Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Move directly to summer. Do not pass "Go." Do not collect $200. It's air-conditioning season in the Nation's Capital region today as temperatures have soared into the 90s by early afternoon. Unlike the beautifully dry conditions over the holiday weekend, humidity is also high.

Several locations in the region with dewpoints in the 70s were reporting heat indices over 100 as early as 2pm. By 4pm, Dulles had reached 95° and National and BWI had hit 94°. The robo-observer at Frederick checked in with 97°. The highly non-standard exposure here at Afternoon Blog Central in Montgomery County briefly touched triple digits.

Temperature chart at 4pm today from Unisys

A more easterly flow should knock temperatures back into the upper 80s tomorrow, but humidity will remain sticky. For tonight, keep the AC cranked high as you enjoy the waning hours of cheap electrons before the Pepco rates ratchet up 39% in Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties at midnight tomorrow night; BGE rates will go up 72%.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight's lows should be near 70 in the city to the mid and upper 60s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy and continued humid, but with highs only in the upper 80s.

Political Science: Irony is Not Dead

Joel Achenbach's cover article "The Tempest" in Sunday's WaPo Mag is a lengthy (7500 word) exploration of the skeptic mindset in the realm of climate change. It focuses mainly on Colorado State hurricane researcher, general curmudgeon, and DC native William Gray. Achenbach, whose expertise seems to be more in the area of political science than physical science, gives a fascinating view of the power of faith. In spite of the mounting evidence, Gray is seemingly unable to see the cruel irony in vehemently rejecting climate models as a hoax because models can't predict the details of the weather next month, while at the same time his own reputation rests on the statistical modeling of the number and intensity of hurricanes in a season, even though his models can't predict the details of any individual storm.

A transcript of this morning's interactive discussion with the author is available online.

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