Monday, April 4, 2005

Back to our regularly scheduled season

Temperatures this afternoon are mostly 15-20 degrees warmer than yesterday at this time. For a while yesterday, Washington was rivaling central Maine in temperature. (At 8am, for example, Washington National at 44 was 2 degrees colder than Lewiston, Maine. At 1pm, DC was just 2 degrees warmer than Lewiston.) Yesterday's high of 53 was not reached until 10pm. Despite brisk breezes as the low-pressure area which caused all the weekend commotion spins down just north of New England, today's late-afternoon temperatures are generally in the mid 60's. There are even a few reports of upper 60's under brilliantly sunny skies.

Look for a warming trend through mid-week, with the next chance of rain Thursday or Friday. Mid or even upper 70's are not out of the question for Wednesday, so make those "I forgot to come back to work after lunch" plans NOW. See Jason's post below for the details.

Despite some skepticism about the incredibly huge amounts of rain being forecast by the models for this weekend's storm, some really amazing results did occur. The Weather Channel reported that West Shokan, in New York's Catskills region, received 5.68" of rain. In Pennsylvania, the Poconos received 5" at Tobyhanna and 4.87" at Mt. Pocono. There has been widespread flooding along the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers and other areas of the Northeast. In some locations, the Delaware River crested over 10 feet above flood stage.

Hurricane outlook
With less than 60 days to go until the official start of the season, hurricane researcher Dr. William Gray has issued an updated outlook for this year's storm activity. The outlook calls for above-average tropical storm activity and above-average probability of U.S. landfall by major hurricanes. The forecast includes 13 named storms, of which 7 are expected to be hurricanes. These figures are compared to 1950-2000 averages of 9.6 and 5.9, respectively. The probability of at least one major (category 3 or higher) storm landfall on the East Coast is given as 53%, compared to the average for the last century of 31%. These figures are increased from the level of activity predicted in the early December forecast.

Blog watch
Somehow we missed this in all the fun on Friday, but the realclimate blog had a post on the change of seasons expressing doubt on the beginning of spring. Realclimate is "a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists."

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.