From the ABC 7 Weather team

90s back in the forecast

July 6, 2015 - 05:40 PM
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Did you know June 23rd was the last time Reagan National Airport reached the 90 degree mark? Neither did I. It's hard to believe it's been that long as it's still been warm and humid and highs did reach 89 and 88 respectively on June 30th and July 1st.

D.C. already reached the 90 degree mark 19 times this year and that number is expected to increase this week with highs around 90 Tuesday through Thursday, and again Sunday through early next week. Our area typically reaches 90 degrees 36 times per year, though we got off easy in 2014 when we only reached 90 degrees 24 times. We're readily approaching that number.

Another number you're probably sick of is that of the area rainfall which was the second highest total on record for June and so far doesn't want to take a break with 2.20" recorded so far in July. The month averages 3.73" so we're already running quite above normal.

Precipitation forecast for the next 7 days from the WPC

Looking ahead, rain chances look to continue with the best chance this week coming Wednesday. Unfortunately in this pattern we've kept a chance for showers and storms in Wednesday through Tuesday of next week. Don't worry, a washout of a pattern isn't expected as Thursday through Sunday appear mainly dry with only isolated showers in the forecast.

The heaviest rain will be focused over the Central Plains and into the Midwest where numerous Flash Flood Watches are posted for the possibility of 2-6 inches of rain.

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4th of July holiday weekend weather in D.C.

July 1, 2015 - 04:42 PM
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We've been receiving plenty of questions already about the holiday weekend and if the weather will pan out for outdoor activities. At this point, we're watching a trough of low pressure and associated frontal boundary settling into the D.C. area to end the work week. This will lead to chance for rain and a few storms Thursday and an additional chance for scattered showers and storms Friday.

Precipitation forecast through Friday evening

While we're not forecasting a washout locally, very heavy rainfall will be expected just south of D.C. If the boundary drifts slightly farther north, heavier rain can be expected through late Friday. For now, we're forecasting a 60% chance for showers and isolated storms Thursday with the heaviest precipitation south. Friday will feature a 50% chance for showers and storms with the best chances south and west.

Fireworks forecast

The 4th of July will continue to have its own chances for showers and storms. The forecast is currently looking at the possibility of a few isolated storms by the afternoon with the best possibility south and west of town. Latest guidance depicts more clouds than sun and isolated showers in the morning hours with some clearing by the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to reach the low to mid 80s.

For the fireworks displays, be sure to keep your phone handy with our Stormwatch 7 App or check Live Doppler radar before heading out so you'll be sure to be dry. If any storms develop our team will be all over them and will let you know where they are, where they're headed and when they'll exit. Don't forget about us on facebook and twitter!

Beach forecast for the weekend

Headed to the beach this weekend? The forecast calls for isolated storms Saturday at the northern beaches and a better chance for rain and storms for Virginia Beach and points south into the Outer Banks. Temperatures should be comfortable in the low to mid 80s. Conditions appear like they will continue to be unsettled on Sunday with a chance for rain and potential storms along the Mid Atlantic coastline.

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Saturday Soaker with Some Severe Storms

June 26, 2015 - 06:51 AM
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It's been a wet start to the month of June.  As of this writing, June has received 9.18"  of rain at Reagan National, which is 6.03" over the average for the month!  Get ready to add an additional 1-3" to that total, Saturday.

A strong area of low pressure will develop over the Ohio River Valley, Saturday, bringing heavy rain and possible severe storms to the area.  Here's a look at the surface features forecast for Saturday at 8 PM courtesy of the Weather Prediction Center.

Weather Prediction Center

Rain will move in from west to east Saturday morning.  Here's a look at our simulated radar at 8 AM Saturday. 

Radar simulation at 8AM Saturday

Heavier rain and possible severe storms move in later in the afternoon and evening.  Here's another snapshot of our local futurecast at 8 PM.  Notice the brighter colors, indicating heavier precipitation.

