Sunny, very warm. Washington's Lake Wobegon string of consecutive days with average temperatures at or above normal reached day 32 as readings once again broke 80° early this afternoon. With only 9 days left in the month, this October is now averaging 9.7° above average. By comparison, the warmest October in history (1984) was 5.5° above average. Humidities have also crept up a bit with dewpoints mostly in the low to mid 50s.
After a good chance for the proverbially much-needed rain tomorrow, more seasonable temperatures will return for midweek.
Tonight and Tomorrow
Increasing clouds, warm, chance of showers. With clouds increasing overnight, lows will have a hard time breaking below the summery low 60s in the city and the upper 50s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a 70% chance of showers and possible thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon or evening; highs will be 73-77° with summery humidity.
For the outlook through the rest of the week and into the weekend, scroll on down to Dan's post below.
Today's weekly science three-quarter page in the WaPo (A10 for the dead-tree fans) has a review of recent news on polar icecap melting, "At the Poles, Melting Occurring at Alarming Rate". Although the article doesn't mention the specific amount, NASA has reported that this year's minimum Arctic sea ice extent on September 14, shown in the image (Siberia is to the lower left, Alaska and Canada are to the right), was 25% less than the previous record low in 2005. The author of the WaPo article was online this morning for a chat on the topic.
Today's Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU-FM featured a discussion on "Scientists vs. Politicians in Public Policy", and the Diane Rehm Show had a review of the current drought situation with an engineering professor from UMD, a climatologist from the National Drought Mitigation Center, and a meteorologist from the National Climatic Data Center. Podcasts are available online.
An editorial, "Climate Change on Capitol Hill", in today's WaPo favors the passage of the climate change bill (America's Climate Security Act) introduced on Thursday by Sen. Warner (R) of Virginia and Sen. Lieberman (R-lite) of Connecticut. The Environmental Defense blog has a more comprehensive analysis of the bill.