From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for July 2012

Beach And Boating Forecast: From Atlantic City to the Outer Banks

July 12, 2012 - 05:30 PM

It's shaping up to be another nice weekend along the Mid Atlantic beaches and near the Bay.  No record breaking temperatures expected this weekend, but it will be seasonably hot with highs in the mid to upper 80s close to the ocean and near 90 degrees along the Bay. 

A mix of sun and clouds is expected with a general Southeast wind to start the weekend.  The humidity will also be on the rise with dewpoint temperatures back into the low 70s.  The water temperatures are gradually rising into the upper 70s near Atlantic City and South to Ocean City, but water temperatures are already into the low 80s closer to the Outer Banks.  With a slightly unstable airmass in place, a few late day thunderstorms aren't out of the question, but overall, the weather should be dry.

Atlantic Beach Forecast for Saturday and Sunday - July 14th & 15th

Along the Chesapeake Bay, with Bay temperatures in the low 80s, expect highs closer to 90 degrees.  Winds will be light, so that should bode well for smooth sailing.  

Chesapeake Bay Forecast for Saturday and Sunday - July 14th & 15th

Typical summertime thunderstorms are possible during the afternoon and evening, both Saturday and Sunday. 

Overall, it should be a nice weekend by the water, so enjoy, be safe, and have fun!  Oh, and if you can't make it to the beach or bay, but want to visualize yourself there, you can always access our live WeatherBug cameras on our homepage.  Now if I could just "I Dream of Jeannie" myself there...

Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk Plaza - WeatherBug camera

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Are you prepared for the next weather emergency or disaster?

July 12, 2012 - 12:31 PM

The Derecho that slammed into our region on June 29, 2012 left a huge portion of our area in the dark. Many were left scrambling to cope not just with the lack of power but also the record breaking heat that followed. My heart certainly goes out to everyone who was impacted by this storm and especially those who had to go a week before their power was restored.

I can certainly sympathize, as during my time working and living in Florida we were hit by Hurricane Wilma. That storm also left myself and others without power for a week or more. The obvious difference between a hurricane and a Derecho is the advance notice. With a hurricane you typically have days or even weeks. However, with a Derecho the advance warning is very limited. Because a weather or disaster event can strike at any time the best thing you can do is be prepared at all times. You can do this simply by having an emergency plan and kit in place for you and your family. During Wilma and again during this event my emergency my emergency kit proved to be indispensable. So here are some simple things you can do so you are not caught scrambling or unprepared the next time a weather emergency happens.

1) Gather Information: Have a list of reference contact information including your Local Emergency Management Office, County Low Enforcement, County Public Safety Fire/Rescue, State, County and City/Town Government, Local Hospitals, Local Utilities, Local Red Cross Office, Local TV/Radio Stations, and Property Insurance Agent.

2) Plan & Take Action: Remember that you and your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. You will need to formulate a plan of how you will find and contact each other. You may have to consider leaving or evacuating your home. Where will you go? What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are not available? These are things that you and your family need to discuss and decide upon. Also, do not forget about your pets they are also affected so make sure you have a plan for them as well.

3) Put Together A Disaster Kit: (Below is what FEMA recommends for a Basic Disaster Supplies Kit.)

- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for  drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone and alert with extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with charger, inverter or solar charger 

Remember to refresh your kit every once in a while to ensure that both food and batteries remain fresh and ready to go. For additional emergency supplies that supplement this basic kit check out this link to FEMA.



During this recent power outage many folks didn’t know what to do from not knowing how long food would last in the refrigerator to what to do if you encountered downed power lines. It may seem like common sense to most of us not to drive over downed power lines yet right in from of my own home I witnessed countless cars doing just that. So I thought it would also be a good idea to give you some information on what to and what not to do if the power goes out.

4) What you should do or not do if the power goes out.

- Check the fuse box to see if there is a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. Sometimes the power outage will be limited to your own home.
- If you determine that a fuse or circuit breaker needs to be replaces, turn off all large appliances or unplug them before replacing a fuse or breaker to avoid damage to the electrical system.
- Check your neighborhood to see if others are without power.
- Call to report the power outage.
- Do not go near any fallen or sagging power lines, call the utility company and notify them of the problem
- Sometimes when the power is restored, power levels can vary considerably. The variation can damage electrical appliances.
- Turn off the lights and electrical appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer.
- Unplugging TV, computers, and other items is also a good idea to prevent damage.
- Leave one lamp plugged in so that you know when the power is restored.
- Wait at least 15 minutes before turning on the remaining appliances after the power has been restored. 