Radar simulation at 8PM Saturday

Rain totals could reach 1-3", so flooding is a concern.  The entire ABC7 viewing area is under a Flash Flood Watch from late tonight through late Saturday night.

Here is another local computer simulation forecasting rainfall accumulations through Sunday morning.  Remember, if you encounter standing water on the roads, turn around, don't drown.
Accumulated Rain Projection through Sunday AM

Along with the threat of flooding, also comes the risk of strong, to severe, storms.  The dynamics with this system will be conducive to gusty winds and an isolated tornado.  The Storm Prediction Center has put our region under the 'Slight' risk category. 

Storm Prediction Center

You'll want to stay weather alert on Saturday.  Stay with ABC7, NewsChannel, and right here at WJLA.com.  If you're on the go, download our free, StormWatch7 weather app.  Live radar, alerts, and more.

StormWatch7 Mobile App

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Washington D.C. Weather: record warm June underway

June 22, 2015 - 09:54 AM
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We’re just two-thirds of the way through the month, and D.C. is already in the number 6 position for warmest Junes in the record books! Ten of the last 21 days have been in the 90s, making our average monthly temperature 78.0 degrees. That’s almost 4° above normal. According to National Climatic Data Center records in Washington, D.C. dating back to 1871, there are only 5 instances in which we were warmer. Keep in mind that those records include a full 30 days and here we are pushing the top five with eight more days to go!

Warmest Junes in DC since 1871

I am confident that today, the 22nd, we will continue this well above average trend, easily breaking the 90 degree mark. Tomorrow will be even hotter and there is a chance that we could set new all-time daily record highs. We are forecasting mid 90s with the record at Reagan National of 98° and at Dulles of 96° both set back in 1988.

A cold front will drop the heat and humidity by mid-week with upper 80s replacing the current 90s but we will still remain slightly, above the average of 86/87 through Friday. The weekend will then bring our first below-average set of days. Looking at the Climate Prediction Centers outlook for the remainder of the month, we have equal chances of above or below average temperatures which likely means no more extremes. However, the numbers thus far speak for themselves and I certainly will remember this month as a toasty one. But before you start to complain about the recent spate of high heat, let’s not forget about the well below average winter we just experienced. The month of February was nearly 9 degrees below average temperatures.

Past Six Months

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Heavy rainfall possible this weekend in the D.C. area

June 19, 2015 - 12:30 PM
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On facebook? Be sure to connect with me here for the latest weather information.

Let's face it, it's been a very wet June so far, with rainfall recorded in 11 out of the first 18 days and more on the way. So far this month, Reagan National has recorded 5.34" of rain which is more than 3 inches above normal. Average rainfall for the month is typically around 4 inches.

Enough climate data Alex, is Father's Day weekend going to be a washout or not?

While heavy rain is in the forecast, I don't think you'll need to carry your umbrella everywhere with you this weekend. Saturday should start cloudy and mild with temperatures in the low to mid 80s by the afternoon. Some sunshine should peek through the overcast by the afternoon.

Rainfall Potential

Here's where you'll need your umbrella. Shower and thunderstorm activity is expected to increase Saturday evening and will continue through early Sunday morning. If you have outdoor plans Saturday evening into Saturday night, be sure to give Doppler radar a look.

By Sunday morning conditions should begin to improve. There's a chance for a few showers or storms by the afternoon hours but those should be isolated with only about a 30% chance. Highs Sunday should approach the 90 degree mark.

Precipitation Outlook from July through September from the CPC

If you are sick of the rain, there may be some good news from the Climate Prediction Center. The latest 3 month outlook for July through September is highlighting the chance for drier than normal conditions across the D.C. area. I guess it might be a good thing after all the area is getting rain while it can.

