Some mainly high clouds associated with a weak cold front passing slowly through the Washington metro area have dimmed the bright sunshine this afternoon, but temperatures are well into the mid 80s. Humidity has increased from recent days, with dewpoints in the upper 50s and low 60s. Radar is nearly clear, although a very small shower appeared early in the afternoon just north of the Mason-Dixon line and west of Hancock, MD. It has now expanded across Maryland into the panhandle of West Virginia.
Tonight and Tomorrow
Lows will be in the mid 60s under partly cloudy skies tonight. There is a remote chance of an isolated shower. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with highs in the mid 80s.
Tropical Beat: How now, Ophelia!
As Jason noted earlier, Ophelia was a tropical storm with 65 mph maximum winds, but it has been upgraded to a hurricane with 75 mph winds as of 5pm. It is moving slowly northeast for now, so tropical storm warnings and watches have been canceled. Interests from northern Florida to the Carolinas need to be alert, however, since the storm still has the potential to regain strength and loop back to the coast. For the first time with this storm, the DC area is now in the "egg of uncertainty" for the track.
Maria still has tropical characteristics but is no longer a hurricane. It is moving northeast in the far northern Atlantic with maximum winds of 60 mph and should be near Iceland as an extratropical storm by Tuesday.
Nate was also downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of 65 mph. It is moving east-northeast at a brisk 24 mph on a track which should eventually take it west of the Azores.
Elsewhere, no other tropical storm formation is expected through Saturday.
Shelter From the Storm
Most broadcast and cable networks will carry a Katrina benefit telethon "Shelter From the Storm" from 8 to 9 tonight. Donations will be collected on behalf of the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
Don't forget to help the unsung heroes of the National Weather Service through the NWSEO Disaster Assistance Fund.
CNN reports that Katrina charity scams have mushroomed, especially on the web.
Happy New Year!
3 weeks ago