Friday, December 1, 2006

Record Balminess Yielding to More December-Like Conditions

Windy, warm.
The Wind Advisory was cancelled as of 5:48. Record-breaking warmth will turn to more seasonable conditions tonight on the heels of some strong winds. (75° at National smashed the old record by 4° and Dulles also set a record at 75°. Records were set at Martinsburg and Baltimore as well.)

Despite some ominous-looking clouds earlier, the focus of severe storm activity remained mostly north of the Mason-Dixon line this afternoon, although very strong southerly winds ahead of a sharp cold front did produce some scattered power outages and road closures in the area. National gusted to 48 mph and Dulles to 53 mph; a gust of 71 mph was reported at Wintergreen VA.

Temperature chart at 4pm today from Unisys shows cold air getting ready to spill over the mountains into the Mid Atlantic area.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Windy, colder. Temperatures will turn sharply colder tonight under clearing skies and strong winds. Lows will be generally near 40° with some mid and upper 30s in the outlying areas. Tomorrow will be sunny and brisk, breezy and much less humid with highs in the low 50s.

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

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Extremes and Supremes


Mostly cloudy, warm. A mid to upper level cloud deck and a sun intensity roughly equivalent to Jan. 15 might indicate otherwise, but strong southerly breezes pushed the November closing day temperatures very close to where they started the month in the Washington metro area. Highs were 70° at both National and Dulles; BWI was 71°. Dewpoints were nearly muggy in the spring-like mid and upper 50s.

Radar showed some widely scattered light showers during the afternoon. These were mainly in the mountains, although the PM Update Mobile Unit observed some sprinkles in the Shady Grove area of Rockville/Gaithersburg.

Temperature chart at 3pm today from Unisys shows teens in Oklahoma and 60s along the New England/Canada border.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Showers, continued mild. Mild temperatures will continue through tonight with increasing clouds and a 50% chance of showers by morning; lows will be in the mid to upper 50s. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with showers likely and highs in the upper 60s, turning much colder at night. A High Wind Watch is in effect for the afternoon through the evening, and there is a slight chance of thunderstorms.

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


Last evening, Seattle broke the all-time monthly precipitation record of 15.33" in 115 years of record. Olympia WA was also threatening its monthly record of 19.84", although so far today the record appears intact.


Regarding the EPA CO2 regulation case heard by the Supreme Court yesterday: The RealClimate blog has links to an editorial in the Tuesday NYT and, for the lawyer types, the actual briefs, pro and con, from the case. The Prometheus science policy blog at the University of Colorado also has a discussion of the friend of the court brief filed by a group of climate scientists. Today's WaPo has an article about yesterday's court arguments (page A3 in the carbon-based edition). Last night's PBS NewsHour had discussions with Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal and between Vicki Patton and David Rivkin, lawyers on each side of the case.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mild November Keeps Us Hangin' On


Mostly cloudy, mild. Despite morning fog heavy in places and some thicker mid-level clouds associated with a "back-door" front lurking just to the northeast, temperatures in the Washington metro area have again reached the 60s this afternoon; highs were 62° at National and at Dulles. November will finish out on a mild note before colder air reaches the Mid Atlantic region late on Friday.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Some clouds, continued mild. With cloudy skies and dewpoints in the 50s, low temperatures tonight will have a hard time reaching the 40s anywhere in the area, and fog is again likely by morning. Models are predicting temperatures as high as 72° tomorrow, but persistent clouds are likely to keep the maximum to around 65° with the slight possibility of some widely scattered showers, especially to the west.

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

Capitol Climate: Humming Along with The Supremes

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the case Massachusetts v. EPA. The case involves an attempt by Massachusetts, California, 10 other states, and some environmental groups to force the EPA to do its job by enforcing limits on CO2 emissions. According to legal correspondent Nina Totenberg on NPR's Morning Edition today:
The law mandates that the EPA shall regulate any pollutant from motor vehicles or power plants that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. That includes pollutants that affect weather and climate.
Despite year 2000 campaign promises to the contrary, the current Administration has refused to allow EPA to regulate CO2, claiming it is not a pollutant and that the science is insufficient to determine its effects. Much of the argument in the case has centered on the technical issue of whether the states have the legal standing to bring the suit in the first place.