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Summer Solstice this Sunday

June 15, 2015 - 05:38 PM
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The Summer Solstice occurs at 12:39pm on Sunday ushering the region into astronomical summer. This occurs when the sun's zenith reaches its farthest northern position at the Tropic of Cancer. This coincides with the longest duration of daylight in the northern hemisphere with D.C.'s stretch coming the 18th through the 24th of June.

As far as temperatures are concerned, our average high will continue to rise through July with the warmest average high temperature hitting 89 degrees from July 7th through the 22nd. I'm not sure anyone would even realize the change though as hot as it has been in May as well as the past 5 days at 92 degrees or higher!

Duration of Daylight

There will be 14 hours and 54 minutes of daylight through the period. The region will lose 3 minutes of daylight by June 30th, and 42 minutes by July 31st. The autumnal equinox doesn't occur until September 26th when we finally head back to equal duration of daylight and darkness. Our shortest daylight hours will be experienced as usual on December 21st and 22nd with 9 hours and 26 minutes of daylight.

Sick of getting up so early because of the sun? Sunrise times will eventually push back to 6am by July 21st.

Sunrise and sunset times

 

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Improvements by the weekend in D.C. and at the beach

June 4, 2015 - 03:00 PM
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It has now been two days in a row with temperatures in the mid 60s. Rain continues to be a threat tonight into Friday morning. So far through the first four days of June, Reagan National Airport has received over 3 inches of rain. The average for the month is 3.78", so we're not far off!

The transitional day is Friday. Clouds, drizzle, a few showers and some patchy fog will be likely in the morning hours. Low temperatures will be in the 50s in the suburbs to near 60 degrees around town. Rain should taper off by the early afternoon as the low pressure moves east of D.C. and the area gets a little subsidence to help dry us out. We're even expecting a few peeks of sunshine by the later afternoon and evening! Don't forget to head out to Celebrate Fairfax tomorrow (a celebration might be in order just for the rain to stop!).

Forecast for Friday Evening

Conditions should continue to improve for the weekend ahead. Saturday will feature more sunshine and warmer temperatures with highs in the lower 80s. Though we didn't put it on our graphic below, there's still a SLIGHT chance for a few storms with the highest likelihood south and west of D.C.

High pressure will filter in overhead on Sunday making for mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies. Temperatures will be a touch cooler  in the upper 70s with a more northeasterly component to the wind.

3-Day Outlook Friday through Sunday

Delmarva Beaches:

If you're heading to the beach this weekend, conditions should be nice on Saturday with highs in the mid to upper 70s under partly sunny skies. With easterly winds expected on Sunday, not only will it be breezy at times through the day, but temperatures on the beach itself may struggle to reach the 70 degree mark. Just an FYI, the water temperature at the Ocean City Inlet was only 59 degrees as of Wednesday!

Weekend Outlook at the Beaches

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2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

May 28, 2015 - 05:17 AM
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The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins Monday, June 1st.  Even though the 'official start' is a few days away, we've already had our first tropical system of the season.  Remember Tropical Storm Ana?

Tropical Storm Ana - NASA

Ana made landfall, as a tropical storm, along the South Carolina coast on Sunday, May 10th - Mother's Day.  Ana was the second earliest landfalling tropical storm on record in the Atlantic. 

As of this writing, there are no storms the National Hurricane Center is watching in the Atlantic.

National Hurricane Center

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center released its 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, Wednesday, forecasting a below-average hurricane season.  Here are the numbers:

NOAA

“The main factor expected to suppress the hurricane season this year is El Niño, which is already affecting wind and pressure patterns, and is forecast to last through the hurricane season,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “El Niño may also intensify as the season progresses, and is expected to have its greatest influence during the peak months of the season. We also expect sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic to be close to normal, whereas warmer waters would have supported storm development.”

Regardless of the numbers, it's important to be Weather Ready now.  Whether you live along the coast, or inland, now is the time to make sure your Hurricane Preparedness Kit is ready to go!

