Friday, July 28, 2006

Bake, not Shake


The Washington metro area baked under temperatures into the low 90s this afternoon, but there wasn't a whole lotta shakin' goin' on. Although a narrow, but intense, line of thunderstorms extended at mid afternoon from southeastern New York all the way to the lower Potomac, the immediate DC area was mostly bypassed. The temperature dropped to 79° in a thunderstorm at Quantico, but most other locations were partly cloudy to cloudy.

Tonight and Tomorrow

There is a very slight chance of an isolated thunderstorm through this evening; lows will range from the mid 70s in town to the low 70s in the 'burbs with slightly lower humidity. Tomorrow will be warm and humid with highs around 90°.

Scroll down to Camden's post below for the outlook through the rest of the weekend and suggested activities.

Tropical Topics

The National Hurricane Center is tracking two tropical waves, one in the Caribbean and one in the Atlantic, but neither one is showing signs of development.

Capitol Climate

CSPAN-2 last night rebroadcast yesterday's hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on "Climate Change Assessment Methodologies". It was the second of two hearings to discuss alleged flaws in the famous "hockey stick" long-term temperature curve originally published by Michael Mann in 1998. If you've never seen the confrontation of science and politics up close and personal, it's the ultimate example of trying to mix oil and water. The hearings don't seem to have been covered by the "mainstream" press, but the Houston Chron's Science Guy provides some analysis in his blog. The realclimate blog, in which Michael Mann is a contributor, also had a post discussing last week's committee session. For the opposite opinion, see the lobbyist-funded Tech Central Station.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hanging Out on H Street


The 3 H's of haze, heat, and humidity are hanging out in the Washington metro area this afternoon. As Matt noted earlier, this is hardly unusual for a DC July. Temperatures are mainly in the upper 80s, and dewpoints are in the upper 60s to low 70s. A weak band of scattered thundershowers well to the west has dissipated.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight will be warm and humid with lows in the upper 70s downtown to the low and mid 70s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will again be warm and humid, but with a little better chance (30%) of afternoon or evening thunderstorms and highs near 90.

Look for Larson's Long-Range late tonight/tomorrow for the extended outlook.

Tropical Topics

The low pressure area associated with some storms in the western Gulf of Mexico has remained over land, between Houston and San Antonio, so no tropical development is expected. However, it is bringing heavy rain and some gusty winds to the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast and adjacent Gulf of Mexico.

An Accident at Sea Can Spoil Your Whole Day

Fifty years ago today, the Italian luxury passenger liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding the night before with the Swedish liner Stockholm in fog near Nantucket, killing 51 people. The event was the first major televised disaster, and it marked the end of the golden era of passenger ship travel. The roles of weather and the possible misuse of the then relatively new technology of radar are examined tonight in a new episode of the PBS "Secrets of the Dead" series. The program is broadcast locally on WETA, channel 26, at 8pm.

Image of Andrea Doria travel poster from PBS

Monday, July 24, 2006

Short-Lived Summer Break


As a visitor noted in the previous comments, the weather gods have favored the Washington metro area with a brief respite from summer's mugginess. Temperatures around the region in late afternoon are mostly in the mid 80s. Dewpoints, which dipped into the upper 50s for several hours last evening, are still in the relatively comfortable low 60s to 66. The dry conditions allowed last night's official low to dip to 67°, a level which hasn't been seen since July 9; Dulles was 62&deg.

Tonight and Tomorrow

With the humidity starting to creep up, don't expect such an outstanding night as last night, but lows should still be near 71 in town to the mid and low 60s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny and a little more humid, highs around 87&deg.

For the extended outlook through the week, see Jason's post below.

Tropical Topics

The National Hurricane Center is keeping its eye (so to speak) on a stormy area in the western Gulf of Mexico and Bay of Campeche. Some buoys in the area have reported gusts to 40 or 50 mph, and the future upper level winds are looking favorable for development, so this area could become tropically depressed in the next day or two.

Recent Precipitation

Despite the possibility of severe storms, Saturday's precipitation was fairly minimal in the immediate area. Amounts were more significant south of the Beltway and east of Baltimore. Since the copious rains of the first week this month, National Airport has recorded just slightly over 1" in the following nearly 3 weeks. The overall total so far, however, is just 0.1" less than the long-term climatological average for the whole month.

24-hour precipitation totals ending 8am yesterday, from National Weather Service.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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