Thursday, July 5, 2007

Weather Warms After Showers Subside


Mostly cloudy, muggy, scattered showers. Following yesterday's storms which affected some parts of the area much more than others (see the rainfall map below), clouds and some showers have persisted today ahead of a cold front working its way southeastward through the Ohio Valley. National Airport, which eked out only 0.03" yesterday, picked up 0.11" in a heavy shower between 2pm and 3pm. Temperatures around the region are generally in the upper 70s with very humid dewpoints of 69-73°.

Scattered showers and some thunderstorms are likely through this evening as a line of storms now in southern Pennsylvania moves southeastward. Tomorrow, we clear things out and begin a warming trend. For the detailed outlook through the weekend and beyond, scroll on down to Josh's post below.

Rainfall Report

Where you stand on yesterday's storms depends on where you sit. While areas from southern Frederick Co. through Howard Co. and most of the immediate Baltimore metro area got nice soakings of ½" or more (shades of green), the amounts tailed off sharply to the south. Nearly all of the areas inside the DC Beltway got less than ¼" (lighter shades of blue), and there was virtually nothing south of Fairfax Co. in VA and central Prince George's Co. in MD.

Experimental precipitation map for 24 hr. ending 8am this morning from NWS

Bureaucratic Brouhaha

Considering that National Hurricane Center directors traditionally have come from within the ranks of the Center staff, the Proenza controversy (see "Havoc at the Hurricane Center" in Dan's post from yesterday) seems to be taking on at least some of the aspects of a bureaucratic food fight. Meanwhile, NOAA HQ is quoted as saying that the special assessment team currently evaluating the situation at NHC has nothing to do with Proenza's previous statements. Two Florida members of Congress, however, are questioning that assertion. Would you like an order of fries with that bridge you're buying, Admiral?

Wunderground hurricane blogger Jeff Masters weighed in last night with his opinion on Proenza's QuikSCAT satellite concerns. He concludes that "NHC official forecasts for landfalling storms in the Atlantic would not be significantly affected by the loss of the QuikSCAT satellite." On the other hand, Masters does strongly support Proenza's legitimate concerns regarding budgets for research in particular and the Hurricane Center overall, especially in light of NOAA's PR focus on brand identity and anniversary celebrations.

Mediarology: Earth Comes Alive on 07/07/07

The Weather Channel will be providing coverage of the Live Earth concerts on Saturday. Coverage begins with reports on "Abrams and Bettes" and "Evening Edition" Friday night and continues with live broadcasts from Giants Stadium on "Weekend View" Saturday morning (7-11am). "Forecast Earth" (Sunday 5-6pm) will take a broader look at Live Earth and the environmental issues it represents.

Widespread coverage is also scheduled on NBC and its affiliated networks. The NBC main network will have coverage from 8-11pm. Bravo will have coverage from 9am Saturday through 2:30am Sunday, Sundance will run from 4am Saturday through 2am Sunday, MSNBC will have periodic reports throughout the day, and CNBC will be on from 7pm Saturday through 2am Sunday. Some coverage will also be available on Telemundo and Univision.

Live streaming will be available on MSN. Radio broadcasting will be provided by both XM and Sirius.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Fine Fourth Foreseen
Some Storms Possible


Variable clouds, warm. The center of the high pressure area which brought several days of cool, dry weather to the Washington metro area is moving offshore along the Virginia/North Carolina coast today, swinging the wind direction to the south and southwest. Humidity has increased somewhat along with the cloudiness. Dewpoints in the low to mid 50s mean it is still quite comfortable, however, especially with temperatures barely into the 80s.

Humidity will continue to increase, along with the chances of late day thunderstorms, to potentially dampen some Fourth of July activities.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Warm, more humid, chance of showers. Lows tonight under partly cloudy skies will be from the mid 60s downtown to the low 60s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny and more humid with highs 82-87° and a 30% chance of late afternoon or evening thunderstorms.

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

Tropical Topics

The National Hurricane Center reports that a low pressure area about 1500 miles east of the Windward Islands has the potential to become a tropical depression in the next couple of days.

School Daze: Double Lives

The "two best things about being a teacher are July and August." This week's installment of the WaPo's "Secret Worlds of Summer" series describes the activities of teacher/lifeguards.

Accompanying that article is a story on what a Rockville science teacher did on his summer vacation. If you are a K-12 teacher and are interested in a more productive use for your summer, check out yesterday's Update for information on the NWA education fund grants program.

Have a great holiday!

Monday, July 2, 2007

DC: Dry, Cool


Sunny, comfortable. June finished 1.6° above the long-term average, but a high pressure area centered over Michigan continues to pump unusually comfortable air for the season into the Washington metro region. At mid afternoon, temperatures were in the upper 70s and dewpoints were in the 40s, resulting in relative humidity as low as 26%. Northerly breezes were generally light, but some gusts were up to 20 mph.

Gradually increasing humidity tomorrow should lead to a somewhat muggy, but not hot, Fourth of July.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Partly cloudy, warm. A few clouds will develop overnight with lows near 60° downtown and in the 50s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny and warm with a gradual increase in humidity and highs 80-84°.

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

School Daze: Attention K-12 Teachers!

The National Weather Association (NWA) is offering $500 Sol Hirsch Education Fund grants to K-12 teachers to help them improve their meteorology education programs. Applications, which are available through the NWA web site, are due by August 1. In reviewing past winners of the award, it appears that none of them has been from the Nation's Capital region. To help promote participation in this area, PM Update will match the NWA award with $100 of weather or climate books and/or videos from the store for any winner from Maryland, DC, or Virginia. If you are a teacher from this area applying for the award, please let us know your name and school via email through the "Contact Us" link, and if you are selected, we will send you your choice of books or videos.

Snow News is Good News

It may be July, but the Beeb Weather Centre has a worldwide report on summer skiing conditions.


Beginning last night, it's "Viewers Favorites Week" on The Weather Channel's "Storm Stories" series at 7pm. Some of the episodes sheduled to be shown are: "Oklahoma Tornadoes", "Nebraska Weather Dog", and "Survival South Pole Cancer".

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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