How long will the food in my refrigerator and freezer remain cold enough to prevent food borne illness?
- First keep the freezer and refrigerator doors closed to prevent the loss of cold air.
- A fully loaded refrigerator may keep food fresh for about six hours.
- A fully loaded freezer may keep food frozen for up to two days.
- If the food in the refrigerator or freezer gets above 41 degrees F, trash it! 

A few words on generators.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the use of your particular generator.
- Since most generators are powered by gasoline they generate carbon monoxide gas so never run them indoors and make sure to place them where the fumes cannot be drawn into your home.

This is by no means a complete guide on being storm or disaster ready but should definitely put you ahead of the game should another weather emergency or disaster impact the region. For a complete guide and more information you can visit FEMA’s web page.

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100s in the 30s: Think last week was hot?

July 12, 2012 - 05:02 AM

Just one week ago today, we were beginning one of the greatest  heat waves in most people's lifetime.  The high temperature was 100º last Thursday.  Then 100º and higher for four days in a row.  Last Saturday the temperature briefly reached 106° (for 2 minutes not the required 5 minutes for "official" high) the official high was 105°  As you can see this extreme  temperature had only been reached 4 other times in Washington weather records.  It sure was a week of brutal and dangerous heat for the thousands who were still without power and air conditioning after the fierce, Derecho of Friday, June 29 that caused widespread damage.  But imagine what it was like in 1918 and 1930, before air conditioning when Washington suffered an equal or even worse heat wave,  without almost any place to cool off.  

From The Climatic Handbook U.S. Weather Bureau 1949

 Back in 1930 the official temperature readings were made here in the "old" building of  U.S. Weather Bureau building at 24th and M Street NW in Washington.  Here is a view of the weather instruments on top of that building 


The thermometer recording temperatures from 1907-1942 was 62 feet above the ground.  Not the height most of us look at our thermometer.  Yes, the current "official" location for Washington weather records is next to the runway at National airport 


 Washington DC current weather instrument location

but it is at about 3 feet above the ground.  Even with the urban heat island and local heating at Regan National Airport our run of extreme heat sure does rival any recorded in Washington within the city and in the years when the thermometer was high above the city.  Here are some of the observer notes from the "hot spell" of 1918

August 6: Intensely hot weather continued today with a maximum temperature of 105.5° which is the highest ever recorded at this station. Many prostrations from heat have been reported in the newspapers"

and from the record "hot spell" of July 18-22, 1930

"July 20, 1930: Extreme heat continued today, with maximum of 105.6° breaking all previous records for high temperature" 

So our record last Saturday of 105° does put us in historic territory.  Only a few times has Washington been that hot and maybe the temperature reading at 62 feet above the old buildings was higher than near the ground as we measure now.  And how did folks cool off in the great heat of the 1900s . . . BAC-Before Air Conditioning?  Well there was Rock Creek back then 





Library of Congress 
More information on the history of weather observations in Washington, DC here.  More in a blog by the Capital Weather Gang on the great heat of the 1930s.  Are we done with temperatures 105° or higher this summer?  Yes and if not, I'll see you wading in Rock Creek.















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Another episode of intense heat on the horizon?

July 11, 2012 - 07:28 PM

The sprawling high pressure ridge that baked the Mid-Atlantic in a two week period from late June to early July has shifted to the Southwest U.S. This has allowed the jet stream to dip south and bring a touch of cooler, Canadian air with temperatures near average and dew points in the tolerable range.


Residents in the Southwest haven’t been so lucky. Death Valley, Calif., cooked at 128 degrees on Wednesday but that wasn't a daily high temperature record (the record was 129 degrees for Wednesday). Keep in mind Death Valley has the record for the hottest temperature in the U.S. of 134 degrees! Ontario, Calif., hit 103 degrees Tuesday, shattering the former record of 99 degrees. Meanwhile, the thermometer hit 121 degrees at a WeatherBug station in Newberry Springs, Calif., on Wednesday.


Meanwhile, back here in the Mid-Atlantic, Reagan National Airport was almost dead on with average temperatures Wednesday. The high was 89 degrees (which is exactly average for mid-July) and the low was 73 degrees (two degrees above the average).

