Thursday, April 27, 2006

FEMA Found FUBAR; Weather Not

Yesterday's cloud-enhanced chill in the Washington DC metro area has been replaced by much more seasonable readings. Wednesday's official high of 59° was the lowest since the 57° on the 9th, but nearly all locations were at or above 70 by mid afternoon today ahead of a cold front bringing a reinforcing shot of cooler air for tomorrow. chart from NWS data, photo ©
Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight will be variably cloudy with lows from the upper 40s to near 50 in the city and lower 40s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with highs around 66, but northeasterly winds could bring in more clouds and cooler temperatures east of the immediate metro area.

Preparedness Disaster

The AP reports via the online WaPo that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has recommended that FEMA be abolished and replaced by a National Preparedness and Response Authority. The committee report concludes that
1) long-term warnings went unheeded and government officials neglected their duties to prepare for a forewarned catastrophe; 2) government officials took insufficient actions or made poor decisions in the days immediately before and after landfall; 3) systems on which officials relied on to support their response efforts failed, and 4) government officials at all levels failed to provide effective leadership.
Notice the emphasis on the fact that the catastrophe was "forewarned". The meteorological community, and especially the staff members of the National Hurricane Center, can take pride in the recognized excellence of the forecasts leading up to the storm's landfall. The report singles out the "strongly worded advisories from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and personal warnings from NHC Director Max Mayfield".

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the White House is opposed to the committee's recommendation that FEMA be scrapped. Hurricane season officially begins in 34 days.

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Seasonal Outlook

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