Thursday, September 29, 2005

Record Breaking

The cold front we talked about yesterday raced through the Washington metro area around noon, bringing some very light showers (National and BWI 0.01", Dulles a trace). Unless something as unusual as an ice meteorite landing directly on the rain gauge happens before midnight tomorrow, the official total of 0.11" will become the new low rainfall amount for September in Washington. (The April record is 0.03", and October has had both a trace and 0.02".) The bright sun after the rapid clearing has pushed the temperature back up to 75 at mid afternoon.

Tonight and Tomorrow

The main issue for the next 24 hours is how many blankets you will need tonight. The model temperature forecasts were not all up to date at press time, but the current ones ranged from 49 to 50 for National, so I will go for 49. (The record of 39 has stood since 1888.) Dulles and the other usual colder suspects could easily be 10 degrees colder. (Dulles has been reporting only for about 45 years, but the record there was 35 in 1993.) Tomorrow's high should be around 70.

Tropical Beat: Not Yet Depressed

After a reconnaissance flight checked out the disturbance in the western Caribbean, the National Hurricane Center put out a Special Tropical Disturbance Statement saying that the area was still disorganized and not yet a tropical depression. Conditions are still favorable, however, and another flight is at least tentatively scheduled for tomorrow.

Policy Matters: Science or Entertainment?

While the Katrina hearings continued on Capitol Hill yesterday, the Senate Environment and Public Works committee was holding a hearing in which, probably for the first time, a science fiction writer was invited to testify on science policy. Michael Crichton, author of "State of Fear", and an M.D. by training, was asked for his opinion on global warming. For a review of the hearing by actual scientists (now there's a novel idea), look at the latest posting on the RealClimate blog. RealClimate has a link to the remarks by the ranking committee member, Sen. Jeffords of Vermont, in which he asks, "Mr. Chairman, given the profound human suffering and ecological damage along the Gulf Coast, why are we having a hearing that features a fiction writer as our key witness?" The hearings were also covered by the book sections of the U.K. Guardian ("Novel take on global warming") and the New York Times ("Michael Crichton, Novelist, Becomes Senate Witness")

No comments:

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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