Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DC: Dry Clouds DeCreasing


Cloudy, cold. Following some very light sprinkles and flurries this morning, most of which did not reach the ground, persistent overcast has kept afternoon temperatures from varying more than a degree or so from yesterday's. Daily highs were: National 42°, Dulles 41°, BWI 41°.

More sun but similarly cool temperatures are likely tomorrow after a weak cold frontal passage, with the next precipitation probably not on tap until the weekend.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Decreasing clouds, cold. Clouds will decrease overnight with lows in the low to mid 30s in the city and the mid to upper 20s in the 'burbosphere. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid 40s.

Scroll down for Dan's outlook through the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Climate Corner

NOAA's National Climatic Data Center issued its preliminary annual report on the climate of 2007 last week. It states that "2007 is on pace to become one of the 10 warmest years for the contiguous U.S., since national records began in 1895 . . ." and that
The global annual temperature for combined land and ocean surfaces for 2007 is expected to be near 58.0°F and would be the fifth warmest since records began in 1880. Some of the largest and most widespread warm anomalies occurred from eastern Europe to central Asia.
Closer to home, unofficial estimates show the 2007 Washington average through the first half of December of 58.9° to be in the top 10% of warmest years, tied with 1953, 1959, and 1999 for 12th place in 137 years of records. Before getting too anthropocentric about that statistic, however, it's important to note that DC's 61.4 square miles are only 0.0017% of the total area of the U.S., which in turn is a small fraction of Earth's overall land area. Total land area itself is only about 30% of the total planetary surface. Interestingly, however, DC's annual average is within about 1° of the worldwide average, making Washington in some strictly symbolic sense representative of the entire planet's temperature.

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Seasonal Outlook

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