Friday, March 24, 2006

Wind-ing Down

At least there's no wind with the chill. Late March sun through a high overcast in the Washington DC metro area is pushing temperatures this afternoon a degree or 2 higher than yesterday's below-average high of 51. Clouds and a chance of showers are likely through much of the weekend as weak disturbances rotate southeastward around a persistent upper-level low now centered over the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, a surface low lurking off the Carolina coast is modeled to deepen vigorously by Sunday afternoon. As it remains well off the coast, however, its effects on the local area are expected to be limited to reinforcing the flow of cold air with its counterclockwise circulation.

North American 500 mb height (colors) and surface pressure (solid lines) this morning from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Under cloudy skies tonight, lows will range from near 40 city to upper 30s 'burbs. Clouds will continue tomorrow with highs in the upper 40s, a couple of degrees warmer if more sun breaks through. There is a 30% chance of light showers tonight, 50% tomorrow.

March Winds

The month so far has lived up to March's reputation as the windiest month, but the overall average of 11.5 mph is only slightly higher than the long-term average of 11.1. The peak gust of 45 mph on the 15th is less than the 52 mph recorded in 2002. The maximum 2-minute wind of 36 mph (not shown) was also exceeded in 2002.

CapitalClimate chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

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