The Washington Post

A late July day that felt like August

- BY MARTIN WEIL

Perhaps we judge Washington summers by their number of 90degree days. But days that inevitably fall a degree short, 89-degree days, such as Friday, may also deserve a look.

Friday marked the eve of the last weekend of July. On Friday, with August only three days away, we got a possible preview of the drowsy stillness here for which August owns a reputation.

For many hours Friday, a coming slowdown in activity seemed to be foretold by the air itself. It seemed thick, heavy, torpid, lacking in stimulatio­n and slow in its motion.

As of 5 p.m., National Weather Service figures suggested that even the summer breeze, with an average wind speed of only 3.3 mph, was preparing for time off.

But Friday had at least two faces. One was the sullen sky and swampy feel of humid late July. The other was the proverbial breath of fresh air.

In places, afternoon storms converted clouds into rain. Even officially dry spots felt the mercury fall and a breeze arise.

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