NowSummery. After nearly a week in which temperatures barely made it into the 70s, the Washington metro area has been enjoying much more summer-like conditions since yesterday. Yesterday's official high of 81° was matched by 2pm today, and readings around the region are mostly in the mid 80s. There is no rain east of the mountains, but a vigorous cold front pushing eastward from the Ohio Valley is bringing showers and thunderstorms from southern Canada all the way to the Gulf States.
Tonight and TomorrowIncreasing clouds, chance of showers. Clouds will increase overnight toward morning with lows in the mid to upper 60s. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a 50% chance of showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon and highs from 75° to 78°
For the outlook for the rest of the week into the weekend, scroll down to Jason's post below.
Tropical TopicsHelene strengthened this morning to 125 mph (strong Category 3) based on satellite observations but was lowered to 115 mph in the 5pm advisory after a NOAA research plane made some measurements. After moving north-northwestward for a while, it is now turning more westward. A continued westerly track could have the potential to threaten land, but Dr. Jeff Masters points out in his blog that of the 16 hurricanes in history which have passed within 300 miles of Helene's position, the only one to make landfall in the U.S. was Isabel (2003). Furthermore, Isabel started out more southerly than Helene. None of the latest models brings the storm even as far as longitude 60W (about the eastern tip of Nova Scotia). The official forecast track, which had been further west than any of the models, has now been shifted east of 60W.
Gordon has intensified to 90 mph as it continues moving eastward in the open Atlantic toward the Azores. A tropical storm watch is now in effect for the Azores.
Historical hurricane track map from Wunderground.com
Climate CornerDr. Barrie Pittock's talk at Busboys and Poets is tomorrow evening. Details are in Friday's PM Update.