Thursday, September 21, 2006

Summer Ending on a Crisp Note


Sunny, chilly. After morning lows of 50° at National and 43° at Dulles, temperatures have rebounded nicely, but they were still only in the upper 60s by mid afternoon. The Dulles low was only 1° above the record of 42° set in 1991. Today is the latest date in the year which has never seen a low below 40° there. Not only is the radar clear in all directions, but skies are virtually cloudless throughout the region south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Continued crisp. Lows tonight under clear skies will be chilly again, near 50° in the warmest urban areas to the low 40s in the coolest 'burbs. Get your excuses ready; tomorrow will be the perfect Friday for a "sick" day: Sunny, highs in the low 70s.

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

Pictured above: The map of surface pressure (solid lines) and 500 mb height (color shading) this morning from Unisys shows an unusually high amplitude pattern for late summer, with Helene moving around a high pressure area in the central Atlantic and our next weather maker, a strong low which brought substantial snow to portions of the central Rockies.

Tropical Topics

Hurricane Helene has turned north as expected well east of Bermuda, and a more easterly track is expected. Maximum winds are 80 mph.

The tropical wave west of the Cape Verde Islands hasn't become better organized yet, but gradual development is possible in the next couple of days as it continues moving westward.

Political Science

Today's NYT reports that, given the lack of action at the federal level, the state of California is suing the 6 largest auto makers over air pollution. The state Attorney General claims, "Global warming is causing significant harm to California's environment, economy, agriculture and public health." The suit is the first attempt to hold the companies liable for producing greenhouse gases. Articles on the lawsuit also appeared in the BoGlo (from the AP), LaTi, and UK Telegraph, among others. (Interestingly, the San Jose Mercury News has a story bylined from the WaPo, but a Google search of the online WaPo turns up only the AP and Reuters wire service reports.)

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