Thursday, January 19, 2006

Winter Marches On

Some clouds associated with a weak warm front have moved out, and temperatures throughout the Washington DC metro area have reached or exceeded 50 degrees by mid afternoon today. Some mixed precipitation earlier on radar from the West Virginia panhandle northeastward to Pennsylvania was apparently not reaching the ground, and it has now disappeared. Tomorrow looks like a fine day to sneak out early for your favorite outdoor activity (as long as it doesn't involve snow), so get your excuses ready.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Lows tonight under a few clouds should be around 37 in the city, lower 30s in the colder 'burbs. Mostly sunny and low 60s are on tap for tomorrow.

Betting on Snow

Whether you believe in the gambler's fallacy (a coin is more likely to come up heads after 9 consecutive tails) or persistence (a coin is more likely to come up tails after 9 consecutive tails), you don't have much support in Washington snow statistics. Last month, we looked at whether December snowfall amounts can give any clue for January and found that they were almost completely uncorrelated. If it's possible, February snowfall in DC is even less correlated with January. The chart shows an almost completely flat regression line, with a correlation coefficient nearly equal to 0. Stay tuned as we try to figure out what Momma Nature's cooking up for the February menu.

Six out of Seven EPA Administrators Recommend

It's stuck under an equal-sized White House Iraq photo-op on page A4 (dead last in the online A section), but today's WaPo has an article about a meeting in which 6 former EPA administrators, 5 of whom are Republicans, recommended mandatory limits on CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. The immediately previous administrator, Mike Leavitt, who is now secretary of HHS, could not attend because of "schedule conflicts". Russell Train, who held the position from 1973 to 1977 under Nixon and Ford, said,
"This is not a sort of short-term cycle problem. This is a major disaster for the world. To say we'll deal with it later and try to push it away is dishonest to the people, and self-destructive."
Come on, Mr. Train, stop being so partisan!

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