Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Zoning Out

It was exciting while it lasted, but the dip in the jet stream which brought Arctic air into the Washington DC area over the weekend has been replaced by more "zonal" (east-west) flow. The chart to the right shows the 500 mb height (approximately the middle of the atmosphere) over North America this morning. The colors represent areas of roughly equal height, and the solid lines are the barometric pressure at the surface.

The milder temperatures have reached above the long-term average, nearing or hitting 50° by mid afternoon throughout the area with westerly and southwesterly breezes. Despite the 17° departure below "normal" on Sunday, we are still nearly 2° above average for the month so far. A weak disturbance moving eastward south of the area will bring the threat of light precipitation tomorrow afternoon, mainly rain through central Virginia and some mixed rain and snow to the north.

Graphic from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clouds will increase tonight with lows near 32 in the city and upper 20s in the colder 'burbs. Tomorrow will be cloudy with a 40% chance of light precipitation by late morning or early afternoon, mainly rain with some snow possibly mixed in to the north and highs in the mid 40s.

"In Life, Accuracy Counts"

It's not really about weather, but the "Weather Man" movie (2 Thumbs Up®) is out on DVD today. The movie, which is rated "R", stars Nicolas Cage as Chicago weatherman David Spritz, whose "professional successes are overshadowed by his personal failures." The DVD bonus features include:
  • Extended Outlook: The Script
  • Forecast: Becoming a Weatherman
  • Atmospheric Pressure: The Style and Palette
  • Relative Humidity: The Characters
  • Trade Winds: The Collaboration

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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