Friday, July 20, 2007

Summer Reruns


Sunny, cooler, much less humid. The weather sometimes goes in cycles. Here's the PM Update from exactly one month ago: "The cold front which passed through in the early morning hours has brought with it sunny, cooler, and less humid conditions for the Washington metro area this afternoon. Temperatures at mid afternoon were generally in the low to mid 80s, dewpoints were in the much more comfortable 50s, and a refreshing northwesterly breeze was gusting to 25 mph at times."

Those words apply equally well today. At post time, National and Dulles are both at 84°, and the dewpoints are New-England-like 52° and 49° respectively. Even the light rainfall amounts from the frontal passage were comparable, although the exact totals this time were: National 0.06", Dulles 0.08", BWI 0.00".

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

Book Nook

As PM Update also posted exactly a month ago, Chris Mooney, author of the new book, "Storm World", will be at Politics and Prose tomorrow night at 6:00. The book is profiled in the latest Wired magazine and was recently reviewed in the LaTi and IHT. The author was interviewed about the book in the HouChro earlier this week.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chance of Storms, Then Cooler Weekend Ahead
Watch Out for Falling Googlenopes

* Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect until 10pm *


Warm, humid, scattered thunderstorms. Yesterday's forecast indicated that the chance of showers would increase today, but for many places, that increase has only been from none to slim. A midafternon storm brought strong winds and some downed trees to areas south of the Beltway, but National picked up only 0.05" of rain, and even about 20 minutes of a heavy thunderstorm was good for just 0.07" at Dulles. In this part of MoCo just a few miles north of the Beltway, the rain was barely enough to dampen the ground, despite the grumble of thunder. In the storm to the south, Quantico reported a wind gust to 63 mph.

Temperatures, which had reached at least 92° at National before the storm, were mainly in the 70s by 4pm where it had rained.

There is a chance of thunderstorms through this evening. Tomorrow will be a transition day on the way to what until this very moment was a Googlenope: "spectacular July weekend weather".

Tonight and Tomorrow

Warm, humid, chance of showers, then turning cooler. The chance of showers or thunderstorms, some possibly severe, is 50% through this evening. Mostly cloudy and humid conditions will continue overnight with lows in the mid 70s downtown to some upper 60s in the 'burbs. Clouds will decrease tomorrow along with lower humidity and highs 84-87°.

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

Geek Chic

Ever wonder what kind of gear Sue Palka has at home? Today's WaPo Home section is packed with information for the home weather geek, from basic gear to weather vanes and data sources, including "a mind-numbingly comprehensive and entertaining look at Washington's weather."

Political Science

Today's House hearing on the Proenza affair at the National Hurricane Center was mainly a snoozefest, adding little to what is already known on the subject. Adm. Lautenbacher was clearly much more at home in the Congressional spotlight than ousted Director Proenza, but hardly any new light was shed on what really occurred. Committee Republicans were so persistent in their party-line refrain of, "Nothing to see here but a personnel matter, just move on," that it just raised more questions about what might have been covered up. The Academy Award for Most Juvenile Whining goes to former committee chairman [Non-]Sensenbrenner, who repeatedly attempted to derail the proceedings at the outset with demands that Proenza not be allowed to testify because his prepared remarks were not submitted in advance. Failing that, he then demanded that the Admiral be allowed to pull rank by testifying first. For more of the tedious details, check out the Miami Herald, "Proenza defiant despite critical storm center report".

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Muggies for Muggles: They're Baack!


Hot, humid, scattered showers. You don't need to be a weather wizard to notice that the muggies are back in town after a very brief hiatus. As Jason's dewpoint plot showed earlier, soup's on in the National Capital region. The increased juiciness was good for only a trace of precipitation around lunch time at both National and Dulles. The PM Update mobile unit observed a few drops near the northern portions of the Beltway in MoCo, but they could have been easily counted individually.

At mid afternoon, radar showed showers scattered from near Baltimore northeastward toward Philadelphia and across central New Jersey, but that activity has continued to diminish south of the Mason-Dixon line. Temperatures in the area currently range from the upper 80s to low 90s.

Mugginess will persist, and chances for showers and thunderstorms will increase for the next couple of days, but an extremely fine weekend for July continues to be shaping up.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Hot, humid, chance of showers. Hazy, warm, and humid conditions will continue through this evening, with only a 20% chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm and lows in the mid to upper 70s in the city and low 70s to near 70° in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will again be hot and humid with a 40% chance of showers or thunderstorms in the late afternoon or evening. Highs will be in the range of 90-96°.

