A potent cold front will trigger strong to severe thunderstorms to kick start the work week.
We've reached the climatological hottest time of the year in D.C. with our average high now 89°. Some big changes on the horizon, as a strong cold front approaches the area. This cold front will bring a welcome drop in the heat and humidity by Wednesday, but it will come with the price of severe weather for Monday and Tuesday.
Ahead of the front, our airmass remains very hot and humid. Forecast high temperatures Monday are in the low to mid 90s. Factor in the humidity and it will feel closer to the 100 degree mark.
The cold front will slide farther east Monday increasing the atmospheric dynamics for severe weather. Take a look at the surface features, as of Sunday night.
The viewing area will remain under the very warm and moisture laden air until the cold front passes late Tuesday night. That will help fuel the fire for the strong and severe storms. The Storm Prediction Center has the entire vewing area (shaded in yellow in the image below) under a 'Slight' risk for severe storms Monday. This means damaging winds (60+mph), large hail, and isolated tornadoes will be possible with any storms that develop.
- Storm Prediction Center
A big dip in the jet stream will allow temperatures and humidity to drop off significantly by Wednesday and the rest of the week. The clash of airmasses; however, is what is causing this elevated risk for severe weather. Check out an upper level map (500mb level) that clearly shows the large trough digging into the area. The brighter colors indicate higher wind speeds, which leads to increased wind shear. Wind shear can cause damaging wind gusts and tornadoes.
- WeatherBell - European Model 500mb heights and wind speed/direction
As mentioned, behind the front much cooler and drier air. Take a look at the difference in forecast dewpoint temperatures on Monday and Wednesday. Dewpoints will go from the mid 70s Monday afternoon to the low 50s Wednesday. You will certainly feel the difference by midweek.
- WeatherBell ECMWF Dewpoint Temperature Monday
- WeatherBell ECMWF Dewpoint Temperature Wednesday
Remember to stay updated with the StormWatch7 weather team for the latest weather updates. We also encourage you to download the free StormWatch7 weather app. You'll have access to Live Super Doppler within the app, so you can track storms on the go.