Thursday, September 14, 2006

Little Mist; Sunshine?


Some drizzle, cool. After about 2/3" of rain this morning in the Washington metro area, skies are overcast this afternoon with some persistent patches of drizzle and light rain. Nearby to the west, however, some sunshine has appeared; the robo-observer at Manassas is claiming partly sunny conditions and Winchester is up to 73° with mostly sunny skies. Here in MoCo north of the Beltway and west of I-270, the sky is distinctly brighter to the northwest, and pavements are mostly dry. Just to the east of the Beltway, however, a more widespread area of rain and showers is moving northeastward, where it can threaten at least some delays in the O's Zone as the Birdies take on the Crimson Hose.

Pictured: Surface pressure (solid lines) and 500 mb height (color shading) map this morning from Unisys shows an upper-level trough (yellow) approaching the East Coast, while Gordon moves around a large ridge in the central Atlantic, and Helene follows in the wings. The remnant of Florence is the intense low to the east of Newfoundland.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Gradually improving. With an upper-level trough approaching gradually from the west, conditions will be slow to improve, but we should see a decent amount of sun, at least by late afternoon, tomorrow. Lows tonight will be near 58° in the coolest spots to around 62° in the city. Highs tomorrow should be in the upper 70s, or about 80° if we get enough sun.

For the weekend outlook and Larson's Long-Range, scroll on down to Josh's post below.

Tropical Topics

Gordon has become the first major (category 3) hurricane of this season, with maximum winds of 120 mph. It has a very impressive looking eye on satellite images. The track continues northeastward away from any land, except perhaps for an approach to the northwest of the Canary Islands as a tropical storm early next week.

TD 8 became Helene last night and continues to strengthen slowly, with maximum winds of 45 mph. Images of the storm show a lot of "raw material." If it gets organized, it could be a very large storm by area. It's now moving westward, but there is wide disagreement (about 450 miles worth) among the models on the future track. The official track is based on a consensus of the models and takes it northwesterly southeast of Bermuda in 5 days.

Climate Corner: DC Event

World-recognized Australian climate expert Dr. Barrie Pittock will be speaking at Busboys and Poets bookstore in DC next Tuesday evening. Stay tuned to for more details and an exclusive Q&A with Dr. Pittock.

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.