Monday, September 26, 2005

Well, Probably Not

Hopes of reducing the drought in the Washington metro area have faded today as the remnants of Rita moved up the Ohio Valley ahead of a cold front and stayed mainly north and west of the region. A few places, such as Hagerstown, Frederick, and Leesburg, reported some light rain or drizzle this afternoon, but no measurable accumulation. Temperatures at mid afternoon were generally in the low 80s under mostly cloudy skies while a southerly to southwesterly breeze gusted as high as 25 mph.

There will be some widely scattered showers moving through the area into this evening, but amounts will be light. Lows will be in the low 60s. Tomorrow will be sunny and dry, highs in the upper 70s.

Tropical Beat

This is one of the few times during this hectic hurricane season that there has been no organized tropical activity in the Atlantic. The last advisory on the remnants of Rita was issued at 5am this morning. Although the storm fortunately did not stall out, some rainfall amounts were very high. A place called Bunkie in Louisiana reported 16 inches. Also in double digits were Laplace, LA at 12.45" and Center, TX at 10.48". New Orleans had over 6".

The NHC is watching a "strong tropical wave" over the central Caribbean for possible future development. There is also a low pressure area about 1200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

Historical Perspective/Numerology

Now that Rita has made landfall as a Category 3, this is the first time in 155 years of history that as many as 3 hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. at Category 3 or higher in each of 2 consecutive years. Last year, there were Charley (4), Ivan (3), and Jeanne (3). This year, we have had Dennis (3), Katrina (4), and Rita (3). The only other previous years with 2 3s and a 4 were 1954 (Carol, Edna, and Hazel) and 1893. There has never been a year with 4 major U.S. landfalls. Even the record-setting year of '33 had, appropriately, 3 3s.

Federal Kudos

The National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center get some well-deserved praise for their hurricane forecasting in today's WaPo Federal Diary. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California is quoted saying that they produced
"probably . . . the best performance of any of the federal agencies in all of this."
Broadcast News

Fans of NPR's Car Talk were pleased Saturday to hear that their weekly Puzzler featured a Fahrenheit/Celsius question. I'm not going to provide a link, because I already solved it in my head while putting a pizza in the oven. (If you do look it up and enter, please mention

I think I heard Pann and Berk, the WeatherTalk guys, say they were going to be on MPT's Direct Connection tonight, but the station's web site is showing a cooking topic. In any case, the program is on at 7:30, channel 22 locally.

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