Friday, October 28, 2005

Taking a Beta-ing


Rain from a weak low pressure area off the North Carolina coast is remaining well offshore, and the Washington DC metro area is enjoying a mostly sunny late October afternoon, with temperatures in the mid 50s.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clear skies and low winds tonight will allow temperatures to drop into the 30s in many locations, and there is a frost advisory in effect for the entire area, including the District itself. Tomorrow will feature sunny skies and highs around 56. The weekend, especially Sunday afternoon, looks like a fine time to get in that one last lawn mowing of the season.

Tropical Beat

Tropical Storm Beta continues to move slowly off the Nicaragua coast. The Miami Herald and Washington Post (Reuters) reported that the Colombian-owned islands of San Andrés and Providencia were being lashed by the storm. Its 65 mph winds at 5pm are expected to intensify to hurricane strength, possibly by tomorrow. If it does become the 13th hurricane of the season, it will beat the old record of 12. The forecast track along the Nicaragua/Honduras border puts it close to the region which was devastated by the flooding from infamous Hurricane Mitch in late October 1998. The toll from Mitch was the deadliest in the Atlantic Basin since 1780. Some unofficial rainfall reports from that storm were over 48 inches at the higher elevations.

A tropical wave in the central Caribbean is showing no signs of development, and its area of showers may be absorbed into Beta.

Climate Clues

An article about Arctic warming which was published online September 22 has appeared in the issue of Science magazine published today. The article, entitled "Role of Land-Surface Changes in Arctic Summer Warming", analyzes feedback effects from atmospheric warming. It finds that local warming caused by decreased albedo (reflectivity) from earlier snow melting is on the order of 3 watts per square meter per decade, which is comparable to the heating from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 alone. An accompanying analysis, "Tipping Points in the Tundra", says, "Environmental changes in the Arctic may be an early warning system for global climate change, and recent reports from the region are alarming."

Weather Man Movie

I agree with Jason that the "Weather Man" movie sounds like a mixed bag. I'm waiting to hear from Ebert and Roper (set your TiVo for 1:05am Sunday) to form my final opinion on whether it's worth seeing. If you do decide to go, showtimes and online ticket ordering are available at Moviefone.

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