Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tornado Watches and Warnings in Area

6:20 Update: Tornado reported on the ground in Stafford Co., moving northeast. Stay tuned to the comments section for new developments.

5:30 Update: A nice line of showers and thunderstorms has set up in the past hour from just north of I-66 near the Blue Ridge southward to southeast of Charlottesville. The heaviest storms are in the southern portion. Some storms will probably reach the southern and western suburbs in the next hour or two.

Showers to the east of a strong storm nearly stationary over the Great Lakes began in the Washington metro area around 8am, but they have remained very light and spotty through most of the day. The official rainfall total is still under 0.10".

The showers are becoming more numerous late this afternoon, but the heaviest amounts are remaining west of the Blue Ridge and northward into Pennsylvania. Some showers and possibly a few thunderstorms will still develop through the evening until around midnight. A few places may see moderate to heavy rain at times.

Radar map around 4:15 today from IntelliWeather

Tonight and Tomorrow

For tonight, showers through this evening will end by 2am. Lows will be in the low 50s. Sun through variable clouds tomorrow will bring highs in the low 70s.

Scroll on down below for a peek at the weekend and next week.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Transition Day

The late-July-like sun through nearly clear skies and low humidity combined to bring a picture-perfect weather day to the Washington DC metro area. By 4pm, both major local airports had reached 77°, and dewpoints were all in the 40s. Dulles added another degree the following hour. Regional radar was bone-dry for hundreds of miles in all directions.

A vigorous upper-level low will be deepening and stalling over the Great Lakes, however, helping to bring rain to our area by tomorrow.

Surface weather map and satellite picture at 2pm today from HPC/NCEP/NWS

Tonight and Tomorrow

For tonight, skies will become overcast with lows around 58. Showers are likely by tomorrow morning with afternoon highs around 67. Showers and possible thunderstorms will extend into tomorrow evening.

Dan has the forecast for the rest of the week and weekend in his post immediately below.

Weather Wars

The lead story on Comedy Central's Daily Show Monday was "The Weather Game." It was about the ads being run by Terre Haute, Indiana, TV station WTWO attacking its local rival WTHI's weather coverage. With a viciously sneering tone that would be extreme even in today's slash and burn political campaigns, the ads touted the station's 45 years of combined experience vs. the competition's 30 years and blasted the opposition's "Doppler dead zone." The local TribStar newspaper quoted WTWO's manager saying he "didn't quite understand the point" of the Daily Show's story.

A video (requires Windoze Media 9) is available on the Daily Show web site, and the TV Squad has a synopsis of the complete program.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Unsettled and Unsettling

The unsettled weather pattern is continuing this afternoon in the Washington DC metro area as an Atlantic low pressure area heads toward New England. With more sun than clouds, however, temperatures have recovered nicely from yesterday's clammy 50s to the upper 60s or 70° by mid afternoon. Even Ocean City was up to 65° with an easterly breeze. After another dry day tomorrow, some rain is likely again by tomorrow night or Thursday.

Surface weather map and satellite picture at 2pm today from HPC/NCEP/NWS

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight will be partly cloudy with lows in the low 50s in the city to the mid and upper 40s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow should be mainly sunny with variable cloudiness increasing toward evening and highs in the mid 70s.

Countdown to Hurricane Season: 22 Days

The USA Today Weather Guys had a pointer yesterday to a Miami Herald Sunday special report, "Sketches of a catastrophe", which explores possible hurricane scenarios for southern Florida. An interactive feature uses Flash animation to show the storm surge which could result from a "Katrina2" (equivalent to the Katrina which made landfall in Louisiana) or a "Wilma2" (equivalent to the Wilma which hit Yucatan). Using National Hurricane Center models, the simulated storms are shown making landfall in several locations: "in South Miami-Dade, at the same spot where Andrew made landfall; just south of downtown Miami and Coconut Grove; near Port Everglades and downtown Fort Lauderdale."

The most unsettling simulation is for Katrina2 passing just south of Key Biscayne. National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield is quoted saying, "These are absolutely not worst-case scenarios", but they are certainly scary enough. [The Flash download is somewhat slow on a dialup connection, but is doable with a little patience.]

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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