The heat and humidity will get the most attention this week, but Tuesday brings a good chance for showers or even a wave of thunderstorms with damaging gusty winds.
A broad area of thunderstorms is expected to dip southeast in Virginia through the morning, but questions remain about the precise timing and intensity of the thunderstorms. The storm complex, known as the Mesoscale Convective Complex, normally weakens as it crosses the Midwest and Appalachia. However, the higher humidity of the past two days should give this system enough energy to survive its journey through the mountains.
These types of storm complexes can sometimes evolve into a derecho, which is a large area of long-lasting thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts that travel several hundred miles. Although the 2012 derecho sticks in the minds of many – with good reason – not all of them are so serious or have such a big impact.
Still, be on the lookout for a few bouts of showers or intense thunderstorms from late morning to early afternoon in central Virginia. The threat of wind damage is somewhat higher north towards Fredericksburg and Washington, but should not be ignored in Richmond.
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Wednesday through Friday the air is more typical of mid-July with afternoon temperatures in the 90s and high humidity. During the hottest part of the day, this combination of heat and humidity will make it feel like more than 100-105 outside, especially in direct sunlight.
The high humidity also means it won’t get as cold at night. Low temperatures will remain in the lower to mid 70s, with most urban centers dropping to just below 80 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
However, there is light at the end of this proverbial tunnel. All signs point to a break in heat and humidity for this coming weekend. Saturday and Sunday will have highs in the lower to mid 80s with cooler nights in the upper 50s to around 60.