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Cooler weather coming following two days in upper 90s | Richmond Times-Dispatch

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http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/jun/22/tdmet04-cooler-weather-coming-following-two-days-i-ar-2005495/

Cooler weather coming following two days in upper 90s | Richmond Times-Dispatch

RICHMOND, Va. —

The Richmond area’s first hot spell of the summer should give way to a pleasant weekend.

The temperature climbed to 98 degrees in Richmond on Thursday — tying Wednesday for hottest day of the year so far — but should drop to the mid-90s today.

The forecast calls for highs around 90 Saturday through Monday and in the mid-80s Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The weekend will be decent,” said Tim Gingrich, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

A sudden shower Thursday cut the heat from 98 to 92 between about 2 and 2:30 p.m. at Richmond International Airport, the weather service said.

The storm dropped so much rain so quickly — about a quarter- to a half-inch during the half-hour, mostly in the city — that high water briefly closed the Interstate 95 exit leading to the Downtown Expressway, state officials said.

The storm also dispersed the region’s air pollution.

Ozone, the main pollutant in smog, hit unhealthy levels in the region Tuesday and Wednesday and was expected to be high again Thursday — until the storm hit.

“I think the rain really helped clean out the air,” said Dan Salkovitz, a meteorologist with the state Department of Environmental Quality. “It was coming down in buckets.”

Salkovitz said “it’s highly unlikely” pollution will be a problem today.

The hot spell began Tuesday, when the temperature hit 94. The normal high this time of year is in the upper 80s.

Elsewhere Thursday, the temperature reached 98 in Arlington County, 96 in Danville, 95 in Lynchburg, 94 in Norfolk and 92 in Roanoke, the weather service said.

Those bothered by the heat included motorists.

Martha Mitchell Meade, a spokeswoman for the auto group AAA Mid-Atlantic, said Thursday that “our drivers are very busy assisting stranded drivers. … High heat can be as hard, if not harder, on cars and engines than cold weather.”

A cold front should move through the area this afternoon, dealing the final blow to the hot spell. Showers and thunderstorms are possible today during the afternoon and night.

Saturday should be mostly sunny, with a slight chance of thunderstorms Sunday.

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Written by vaphc

June 22, 2012 at 5:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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