Weather! Heat today and tomorrow, cooler for the weekend

Summer begins tonight, and we’ve got hot weather in store through Friday. Look for some relief this weekend.

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Say hello to Tropical Storm Chris!

Chris is a bit of a surprising storm; it’s located at 38 degrees north latitude, roughly the same latitude as Chincoteague and north of Richmond. That’s really far north for a tropical storm to develop (the tropics end at 23.5 degrees north), but the National Hurricane Center has declared it to be a tropical storm nonetheless. Chris is going to be very short-lived, as it’s expected to transition to a non-tropical system over the next two days.

Back in Virginia, we’re all sizzling. Astronomical summer begins tonight as we reach the summer solstice at 7:09 pm Eastern time. Summer will begin in full force, with temperatures in the low and mid 90s this afternoon. Yesterday’s high of 94 marked our warmest day so far this year, and the 5th time we’ve reached 90 this year.

We’re also under a Code Orange air quality alert until 8pm tonight:

…AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 8 PM EDT
THIS EVENING…

THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY HAS ISSUED A CODE
ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT ACROSS THE RICHMOND METRO AREA FOR
GROUND LEVEL OZONE…IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 8 PM EDT
THIS EVENING.

AIR QUALITY IS EXPECTED TO REACH CODE ORANGE…WHICH IS UNHEALTHY
FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS…AND MEANS INDIVIDUALS WITH RESPIRATORY
AND/OR HEART AILMENTS…OLDER ADULTS…AND CHILDREN SHOULD REDUCE
PROLONGED OR HEAVY OUTDOOR EXERTION.

AN AIR QUALITY ALERT MEANS THAT GROUND LEVEL OZONE CONCENTRATIONS
WITHIN THE REGION MAY APPROACH OR EXCEED UNHEALTHY STANDARDS. FOR
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION…PLEASE VISIT THE VIRGINIA D E Q AIR QUALITY
WEB SITE AT ALL LOWER CASE HTTP://WWW.DEQ.VIRGINIA.GOV/

It won’t be released until later tonight, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see another alert for Thursday. Temperatures will climb into the upper 90s tomorrow, easily making it the hottest day of the year. Dewpoints in the upper 60s and low 70s will create heat index values near 100 for a second day.

If you’re going to be outside today and/or tomorrow, make sure it take it easy. Take breaks, stay hydrated.

A cold front approaches on Friday, and while we’ll still see temperatures in the 90s and humid conditions, the instability created by the front will increase the chance for showers and thunderstorms beginning in the afternoon and lasting through Friday evening.

This system will stick around through the weekend, keeping chances for rain and thunderstorms in the forecast through Monday. Temperatures moderate somewhat, slipping back into the mid 80s through early next week.

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Weather Dan

Dan Goff is now a two-time former Richmonder, having departed the River City yet again in favor of southwest Virginia, where he is working on degrees in geography and meteorology at Virginia Tech. Have a question about the weather or weather-related phenomena?

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