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Falling Leaves, Falling Records
Hot and humid to start the week, much cooler by the end

Dan Stillman @ 10:00 AM

Let's play Guess That Holiday! Your clue: A hot and humid honoring of America. Most would probably answer July 4th -- I know I would, quite confidently. Incredibly, it's Columbus Day that presents us today with steamy and possibly record heat. This, a day after Dulles reached 91, breaking the record of 86 set in 1963. The remarkable heat continues tomorrow, before a gradual but eventually substantial cool down.


Forecast Confidence: High-Very HighBecoming mostly sunny, hot and humid. Record heat? After some low clouds and fog in the morning, today's record highs of 88 (DCA and BWI) and 85 (IAD) are in jeopardy as skies clear and temperatures aim to top out near 90. Dewpoints mainly in the mid 60s will push the afternoon heat index into the low-to-mid 90s. Tonight, mostly clear early with low clouds and fog developing late. Lows in the upper 60s in town, mid 60s in the burbs.

The Upcoming Week at a Glance

Warmest Days: Today and Tomorrow, Near 90.
Coolest Days: Friday-Sunday, 60s.
Rain Chances: Tuesday night, Thursday night-Saturday.
Dry Days: Today, Tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday.
The Week's Wild Cards: Will we break record highs today and tomorrow? How much cooler will it be on Thursday? Will an upper-level low bring clouds and showers for the end of the work week and first part of the weekend?
Average High/Low: 71-69/53-50


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighPartly sunny, hot and humid. Low clouds and fog in the morning should be followed by clearing skies and highs near 90, challenging records yet again. Humidity remains high, yielding another afternoon heat index in the low-to-mid 90s. Look for increasing clouds during the late afternoon or evening as a cold front approaches, with a 25% chance of an evening or overnight shower or thunderstorm. Lows in the mid-to-upper 60s in town, low-to-mid 60s in the burbs.


Forecast Confidence: HighMostly sunny, warm, less humid. Behind the cold front, temperatures will be lower and humidity will be dropping. Highs in the low-to-mid 80s will still be well above average, and should feel quite warm under mostly sunny skies, but you should notice drier air filtering in during the day. Overnight, partly to mostly clear with lows in the low 60s in town, mid-to-upper 50s in the burbs.


Forecast Confidence: Low-MediumPartly sunny and cooler ... but how much cooler? Some models suggest highs on Thursday will be in the upper 70s, while others indicate as low as the mid 60s. Either way, partly sunny skies and dewpoints in the 50s should make for a nice day. Overnight, an upper-level area of low pressure may bring increased clouds and a chance of showers. Lows should dip down to the 50s.


Forecast Confidence: Low-MediumFinally, Fall. Lot's of uncertainty here. An upper-level low may track near the MidAtlantic, giving us considerable clouds and a chance of showers, especially Friday and Saturday. Or, it may stay well to our north, which would mean more sunshine and little to no chance of rain. Even in the more cloudy and showery scenario, it looks like things may clear out by Sunday. What I can say with fairly high confidence is that temperatures will be much cooler than this past weekend. Best estimate as of now is for highs in the 60s and overnight lows in the mid 40s to low 50s.

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