Although school signals the start of the fall season for some, fall is still technically three weeks away (Sept. 22) and this week's weather will definitely be summerlike.
High humidity will make mid-80s temperatures this week feel like 90 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The "warm and muggy atmosphere..." will persist at least through midweek, according to the Capital Weather Gang.
Isolated thunderstorms are in the forecast Monday (Labor Day) through Thursday, with skies clearing in time for the weekend, according to the weather service.
The possibility for thunderstorms is 70 percent on Monday, dwindling as the weekend gets closer: 60 percent on Tuesday, 50 percent on Wednesday and then just a 30 percent chance on Thursday.
Friday is expected to be "mostly sunny," the weather service notes. Friday and Saturday could turn out to be the best weather days this week: "sunny, cooler and dry," according to WJLA's forecast.
If your child is walking home from school or has sports practice after school, the following are safety tips for thunderstorms (from Talking About Disaster: Guide for Standard Messages. Produced by the National Disaster Education Coalition, Washington, D.C., 1999):
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely. Many people take shelter from the rain, but most people struck by lightning are not in the rain. Postponing activities is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
- If you see or hear a thunderstorm coming, go inside a sturdy building or car. Sturdy buildings are the safest place to be. If no building is nearby, a hard-top vehicle will offer some protection. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles. Rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide no protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
- If you can't get inside, or if you feel your hair stand on end, which means lightning is about to strike, hurry to a low, open space immediately. Crouch down on the balls of your feet, place your hands on your knees and lower your head. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize contact with the ground.
- Practice the "crouch down" position. Show children how to practice squatting low to the ground to be the smallest target possible for lightning in case they get caught outside in a thunderstorm. Show them how to place their hands on their knees and lower their head, crouching on the balls of their feet.
- Stay away from tall things like trees, towers, fences, telephone lines, or power lines. They attract lightning. Never stand underneath a single large tree out in the open, because lightning usually strikes the highest point in an area.
- Stay away from metal things that lightning may strike, such as umbrellas, baseball bats, fishing rods, camping equipment, and bicycles. Lightning is attracted to metal and poles or rods.