You can read more coverage of the case in the BoGlo, NYT, USA Today, San Jose Mercury News, and Financial Times (via MSNBC). The carbon-based WaPo had no coverage today, although the silicon-based format has reprints of the Reuters and AP stories. The WaPo also editorialized on the subject on Sunday. The SF Chron had an editorial today.

Mediarology: Seasonal Outlook

Bob Ryan has issued his winter outlook, calling for a variable pattern with average temperatures and above average snowfall (no numbers given).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

November Contrasts


Seasonably mild. Our month of November contrasts continues as somewhat thinner clouds today have allowed temperatures to rise into the low 60s in the Washington metro area. Highs were 61° at National and 65° at Dulles. Meanwhile, across the country, cold air continues to penetrate the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Plains.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Some clouds, continued mild. Under increasing clouds later tonight, lows should range from the upper 40s downtown to the low 40s in the 'burbs.
Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with some sun and highs in the mid 60s.

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

Snow in Washington!

As viewers of Monday Night Football already know, you could have seen snow in Washington yesterday, but you'd have needed to cross the continent to do it. On top of the already record-breaking November rainfall, the Seattle metro area received a relatively rare several inches of snow yesterday. As of this morning, only 0.09" of additional precipitation was needed to break the all-time Seattle monthly record of 15.33" which was set in 1933. Only a trace of snow fell earlier today, and skies were mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid 20s early this afternoon. The forecast indicates that another storm moving in from the Gulf of Alaska will bring more precipitation tomorrow night and into Thursday.

Photo of Seattle-Green Bay football game last night from USA Today.

Political Science

The National Science Teachers Association today issued a press release in response to the Sunday WaPo Outlook section article by Laurie David about the distribution of "An Inconvenient Truth" DVDs cited in yesterday's PM Update.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Inconvenient Clouds


Seasonably mild. Thin, but persistent, high overcast is keeping Washington's official temperatures from reaching the expected 60s for the third consecutive day, although Dulles had a high of 60°, and, to the south, Fredericksburg touched 70°. Seasonably mild conditions will continue through most of the week as cold air now making its way into the northern plains works slowly eastward.

U.S. temperature chart at 3pm today from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Some clouds, continued mild. Mainly overcast skies this evening will give way to partial clearing by morning with lows in the low 40s downtown to the mid 30s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be partly to mostly sunny with highs in the low 60s.

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

Science and Policy

The lame-duck Congress is back in session, so that can mean only one thing: Lock up your wives and daughters! Seriously, it's time for the next American Meteorological Society Environmental Science Seminar on Capitol Hill. The topic is "The Divide between Values and Behavior: Exploring American Perceptions of Global Warming and the Environment." Questions to be considered are:
Many in society still largely adhere to the notion that 'If we just tell people the facts, they'll reach the right conclusion.' Is this notion supported by research on risk perception, decision-making, and behavior? It is said that people think in terms of frames. How do frames differ from facts? What role do facts play in public perceptions and behavior regarding environmental risks such as global warming? What other factors influence perception and behavior? Is there a disconnect between environmental values and behavior? If so,why? Given the above, what are the most effective ways of communicating environmental risks?
  • Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 (tomorrow)
  • Time: 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm
  • Location: Dirksen Senate Office Bldg., Room 106
  • Note to starving interns: Buffet reception following.
The event is open to the public, RSVP not required.

This topic is especially relevant given the alarming WaPo Outlook article ("Science a la Joe Camel") yesterday by Laurie David, a co-producer of the climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Evidently Big Oil is not content with the already low funding of science education in this country but has gotten into bed with the National Science Teachers Association to actively undermine it with its own propaganda. What's next, free trans fats for Home Economics classes and cigarettes for the sports teams?

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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