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


The first half hour of today's Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU-FM discussed the management situation at the National Hurricane Center. Among the guests was the Miami Herald's 30-year veteran hurricane reporter Martin Merzer. If you missed the live broadcast, you can feed your audio device at the show's website.

Political Science

Continuing with the theme of tropical festivities, tomorrow's joint hearing regarding NHC by 2 subcommittees from the House Committee on Science and Technology will include oustee Bill Proenza in Panel I and ouster NOAA Adm. Lautenbacher in Panel III. At post time, the C-SPAN schedule did not indicate whether the hearings would be broadcast, but a webcast is scheduled on the committee website.

Today's Miami Herald article, "U.S. House to review storm-center probe", previews the hearing. The HouChro's SciGuy asks, "Where are the forecasters?" and has some earlier discussion as well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mugginess to Return After Short Respite


Hot, but less humid. A bubble of drier air to the north of a "cold" front slid into the Mid Atlantic area overnight, bringing considerably more comfortable humidity (dewpoints 10-15° lower than yesterday) to the area, despite temperatures generally in the low 90s. By 5pm, National had reached at least 92°, and Dulles was 93°. As that front moves back northward, mugginess and the chance of thunderstorms will increase before a significant cooldown arrives for the weekend.

Surface/satellite/radar weather map at 2pm today from Intellicast

Tonight and Tomorrow

Increasing humidity, chance of showers. Comfortably warm and clear conditions this evening will lead to lows overnight in the low 70s downtown and the mid to upper 60s in the 'burbs. Mugginess will increase tomorrow, along with the chance (40%) of showers or thunderstorms late in the day. Highs tomorrow will be 89-92°.

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

Summer in the City

This week's WaPo "Secret Worlds of Summer" article, "The Life Aquatic" talks about the water lillies at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Northeast Washington.


This week's episode of Tornado Diary focuses on storm chasing (WETA, Channel 26, 9pm).

Tropical Topics

Yesterday's blog post by TWC's Dr. Steve Lyons considers why tropical storms develop or not using a very interesting plexiglass analogy.

It ain't over yet: Today's Miami Herald reports, "Proenza hearing may stir new fury", that ousted Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza and NOAA chief Adm. Lautenbacher are both scheduled to testify at Thursday's hearing of the House Committee on Science and Technology (Room 2318 Rayburn, 10am, for the Hill groupies).

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sultry, Not Stifling
Showers Still Sought

Severe thunderstorm watch until 9pm


Warm, humid. Dewpoints mainly in the mid 60s are at the lower end of the discomfort range, so temperatures near or at the 90° mark are not especially oppressive in the Washington metro area this afternoon. With proper hydration and UV protection, light exercise is certainly not out of the question.

Meanwhile, a stationary front draped east-west over most of the state of Maryland should help provide a focusing mechanism for showers and thunderstorms. At mid afternoon, however, the only significant storm activity was near and to the northeast of Charlottesville, but well south of I-66. By later in the afternoon, a smaller area of storms extended from the Frederick/Montgomery Co. line across the river to central Loudoun Co.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Continued warm and humid, chance of showers. After a 20% chance of showers or thunderstorms through this evening, mainly south of the District, lows tonight will be in the mid 70s downtown to the upper 60s in the cooler 'burbs. A few storms could be severe. Tomorrow will again be warm and humid with highs 89-94° and only a 20% chance of afternoon or evening thunderstorms.

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

Climate Corner

Yesterday's WaPo featured a page A1 article, "Climate Change Debate Hinges On Economics" by the paper's energy reporter. As several questions in this morning's live discussion indicated, the emphasis of the article was far more on the perceived political and economic costs of climate policy action as opposed to the much higher likely costs of inaction. A related podcast is also available. Extending the multimedia presentation, Tom Toles' cartoon today takes a stab at solving the carbon sequestration issue.

Today's WaPo science section was devoted to the first in a monthly series of articles called "Confronting a Changing Climate." The article, "Clues to Rising Seas Are Hidden in Polar Ice", discusses the possible consequences, as well as the uncertainties, of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet melting. For an analysis of some Greenland ice research published just a couple of weeks ago, see the recent post at the RealClimate blog.

Tropical Topics

The National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane Cosme in the eastern Pacific, but the Atlantic basin remains quiet.

An article, "Future forecasts face uncertainty", in Thursday's Miami Herald described the effects of "[a]ging equipment, cost overruns and delays in producing new satellites" on hurricane forecasting as discussed in last week's Senate Commerce Committee hearings.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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