Friday, February 16, 2007

Near-Record Cold Slow to Ease


Clear, windy, cold. Temperatures were just a little less frigid and the winds slightly less biting today in the Washington metro area. By mid afternoon, readings had reached the 30s in many places, although the only report above freezing was from Fredericksburg. Highs were 30° at National, 28° at Dulles, 27° at BWI. Below average temperatures will continue through the holiday weekend with a chance for some light snow or flurries courtesy of a fairly energetic "clipper" storm system moving southeastward from the Northern Plains.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clear, very cold, then increasing clouds. Under clear skies and diminishing winds, lows tonight will again be well below average: upper teens in the city, low teens to near 10° in 'burbville. Clouds will increase in the afternoon tomorrow, with some light snow or flurries possible (40% chance) late in the day or at night, especially west of the Blue Ridge. Highs will be 34-38°.

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

Close But No Cigar

One of the cardinal rules of least-regret forecasting is, "Don't forecast a record." Last night's low at Dulles seemed to have all the right ingredients:
  • A relatively short period of record (43 years).
  • An existing record which is the second highest of any day in February.
  • An Arctic air mass
  • Clear skies
  • Diminishing winds (although apparently not quite enough)
  • Low humidity
  • A solid ice pack
The result was a near miss: a low of 12.7°, just above the old record of 11° in 1987.

Cool Tool

DC's new mayor Fenty is reported to operate a whole armful of Blackberries, and his administration has implemented a "cool tool" to track snow removal in the city. The interactive map displays the status of every block in the District in terms of plowing and salting operations. (Link from WaPo columnist Marc Fisher's blog.)

Mediarology: Denial Ain't Just a River

Can't get enough climate change denialism or Gore bashing from squawk radio or the Drudge Report? Check out what some current and former Ohio weathercasters had to say at a recent panel discussion. In a sure sign that reports of the death of irony are greatly exaggerated, attached to the bottom of the Cleveland Plain Dealer article is the report that the Swiss scientist who discovered that phosphorus from laundry detergent was killing the Great Lakes by choking them with algae died last month. Didn't he know that there was just a natural algae cycle and banning phosphorus would kill the detergent industry and destroy the American way of life?

No comments:

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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