Thursday, February 1, 2007

Snowstorm Suppressed South


Cloudy, cold. "Do your homework, boys and girls." (Bob Ryan, 11pm last night) Fortunately or frustratingly, depending on your position on the Washington snow spectrum, light snow slid off to the east today south of a line from just south of Charlottesville to near Ocean City. The precipitation was associated with an Atlantic coastal front northeast of a weak low pressure area having trouble getting organized along the Gulf coast. This low is expected to develop more off the Carolina coast tonight, taking the main body of precipitation away with it south and east of the Beltway.

Little, if any, frozen accumulation is likely. The team will continue to monitor the situation and post a mid-evening update if conditions warrant.

Surface weather map at 1pm today from HPC/NCEP/NWS shows . . . not a lot going on in the Mid Atlantic area

Tonight and Tomorrow

Mostly cloudy, cold, some light precipitation, mostly to the south and east. Skies will remain mostly cloudy overnight with some light snow or mixed precipitation developing after midnight, mainly to the south and east of the immediate metro area. Lows will be in the low 30s. Clouds will linger through most of tomorrow as the next Arctic attack approaches, with a chance of some showers or snow flurries in the afternoon or evening. Highs will be near 40°, but turning colder late in the day.


A trace of precipitation was recorded today from very widely scattered snow flurries in the metro area. Perhaps the site visitor who criticized Bob Ryan's long and distinguished career yesterday would like to reconsider those remarks. Bob's 11pm forecast of flurries or a dusting at most was definitely more accurate than the one on a certain HDTV news broadcast.

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." (S. Freud) The reason the models have had a hard time getting a handle on this system is simply that there hasn't been much to get a handle on. The much-maligned NAM model has been hinting at a southern suppression of the precipitation since at least yesterday at this time, however. This afternoon's models continue in that direction.

Capital Climate

"This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through . . . a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels." (Al Gore? Heidi Cullen? Union of Concerned Scientists? No, President Lyndon Johnson in 1965.) Naomi Oreskes, professor of science history at UCSD and author of an important survey of scientific consensus on global warming, has an op ed piece, "The Long Consensus On Climate Change" in today's WaPo tracing the more than century-long history of scientific concern with greenhouse gases' effects on climate.

Set your clock radio: The release of the IPCC Working Group I report will be webcast tomorrow from Paris at 3:30am Washington time.

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