Mostly sunny, warm, humid. Increased humidity and nearly calm winds produced some dense fog overnight in the Washington metro area. Visibilities plunged as low as half a mile at National, a quarter of a mile at Dulles, and an eighth of a mile in heavy drizzle at BWI.
The return of the sun, however, has pushed temperatures mainly to the mid and upper 80s by mid afternoon, although the river-cooled south wind is keeping National several degrees lower. Dulles at least tied the record for the date with 87° at 4pm and again the following hour. Traditional hotspot Culpeper reached 91° by 2pm. The dewpoint reached 70° by noon at National and has remained within 1° of there all afternoon.
Once again, no significant rain is in sight, and a regional government committee has issued a drought watch. On Tuesday, Loudoun County imposed mandatory water restrictions.
CapitalWeather.com chart of visibility (blue) and relative humidity (green) noon yesterday through early afternoon today from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose
Tonight and Tomorrow
Warm, humid. Warm and humid conditions will continue overnight; AC usage at the typical start of the heating season seems like sacrilege, but the hum of the compressor will likely be heard in many neighborhoods. Lows will be in the upper 60s to near 70° in the city and in the mid 60s in the 'burbs. Some locally dense fog is again likely after midnight. Any morning fog or clouds will give way to a mostly sunny afternoon tomorrow with highs 83-87°. (Tomorrow's record high of 90° at Dulles is also the all-time October high.)
For the outlook through the Columbus Day weekend and beyond with Larson's Long-Range, scroll on down to Josh's post below.
The tropical Atlantic is still relatively quiet; the reconnaissance flight scheduled for the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon was canceled.
Mediarology: Hype Alert
The Weather Channel's Stu Ostro tries to apply some scientific sense to the media's Niño/Niña obsession in a blog post today, "Oh No! La Nina is Coming!"