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May 24, 2011

Mercury crowds 90 by Friday; more showers due

There seems to be little letup in sight for this showery weather. The National Weather Service has posted chances for showers and thunderstorms in Central Maryland right through Saturday as we remain stuck alongside a stalled cold front just to our north. The most likely period for storms will Thunderhead May 23, 2011be today (Tuesday) and tonight, with probabilities of 50 to 70 percent.

But that hardly seems notable given all the wet weather we've seen this month. What's new in the forecast is the first prediction of 90-degree weather for the year. That would come Friday, if the folks out in Sterling, Va. have it right. Think heat AND humidity.

UPDATE, 4 p.m.: The updated forecast now calls for a high of 89 on Friday at BWI. Given the NWS habit of low-balling hot weather at BWI, I think we're quite likely to make 90. And a sunny forecast for Sunday through Tuesday has boosted the predicted highs to 89, 90 and 92 degrees. So how's your AC working?

We're behind last year's pace for 90-plus days in Baltimore. By this time in 2010 we had already seen two (April 6, 7) and would experience three more before the month ended. We tallied 59 before the year was out, a new record.

The week won't be entirely gray. Mostly or partly sunny skies are expected (between the showers) each day through Saturday. And there is no mention of rain for Sunday or Monday - Memorial Day. So at least part of the long holiday weekend will be drip-free.

We are still dealing with a Coast Flood Advisory for the Western Shore until 6 a.m. Wednesday. High tides will run 1 to 2 feet above the norms.

The thunderstorm photo above was sent to me this morning by Karen Pierce-Blandamer, in Pasadena. It was shot Monday, looking east across the Chesapeake Bay. "Our 6-year-old daughter came in from outside yesterday evening saying, 'Doesn't this look like a mushroom cloud?'" she wrote.

It does, but thankfully it's a pretty classic thunderstorm "anvil" cloud that has caught the evening sunilight. Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:27 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Forecasts


On the AC topic: Save yourselves a bucket of money and sweat waiting for a service technician - some tips:

Remove outdoor AC covers before starting it up; similarly, if your unit is not covered, check and make sure that this recent green-thing-growth-accelerant rain hasn't grown green things in or too close around your AC coils.

Clean or replace your furnace filters, and make sure all your vents (supply and return) are not fouled or blocked.

Don't wait until the temp in your house hits 85 before turning the AC on - better to start when the temperature is near where you want it, than to make the unit run for hours (costing you a ton of money) before cooling your home. In average homes, estimate about 15 minutes of run time per degree of temperature change. The same applies for restarts in the morning - if you want your house at 73, better to set the unit overnight at 75 than to shut it off completely.

Check your condensate drain line and save yourself the risk of a plugged drain line flooding your basement - or worse - when the humidity accumulated out of the air has no where to drain.

If you don't already have one, join the twenty-first century and install (or have installed) a digital programmable thermostat.

If, after doing all these things, your AC still isn't doing an adequate job cooling your home, then make the service call, but be aware that your wait may be several days, because everyone else with problems is ALSO calling. These tips MAY save you that call, and that uncomfortable wait.

FR: All good advice. Thanks.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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