Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

An extra layer of body fat might not have seemed like such a bad idea in the Washington DC metro area today as temperatures struggled to make it to the mid 40s forecast here yesterday, despite the strong sun of waning winter. Not too far away in south-central Virginia and nearby North Carolina, there were hints of the approaching season; Farmville, South Hill, Emporia, and Roanoke Rapids were all well into the 60s.

Also as featured in this space yesterday, any flakes which fell last night around the area were extremely few and far between, amounting to at most a dusting. The inexorable push of warmer air from the southwest may set off a few sprinkles or snow showers late tonight or tomorrow morning, but amounts will be negligible.

The next significant precipitation event is likely to occur around the Monday time frame. This afternoon's model predictions coming in as I post keep the storm development very far to the south, however. Stay tuned during the week as the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball gets warmed up for a possible last workout of the season.

Tonight and Tomorrow

For tonight, clouds will increase towards morning with lows near 31. There is a slight chance of light rain or snow showers late tonight or tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will be variably cloudy with highs near 49.

Katrina's Continuing Legacy

Six months after Katrina, the WaPo notes the effect of the storm's legacy on the Mardi Gras celebrations which end today on Fat Tuesday.

The PBS News Hour last night featured the devastating effects of Katrina on New Orleans' hospital system, especially Charity Hospital. Previously the city's only fully equipped trauma center, it is now operating out of tents set up in the Convention Center. Dr. Peter Deblieux, director of emergency medical services at the hospital, says,
It's not appropriate. We are caring for patients in a tent. It's understandable a month out -- might be understandable two to three months out. And here it is six months operating within a tent system to deliver care to our patients. They deserve appropriate health care: Not health care within tents; not health care within a fragmented, broken system.
NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross today has an interview with Jeanne Dumestre, a founder of the legendary New Orleans music club Tipitina's. Her home was seriously damaged by the storm. The show also includes a profile of pioneering jazz pianist Professor Longhair and an interview with musician and songwriter Allen Toussaint, who is trying to help rebuild the city through music. The show aired this afternoon on WETA-FM and is repeated on WAMU-FM at 3am tonight. Streaming audio is also available on the NPR web site.

Hurricane season begins in 92 days.

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