Going through the remainder of the work week, the front that zapped the record-breaking heat wave Sunday will slowly lift north as a warm front. By early next week, the high pressure ridge in the West will slide east into the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys as a trough, or dip in the jet stream, comes into the Northwest. What this shakes down to is a pattern shift with the heat ridge being “bumped” back into the East.


Much of the balance of next week will likely bring temperatures back into at least the middle 90s and possible the triple-digit range again in the nation’s capital. Just like the early July heat wave, record highs could be challenged across large stretches of the Central and Southeast U.S. Keep in mind we are in the midst of the warmest time of the year. The average temperature drops from its peak now of 89 degrees back to 88 degrees on July 23rd and continues to drop off until mid-January.

In addition, because the intense heat looks to return during the warmest part of the summer, records may be tough to break. For instance, the record highs Monday through Friday range from 102 degrees to 106 degrees (106 degrees is the hottest temperature recorded at Reagan National). However, with dew points forecast to be in the 70s, heat indices will likely climb back into the danger category.

So far this summer has been a hot one. July has been almost 8 degrees above average while June was 1.1 degrees above average. There have been seven days with record highs so far this summer at Reagan National, with the hottest day being one degree shy of the all-time record high mentioned above, which was 106 degrees.

Stay cool and stay with ABC7 and WTOP for the latest on the forecast!

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Outflow boundary sparks off heavy storms Tuesday

July 11, 2012 - 12:45 PM
Storm clouds gather over Arlington as the rain begins to creep across the area.

So what is an outflow boundary anyway?

Outflow boundaries, also called gust fronts, are produced when a thunderstorm or even cluster of thunderstorms, produces an outflow of cool air that originates from the downdraft of a storm. That cool air, from the downdraft, hits the earth and then spreads out in all directions a lot like water does if you pour it straight onto the ground.

These outflow boundaries can be identified a couple of ways either as a fine curved line on radar or as arcs of low clouds on satellite imagery. Impressively, these boundaries can linger for up to 24 hours after the original thunderstorm dissipates and can continue to travel even further.

Sometimes you may even hear us reference this on the air saying something like, “while there is no cold front to trigger storms there are still left over boundaries from yesterday’s activity that may produce more storms.” It is worth noting that while many times these boundaries create new storms, they don’t always. However, in yesterday’s case it did.

At around 3 p.m. myself and the other meteorologists in the office clearly identified on Live Supper Doppler an outflow boundary that was produced by a storm cell just north of Baltimore. I even noted on WTOP that we would have to watch this area for possible future development of thunderstorms.

At this same time air temperatures had warmed to 90 degrees in D.C. and in the upper 80s to 90 degrees in many of the surrounding suburbs. This meant that should a storm form along this boundary, it would have plenty of “fuel” to become rather potent. The slow moving and highly localized thunderstorms that did ultimately develop along this boundary started in northern Montgomery County and Prince George's County before drifting south and dissipating over D.C.

Portions of D.C. were hit especially hard with heavy rain, including the area near Children’s Hospital, which recorded 2.36 inches of rainfall. Flash flooding also occurred along Rhode Island Avenue in Bloomingdale causing some roads to be closed. 


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Michael Mann: Climategate, Hockeygate, Global Warming and more

July 10, 2012 - 03:41 PM

Bruce DePuyt and I had a very interesting 45 minutes today talking with Climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University. Dr. Mann is the author of the recent book, “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines”. Bruce touched on the entire “Climategate” episode which included Mann and a number of other prominent climate scientists. Dr. Mann said that after several; extensive investigations of the exchanged e-mails, the only crime that had been committed was the theft of the e-mails. I asked Dr. Mann about a number of concerns I often hear from the public and so called “skeptics” (as Mann said all scientists are skeptics), including the uncertainty still there of projections of our future climate, natural climate forcers such as solar influences, El Nino, the role of somewhat amateur scientists in raising issues such as weather stations siting.  Dr. Mann is now in a more public, proactive role of raising climate change/global warming concerns, so how does he maintain his scientific objectivity, especially in light of some legal challenges to his research and funding?. His answer is interesting.  Bruce touched on the political/policy implications as well as Mann’s response to columnist George Will’s glib comment this past weekend about the recent extraordinary heat and records that, “We're having some hot weather get over it. . .It’s summer".  Watch the entire interview. We sure covered a number of topics and I don’t think either one of us threw Dr. Mann any softballs. But for sure feel free to comment, and I'll be sure to respond. 

