Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Can Chilly, Clear Conditions Continue?


Clear, chilly. Bright sun has been shining through nearly cloudless skies this afternoon, but its intensity is roughly equivalent to that of late January, and temperatures have been limited to the upper 40s in the Washington metro area this afternoon. Highs were 47° at National and 46° at Dulles.

The main weather question for this heavily-traveled holiday week is the timing and extent of rainfall from a low pressure area lurking off the Southeast coast. That storm, being fed by tropical water vapor from as far away as the central Caribbean and even the extreme eastern Pacific, was absolutely drenching the Outer Banks today; in the hour ending at 2pm, Cape Hatteras received over an inch of rain, followed by 0.57" in the next 22 minutes. Northward progress of the rain will be quite slow, however, because the circulation is cut off from the main flow of the westerlies. Contrary to wishful thinking expressed in some forums, there is no prospect of enough cold air for frozen precipitation in this region.

Pictured: Portion of Northern Hemisphere water vapor image mid afternoon today from Unisys.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Chilly, some clouds. Clouds will increase a bit tonight with lows near 36° in the city, low 30s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be partly to mostly cloudy with highs around 50°.

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

Tropical Topics

The last advisory on eastern Pacific storm Sergio was issued yesterday afternoon. Sergio was the longest-running eastern Pacific tropical storm ever observed in the month of November.

Political Science

Tom Toles comments on the recent election's impact on climate policy in today's WaPo editorial cartoon. The headline shown in the cartoon is a reference to Saturday's article analyzing changes in Capitol Hill committee assignments and priorities. Sen. Barbara Boxer, scheduled to be the new chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has announced she plans to hold serious hearings on climate change, as opposed to the science fiction performances put on by the outgoing chair, Sen. Inhofe of Oilahoma. In a double-barreled reality check, not only is Inhofe losing his chairmanship, but he is being challenged by Sen. Warner of Virginia for the position of ranking minority member.

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Seasonal Outlook

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