NowSunny and warm. It doesn't meet the classic definition of Indian Summer because we haven't had the first frost yet, but summer-like conditions have returned to the Washington metro area this afternoon. Most reporting locations were in the low 80s by mid afternoon, although a stubborn southerly "river breeze" kept National Airport capped at 79° for 3 consecutive hours. Dulles, on the other hand, was up to 81°.
Temperatures were at least into the 70s through most of the Mid Atlantic area, while 90s were widespread through the Southern Plains and Mid Mississippi Valley.
Temperature chart at 4pm today from Unisys
Tonight and TomorrowWarm, a bit more humid. Tonight's lows under mostly clear skies will be in the low 60s downtown to the upper 50s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be much like today, but a bit more humid and with highs a few degrees warmer, near 84°.
For the outlook through the rest of the week and the weekend, scroll down to Jason's post below.
Tropical TopicsThe last advisory on Tropical Storm Isaac was issued at 5pm yesterday as it passed by the southeastern tip of Newfoundland. Damage reports were minimal as tropical storm warnings were cancelled.
The researchers from the tropical clime of Colorado State (Klotzbach/Gray) updated their forecast today for the remainder of the hurricane season. Although the lack of landfalling hurricanes, especially compared to the last two years, makes it appear quiet, the hurricane season through September has been near average. (August was only 45% of average, but September was 40% above average.) The forecast for October is for only 2 more named storms, including 1 hurricane, but no major (Category 3 or above) storms. The "below-average prediction for October-November activity is largely due to the rapid emergence of an El Nino event during the latter part of this summer." The forecasters note that the rapid El Nino development was not well predicted.
Commodity markets this morning reacted at least in part to this forecast by driving the price of oil below $60 a barrel. The price of natural gas has plunged even more dramatically recently, to a level about 2/3 below what it was last year after Katrina and Rita did major damage to Gulf of Mexico energy facilities.
MediarologyTonight's ScienceNow report on the PBS NOVA program (8:00 on channels 22 and 26 in the DC area) explores the possible effects of a rock the size of the Rose Bowl hitting Earth in 2036.