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The Hockey Stick: Dr. Michael Mann and "Climate Wars"

July 9, 2012 - 05:51 PM

This is a short blog I promise.  Michael Mann is one of the world's leading climate scientists.  He as, you may know, is associated with the term "hockey stick" temperature graph (actually a name given to the graph by another scientist) showing the northern hemisphere temperature trend and recent rapid rise over the last 100 years


in a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report, in 2001. Dr. Mann, his research and the IPCC reports have been a source of spirtied discussion it is fair to say.  His recent book is applied titled The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.  I will join Dr. Mann and Bruce Depuyt on Bruce's program on News Channel 8 "News Talk" LIVE at 10AM tomorrow, Tuesday July 10. I began my professional life as a research scientist, eons ago, and promise to ask Dr. Mann some tough questions about climate science as well as his experiences being a bit of a lightning rod on the topic of climate and climate change.

 But I'd like to know what you would ask Dr.Mann.  Post them below (please polite) or if you feel more comfortable e-mail me directly at  You can watch live and later on our homepage.  I'll follow up tomorrow.

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Severe T-Storm Watch for the D.C. area (Live Blog)

July 8, 2012 - 04:00 PM

Check Live Super Doppler 7 here      Severe T-Storm Watch

12:55 AM Update:  These storms won't quite tonight More moving south of Warrenton and some more warnings  These storms should stay south DC metro area and are strong storms with heavy rain and gusty winds.  Most tomorrow should be south DC area as finally the heat wave has broken

t8:06pm Update: Here's a link to the Fredericksburg Patch about the damage down there. Couple of quotes as well from people that were affected. Sounded pretty rough but the National Weather Service still believes it was a microburst and not a tornado. Don't feel like that is a diminished hazard, microbursts can contain wind gusts up to 100 mph or greater. I imagine the NWS will send a survey team out there this week.

7:20pm Update: Here's a news story out of about buildings being collapsed. Apparently there were a couple of injuries down there as well but I do not have any concrete information on that. Storms are now crossing the Bay and moving towards Salisbury on the Eastern Shore. I am hoping people know about this storm as they are leaving Ocean City heading back to the D.C. area.

7:14pm Update: It appears some people think a tornado went through portions of Fredericksburg earlier tonight. I was watching doppler and think it was more along the lines of straight line winds, potentially from a microburst. We're sending a crew down there to take a look at the damage and will report on it at 10pm on Newschannel 8 and 11pm on ABC 7.

7:02pm Update: Here's another photo from Mark Ellinwood who tweets as @MADUSWX for the Mid Atlantic. Thanks for the picture Mark!

More damage around the Fredericksburg area

6:56pm Update: I've been seeing some moderate damage in Fredericksburg of structures and homes. Check out this one below from Twitter user @Weatherwarrior1 who works with Weather Warrior Entertainment.

Damage to a structure in the Fredericksburg area

6:24pm Update: It appears Reston in Fairfax County and the Fredericksburg area were hit hard and have power outages to deal with tonight. The bright side of this news is we'll be heading into the next 7 days with temperatures in the 80s, not near or over 100.

6:14pm Update: Strong storms are moving through Calvert and St. Mary's Counties with a ton of lightning and heavy rain in Prince Frederick, MD. This will continue to move south and east towards Lusby and Lexington Park.

The other severe storm will move towards Montross in Westmoreland County in VA and south through the Northern Neck of VA.

6:09pm Update: Nice picture of mammatus clouds from Poolesville, MD sent in from Twitter User @DanielO6_08

Mammatus Clouds caught by Twitter user @DanielO6_08

6:03pm Update: I've now seen a report of trees down and scattered damage south of Fredericksburg along Jefferson Davis Hwy and Harrison Rd. on Twitter. What are you seeing down there? The strong storm that passed through is now headed through King George County and will affect Southern Maryland and the Northern Neck of VA.

5:54pm Update: A few positive lightning strikes have been in the D.C. area over the past 20 minutes. One hit right along Beach Drive in NW D.C. These are the stronger strikes and make up only 5% of all lightning strikes. You may still want to wait to go outdoors for a while if you're in the D.C. area even though storms are so far south. This lightning is coming from the anvil clouds way up in the atmosphere. There's still enough charge seperation in the D.C. area for a few of these strikes to happen.  

