It's the 31st, and the Washington DC metro area is on the verge of just missing a tie with 2003 for the coolest May since 1967. Temperatures in mid afternoon are in the upper 70s throughout the area, just below the long-term average high of 80 for the date. Frederick was the warm spot at 4pm with 81 degrees. At the beach, an easterly breeze is keeping Ocean City at 70 under sunny skies. Regional radar is totally clear in all directions. As a high pressure area centered over the Great Lakes spreads over the entire East Coast except for Florida, the nearest precipitation extends from near Atlanta to southern South Carolina.
After maxing out around 80, temperatures tonight will drop to lows in the upper 50s. Partly cloudy skies tomorrow will be accompanied by highs again from the upper 70s to 80.
Tomorrow is the official start of the hurricane season. Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University today updated his hurricane season forecast. He is forecasting a "well above-average hurricane season for the Atlantic basin in 2005" and "an above-average probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall." The new forecast increases the number of named storms (15), hurricanes (8), and intense hurricanes (4) from the earlier prediction made on April 1. The increase in activity is due to increased warming of the Atlantic Ocean and decreased likelihood of an El Nino developing in the summer and fall. The forecast probability for at least one major hurricane (category 3-5) landfall on the U.S. East Coast is 59%, vs. an average for the last century of 31%. The Landfalling Hurricane Probability Webpage, based on Dr. Gray's forecast, shows that the probability of landfall by 1 or more named storms in the mid-Atlantic region (northern Outer Banks through New Jersey) is 14.6%, vs. a long-term average of 8.6%. The next forecast update will be issued on Aug. 5. The update will include monthly predictions for August, September, and October.
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