Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Good afternoon, Charlottesville


Last night's rain showers were widely scattered and mainly confined to the south of the Washington metro area. The official rain bucket collected a minimal 0.01". As a weak low pressure area moves slowly off the Carolina coast, skies have cleared in the area. Temperatures were into the upper 50's by noon and lower 60's at 2pm. Here on the admittedly non-standard CapitalClimate Weather Patio, it's 65. In southern Virginia, where clouds and some light rain prevail, temperatures are only in the upper 40's.


Under mainly clear skies, temperatures should be in the low 40's tonight, with highs tomorrow near 60.

Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:05pm on April 14, RFK
Outlook for the Nats' home opener: Light, mainly easterly breeze at game time; temperature 54, falling to about 50 by the 7th inning stretch. No rain!

Founding Father, Monticello Meteorologist

Today is the 262nd anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson. The third President of the United States was a dedicated weather observer, recording the temperature at Monticello every day at dawn and at 4pm. He also recorded wind direction and speed and precipitation. The Washington and Jefferson Snowstorm of January 27-28, 1772, was so-named in recognition of the fact that it was recorded by both future presidents. Jefferson, who had just returned from his honeymoon, reported a snow depth of about 3 feet. According to David Ludlum's "Early American Winters", this was "the greatest snowstorm in the history of the middle and lower Potomac Valley." In 1776, Jefferson began to recruit volunteer weather observers around the state of Virginia. This was the forerunner of today's Cooperative Weather Program. The Thomas Jefferson award is the highest award for volunteer weather observation. No more than 5 of these awards are presented each year for "unusual and outstanding achievements." As President, Jefferson also created the Coast Survey (now the National Geodetic Survey), the country's first civilian scientific agency and the oldest component of what is now NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Current conditions in Charlottesville:
Clear skies, temperature 58.

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