Thursday, September 20, 2007

Crowds of Clouds Create Capital Cooling


Partly sunny, mild. A nearly stationary front extending northeastward off the Atlantic coast from a weak low pressure area in the eastern Gulf of Mexico has helped some cloudiness encroach westward into the National Capital region this afternoon. This has held temperatures down somewhat from earlier forecast levels. Mid afternoon readings were generally in the mid 70s, and humidity was a little higher with dewpoints near or a little over 60°. Precipitation on radar is confined to the southeastern corner of Virginia and eastern North Carolina. The main short-term forecast problem revolves around how persistent these clouds are likely to be.

Infrared satellite image at 3:40 this afternoon from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Considerable cloudiness, mild. Lows tonight under mostly cloudy skies will be generally in the low 60s, ranging to the upper 50s where fewer clouds persist, mainly to the west. Highs tomorrow under variable clouds will be 75-80°, but into the low 80s if more sun emerges.

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

Tropical Topics

A reconnaissance flight this afternoon investigating the area of storminess near Florida (Jerry wannabe) found a weak circulation in the eastern Gulf of Mexico about 115 miles west-southwest of St. Petersburg. Thunderstorms, as shown on the Tampa radar, remain rather scattered and disorganized, but the system has the potential to become a subtropical or tropical cyclone in the next couple of days.

Presentation: Hurricanes and Global Warming

The DC chapter of the American Meteorological Society has posted an announcement of the presentation next week by Chris Mooney on "Storm World, Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle over Global Warming". RSVP is required by Monday.

For background on the topic (besides Mooney's excellent book), see Monday's posting by Kevin Trenberth on the Climate Feedback blog. Trenberth wrote a feature article, "Warmer Oceans, Stronger Hurricanes" in the July Scientific American. The SciAm article was critiqued by's Jeff Masters in his blog.

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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