Monday, August 20, 2007

DC: Damp, Cool
Yucatan, Belize Make the Dean's List


Cloudy, very cool, humid. Following last night's storms which brought a welcome ½" or more of rain to most of the metro area, persistent low clouds (around 2000 feet) and a northeasterly wind north of a stationary front through central and southern Virginia have kept temperatures to fall-like levels. As of mid afternoon, National had seen a high so far of only 71°, and Dulles was at 70°. If the high at National holds through midnight, it will tie the record low maximum for the date since 1929.

Humidity levels are quite sticky, however, with dewpoints generally in the low and mid 60s. Shower activity so far today has stayed mostly north of the Mason-Dixon line, but by post time, storms were developing through western Maryland and southward along the Virginia/West Virginia border.

After the likelihood of more showers through tomorrow, a gradual drying trend will lead to hotter temperatures later in the week.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Cloudy, humid, scattered thunderstorms possible. There is a 40% chance of showers or thunderstorms overnight. Lows under cloudy skies will be in the upper 60s to around 70°. Tomorrow will again be cloudy and damp with a 50% chance of showers and highs only 75-80°.

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

Tropical Topics

After passing just off the southern coast of Jamaica, the center of major hurricane Dean stayed south of the Cayman Islands as it continued its rapid westward trek across the Caribbean today. Next on Dean's list of targets are the southern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and Belize. Hurricane Warnings are in effect from Cancun southward in Mexico and along the entire coast of Belize. Hurricane Warnings are also in effect for the west coast of Yucatan for when the storm emerges into the southern Gulf of Mexico. On this path, any effects on the U.S. should be minimal, but that didn't stop FEMA from putting on a PR show with preparations exceeding those for Katrina.

Maximum sustained winds were 150 mph as of the 2pm advisory, slightly under the threshold for Category 5, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Estimated central pressure was 924 mb, but that had dropped to 918 mb by 5pm. Over the weekend, a reading of 924 mb put the storm in the top 5 of most intense storms in the eastern Caribbean during the satellite era (since 1965).

Climate Corner

Today's entire WaPo science ¾ page is devoted to an article, "Warming Will Exacerbate Global Water Conflicts", discussing the possible effects of rainfall changes arising from global warming.

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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