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More September Heat and Humidity
Weekend Forecast Still A Challenge

Josh Larson @ 12:30 AM

We'll look for warmer and more humid than normal conditions than is typical for early September through the remainder of the work week. The weekend forecast, however, is still uncertain due to the possibility of a tropical system developing off the Eastern Seaboard, which may bring rain and wind to our area by late Saturday.


Forecast Confidence: MediumWarm + humid. Expect similar conditions today to yesterday's weather, with plenty of sunshine and highs near 90. Rising dew points, however, will lead to an appreciable increase in humidity. Partly cloudy and muggy overnight with lows from the upper 60s to low 70s.


Forecast Confidence: MediumMore of the same. Expect almost repeat conditions on Friday, with mostly sunny skies, moderate humidity levels and highs near 90 in most places. Mostly clear overnight with lows from the upper 60s to low 70s.

The Weekend

Confidence: High-Very HighBecoming unsettled? The forecast for Saturday is relatively straight-forward: look for partly to mostly sunny skies and possibly breezy conditions, with highs in the mid to upper 80s. But confidence decreases rapidly for the forecast for Saturday night and Sunday, as computer models predict that a tropical system may skirt along the eastern Seaboard during this period.

I'll call for mostly cloudy and breezy conditions Saturday night with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, with lows in the low 70s. Expect overcast skies and windy conditions on Sunday, with a 50/50 chance for showers and thunderstorms, some of which might bring torrential rain with them. High temperatures will likely stay in the 70s on Sunday. Windy conditions along with scattered showers may very well linger into early Monday.

Pattern/Tropical Overview

All eyes are focused on an emerging tropical threat which may bring rain and wind to the area during the second half of the weekend into the start of the next week. Right now we have an area of disturbed weather well off the southeast US coast, which, while not currently exhibiting tropical characteristics, is likely to become Tropical Storm (and perhaps Hurricane) Gabrielle sometime over the next 48 hours.

High pressure building over the northeastern US is likely to allow Gabrielle to strengthen and head westward (in meteorological terms, "retrograde") towards the Carolinas by Saturday. At this point, the odds of the DC Metro area experiencing some effects from this storm system (primarily in the form of winds and rain) are about 50/50. The potential effects (and their magnitudes) will be dictated primarily by the track this area of disturbed weather takes, which will hopefully become clearer in the next day.

Pictured above: most computer models predict that the emerging storm system off the southeast US coast will head to the north and west, likely skimming the Carolinas; image courtesy SFWMD.


Next week's forecast
Forecast highs/lows: 84/66 (normal = 81/63)
Forecast precip: Above-normal?

Forecast Confidence: High-Very High Next week's forecast is highly dependent on the evolution of the tropical feature we're watching off the southeast coast. In fact, the timing and track of what is likely to develop into Gabrielle will dictate much of what happens weatherwise during the first half of next week. As such, there is probably little utility in trying to forecast weather for specific days next week; however, the first of the week may feature plenty of clouds and leftover moisture either in the form of the remnants of Gabrielle and/or an approaching cold front.

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