Beautiful end to week, beneficial rain by Sunday
It's hard to find anything NOT to like in the seven-day NWS forecast this morning. We're in line for a couple of beautiful summer days Thursday and Friday. And by late Saturday and Sunday, forecasters are calling for some badly needed rain.
And there are no more 90-degree days anywhere in the forecast through next Wednesday. Maybe it's payback for July. With Wednesday's BWI high of 90 degrees, the season's total stands at 40 days of 90-plus weather. The record is 59, set last year.
We start the 7-day predictions with two gorgeous days in the mid-80s, with loads of sunshine Thursday and Friday, and low humidity. The sky on the drive in this morning was as blue as it's been all summer. We can thank the Canadians for this one.
Low pressure over Northern Quebec and high pressure over the Midwest are combining to draw cool, dry air down from Canada, clearing our air of both heat and humidity. BWI-Marshall Airport could see an overnight low of just 60 degrees tonight.
As the high moves our way and on to the east on late on Friday, we'll start to see some increasing clouds, humidity and rising temperatures as winds shift from north to south. And by late Saturday into Sunday, forecasters say we'll begin to get some thunderstorms.
"Best chance in some time for much needed rainfall," the folks at Sterling said in this morning's forecast discussion. "Despite very dry antecedent conditions, heavy rain in short duration brings risk of localized flash flooding, particularly in urban areas and where thunderstorms train."
All this comes ahead of the next cold front. Once that goes by on Sunday, rain chances will slowly diminish, though with some rain chances remaining into Monday. But temperatures will drop below the seasonal norms, to the low 80s and the new workweek begins.
Whatever rain we get will be welcome. The new Drought Monitor map out this morning shows no change in the extent of drought conditions across the state. Moisture remains normal in less than 5 percent of the state. "Abnormally dry" conditions or worse persist in the rest, with 84 percent of the state, including Baltimore and its suburbs, in "moderate drought." Another 5 percent, centered on Wicomico County on the Lower Eastern Shore, remains in "Severe Drought."
(SUN PHOTO: Mushroom, Frank Roylance, 2011)