5:24pm Update: Fredericksburg has gotten in on the action with a lot of intense lightning, gusty winds, heavy rain and some potential hail. This will move to the east towards King George County in VA over the next 15 minutes.

The northern portion of that line is moving over Aquia right now in Stafford County east across the Potomac into western Charles County by Nanjemoy.

Trees have been reported down in Reston now as well from the storms earlier. Please send me any pictures of damage to @alexliggitt on Twitter or

5:10pm Update: Thanks for the comment below about Stafford being out of power. There is a strong storm headed to Stafford over the next few minutes. A ton of lightning, winds potentially to 70mph and some large hail is embedded in that cell. Here's a picture of it as of 5:12pm.

Image of Storm in Stafford


5:04pm Update: Just had a report of some trees down on power lines in the Woodbridge area. That storm will push east in the next 20 minutes or so.

4:53pm Update: A ton of lightning in the storms currently affecting the Dale City area. That storm will head across the Potomac into Charles County near Marbury.

Another strong storm with a lot of lightning is in Southern Fauquier County moving towards Stafford County in VA. This will approach I-95 over the next 15 minutes.

Another heavy line of storms will move back into the Warrenton area in the next few minutes.

Finally, a severe storm is located around Winchester moving east back into Clarke County which has already had a few rounds of storms today. 

4:37pm Update: It appears the main threat for storms will be south of the D.C. Metro, which is good for people in MD still without power. Strong storms are all over parts of Virginia from Frederick County to Fairfax County and south through Stafford. These storms will move across the Potomac and into Southern Maryland and the Northern Neck of Virginia as well.

4:27pm Update: Storms continue to roll through Virginia and D.C. Let us know if you lose power at @alexliggitt and @steverudinABC7 on Twitter and we'll be sure to retweet your outage. Check Dominion Power's Interactive Outage Map here.

4:20pm Update: Strong storm affecting the western portion on the Beltway now moving into Arlington and Alexandria. Tons of lightning in these storms today so stay inside if you can!

4:12pm Update: Severe storm now moving inside the Beltway towards Arlington, Alexandria and D.C. Time to get indoors! Another severe storm is continuing to move east along I-66 in Fauquier County. It is moving into Prince William County at this time and will move southeast. Winds are possible up to 80 mph in this potentially destructive storm. Watch out if you're in Haymarket or Warrenton.

3:53pm Update: Severe storms moving into Fairfax and Montgomery Counties. Another strong storm is located in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties moving east along I-66.

There is a ton of instability in the D.C. area so these storms shouldn't have any problem continuing east.

3:38pm Update: Here is the storm risk graphic that we are using today. Damaging winds are the most likely along with some large hail. Lightning also is a big threat as of the latest radar image over 325 lightning strikes have been detected in the D.C. area.

3:12pm Update: If the storms weren't enough, Reagan National broke the record high of 100 set back in 1993. It's currently 102 and feels like 110. Might as well stay inside until after the storms exit by this evening!

3:02pm Update: Numerous thunderstorms have developed along and west of the Blue Ridge mountains. There is one strong storm east of the Blue Ridge in Loudoun County headed towards Leesburg. Damaging wind gusts appear possible in this storm. Take cover in a safe place in your house until the storm clears your area.

Another severe storm is in Frederick County, VA and headed into Clarke County, VA and will affect Berryville, Bluemont and Delaplane. Winds to 60mph are possible in this storm.

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D.C. Storms: Possible severe storms this weekend

July 6, 2012 - 08:35 PM


It has been a hot start to July with temperatures well into the 90s each day. Some relief is on the way, though, in the form of a "cold" front that will drop temperatures back into the mid 80s by Monday of next week. I use the word cool in quotations, since I don't think mid 80s constitutes "cool". Although, when comparing it to near 100 degree temperatures, I guess we can make an exception. 

The main point is the front will drop South on Sunday and could provide the region with strong to potentially severe thunderstorms.  There will be a threat for storms late Saturday, but it looks like the threat for severe weather will remain North of D.C.  Sunday; however, could bring some nasty weather.   As Adam Caskey discusses in his video blog (above), we are not anticipating another derecho, but thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts are probable.  Here is a closer look at the thunderstorm risks for Sunday:

Sunday, July 8, 2012 Storm Risks

Damaging wind gusts to 60mph aren't out of the question and frequent lightning is likely, too, in storms that develop.  The Storm Prediction Center has the MidAtlantic area under a Slight risk for severe storms on Sunday.

