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Perfect weather, then weekend showers possible

Now THIS looks like the weather we all wished for back in July. Mild temperatures, low humidity, and a nice breeze, all made better by sunny skies. The only negative thing you can say about it is that we really do need some rain.

The National Weather Service forecast office in Sterling has posted a Hazardous Weather Outlook noting an "enhanced fire weather threat" today. The lack of rain, low humidity and strong breezes add up to perfect conditions to spread any wildfires that get started. Winds are forecast to kick up to 10 to 15 mph later today, with gusts over 20 mph. "Open burning is strongly discouraged," the statement said.

With luck, we may get a little rain this weekend as another cold front moves through to reinforce the dry Canadian air that cooled things down overnight and put the 90s behind us for a while.

The forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of showers early Sunday morning, with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon. It's not entirely clear yet how strong that front will be by the time it reaches us, or how much rain we can look for. That should begin to clarify as the weekend nears.

After that, there's more sunny, mild weather forecast for the first part of next week.

Down in the tropics, Tropical Storm Igor (left of center in photo at right) seems to be staggering a bit, with weakened central winds and a drift to the north toward the Cape Verde Islands.

Forecasters blame wind shear and say the storm could weaken further today. But overall conditions seem favorable for re-development, they say, and Igor is still expected to become a hurricane in the next few days. Even if it does, Igor would not become a threat to the U.S. for quite some time.

Here is the latest advisory. Here is the forecast storm track. And here is the view from orbit.

Also being watched this morning is another area of developing storms in the Windward Islands off the Venezuelan coast. Forecasters give this one a 40 percent chance of becoming a named tropical storm in the next 48 hours.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine continue to plague the Mississippi Valley with heavy rain and flooding. Dallas was struck by a tornado.

(SUN PHOTO: Top, Doug Kapustin, 2001)

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