Thursday, May 31, 2007

Heat Here, Humidity Not So Much (Yet)


Sunny, very warm. Temperatures are once again in the very warm to hot range in the Washington metro area this afternoon with most readings from the upper 80s to around 90°. Leesburg was the local hot spot with 93° at 3pm. Although the humidity has crept upward, most dewpoints have remained in the low to mid 60s, which most people should find only marginally uncomfortable, especially with a persistent breeze around 10 mph.

Around noon, the NWS issued a Special Weather Statement regarding the threat for a few severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Storm activity was expected to remain along and west of a line from Charlottesville to Frederick. Radar has confirmed the development of storms along the higher elevations, but so far they have remained generally west of I-81.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Very warm, more humid. Warm and increasingly humid conditions will continue through tomorrow. Lows under tonight's "blue" moon will be in the upper 60s to near 70° downtown and the mid 60s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow's highs will be again in the upper 80s to near 90°. There is only a small chance of an afternoon or evening thunderstorm.

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

Tropical Topics: Weather Hazardous to Your Wealth?

In the Eastern Pacific, the last advisory has already been issued on ailin' Alvin, while Barbara is still expected to intensify, but to remain below hurricane strength. In the Atlantic basin, a Special Tropical Disturbance Statement was issued for a stormy area in the northwestern Caribbean and southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

The tropical forecasters from land-locked Colorado State have taken the opportunity of the official start of Atlantic hurricane season tomorrow to announce . . . absolutely no change in their storm numbers or intensity from the April 3 forecast. The above-average seasonal prediction got a lot of play on CNBC this morning, including Liz Claman with live coverage from the floor of the NYMEX commodity exchange, but the energy markets were apparently not impressed; crude oil and gasoline prices were both down. One commodity trader who was interviewed, however, was bullish on orange juice futures, especially considering that the size of the Florida crop has been cut in half over the last 2 years.

If you are interested in profiting from the hurricane season, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has recently started a hurricane futures and options trading program covering 5 distinct geographic areas: Gulf Coast, Florida, the Southern Atlantic Coast, the Northern Atlantic Coast and the Eastern U.S.

For the lawyers out there, the preceding comes with no endorsement or guarantees from the management or staff of

Political Science

In light of the atrocities already committed in the War on Science being waged by the pollution industries and their political prostitutes right here in the fetid atmosphere of Spin City, it's hard to be surprised at anything these days, but the comments yesterday by the head of one of the two major government earth-science agencies were absolutely astonishing in their audacity. In an interview with NPR this morning, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin trashed the implications of the climate science being produced by his own agency and by most of the rest of the legitimate research community. In answer to host Steve Inskeep's question, "Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?", the Administrator answered, "I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with." NASA climate scientist James Hansen told ABC News,
It's an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement. It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change.

Apparently, Griffin has other plans for Earth. If they haven't done so already, astronauts should be seriously considering whether they want to risk their lives riding in faith-based rocketships.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer Steadily Simmering


Sunny, warm. It's nowhere near the record hot May of 1991 (see Today in Weather History), but temperatures continue to trend toward closing out May on a summery note. Afternoon readings are only a degree or two warmer today than yesterday, but humidity is gradually on the rise. Dewpoints, aided by a more southerly breeze, have inched up through the 50s to near 60°.

The only showers on radar are widely scattered along the central portion of the Virginia/West Virginia border. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Very warm, increasing humidity. Lows tonight under mostly clear skies will be in the mid 60s in town to near 60° in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny, warm, and a little more humid, highs 87-91°. Precipitation chances from all models are almost unanimously in the single digits through tomorrow evening.

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

Tropical Topics

Tropical Storm Alvin in the eastern Pacific was declared tropically depressed overnight. It continues weak, although convection increased somewhat this morning. It is expected to dissipate gradually within about 4 days.

Meanwhile, the second depression of the eastern Pacific season has become Tropical Storm Barbara. Unlike Alvin, Barbara is both closer to the coast and expected to intensify in the next several days to hurricane strength. Areas along the southeastern Mexican and Guatamalan coast have been advised to monitor developing conditions.

This is only the third time that 2 named storms have been observed during May in this region. The other years were 1956 and 1984.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

High and Dry


Sunny, warm, low humidity. The situation is not nearly as dire as the far Southeast, where drought conditions and some extensive wildfires prevail, but the Washington DC region's warm, dry spell is entering another week. Skies are essentially cloudless east of the mountains from Pennsylvania through Virginia. Temperatures in the metro area at mid afternoon were in the low to mid 80s, and humidity was in the comfortable range with dewpoints mainly in the low 50s and even a few upper 40s.

90-day precipitation chart from HPRCC/NOAA

Tonight and Tomorrow

Mostly clear, pleasant. Under clear skies and a nearly full moon, lows tonight will range from near 60° in the city to the low and mid 50s in 'burbistan. Tomorrow should be much like today: sunny and warm with comfortable humidity and highs 83-87°.

Tropical Topics

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Alvin, the first named storm of the Eastern Pacific season. The storm, which has peak winds of 35 kt with gusts to 45 kt, is moving westward well off the coast of Mexico and is not likely to be any threat to land.


The PBS science series NOVA is repeating tonight a 2003 show featuring the unique 6 climatic zones of Mount Kilimanjaro. (Channels 22 and 26 at 8pm).

In recognition of the official start of hurricane season, The Weather Channel begins Hurricane Week this weekend. The featured Happening Tomorrow (9:30pm Sunday): Miami gets blown away by a major hurricane.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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