Friday, January 26, 2007

Freshly Frozen Friday


Partly cloudy, cold. As advertised, the arctic attack last night was sharp, but it was a glancing blow to the Mid Atlantic area. Lows in the teens (15° at both National and Dulles) were the coldest so far this season, but winds shifting to a more southerly direction by noon have allowed readings to rebound to freezing or slightly above (still about 10° below average). The high of 33° means that we have still had only 1 day with a high at or below 32° this month, compared with the 30-year average of 5.2. Tomorrow's mildness will also be short-lived, however. The next icy blast looks longer-lasting, but less intense locally, at least to begin with.

Temperature chart at 7am today from Unisys

Tonight and Tomorrow

Not as cold. Skies will be mostly to partly cloudy tonight with lows in the mid 20s downtown and near 20° in the outer 'burbosphere. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy and seasonably mild with highs in the upper 40s.

For the outlook through the rest of the weekend, scroll on down to Camden's post below.

Climate Corner

The draft report of the IPCC, scheduled to be released next Friday, continues to leak like a Greenland moulin. ABC News reported it had obtained a copy of the draft. ABC (Australia) also covered the story: "UN panel strengthens climate warning". Reuters distributed a report, "Warming to raise seas for 1,000 years". Where is the Paper of Watergate? So far, the only hit on a search of "IPCC" at the WaPo is for the online AP story we linked to a few days ago.

The political noise machine is predictably already gearing up for full attack mode. The Letters section of the noted science journal West Salem Coulee News is also chiming in.


Last Sunday's Climate Code on the Weather Channel (at its new time of 5:30) featured a survey of the 10 greenest large cities in the U.S. from SustainLane. Your Nation's Capital is number 12 in the rankings, one position behind Charm City. The program is repeated tomorrow evening at 5:30, 7:30 and 11:30.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

14K Cold


Scattered flurries, cold. The scattered flakes flying around the Washington metro area today created a flurry of interest, but not much else, in this snow-starved season. To the west, a couple of inches were reported over the ridges. Temperatures leveled out at mid afternoon in the upper 30s as Arctic air settled in over the region; technically, the high was 39° near midnight. (Friendly memo to Topper: Your presentation at 11pm of temperatures falling all day had PM Update scratching its head wondering what it had missed yesterday.)

The more "industrial strength" chill, as described by Bob R, moves in overnight, although considering the quick rebound likely on Saturday, it seems to be more of the "home office" variety. Another, stronger icy blast is in the pipeline for late weekend arrival.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Flurries possible, clearing, colder. A few scattered flurries are possible (30% chance) as temperatures continue to fall overnight, with lows near 20° in the city and low to mid teens in the 'burbosphere. Tomorrow will be sunny and breezy with highs in the upper 20s.

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

It's All Relative

Recent temperatures have been much more January-like, and there is more of that on tap, but the fact remains that, with only a week remaining, the month has yet to put together a string of more than 3 consecutive below-average days. Although it won't last, the earlier warm readings have kept the month to date average of 43.4° in the top 10 of all Januaries in Washington. Heating degree days, a measure of the amount of fuel required for heating, are down 28% from average.

As noted in yesterday's Today in Weather History, the long-term averages have now begun their gradual climb toward the annual peak in August. For the snow lovers, however, there's still February to look forward to. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Threat Level: Elevated for Cold


Variable cloudiness, seasonably cold. After some scattered flurries, temperatures have peaked out near 40° in the Washington metro area. Colder and drier air will be moving in late tomorrow and into Friday.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Partly cloudy, turning colder. Mostly cloudy skies tonight will give way to more sunshine tomorrow afternoon as colder air filters into the region. There is a chance of scattered flurries as the cold air moves in. Lows tonight will be from near 30° downtown to the mid and upper 20s in the 'burbosphere. Highs tomorrow will be near 37°, but turning colder late in the day and at night.

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

Hollywood Report

"An Inconvenient Truth" has been nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary category. The movie trailer is available online in Google Video, along with several other related videos. (Flash 7 or higher required, running time 1:37). See the 50-foot wall of water crush New York . . . Not!

Weather Humor

The Weather Channel, specifically, the Climate Code, was cited as the #1 item in the Colbert Report Threatdown last night, beating out even CNN, for reporting the truth about a phony Barack Obama story, and the "tree-huggers" of "The Wizard of Oz". The reason, of course, was its hidden agenda: Bears!

Video is available at (Look for the Threatdown Media Edition.) For TiVo fans, the segment begins at 0:13 of the show. The program is repeated tonight at 8:30. Make your own weather Threatdowns and submit them via the image upload function of the Comments section. The most humorous will appear in a future PM Update.

The Onion reported this story in its Jan. 24 Daily Dispatch:
Northeast Stunned By Freak January Snowfall
SYRACUSE, NY--"I've seen some freak weather, but this definitely tops them all," said area resident Mary Baloh, whose garden was slightly set back by the 1.5-inch snowfall.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sunday's Snow Mostly Memory


Sunny, seasonable. Temperatures have been very near seasonable averages in the Washington metro area under partly cloudy skies this afternoon after some scattered light flurries this morning. Conditions will remain similar through tomorrow as the next cold shot prepares to arrive for the end of the week.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Partly cloudy, seasonably cold. Skies will be partly cloudy through tomorrow with lows tonight in the upper 20s downtown to the low 20s in the 'burbosphere. There is a slight chance of scattered flurries through tomorrow morning. Highs tomorrow: around 40°.

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

Sunday's Snow

Sunday's snow event was forecast very well by, based on reports submitted by commenters. For a map of submitted reports, see here. Official reports were: National 1.2", Dulles 1.6", BWI 0.9". Pictures of the event uploaded by site visitors are available at Flickr. Thank you, submitters!

One Degree of Separation

With the release in 10 days of the long-awaited IPCC climate report, leaks have already begun on its contents. An AP report, headlined "Report has 'smoking gun' on climate", has been widely published today, including in the silicon-based WaPo. The NYT also had a piece, "New Warnings on Climate Change" by environmental reporter Andrew Revkin on Saturday. The radical contrarians should be delighted to hear that the draft report says it is only somewhat more than "90 percent likely that global warming since 1950 has been driven mainly by the buildup of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases."

Transcripts and audio files of a briefing last week on the background to the IPCC report are available at the National Environmental Trust web site.

Meanwhile, one of the USA Today Weather Guys, an AMS Seal holder, has published a remarkably non-paranoid (meaning for this issue, not for him) post on the Heidi Cullen "controversy". Andrew's Undercast posted yesterday got a tip of the Rabett ears from the somewhat mysterious, but very insightful, Prof. Rabett, to whom we linked last week on the global warming/El Niño issue. Also showing considerable insight are the comments to Andrew's post from Brian of Erie.

Today's WaPo has a front-page article discussing how "Internal Rifts Cloud Democrats' Opportunity on Warming".

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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