Thursday, May 4, 2006

Where Are the May Showers?

Southwesterly flow ahead of a cold front in the Ohio Valley is sending balmy temperatures all the way up the Atlantic Coast into northern New England this afternoon. Locally, temperatures reached typical early June levels with readings of 80° or above by 3pm at all Washington DC metro area locations except for river-breezed Quantico.

As Josh explained earlier, needed precipitation will be quite scarce over the next several days; this morning's GFS model has the DC area on the northern edge of minimal precipitation at best for at least the next 48 hours. The afternoon NAM model is only a little less stingy; it comes up with less than 0.10" through Saturday.

Temperature chart at 3pm today from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Under mainly cloudy skies later tonight, low temperatures will have a hard time breaking below 60 in the District and mid 50s in the 'burbs. Friday will feature considerable cloudiness for much of the day but only a 30% chance of showers. Highs should be able to reach the mid 70s, closer to 80 if there is more afternoon sun.

April Showers Drying Up

Mid April's rain took a bite out of the 2006 precipitation deficit, but we're likely to be once again over 30% below average in the next few days. April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but in the most recent 30-year climatological reference period, April is the driest month in Washington, with an average of only 2.77" vs. 3.82" for May. (February is lower in absolute terms, but of course it has 2 fewer days, on average.) The daily average increases over 50% from a low of 0.08" on April 15 to 0.13" by May 12. So far this year, we're going directly against that trend. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

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