Thursday, October 19, 2006

Slow Burn


Cloudy, foggy. Pervasive low clouds and fog, with even some mist and drizzle thrown in, have been mightily resistant to burning off today in the Washington metro area, resulting in a slow burn by meteorologists over busted temperature forecasts. Temperatures have struggled to reach even the mid and upper 60s in most places, although by 4pm, the robo-observer at Fredericksburg was reporting clear skies (below 12,000 feet, anyway) and 73°.

A cold front and developing low pressure area approaching from the Ohio Valley will bring increasing chances of showers late tonight and part of tomorrow before it moves off to bring heavy rain to northern New England.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Showers likely, then cooler. Lows tonight under overcast skies will be in the upper 50s. The chance of showers is 70% by morning. Showers are likely tomorrow morning, possibly a few thunderstorms, with decreasing clouds in the afternoon and early highs in the mid 60s, but turning cooler later.

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

Energy Watch: Being Green

If you're interested in reducing the amount of energy you burn and possibly saving some green as well, the recent NYT article, "The Energy Diet", is number 16 on the paper's list of most popular emailed articles in the last 30 days. The author, Andrew Postman, appeared on today's WAMU-FM Kojo Nnamdi show. Real Audio and Windoze Media streaming audio are available on the station's web site.

(In the interest of "fair and balanced" coverage, Instapundit responds from the right.)

Image from New York Times

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Frost is Off the Pumpkin


Sunny, warm. Yesterday's chilly rain has been replaced by warm October sun in the Washington metro area. Temperatures at mid afternoon were generally in the mid to upper 70s, with exurb Fredericksburg reporting 81° for about the last 3 hours. Summery dewpoints in the low to mid 60s were adding a hint of mugginess as well. Another warm day is on tap for tomorrow before the next storm system developing in the Ohio Valley helps bring in some Gulf moisture for rain or showers tomorrow night and into Friday.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Continued Warm. Skies will be mainly clear tonight, but without any drying, lows are unlikely to be much below 60° in most places. Some fog is probable in low-lying areas. Tomorrow will again be mostly sunny and warm with highs in the mid 70s, but with cloudiness increasing late in the day.

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

The Future Ain't What It Used to Be

Issue 14.09 (September) of Wired Magazine has an article, "Storm Center", reviewing the tradeoffs between form and function in the design of the new NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in the venerable Suitland Federal Center. In replacing the old mission control in an "asbestos-riddled, flood-prone, former World War II-era hospital", the techno-geeks said, "Save money! Just build us a box." The architect, however, took a broader view, given that the cost of his futuristic design was only about 8 hours of Iraq War. (Before you start the political flames, that's his quote, not mine!) The building is scheduled to begin operations this fall.

Image from Wired Magazine

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Soggy to Sunny


Showers, cool. Heavy rain at times today has given way to lighter showers and drizzle this afternoon in most of the Washington metro area. Radar shows the heavier showers retreating eastward of I-95 near Washington and I-83 north of Baltimore.

Of the 3 major regional airports, National has the least amount so far with just over ½" by late afternoon, bringing the monthly total of around 3" close to the long-term average for the whole month of October. BWI has the most with almost an inch. Accumulations were somewhat higher to the west at Frederick and Hagerstown, which are now both over 1".

With the heavier clouds moving eastward, some breaks in the overcast are apparent west of the Blue Ridge. Temperatures are generally within a degree or two of 60°. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Gradual clearing, becoming warmer. A few showers and some drizzle and fog will linger through this evening. Lows tonight will be in the mid to upper 50s with clouds beginning to decrease toward morning. Tomorrow will be mainly sunny, especially in the afternoon, and warmer, highs in the mid 70s.

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

Mediarology: Aviation and El Niño

The deadliest aviation accident in history occurred in 1977 when two fully loaded jumbo jets collided, killing 583 passengers and crew. The crash was weather-related, but it happened on the ground. The PBS science series NOVA investigates the circumstances tonight (8pm on WETA 26 and WMPT 22).

NPR's "Living on Earth" interviewed Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, on El Niño last Friday. A transcript and podcast are available on the show's website. The program is broadcast on WETA 90.9 FM, Tuesdays from 10pm to 11pm.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Crisp Turns to Damp


Increasing clouds, cool. A thickening high overcast moving literally over the top of a slowly retreating high pressure area (1024 mb/30.26" at 4pm at National) has kept the string of below-average temperatures going in the Washington metro area. By 4pm, readings were generally in the low 60s with a light southerly breeze.

A non-tropical system with tropical moisture which brought up to 10 inches of rain, flooding, severe thunderstorms, and 2 deaths to the Houston area will work its way northeastward tomorrow, bringing some rain to the Mid Atlantic region. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Increasing chance of rain. Lows tonight under cloudy skies will be close to the long-term average for a change, near 50°. The chance of rain will increase to 50% by morning. Highs tomorrow will be only around 59° with rain becoming steadier and heavier by noon. While the models are keeping the heaviest precipitation west of the mountains, the latest output this afternoon brings an area of up to 1" of rain into at least the western portion of the DC region by tomorrow afternoon.

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

Climate Corner

The discussion has continued into this afternoon over Andrew's Sunday Undercast, "Climate Change: Denying Denial."

Yesterday's Climate Code on The Weather Channel included more evidence that the climate change issue is NOT political, despite the attempts of some to make it so. It included an interview with the president of the Chicago Climate Exchange, which provides a market for trading greenhouse gas emissions. It also covered the environmental characteristics of the new office tower being built in New York by that noted left-wing radical anti-capitalist organization, Bank of America. If you missed the Sunday broadcast, it's scheduled to be repeated this Saturday.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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