Friday, October 13, 2006

DCA: Da Chill Arrives


Sunny and cold. Calm winds just before dawn, clear skies, and very low humidity (dewpoints in the mid and upper 20s) helped pushed low temperatures this morning to or below the bottom range of forecasts last night. National was 39°, Dulles was 31°, and some outlying areas were below freezing. (Frederick was 28°.)

Despite a wind shift to the south and bright sunshine, temperatures have rebounded only to the mid 50s this afternoon. The chill will continue tonight with temperatures near or several degrees below last night in most places. Check your county above for the freeze warnings and frost advisories in effect. chart of NWS data shows hourly temperatures from noon yesterday through 3pm today at National (DCA) and Dulles (IAD); photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Chilly. Under clear skies and diminishing winds, lows tonight will range from the upper 30s downtown to near or slightly below freezing in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny with a warmup to the low 60s.

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

Early Snow

The wind direction from this cold blast was just right for dumping huge amounts of wet lake-effect snow on Buffalo, NY. Up to two feet of snow was reported to be the 6th highest 24-hour amount in Buffalo history, and it smashed the old one-day record for October of 6". Downed trees created massive power outages and closed roads, including a 100+ mile section of the New York Thruway. The Toronto Star reports that Fort Erie on the Canadian side of the border was also hard hit.

Photo from NY State Thruway Authority

Tropical Topics

Tropical activity? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

November Preview


Mostly sunny, breezy. Mainly sunny skies following the passage of a cold front this afternoon have allowed temperatures to get a couple of degrees higher than yesterday; readings are generally 70°-72° at 4pm.

Clouds, enhanced by lake-effect precipitation and upslope motion, have been mostly confined to areas west of the mountains, but in the last hour or so, they have drifted over to a nearly complete overcast here at Afternoon Blog Central in the western half of MoCo. Westerly winds will pump in much cooler air overnight, but the low temperatures will depend on how much those winds die down by morning, and how much of the cloudiness associated with a very strong upper-level low persists.

The coolest temperatures of this spell, as Josh has already indicated, are likely tomorrow night and Saturday night, but the century-plus records of DC proper are not in jeopardy. The record lows for the 13th-15th are: 31° (1906), 32° (1875), and 32° (1874).

Temperature chart at 3pm today from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Much cooler. Under partly cloudy skies and diminishing winds, lows tonight will range from the mid 40s in urban areas to some 30s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s to 60°.

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

Hurricane Forecaster Profile

The hometown Fort Collins Weekly published a profile yesterday of the 26-year-old Phil Klotzbach's "Robin" to Dr. William Gray's hurricane-season-forecasting "Batman" at Colorado State University.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Look Out for Fall-ing Temperatures
And Heating Bills?


Cloudy, cool. Some sunshine at times filtering through a high overcast (generally over 10,000 ft.) has been enough to push temperatures only to the upper 60s in most of the Washington metro area this afternoon. A few spots, notably Culpeper and Leesburg, have been able to reach the 70° mark or more, however.

Showers, some moderate to heavy at times, have been mainly confined to the Maryland Eastern Shore and Delaware. Salisbury, which reported a heavy thunderstorm around 4:00, has picked up about ¼" of rain so far today. Some showers ahead of an approaching cold front are still possible through this evening in the DC area.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Fewer clouds, cool. The chance of showers tonight, mainly this evening, is 30%. Lows will be in the upper 50s to near 60 downtown. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy most of the day with cloudiness increasing late and highs in the upper 60s with lower humidity. Temperatures tomorrow night will be the coldest so far this season, in the 40s.

For the outlook through the rest of the week, scroll down to Dan's post below.

Winter Heating Outlook

The online USN&WR today has an analysis of home heating bills this winter in light of the official winter weather outlook announced yesterday. The good news for natural gas users: Expected warmer than average temperatures and lower gas prices should reduce bills. The bad news: Your utility probably locked in gas at a much higher price than the current market when supplies were expected to be short because of potential hurricane impacts in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pictured: Man with large heating bill, from WaPo

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Awesome October Day


Sunny, warm. The near 80° temperatures (National was at 80° for 3 consecutive hours) in the Washington metro area this afternoon are significantly warmer than average, but nowhere near the extremes of which October is capable. The earliest measurable snow at National Airport fell on this date in 1979 (0.3"; Dulles had 1.3"). Today is also the latest date in the year which has seen a temperature above 90° (92° in 1939).

Tonight and Tomorrow

Increasing clouds, cooler. Clouds will increase overnight with lows in the upper 50s in the city to the lower 50s in the cooler 'burbs . Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with highs near 71° and a 40% chance of showers by evening.

For the outlook through the rest of the week, scroll down to Jason's post below.

Winter Outlook

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center today announced the winter weather outlook for December to February. Weak to possibly moderate El Niño conditions are expected to produce warmer than normal conditions across most of the U.S., including a greater than 33% chance of above normal temperatures in most of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast regions. There are equal chances of wetter than normal, drier than normal, or near normal precipitation in the DC area.

NOAA's outlook was released in conjunction with the annual Winter Fuels Outlook Conference, sponsored by the Department of Energy. This event was carried live by CSPAN, so rebroadcasts will probably be available in coming days. The news of an expected warmer than normal heating season was greeted with much interest by both the producers and consumers of energy. Natural gas bills are predicted to decrease by an average of 13%.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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