe'll start off with a good amount of sunshine, which should allow high temps to once again reach the mid 80s. Clouds increase during the afternoon as a cold front approaches, and we have a good chance of showers and thunderstorms by late afternoon or early evening. Some of these storms could be strong, and a few could be severe. Overnight, the chance of storms continues as lows only dip to the upper 60s to around 70.


The cold front takes its time passing through the area, giving us a good chance of more showers and thunderstorms during the day Friday into Friday night. Overcast skies will hold high temps to the mid-to-upper 70s. Overnight, the front should move off, allowing skies to clear and lows to drop into the mid 50s to near 60.

The Weekend

As of now, it looks pretty great. High pressure builds in, bringing with it partly to mostly sunny skies and much drier air. Highs should top out in the upper 70s to near 80 on both Saturday and Sunday, with a Saturday night low in the mid 50s to near 60.

Yesterday's Scorcher

National, Dulles and BWI all maxed out at 95 yesterday. That was good enough to tie the record for the day at Dulles, last set in 1991, but fell three degrees short of the records at National and BWI (also set in '91).

Right on cue, the Washington Post fulfilled the local media's annual duty to document how the metro area copes with the first scorcher of the season, and at the same time validate everybody's belief that it was indeed extremely hot outside.

Surprising Skeptic

Joel Achenbach's piece in the Washington Post Magazine this past Sunday -- "The Tempest" -- summarizes the passionate though sometimes flawed arguments of global warming skeptics. The article leads with the story of a man who may be the most surprising skeptic of all -- hurricane expert William Gray. It's interesting that someone so respected in the field of hurricane science and prediction falls on the often-ridiculed side of the global warming debate.

Steve had an interesting take in his post yesterday on the irony of Gray's argument.

In some ways, Gray represents the convergence point of two climate-related events happening this week. Hurricane season officially begins tomorrow, and Al Gore's bullish-on-global-warming movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," opens this weekend at selected DC area theatres.

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