As always, stay with your StormWatch7 weather team with for all tropical updates.  The National Hurricane Center is unveiling a new storm surge graphic.  This graphic will highlight storm surge hazard and will help warn indiviuals of risks to life and property.  Here is a sample of the new graphic:

New National Hurricane Center Graphic

Peak hurricane season doesn't arrive until August, but now is the time to prepare for tropical hazards, so you're not caught off guard in the future.

Oh, and wondering if a troipcal storm or hurricane will be named after you this season?  Here's a list of the 2015 names:

2015 Hurricane Names

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May much warmer than average, hot week ahead

May 25, 2015 - 04:21 PM
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May has been an exceptionally warm month in the D.C. area, with 18 of the 24 days so far experiencing above average temperatures. There have been three 90 degree days and 15 days with high temperatures above 80 degrees. Our averages for May 25th (Memorial Day Monday) are 78 for the high and 59 for the low, so chalk up another day with highs 5 to 10 degrees above average.

Latest 7-Day Outlook here

Here are the five warmest months on record in D.C.:

1991 - 73.0F

2004 - 71.8F

1944 - 71.6F

2012 - 71.4F

1880 - 70.5F

Thus far, May 2015 is averaging 71.1F putting the month solidly as the 5th warmest. Temperatures this week are expected to consistently be in the upper 80s, which is right around 10 degrees above average. This could easily put the month as the 3rd or 4th warmest on record, but the 73F recorded in 1991 appears safe. Regardless, this will be only the 7th time since 1871 May has experienced an average temperature above 70 degrees.

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Memorial Day Weekend forecast for D.C. and the Beaches

May 21, 2015 - 03:00 PM
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Today happens to be the coolest since May 1st, the fourth time this month with below average temperatures and also as we sit in the 50s is currently 30 to 35 degrees cooler than just 48 hours ago.

These chilly temperatures and pesky showers won't hang around for the weekend though. Big changes are expected by tomorrow as sunshine filters back overhead along with milder temperatures in the upper 70s.

The weekend is looking fantastic. High pressure is expected to filter overhead on Saturday and will move off the east coast Sunday. Sunny skies are expected Saturday with seasonable temperatures in the mid 70s. As the high moves east, a southerly component to the wind will help usher in warmer air once again and highs should reach the low to mid 80s Sunday and upper 80s Memorial Day Monday.

Weekend Outlook

The Beaches

Just so you have the right mindset, water temperatures across the east coast from Virginia Beach to the Delmarva are still in the 60s, so it will be chilly at times right on the beach. South of Hatteras, water temperatures are much warmer in the 70s. I can vouch for this as I swam in the Atlantic at Sullivans Island outside of Charleston, SC last weekend. Very comfortable water there!

Beach Outlook

Right now we're still expecting plenty of sunshine both Saturday and Sunday along the eastern seaboard. Temperatures will be cool in the upper 60s to near 70 degrees each day at the northern beaches, and in the low 70s from Virginia Beach to Nags Head.

Memorial Day Monday appears like it will be a good day to hang around at the beach and head home in the afternoon. Temperatures look like they will be in the mid to upper 70s under mostly sunny skies. Enjoy it if you're going!

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First 90 degree day of the year possible Tuesday

May 11, 2015 - 01:51 PM
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The month of May is currently running nearly 8 degrees above average so far but some relief is in sight by the middle and end of the work week. Temperatures again topped the 80 degree mark today and may possibly reach 90 degrees Tuesday. The average high at Reagan National for this time of year is in the mid 70s. Here's a look at the first 90 degree days over the past five years in Washington D.C.

First 90F Day in D.C. over the past 5 years

You can see just last year, the first occurrence was May 13 when it reached 92F. Last year only had 24 days at or above 90 degrees, which is below the average of 36 days. While it still hasn't reached 90 degrees yet this year, this doesn't mean it will be a cooler summer. 2011 and 2012 featured the first 90 degree day late in the month of May and still experienced 50 and 53 days respectively at or above 90F.

