Summery. After a mainly cool beginning to the month (6 days at or below average), May is rebalancing the temperature budget with another summery day in the Washington metro area. Temperatures have reached the low 80s in most places with dewpoints in the low to mid 60s.
Showers on radar are quite sparse south of the Mason-Dixon line, but a line of strong thunderstorms north and west of Harrisburg prompted a severe thunderstorm warning for portions of central PA. Warm temperatures and moderate humidity should persist through tomorrow before some cooler air arrives for the weekend.
Tonight and Tomorrow
Partly cloudy, warm, slight chance of showers. There is a slight chance of showers through this evening, but skies will be partly cloudy the rest of the night with lows in the low to mid 60s. Tomorrow will be partly to mostly sunny with highs 80-83° and a 25% chance of afternoon or evening showers and thunderstorms.
For the outlook through the weekend and beyond, scroll on down to Josh's post below.
A reconnaissance flight this morning indicated that Andrea's maximum sustained winds had decreased to 35 mph, and the storm was downgraded to a subtropical depression. Movement is a slow southward drift. There was little change in the 5:00 advisory.
Capitol Climate: Budget Battle
An op-ed piece in today's WaPo, "The Planet NASA Needs to Explore", discusses the scientific impacts of shifting budget priorities at NASA. Among the endangered satellite species is QuikSCAT, which National Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza mentioned specifically at last month's DC-AMS meeting as an essential tool in improving the accuracy of hurricane intensity forecasts. Two of the authors of the op-ed are directors of the country's leading oceanographic institutions, Scripps and Woods Hole.
A special report in this month's Physics Today analyzes the 2008 science budget across the entire government. Although proposed R&D spending for NSF, DOE, and NIST is increased, EPA is cut by 3.1% and NOAA by 9.5%. The NOAA research cut is within an overall decrease for the agency of 2.7%, but the National Weather Service would go up by 6.5%. NOAA's education programs (scholarships and outreach programs) would be cut in half.