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Summer Cruises Into Homestretch

Dan Stillman @ 8:50 AM

Mother Nature appears to be on cruise control as summer winds down. Near-average and mostly quiet conditions are on tap for the next several days, with the exception of possible thunderstorm activity during the latter part of Friday. The potential exists for a very pleasant holiday weekend.


Forecast Confidence: Very HighSimilar to yesterday. With high pressure in control, it'll be partly sunny and a touch humid with highs in the mid-to-upper 80s. Winds should be light from the south to southeast at 5-10 mph. Tonight, mostly clear with lows in the upper 60s in town, low 60s in the burbs.


Forecast Confidence: HighMuch the same. The daytime forecast for tomorrow is similar to today. Mostly sunny and a touch humid with highs in the upper 80s to near 90. During the evening and overnight, an approaching cold front could bring partly cloudy skies and a slight chance (20%) of a shower. Otherwise, turning more humid overnight with lows dipping to near 70 in town and mid 60s in the burbs.

Pictured: A colorful Reston Town Center last Friday. By photographer Kevin Ambrose.


Forecast Confidence: MediumWarm and humid, chance of showers/storms. With a cold front in the vicinity, we should see partly cloudy skies with a slight chance (20%) of a shower or thunderstorm in the morning, and a little better chance (30-40%) of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. It'll be humid with highs in the mid 80s. A change in the timing of the front would change the timing of precipitation chances. Overnight, partly cloudy with a lingering shower or storm and lows in the mid 60s to near 70.

Labor Day Weekend

Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighQuite pleasant. Depending on the speed of the cold front, some leftover clouds and a lingering shower are possible early Saturday. But confidence is growing that by Saturday afternoon (if not earlier), partly to mostly clear skies, pleasant temperatures and low humidity should take hold through Monday. Look for holiday weekend highs in the upper 70s to mid 80s and overnight lows in the 60s. Similar weather is in store for the Delaware and Maryland beaches, with highs near 80.

Assessing Accuracy

Does anyone keep track of whether the weathermen are accurate? That's the question addressed by Cecil Adams in last week's Washington City Paper. The article briefly recaps the improvement in weather forecasts during the past few centuries, including the all-important advances in severe-weather predictions.

As for tracking the accuracy of day-to-day forecasts by individual forecast outlets, the story notes that WeatherRate reviews four-day forecasts from local TV stations in major U.S. cities and metropolitan areas, and certifies those stations that are the most accurate. averages predictions by several national forecast providers and ranks the accuracy for more than 800 locations in the United States and Canada, but information comparing the accuracy of each individual provider is not available.

Here at, we do a post-mortem analysis of our forecast and those from other outlets after winter storms and other major weather events. In addition, we've batted around the idea of periodically doing a similar assessment even during routine weather. Would you be interested in reading such assessments on a regular basis? How do you (or do you at all?) judge the accuracy of day-to-day weather forecasts?

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