Forecast temperatures Tuesday at 3pm per the 4km NAM Model (Courtesy: WeatherBell Models)

Tuesday our forecast is currently to reach 89 degrees, but with a frontal boundary moving through we may get some additional compressional heating with strong westerly winds helping push parts of the area over 90 degrees. If the region doesn't reach 90 degrees tomorrow, we'll have to wait at least another week or two for the next opportunity. At this point it appears the 18th and 19th might be rather warm ahead of a cold front.

Wednesday through Friday should be much more comfortable with temperatures in the 70s and dewpoints back in the 50s and 40s.

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Eyes on the tropics already? (Saturday Update)

May 9, 2015 - 09:15 AM
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(Update Saturday 5-9-15 9:30 PM)

Tropical Storm Ana has formed and is at its peak strength right now.   Getting the worst of it right now are the coasts of Northern South Carolina and Southern North Carolina (did I get that right :D ), or right around Wilmington, NC.

Satellite / Radar Data Saturday Night


The National Hurricane Center is only issuing a forecast through Monday at 2PM, to where it will only hold any sort of tropical characteristic up through that time.  After 2PM Monday, this storm poses little threat for anything other than ordinary thunderstorms and locally brief heavy rain.

 

NHC Official Forecast

 These two aspects, along with a cold front that also nears the region, confirms that Monday will be the day likeliest for storms in the Mid-Atlantic.  Our Futurecast forecast shows scattered showers and possible thunderstorms over the region by 11AM Monday.

Our Local Futurecast Forecast at 2PM Monday


(Previous Update from Tuesday)

 

We're still keeping a close eye on the disturbance along and east of Florida affecting the Bahamas. This system continues to have a chance for subtropical development over the next few days but as of now appears like it will have little to no affect on the D.C. area.

 

 This area of showers and storms is associated with a surface and upper-level trough, meaning it doesn't have any tropical characteristics at the moment, but may become subtropical over the next few days.

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the area for later in the week, and as of Tuesday has a 40% chance for development. For the latest Special Tropical Weather Outlook, the NHC has stated,

A large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms extending
from the northwestern Caribbean Sea across Cuba, southern Florida,
and the Bahamas is associated with an upper-level trough and a weak
surface trough. An area of low pressure is expected to form in
association with this disturbance during the next day or two. The
low could gradually acquire subtropical characteristics over the
next few days while it moves generally northward at a slow forward
speed. For additional information on this system, see High Seas
Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service. The next Special
Tropical Weather Outlook will be issued on this system by 11 AM EDT
Wednesday.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...40 percent

Find more on the difference between a tropical, subtropical and extratropical storm here.

Atlantic 5-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook (Courtesy: National Hurricane Center)

As of this morning, the majority of model guidance either keeps the system offshore along the southeast coast or drifts the low into South Carolina on Friday. All guidance as of now keeps the low well south of the D.C. area, but some tropical moisture still may filter its way into the Mid Atlantic byt early next week.

We'll continue to keep a close eye on it as these types of disturbances are notoriously difficult for a global model to accurately forecast. Be sure to stay tuned, especially if you are headed to the southeast beaches within the next week.

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Daylight is dominating

May 1, 2015 - 12:53 PM
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I felt like it was only a few weeks ago when we were waking up and the sunrise was after 7am and the sunset was prior to 7pm. It has now been a solid 8 weeks since we entered daylight saving time March 8th. Sunrise that day was 7:31am and sunset was 7:08pm.

Fast forward to May 1st and the sunrise is 6:10am and sets at 8pm. That means in just 8 weeks the D.C. area has gained 2 hours and 13 minutes more daylight. March 8th featured 11 hours and 37 minutes while May 1st has 13 hours and 50 minutes.

Duration of Daylight

Through May 31st, the area will gain an additional 51 minutes to hit 14 hours and 41 minutes by the end of the month. Through June there's only another 13 minutes to gain, however, as the longest day of the year happens around the summer solstice June 21st. The longest days of the year actually extend from June 18th through the 24th.

