Sunny, cold. As Dan noted in his forecast below, a northwesterly breeze with peak gusts over 35 mph has produced an unusually brisk day for this winter in the Washington metro area. Temperatures reached only the upper 30s in most places; the high of 38° at National was 4° below average, but with the low of 31° the day was exactly average. This cold shot will be quite short-lived, however, as persistent troughiness to the west keeps more cold air from reaching the East Coast through the weekend.
Last night's snow showers were very skimpy in most of the immediate metro area (none observed here in MoCo Update Central), but the photo from Steve Pittman shows the first snow of the season on the ground in the Blue Ridge.
Tonight and Tomorrow
Clear, cold, then becoming milder. Clear skies, low humidity, and diminishing winds near the center of high pressure overnight should allow for some frosty lows in the mid 20s downtown to the upper teens in 'burbia. A quick wind shift to the south and southwest will allow temperatures tomorrow to bounce back smartly to the mid 40s.
For the outlook through the rest of the week and the weekend, scroll on down to Dan's post below.
The WaPo front page 2006 climate article Dan mentioned in his earlier post has indeed become a top story. At post time, Google reported at least 287 stories on the subject, although, of course, many were reprints of the WaPo, Associated Press, and other syndicated reports. The NYT article, "Agency Affirms Human Influence on Climate", was noteworthy for confirming what we had suspected here at PM Update, that
. . . until yesterday, it appeared that no news release on annual climate trends out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Bush White House had said unequivocally that a buildup of greenhouse gases was helping warm the climate.Closer to home, the Baltimore/Washington NWS office in Sterling has released a 2006 Climate Summary detailing some significant aspects of the local climate in the past year. For Washington's 135-year record,
- 2006 was the 8th warmest year
- 5 of the top 8 have occurred since 1990
- January and December were each in the top 10 of their respective months
- April was the 11th warmest
- August was the 8th warmest and 22nd warmest of all months
- Total precipitation was almost 8.5" above average, the 25th wettest year
- There was 1 measurable snow event for the year, Feb 11-12.