Sunny, warm. The deepening drought continues to slowly fester across the Nation's Capital region. Although it's not likely to last, as we reach mid-month, this October is still tied with October 1963 as the driest month ever recorded in Washington. On the other hand, we are now within only a few days of the longest rainless streak with only a trace in the last 31 days. The 1963 streak of 32 days began following almost 2" of rain on Sept. 29 and ended with nearly 1" on Nov. 1 for the start of a a very wet month totaling 6.7". The 1963 trace at National was also duplicated at then brand-new Dulles Airport. The record streak was broken in 1995 with 33 days from Aug. 7 to Sept. 8.
The 30-day percentage of normal precipitation from the NWS New Precipitation Analysis shows the worst impacts from the District south, where the darkest red indicates only 0-5% of average. The lighter red to the north and west represents 10-25%, and even the orange over northeastern Maryland is in the 25-50% range.
Under bright October sun and a mostly westerly breeze, temperatures this afternoon have climbed to the mid and even upper 70s; National was 77° at 3pm before an easterly wind knocked the reading down a couple of degrees. Dewpoints are in the dry low to mid 40s.
Although the main storm track this week is through the center of the country, the best chance in a while for at least some rain (but not the soaking variety) is starting to shape up for Friday or Saturday.
Tonight and Tomorrow
Seasonably warm, dry. Mostly clear to partly cloudy and dry conditions will continue through tonight, with lows in the mid 50s in the city and the upper 40s to low 50s in the 'burbs. Mostly sunny skies in the morning will give way to more clouds in the afternoon tomorrow with highs 74-78°.
For the outlook through the rest of the week and into the weekend, scroll on down to Dan's post below.
The National Hurricane Center is watching an area of thunderstorms in the southwestern GoMex (Gulf of Mexico). Only slow development, if any, is expected, but that didn't stop energy market commentators from citing it this morning as a reason for the record-breaking oil price of $85 a barrel.
You don't need to be a weatherman to predict the reaction to Friday's announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize. McClatchy newspapers, via the SeaTimes, report that Colorado State's William Gray called global warming theories "ridiculous" in a lecture at UNC Charlotte. The Deltoid science blog, via a link from the Ol' Perfesser, provides a handy directory to some very creative expressions of "Gore Derangement Syndrome".
Also on the opinion front, atmospheric sciences professor Judith Curry of Georgia Tech has a thorough critique of many of the flaws in Bjorn Lomborg's WaPo climate policy opinion piece last Sunday.