The difference between the summer solstice and winter solstice in terms of daylight is 5 hours and 28 minutes, as by December 21st and 22nd, D.C. will be back to 9 hours and 26 minutes of daylight.

Enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures this weekend!

Sunrise and Sunset times below.

Sunrise and sunset times looking ahead

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Tree pollen count for D.C. may have been highest for the year

April 21, 2015 - 12:33 PM
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Meteorologists across the D.C. area receive a daily email update with the pollen count for the preceding 24 hours. Chief Microbiologist Susan Kosisky or Health Technician Mariko Shigeto Marks from the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab in Ft. Meade always give us a thorough update on the main offenders in the air whether it is trees, weeds, grass or mold. This time of year it is typically trees and mold. The count we received this morning was the highest so far this year for trees in the very high range.

April 20 Pollen Count


From Susan Kosisky,

"Despite the rain showers, our area tree species have put together some pretty high pollen counts. With the warm temps and breezes on Saturday, our tree count climbed to 1647 grains/cubic meter. We had a slight reprieve on Sunday, however, yesterday the trees unloaded. The yellowish-green film on the cars yesterday said it all. Our count with rising temps and breezes was 2359.11 grains/cubic meter which is VERY HIGH.

Oak pollen, which is very high, is the main contributor at 1840 grains/cubic meter. Ash, sycamore, sweet gum, pine, birch and beech are also adding to the count in a big way. This might have been the highest count we will see this tree season. Mold spores, loving the rain, also climbed considerably. Ascospores abound.

Tree pollen is VERY HIGH at 2359.11 grains/cubic meter.

Grass pollen is LOW at 1.28 grains/cubic meter.

Weed pollen is LOW at 0.64 grains/cubic meter.

 

Mold spores are in the MODERATE range (NAB range) at 11,592.65 spores/cubic meter, which is high for local area mold spore counts."

As many of you could probably tell by the color of your car, sidewalks, roadways and just about everything else outside, the tree pollen is right around its peak. It typically peaks in the 3rd or 4th week of April, so we're almost in the clear. If you're allergy prone (like yours truly) be sure to take the necessary precautions.

Our recommendations:

- Take allergy medications

- Keep your home and car windows closed

- Shower or wash your hands and face soon after exercising outdoors

- Avoid going outside for a prolonged period of time on breezy days

- Wear sunglasses for protection from pollen getting in your eyes

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Heavy rain overnight, severe storms possible Monday in D.C.

April 19, 2015 - 11:59 PM
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After a beautiful Saturday which featured our warmest temperature of the year so far at 84 degrees at Reagan National, it was much cooler Sunday. Easterly winds took over ahead of a warm front which kept highs in the 60s. Clouds were on the increase throughout Sunday approached from the southwest before finally getting to the D.C. Metro between 4pm and 7pm on Sunday evening.

Potential Rainfall Totals by Tuesday morning

Periods of rain continued overnight into Monday morning. Rain may be moderate to heavy at times with upwards of an inch possible by the time it exits the area during Monday mornings commute. A Flood Watch has been posted through Monday for the majority of the D.C. area. Winds were also breezy overnight, with gusts up to 30 mph.

Warmer air will filter into the region Monday ahead of the trailing cold front. Highs should reach the upper 70s to near 80 degrees Monday afternoon. This will elevate the instability levels across the region and the cold front will act as the lifting mechanism to create the chance for thunderstorms Monday evening. Winds aloft will be strong creating the chance for a few damaging wind gusts. This is why the Storm Prediction Center has placed the D.C. area and points south into a slight risk for severe storms.

Slight Risk for severe storms in the area shaded in yellow

The cold front will move east of the area Monday night into Tuesday morning and cooler temperatures are expected the remainder of the work week.

Be sure to check for the latest 7-Day forecast here.