Storm Prediction Center - Day 3 Convective Outlook

With the high heat expected over the weekend, coupled with high humidity, there will be enough energy in the atmosphere to support dangerous thunderstorms.  The front dropping South, from New England, will provide the "lift" we need for storms to develop.  Here's a look at one particular computer model that simulates the surface conditions at 8PM Sunday evening.  Keep in mind this is just a depiction of the conditions at the time. 

High Resolution 12z NAM

We don't want to scare you with the threat for severe weather, but rather want to inform you on the possibility of strong storms.  I think it's safe to say we are all a little more sensitive to the severe weather after the Friday, June 29th derecho event.  Be safe and stay tuned to WJLA, News Channel 8, and for all the latest weather information.

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The Hottest Days Ever in D.C.

July 6, 2012 - 04:09 PM

We have had some pretty hot days in the last couple weeks, and hopefully Mother Nature will give us a break soon. But have you ever wondered what the highest temperatures that have ever been recorded are for Washington, D.C.?

The two hottest days both recorded 106 degrees, with the first on August 6, 1918, and the second on July 20, 1930. 

For second place, we have a tie at 105 degrees on July 10, 1936, and August 17, 1997.

Highest Temperatures In Weather Records in Washington, D.C.

The first recorded 104-degree day was August 7, 1918, the day after the first hottest day at 106. Our most recent 104-degree day is this year's very own June 29. 

Are you curious about the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States?  That was 134 degrees on July 10, 1913, in Death Valley, CA. 

But how about the WORLD'S highest temperature?  136 degrees in El Azizia, Libya, on September 13, 1922. Death Valley missed the record by only 2 degrees! So close!

And there you go! Now you have some fun weather and climate facts you can use at your next get-together or to impress your date of how smart you are.

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Beach & Boating Forecast: From Atlantic City to the Outer Banks

July 5, 2012 - 07:45 PM

With record breaking temperatures possible for the first full weekend in July, you may be thinking of heading close to the water for some relief. 

Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler by the water, but that doesn't really mean much when highs will still be in the mid to upper 90s with heat indices into the low 100s.  Water temperatures are now in the mid to upper 70s along the MidAtlantic coast, so it will probably feel quite refreshing with high temperatures in the mid to upper 90s.  Winds on Saturday will be out of the West between 5-15 mph, but then Sunday winds will turn to the Northeast.  A front will drop down from the South on Sunday, which could trigger storms for beaches from Atlantic City to Virginia Beach.  Some storms could be on the strong to severe side with so much daytime heat and humidity. 

Weekend Beach Forecast - Atlantic City to the Outer Banks

If you're heading to any beaches around the Chesapeake Bay, we'll continue to monitor storms possible on Sunday.  Otherwise temperatures will be in the upper 90s to near 100 degrees with a general West wind on Saturday and a more Northeasterly flow on Sunday.  Temperatures will be a few degrees lower on Sunday, but highs will still be in the 90s.  Also, remember heat index values will be in the low 100s, so stay hydrated and take air conditioned breaks if you can. 

Weekend Bay Forecast

Overall, it is going to be hot and there is the potential for severe storms.  Keep up to date with all the latest weather information on WJLA, NewsChannel 8, and on our weather homepage at  Also, if you won't be around a television or a computer, you can always access our FREE StormWatch7 app from your smartphone.  We'll keep you posted.  Have a nice weekend!

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D.C. heat looks to break next week

July 5, 2012 - 12:22 PM
D.C. has been baking under hot and steamy temperatures for a week. Photo: ABC 7

You may not believe this statistic after the incredibly hot summers the D.C. area has seen over the past few years, but this stretch of 8 days in a row with temperatures of 95 degrees or higher has only happened three other times since 1871. The last time it occurred was back in August of 2002. There has also never been a stretch of more than 8 days in a row at 95 degrees or higher, a feat that will be accomplished tomorrow and extended to 10 or 11 days this weekend.

High temperatures look to extend through the weekend with a forecast high near 100 degrees today and tomorrow, and over 100 degrees Saturday. Saturday may approach some record temperatures with 102 as the record at Reagan and 101 at BWI Marshall and Dulles airports.

Region of HOT 850mb temperatures

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Washington, D.C. fireworks with an added bonus (TIMELAPSE)

July 5, 2012 - 05:42 AM

Situated just across the Potomac River from the National Mall and Georgetown, we here at WJLA have a beautiful view of our nation's capital.  This provides the perfect vantage point for our rooftop weather camera to capture the 4th of July fireworks. 

