Monday, June 5, 2006

DC: Droughtiness Concerns

As Jason keenly observes below, the chances of rain in the next several days may be somewhat overrated. The kind of instability we have this week (cold air aloft) is much less likely to produce real rain than the kind we had late last week (warm air at the surface). On the other hand, between some occasionally menacing-looking clouds and a sprinkle or two, the northwesterly flow aloft is bringing us pleasantly cool temperatures and comfortable humidity for early summer.

The experimental National Weather Service map to the right shows that the precipitation Friday night was once again quite skimpy in the immediate area. In fact, large portions of Prince Georges and Anne Arundel counties and Northern Virginia received nothing. The heaviest amounts were northeast of Baltimore toward the Philadelphia area. Although we are not officially in the drought category yet, this spring and early summer are reminding me of the droughty conditions in the mid and late 60s.


At mid afternoon, temperatures in the Washington DC metro area were consistently in the low 70s, several degrees cooler than yesterday at the same time, and dewpoints were in the low or mid 50s. I saw a few isolated drops on the windshield while navigating downtown Bethesda's mid day gridlock, but it was hardly cause for an umbrella.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Lows tonight under variably cloudy skies will be near 60 in the city to the mid 50s in the cooler 'burbs. There is a slight chance of widely scattered light showers through this evening. Tomorrow should be similar to today, but with a little higher chance (30%) of showers in the afternoon. Rain is more likely well toward the east of the DC region as a weak low pressure area tries to develop off the coast. Highs will be in the mid 70s.

For a rundown of how this plays out through the rest of the week, see Jason's post below.

Tropical Topics: It Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda Happen Tomorrow

The Weather Channel's It Already Happened "Katrina, the Lost Episode" was broadcast last night at 9 and will be shown again this Friday. Based on the pilot for the "It Could Happen Tomorrow" series, it was a retrospective look at the warnings for a New Orleans disaster in light of what actually occurred. Without putting a stopwatch to the TiVo replay, I would estimate that 10% or less of the show was from the original material. This is pure speculation, of course, but I suspect that most of the old show was cut because it was even too far over the top for the Katrina reality.

The WaPo reprints an AP profile of the TWC Hurricane Guy with the great name of Dr. Steve Lyons today. It's in your dead-tree Style section about 6 pages back from an oh-so-cute article about how a 69-year-old grandmother is having "Tons of Fun" with her 3½ ton urban assault vehicle on area roadways.

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