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Stormy Afternoon and PM Rush

April 10, 2015 - 07:41 AM
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Don't be fooled by the cool, cloudy start today. A big change is coming.  A potent cold front that has a history of producing severe weather in the Midwest and Ohio Valley will arrive in D.C. Metro later today.  Be prepared for severe weather.  The most likely threat will be damaging winds.  

Severe Storm Impact

Hail around 1" in diameter is also possible in isolated storms along with heavy downpours. The threat of tornadoes is low.  The farther south you live, the greater your chances that storms will be strong. 

Severe Storm Risk Area

Any severe weather in D.C. would be isolated and short-lived.  Southern Maryland and Central Virginia has a 15% chance that a severe storm will come withing 25 miles of their home. The line of showers and thunderstorms should reach the I-81 corridor just after lunch time. 

Futurecast

By mid afternoon, it reaches the metro. 

Futurecast

By the late rush, it exits east of I-95 and then skies will clear out tonight.  This good news is that the severe threat is on the lower end of the scale today.  This same storm spawned a deadly tornado in Illinois last evening. Amazing video on You Tube you can watch here.  For us, be prepared to seek shelter indoors this afternoon.  Remember lightning can be deadly. Keep a close eye on conditions when the kids get home from the Bus Stop today.   The Stormwatch7 app here will help you stay informed with live radar updates and severe weather alerts on your phone. In addition, Chief Meteorologist Doug Hill will break into programming if necessary today if there are any warnings.  He starts team coverage with Steve Rudin starting at 4p on ABC7 News. Hang in there for the weekend!  It will be perfect with breezy conditions on Saturday. But sunshine and upper 60s to around 70 can be expected both days. Perfect for Cherry Blossom peak blooms!  Share your photos with me this weekend and early next week and I'll put them on the air during Good Morning, Washington! Post them on my Facebook page here or on Twitter @JacquiJeras

 

 

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Windy Saturday, Easter SUNday, Nationals Baseball is back!

April 3, 2015 - 05:46 PM
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Plenty of sunshine is expected this weekend but Easter Sunday still appears to be the better day of the two as windy conditions will prevail on Saturday.

Low pressure will continue to intensify as it moves into the Northeast tonight into Saturday morning. The resulting pressure gradient between the low and entering high pressure will make for windy northwesterly winds throughout the day. Winds may gust as high as 40 mph in the morning hours but winds should finally diminish Saturday evening. Temperatures will be cooler than Friday (which hit 71 degrees) with highs around 60 degrees.

Easter Sunday Hourly Forecast

Easter Sunday will start off rather chilly, with lows in the 30s in the outlying suburbs to near 40 degrees in town. Milder temperatures should enter by the afternoon with highs in the low to mid 60s. Winds may still be on the breezy side out of the southwest around 10-15 mph.

Nationals Baseball Forecast

Is anyone else excited for Nationals baseball? I am absolutely pumped for the season opener on Monday at 4:05pm. Weather conditions should be just about perfect for the game with temperatures in the mid to upper 60s throughout the day under partly cloudy skies.

Be sure to stay tuned to the latest forecast updates this weekend!

 

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Peduncle elongation: Washington D.C. cherry blossom peak bloom forecast

April 1, 2015 - 05:45 AM
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The peak bloom date is defined as the day in which 70% of the blossoms of the Yoshino Cherry trees are in full bloom. Obviously, this is weather dependent and can vary from year to year; however, the actual Cherry Blossom Festival dates are "set" based upon the average bloom date of April 4th. In fact, taking a look at the statistics, it appears that peak bloom has taken place in a very broad date range, occurring as early as March 15, 1990 and as late as April 18, 1958 (courtesy NPS).

While National Park Service Horticulturists issue several bloom forecasts, they clearly state that "it is nearly impossible to give an accurate forecast much more than 10 days." The forecast for this year's peak bloom is currently forecast for April 11 to April 14.

