Friday, December 15, 2006

DC Decemberology


Mostly sunny, mild. Morning fog, mist, and some mid-level clouds sandwiched between 2 weak fronts have once again capped the official Washington temperature below the most optimistic projections this afternoon, but most of the area still had readings in the low 60s by mid afternoon; on the southern fringes of the region, Fredericksburg recorded 70° at 2pm. Following the passage of a very weak frontal system, tomorrow will be a little cooler and dryer.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Mostly clear, a little cooler. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows near 40° in the city to the mid 30s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny with highs in the mid 50s.

For the outlook through the rest of the weekend, scroll down to Camden's post below.

Snow Freqs

The natives have been getting a bit restless in the Comment Gallery recently over the prospects for snow (or the lack thereof), but longtime residents know that snow droughtiness is a common feature of DC December. The exceptions always stand out in the collective memory, but the sad fact for snow lovers south of the Mason-Dixon line is that the long-term monthly snow average for Washington of 1.5" didn't get that way without lots more misses than hits. The measly few flakes last week which went down in the record books as a trace already put this month above 5% of all Decembers dating back to 1888. Over 20% of the months had no more than this amount.

Hope springs eternal, however, when nearly 25% of Decembers have had 5" or more, including almost 1 per decade, on average, with over 10". (The most recent occurrence of a 10+" December was over 3 decades ago, in 1973, but the 1960s, 1930s, and 1900s share the honor of having 2 occurrences in the same decade. The 1960s are distinguished by having both of the top 2 December totals, 16.2" and 16.1".) Although, like Red Sox Nation, the DC snow lover frequently has to be content with the chant, "Wait 'til next year!", in the case of snow season, next year is only a bit more than 2 weeks away. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose


The Weather Channel's Climate Code (Sunday 5pm) is scheduled to cover the 10 biggest climate stories of the year.

WeatherTalkers Berk and Pann have as their guest on Sunday (3:05pm, WCBM-680 AM) Dr. Jeffrey Halverson, Associate Director-Academics at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, UMBC. His research interests include "climatology and severe storms of the Mid Atlantic region, including nor'easters, severe thunderstorms and tropical cyclones undergoing extra-tropical transition."

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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