Monday, August 14, 2006

Want Stickiness With Those Fries?


Seasonably warm and humid: If the weekend weather had you thinking that August itself had gone on vacation along with most of the rest of Washington, this afternoon should bring you back to what passes for reality in Spin City. Upper 80s are prevalent in the immediate Beltway vicinity, and the Usual Suspects toward the south, such as Stafford, Culpeper, and Fredericksburg, are all at or above 90°. Those pesky dewpoints are into the sticky upper 60s to 70°. Regional radar is dry except for some extremely isolated showers along the Blue Ridge.

Tonight and Tomorrow

AC weather: The MOS (Model Output Statistics) are predicting MOS (More of Same) through tomorrow, except for a better chance of PM thunderstorms, as a not-so-cold front approaches from the west. Lows tonight: low to mid 70s, highs tomorrow: upper 80s. Chance of afternoon or evening thunderstorms: 50%.

Scroll down to Jason's post below for the outlook through next weekend.

Tropical Topics

There are two areas of interest in the tropical Atlantic. A low pressure area just north of the Bahamas shows some signs of developing a circulation, and a reconnaissance flight is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow to investigate. A strong low pressure area off the coast of Africa has already had wind gusts of up to 50 mph in squalls today. A tropical depression could develop out of this as it approaches the Cape Verde Islands tomorrow.

Climate Corner: Greenland Ice vs. Antarctic Snow

While PM Update was on break, Friday's WaPo had an article, "Greenland's Melting Ice Sheet May Speed Rise in Sea Level" about two issues related to the question of sea-level change. On the subject of Greenland's ice sheet, a new study has found that the recent rate of melting, although based on a short period of observation, is 3 times higher than the rate of the previous 5 years. The other subject is much more significant to sea-level change, since global warming critics frequently claim that everything balances out because more snow in Antarctica compensates for Greenland melting. In fact, a study published in the latest AAAS Science magazine finds that
There has been no statistically significant change in snowfall since the 1950s, indicating that Antarctic precipitation is not mitigating global sea level rise as expected, despite recent winter warming of the overlying atmosphere.
An animation of Antarctic snowfall trends is available online.

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Seasonal Outlook

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