The way the National Park Service tracks the progress of the trees is by monitoring the progress of the 5 steps of growth. By monitoring these processes the horticulturist can adjust and update the bloom forecast accordingly. Here are the 5 steps and the corresponding imagery. Take a look and then you will be able to better understand the process whether you head down to the basin or not.



1. Green Color in buds 2. Florets visible 3. Extension of florets 4. Peduncle elongation 5. Puffy white - Courtesy: National Park Service

Final thought...if you cannot or do not make it down to see the Yoshino Cherry trees you are not 100% out of luck. Kwanzan cherry blossoms are provide a vibrant bloom and generally emerge two weeks later than the predominant Yoshino trees along the Tidal Basin. To catch a glimpse of these trees one need only to head over to the East Potomac Park south of the George Mason Memorial.

*Special thanks to our old friend and Meteorologist Adam Caskey for his collaboration with me on this blog.

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April weather in the D.C. area

March 31, 2015 - 06:21 AM
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April begins on Wednesday and the first day of the month is forecast to be sunny and slightly cooler than average in the mid to upper 50s. The average high for the start of the month is 62 degrees. By the time we get to April 30, the average high soars to 71 degrees. Just a couple of years ago in 2013 on April 10, the high reached 91 degrees, a record for the date.

Complete April Climate Statistics - NWS Baltimore/Washington

With that being said, 90 degree temperatures are definitely obtainable for the month. Only 7 days during the month have record highs below 90 degrees with 5 of them being the 1st through the 5th. The highest temperature last year was 85 degrees on the 13th of the month.

April Weather in D.C.

April features 12 hours and 38 minutes of daylight on the 1st of the month and 13 hours and 48 minutes by the 31st. Sunrise and sunset on the 1st is 6:53am and 7:31pm. By the 31st it rises at 6:12am and sets at 7:59pm.

Sun and Moon Data - U.S. Naval Observatory

The month still features some cold spells, with the last record low being recorded in 2007 on the 8th when the mercury dropped to 29 degrees. Measurable snow has also been recorded 15 days out of the month, with the latest on the 28th back in 1898 when 0.5" fell.

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Unprecedented Quiet Start to Tornado Season

March 24, 2015 - 05:40 AM
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Zero. None. Nada.  That's how many tornadoes have been recorded in the United States so far this March.

Preliminary Tornado Count 2015

March tends to be a busy time for severe weather forecasters, but so far not only have there been no tornadoes this month, there hasn't even been a watch issued.  According to Warning Coordination Meteorologist Greg Carbin at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK where watches are issued, it is unprecedented.

Source: Storm Prediction Center

Carbin says this has never happened since the Storm Prediction Center has been keeping records dating back to 1970.  Typically there will have been dozens by this time of the year.  On average, 130 tornadoes are recorded from January through mid to late March. This year there are 28 preliminary reports from January and February combined. That's 10 percent of average.

U.S. Tornado Trends

Most severe weather this time of the year happens in the south. But, tornadoes can and have occurred in any month of the year in Virginia and Maryland. 

March Severe Weather Probabilities

Why has there been such a lack of tornadoes?  You can thank the chilly temperatures in the east for one thing.  We've had a persistent pattern that has not allowed much moisture, heat or instability from the south to clash with cooler arctic air from the north. 

On average Virginia will see 18 tornadoes a year and Maryland will experience 10.  Most of those tornadoes occur between April and September. 

Tornado Climatology by State

Will the quiet start to the season continue?  Perhaps for at least the short term. cooler than average temperatures are expected to continue in the east into early April. However, weather patterns can change quickly. April and May are typically the busiest months of the year for tornadoes. Just because it's quiet now, doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a correlation of low tornado counts through the end of June.  In fact, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk of severe storms for both Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Severe Weather Outlook Tuesday

While we're not expecting any severe storms in the D.C. region this week, we could hear a few rumbles of thunder on Thursday and there could be some gusty winds with those storms. 

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