This year, we have an added bonus after the fireworks, so keep your eye on the right hand side of this video clip. 


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Washington, D.C. fireworks forecast

July 4, 2012 - 08:18 AM

Our nation's capital is the place to be for Independence Day, but it often goes hand in hand with heat, humidity and pop-up storms, and this year will be no exception.  Get outdoors and enjoy the day, but take the necessary precautions as heat and lightning will be your main threats.  It will feel like it's 100° to 105°, and random, unorganized storms will come and go throughout the daylight hours typically lasting approximately 30 to 45 minutes.  You can always access Live Super Doppler 7 here.

At fireworks time, most of the storms should have come to an end (diurnally driven), but there is a slight chance that a few could linger toward 10 p.m.  The concert on the National Mall starts at 8 p.m., and I can't rule out a few storms in the D.C. area at that time.  If you're headed downtown for the events, pack the umbrella, be prepared for the chance of a brief delay to the concert and know where the nearest building is located to seek shelter from possible lightning.  By the way, you are safe from lightning in a vehicle too. 

Temperatures will drop from the mid/upper 90s in the afternoon to the upper 80s by the time fireworks fill the dark sky, and the humidity will be thick and uncomfortable.  Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated (no, beer doesn't count).  Enjoy the holiday, and happy 236th birthday America - you don't look a day older than 235. 

Washington, D.C. road closures


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D.C. Power Outages: A Closer Look At The Before And After

July 3, 2012 - 10:37 PM

One minute you have power, the next minute you're in the dark.  That's what it was like for many people last Friday night, June 29th, as the derecho plowed through the area. 

NASA's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite shows a different perspective of the storm's impact on power in a view from space.  The image below shows the amount of light, on a clear night, before the storms moved through. 

Power,as seen from NASA's satellite, on June 28, 2012

Take a look at the comparison two nights after.   Even though both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore look relatively illuminated they are both much dimmer, as seen from the image below. 

Power, as seen from NASA's satellite, on June 30, 2012

Check out the full article from NASA's Earth Observatory.  You can also use their slider feature and compare the two images. 

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Another Derecho?: NO nothing like Friday

July 3, 2012 - 03:45 PM
Lots of chatter on the Internet because of a private forecaster mentioning the word "Derecho" again for later today or this evening.  Look at the regional radar 

Yes there are thunderstorms across Pennsylvania and they will be moving south toward our area as one of the high res models shows 


 Hi res simulation of radar at 8PM tonight

But the humidity at the ground and higher in the atmosphere is downright dry compared to Friday.  The "fuel" for anything such as Friday is not there.  Here's one of the charts from the NWS Storm Prediction Center 

What is called CAPE or essentially the energy in the air available for thunderstorms will be almost 1/50th of the energy in the air that produced that historic storm Friday night.  NO DERECHO this evening or overnight.  Some thunderstorms and some gusty winds which will not help with the efforts to restore power, and more heat ahead but nothing like Friday!!!


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Derecho: Where Did The Word Come From? And What Does It Mean?

July 3, 2012 - 05:00 AM
(Photo: Casual Capture/flickr)

You've heard about it and experienced it first hand - Derecho.  But do you know what the word even means?  Aside from wreaking havoc on the area and causing widespread damage and destruction.  Here's a snap shot from the Storm Prediction Center (image below) of the derecho, as it tore through the lower Great Lakes and eventually through D.C.  Note the life span of the storm.  This one storm traveled over 600 miles -- with winds greater than 70 mph in most places!

Storm Prediction Center - June 29, 2012 Derecho

Well, the word, Derecho, is a Spanish term.  Derecho, as an adverb, means straight, upright, directly.  As an adjective, derecho, means right.   This pretty much sums up the event right here.  Derecho's are long lived, widespread, straight line wind storms.  Typically, thunderstorm complexes travel from left to right, so ergo -- the name, derecho.  It all makes sense.

The term originated from Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs in 1888.  Hinrichs wrote a paper for the American Meteorological Journal that described the phenomenon of a derecho that crossed Iowa on July 31, 1877.  Derecho's aren't very common in the D.C. area

These storms often cause widespread wind damage and can even result in fatalities.  Unfortunately, the D.C. derecho of 2012 will go in the record books because of its huge impact on the D.C. area

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