Tuesday, June 6, 2006

06/06/06: Devilishly Fine Weather

An unusually deep upper-level trough for this time of year is continuing to bring some clouds and relatively cool temperatures to the Mid Atlantic area. By mid afternoon, however, abundant sunshine had pushed temperatures well into the upper 70s in the Washington DC metro area; many locations were within spitting distance of the seasonal average at 79° by 3pm.

A very weak low pressure area off Cape Hatteras is producing clouds and some rain along the coast. On the Eastern Shore, Georgetown DE, Ocean City MD, and Wallops Island VA were all reporting light rain, and temperatures ranged as low as 64° at Ocean City. A stray shower or two is possible in the local area through tomorrow, but the bulk of the rain with this system is aimed at southern and eastern New England, where they don't need any more precipitation right now.

Chart above: Surface pressure (solid lines) and 500 mb height (color shading) map this morning from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight will see variably cloudy skies with lows in the low 60s. There is a slight chance of a sprinkle through this evening. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy and a little more humid with a 40% chance of showers in the afternoon, but rain is more likely from about the Chesapeake Bay eastward. Highs will be in the mid to upper 70s, depending on how close the showers get to the east.

The forecast for the rest of the week and weekend continues here.

Call Me Anything But Late for Dinner

The USA Today Weather Guys have a link to a posting in The Morning News about weatherman names. Congratulations to Channel 9's Topper Shutt for making number 3 on the list.

Climate Corner

Speaking of our VA neighbors at USA Today, the USA's largest daily newspaper has acquired a reputation as "McPaper" for its somewhat breezy approach to the news. I was very favorably impressed, however, with a CSPAN Washington Journal segment yesterday which featured last week's climate change coverage in USA Today. The paper's science writer, Dan Vergano, seemed to be well informed on the subject and did a good job of fending off the typical CSPAN "I'm pestering Sen. Lieberman's office 24/7 with my crackpot ideas" callers. Vergano received the American Geophysical Union David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism this year for his article in 2005 "The debate's over: Globe is warming".

Also on the subject of media coverage on climate change, the PBS NewsHour last night had a very interesting angle on the subject. While paid lobbyists for the oil industry (such as in the recent "article" in the Baltimore Sun) have been whining about the potential effects of climate policy on the free market, companies in several industries have been actually using the free market to promote both environmental improvement and their own bottom line. We're not talking about long-haired hippie bicycle shops here. Some of the largest insurance companies on the planet, for example, have gotten the message that a rational approach to a potential problem can help them two ways: by reducing catastrophic losses and also by selling more insurance. If the science is correct, some smart people are going to make a ton of money.

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