Friday, November 4, 2005

Signs of the Seasons

(After Verizon dug a five-foot-deep trench in my front yard attempting a repair to the 37-year-old string connecting to my tin-can modem, I wasn't sure there would be an afternoon update, but here it is. If any of you argued for underground utilities after the damage from Isabel, I can testify from long experience: You don't want to go there!)

High, thin clouds are retarding the temperature rise this afternoon in the Washington metro area, but the 5-month stretch of warm temperatures is continuing into the new month of November. Since June, which had 17 days above the long-term average, the number of days at or above normal has been: July: 23, August: 25, September: 27, October: 21. Most reporting locations have reached 70 or above, although the Anomalous Airport has reported only 66. Mild and dry conditions are on tap through the weekend; all of the models are predicting only single-digit "POPs" (probabilities of precipitation) through Sunday. This is a good thing, since getting Verizon's exposed string wet would certainly jeopardize Monday afternoon's update.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight's lows will be in the mid 50s downtown to around 50 in the suburbs. Tomorrow should be mostly sunny with highs in the low 70s, mid 70s if we get more sun.

Seasonal Shopping

In a sure sign that fall is deer mating season, the WaPo reports that a deer was shot to death yesterday in a Germantown Giant after apparently being disappointed by a leftover Halloween display and attacking the pharmacy. (There was no word on whether the animal was upset on finding out that the boxed milk is not on the dairy aisle, or with boxed juice, or with coffee and tea, or with baby products, but is in fact on the baking products aisle.)

Another sign of the season is the arrival through the mail slot yesterday of my favorite weather catalog, Wind and Weather, from northern California. Over the years, they have expanded from barometers, weathervanes, and sundials to all manner of indoor and outdoor tchotchkes, but they still have a nice selection of weather instruments.

Casio has apparently given up on their barometer watch, but the GQ (Geek Quotient) of this year's wrist adornment is unsurpassed: The "Multi-purpose Weather Watch" measures "wind speed (0 to 186 mph) with a Swiss-made flip-up impeller." This is on top of air pressure (down to 8.84"!), temperature (-40F to 176F), wind chill, stopwatch, and date/time alarm. This sounds like great fun and just the thing to have if you're planning to fall out of an airplane at about 50,000 feet or to spend some time in the toaster oven on defrost setting. On the other hand, I'm not sure I want to wear a device which requires me to go sideways through doorways. Only 51 shopping days left to the holidays!

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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