Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Irrational Exuberance


Sunny, warm. Clockwise flow around a high pressure area centered off the southeast Atlantic coast is pushing temperatures to early-summer levels through the entire Mid Atlantic region this afternoon. Temperatures have reached the 80s in the Washington metro area, and in central Virginia, Petersburg was as high as 88°. (We'll spare them any further embarassment by not linking to their comments, but the heavy wishcasting about a week ago by certain site visitors regarding "wintry" weather for the 27th-30th based on a "D+10" (10-day) model forecast is looking a wee bit irrationally exuberant at this point.)

A cold front approaching from the Great Lakes will bring somewhat more seasonable temperatures for the next couple of days, but the core of coldest air will remain well to the north of the region.

Temperature chart at 4pm today from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clouds increasing, chance of showers, turning cooler. Under partly to mostly cloudy skies with a 30% chance of showers or possibly thunderstorms, low temperatures tonight will be in the mid to upper 50s. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with highs 65-69° and a 30% chance of showers, mainly to the south in the afternoon.

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

Tropical Topics

It's a little over 60 days to tropical storm season, and the forecasts are already sprouting like the spring lawns. Despite the underperformance of last year's preseason hype, AccuWeather is exuberantly calling for major impacts on the Gulf Coast. The Klotzbach/Gray Colorado State forecast is scheduled to be updated next Tuesday.

It may be irrational to make a specific forecast 10 days in advance or even to project the particulars of the upcoming hurricane season, but it is possible to make a "hindcast" of hurricanes thousands of years in the past. The USAT Weather Guys linked last Friday to an interesting article, "Uncovering prehistoric hurricane activity", in the current (March-April) American Scientist about the clever use of sand distribution in sediment cores from coastal lakes to study the frequency of intense hurricanes over the last 5000 years. The full article is available only to members or subscribers, but there is more information about paleotempestology on the National Climatic Data Center web site.

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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