Thursday, August 24, 2006

Awfully Arid August


Hot but dry. A bright August sun pushed the temperature to 91° by 3pm this afternoon. The humidity is only slightly higher than yesterday with dewpoints hovering near 60°. A strong thunderstorm developed along the coast near Ocean City, but otherwise regional radar is dry.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Mostly dry. A stationary front hanging around the Mason-Dixon line could help spark a few scattered thunderstorms this evening; otherwise, lows will be near 70 in the city to the mid 60s in the 'burbs under partly cloudy skies. Tomorrow will be sunny with highs near 90° and moderate humidity.

Scroll down to Josh's post below for the outlook through the weekend and Larson's Long-Range.

Tropical Topics

Debby continues to be an underachiever with maximum winds of 50 mph through today and little change expected in the near future. The forecast track keeps it away from land.

The tropical wave near the Windward Islands has developed a closed circulation according to this afternoon's reconnaissance report. It became TD 5 in the 5pm advisory with maximum winds of 35 mph and expectations of becoming a tropical storm in the next 24 hours.

Squandered Surplus

The large precipitation surplus which developed early this summer is being steadily eroded by the recent lack of rainfall. Although July as a whole was near average, most of that fell early in the month, and the accumulated deficit since July 1 is now over 1.5". No measurable rain has fallen at National Airport since the 0.17" on Aug. 10. At this rate, we are on track for a top-10 driest August. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Quiznos Kind of Day


Mm, mm, toasty! The official Washington temperature reached 90° at 2pm, but a mainly northerly breeze and dewpoints in the mid 50s have helped to keep it quite comfortable for August. The radar is totally dry in all directions for hundreds of miles, despite a weak front hovering near the Mason-Dixon line.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Warm, becoming more humid. Tonight should be fairly pleasant, but humidity is likely to creep upward by morning. Lows should be more of "the usual": near 70 city, mid 60s 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny and a little more humid with a slight chance of PM showers or thunderstorms and highs in the upper 80s.

Scroll down to Dan's post below for the outlook through the weekend.

Tropical Topics

Debby gained a little strength in the eastern Atlantic with maximum winds of 50 mph this morning, but it is back down to 45 mph on the latest advisory. The expected track still keeps it well east of Bermuda.

An area of more potential threat is a tropical wave a couple of hundred miles east of the Windward Islands. It could develop into a tropical depression within 48 hours. A reconnaissance flight is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow to investigate.

Broadcast News

ABC News has announced that Sam Champion has been promoted from New York's WABC to be the weather anchor for "Good Morning America", beginning on Sept. 5. He will also be weather editor for ABC News and "will contribute feature reports on the environment and weather-related issues."

Photo from ABC News

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

August Anniversary Approaches


Warm, a bit more humid. Temperatures in the upper 80s this afternoon are similar to those of yesterday here in the Washington metro area, but dewpoints have crept up from the upper 50s to the low and even mid 60s. Depending on your personal tolerance of humidity, you may need AC tonight even if you had it off last night. Regional radar is very dry, except for some scattered storms southwest of Richmond.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Similar to today. Lows tonight will be near 70 in the warmer urban areas to the mid 60s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be a lot like today, but with slightly higher humidity, highs in the upper 80s.

Scroll down to Jason's post below for the outlook through the weekend.

Tropical Topics

Tropical Depression 4 was moving west-northwestward today at longitude 27.5W, away from the Cape Verde Islands. Its maximum sustained winds of 35 mph late this afternoon were only a little below tropical storm strength, which it is expected to reach "very soon." If it does become named, it will be called Debby.

The Weather Channel presented some statistics last night on storms which become named east of longitude 35W. Of those 34 storms in the last 20 years, only 4 reached landfall in the U.S., but several (perhaps all; I'm quoting from memory here) were major, including 2004's Ivan.

Broadcast News

The second part (acts III and IV) of Spike Lee's documentary on Katrina, "When the Levees Broke" is on HBO at 9 tonight. If you missed the first half last night, the entire 4 hours will be rebroadcast next Tuesday, the anniversary of Katrina, at 8pm. The program was previewed in yesterday's WaPo.

The Discovery Channel is presenting "Surviving Katrina" on Sunday at 9pm.

This is also Katrina Week on The Weather Channel, with various Storm Stories and other documentary features.

Photo of director Spike Lee from AP, via

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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