Wednesday, April 6, 2005

How warm is it?


If you're still sitting in the office looking out the window, it's not because we didn't warn you. Forecasts of highs near 80 turned out to be a wee bit conservative, as temperatures rose 30 degrees by mid afternoon from an early morning low of 52. Temperatures in the Washington DC metro area were all above 80 at 3pm, except for Quantico, which stubbornly reported 69. Either the south wind at 16 mph was producing a mean river effect, or the site may need a calibration. A southeast breeze off the Bay was chilling Annapolis to 59. The warm spot was Leesburg VA at 88. Roughly due east of there in Montgomery County, I'm seeing a temperature of 88 as well. With the storm windows and doors still in place, that's about a 20 degree excess above the indoor temperature. Shortly before 4 pm, both Leesburg and Frederick MD reached the magic 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit). Let us know in the comments how warm it is where you are. (And ignore the comment count; it's being a little flaky.) Last year, the temperature was above 70 only once in the first half of April, reaching 80 for the first time on the 17th.


A storm system now slowly working its way through the Gulf States will bring an increasing threat of showers by late tomorrow through the middle of the day Friday. After lows tonight about 60, highs tomorrow should be in the low 70's. Further cooling is on tap for Friday, with highs in the low 60's.

Mass Market Media Meteorologist Moves

The American Meteorological Society announced on Monday that Jack Williams will be joining the AMS staff as the public outreach coordinator. Williams has been the weather editor of USA Today for over 20 years since it first began publication. He has received the AMS Louis J. Battan Author's Award twice: for the "USA Today Weather Book" in 1994 and with co-author Dr. Bob Sheets in 2004 for "Hurricane Watch: Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on Earth". His first task at the AMS will be to develop a new book on weather and climate aimed at promoting scientific literacy. The Weather Grill gang sends best wishes to Jack on his new assignment; don't forget to bring your snow shovel to Boston.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Back to our regularly scheduled season

Temperatures this afternoon are mostly 15-20 degrees warmer than yesterday at this time. For a while yesterday, Washington was rivaling central Maine in temperature. (At 8am, for example, Washington National at 44 was 2 degrees colder than Lewiston, Maine. At 1pm, DC was just 2 degrees warmer than Lewiston.) Yesterday's high of 53 was not reached until 10pm. Despite brisk breezes as the low-pressure area which caused all the weekend commotion spins down just north of New England, today's late-afternoon temperatures are generally in the mid 60's. There are even a few reports of upper 60's under brilliantly sunny skies.

Look for a warming trend through mid-week, with the next chance of rain Thursday or Friday. Mid or even upper 70's are not out of the question for Wednesday, so make those "I forgot to come back to work after lunch" plans NOW. See Jason's post below for the details.

Despite some skepticism about the incredibly huge amounts of rain being forecast by the models for this weekend's storm, some really amazing results did occur. The Weather Channel reported that West Shokan, in New York's Catskills region, received 5.68" of rain. In Pennsylvania, the Poconos received 5" at Tobyhanna and 4.87" at Mt. Pocono. There has been widespread flooding along the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers and other areas of the Northeast. In some locations, the Delaware River crested over 10 feet above flood stage.

Hurricane outlook
With less than 60 days to go until the official start of the season, hurricane researcher Dr. William Gray has issued an updated outlook for this year's storm activity. The outlook calls for above-average tropical storm activity and above-average probability of U.S. landfall by major hurricanes. The forecast includes 13 named storms, of which 7 are expected to be hurricanes. These figures are compared to 1950-2000 averages of 9.6 and 5.9, respectively. The probability of at least one major (category 3 or higher) storm landfall on the East Coast is given as 53%, compared to the average for the last century of 31%. These figures are increased from the level of activity predicted in the early December forecast.

Blog watch
Somehow we missed this in all the fun on Friday, but the realclimate blog had a post on the change of seasons expressing doubt on the beginning of spring. Realclimate is "a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists."

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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