Friday, November 3, 2006

Stick a Fork In It

A Freeze Warning is in effect for 1am to 7am tomorrow morning.


Cold. Put away the lawnmower, get out the rake or leaf blower, stick a fork in it, this growing season is about to be declared officially done. Lows last night were 35° at National, 32° at Dulles, and 33° at BWI; temperatures below freezing are likely tonight throughout the Washington metro area. Under northwesterly breezes, temperatures this afternoon have struggled even to make it into the upper half of the 40s, more typical of the average daily highs in mid December. The official high at National was 46&deg.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Freeze Warning. With clear skies and light winds, lows tonight should be near 30° downtown to the lower 20s in some outlying areas. Tomorrow will again be sunny with highs a little warmer, near 49°.

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

Meet an Author

Writer and editor Bob Henson from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research will be discussing his brand new book, "The Rough Guide to Climate Change" at the Politics & Prose bookstore in DC this Sunday at 1pm. The book is one of a series which includes over 200 travel books. It is described by the publisher as "a balanced and comprehensive guide to global warming, covering the science, the symptoms and the solutions." Henson is also the author of "The Rough Guide to Weather", published in 2002. He was recently interviewed on Denver/Boulder independent radio station KGNU.

Photo from UCAR.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

"How Cold Is It?"


A Freeze Watch is in effect for Friday night.

Clear, chilly. It's a bit early for the "How cold is it?" jokes, but you might want to at least start thinking about where you stored those flannel sheets over the summer. After some briefly heavy showers overnight (0.38" at National, 0.34" at Dulles), it's a brilliantly crisp fall afternoon in the Washington metro area. The daily high was officially 60° near 1am, but mid 50s are much more the order of the day this afternoon. It's also breezy; winds gusted as high as 30 mph earlier.

Although temperatures are substantially lower than yesterday, the drop in humidity is even more dramatic, with dewpoints generally in the 20s (an 18° report from the Culpeper robo-observer looks a bit out of whack). This will allow lows to plunge the next couple of nights, especially where winds are light.

Pictured: Temperature chart at 4pm today from Unisys shows a strong change over the Mid Atlantic area from earlier in the week.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Cold. Under clear skies and diminishing winds tonight, temperatures will drop to near 35° downtown and the upper 20s in the coolest 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny and cold for the season, highs in the upper 40s.

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


Ted Turner and Richard Branson will be guests on The Weather Channel's "Climate Code" this Sunday at 5pm.

The dcrtv blog reported recently that WTTG Channel 5 morning weatherman Tony Perkins recently received an Alumni Achievement Award from American University. Perkins is a 1981 graduate of the School of Communication.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

November's Nice Nascence


Sunny, mild. An approaching cold front has become nearly stationary just to the north and west of the Washington metro area this afternoon. As a result, southerly breezes have nudged temperatures into the low 70s at most locations, providing a very pleasant late fall day for working off some of that leftover Halloween candy with leaf raking or lawn mowing. Highs were 71° at National, 72° at Dulles and BWI.

Meanwhile, a low pressure area getting organized in the Tennessee Valley will bring some rain to the area late tonight and early tomorrow, followed by some of the coldest temperatures of the season by the weekend.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Showers developing, becoming colder. Clouds will increase tonight, with showers likely by morning and lows in the upper 40s to near 50°. Rain will end by mid day tomorrow with clearing skies in the afternoon and highs only around 54°, turning colder at night.

For the Friday outlook and into the weekend, scroll down to Dan's post below.

More Winter Outlooks

Matt is busy working on the winter outlook to be published soon. Meanwhile, Weather America's Larry Cosgrove has issued a winter outlook through his newsletter. He's calling for temperatures to average from near normal in southeastern Virginia to below normal (-1° to -3°) in the immediate DC area. Precipitation is forecast to be much above normal (greater than 125%) with DC right on the borderline between above normal and much above normal (greater than 125%) snowfall potential. Larry is scheduled to be the guest of the WeatherTalkers this Sunday.

An important factor in the upcoming winter outlook is the progress of the developing El Niño. The latest El Niño area 5-day average sea surface temperatures show equatorial Pacific anomalies strengthening to approach a maximum of +2°C.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October Winds Down

Trick or Treat Outlook: Scroll down to Matt's post for the evening forecast.


Sunny, mild. As October winds down to Halloween under some scattered high clouds, temperatures in the Washington metro area have reached the low to mid 70s by mid afternoon today. Some showers ahead of an approaching cold front are possible tonight, but they are most likely after the witching hour of midnight.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Warm, chance of showers late. Clouds will increase after midnight tonight with low temperatures in the low to mid 50s. The chance of showers by morning is around 20%. Skies will be variably cloudy tomorrow with a slight chance of showers and highs near 69°.

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

This October's average wind speed is about 10% below the long-term average of 8.8 mph, but the chart shows that there have been several more extreme events at roughly one week intervals, culminating with the 48 mph gust from the west-northwest on Saturday.

Political Science and Mediarology: Stern Warning

Today's WaPo has an article on Page A18 which reports on a British Government study directed by Sir Nicholas Stern analyzing the potential economic damage from global warming. The impact is estimated to range from 5 to 20 percent. An accompanying article notes that, despite a wider political spectrum than in the U.S., there is a strong consensus for climate change action in Britain, with the 3 major parties each accusing the others of not being active enough on the issue. By contrast, the WaPo yesterday editorialized ("Changing Climate on Climate") on the continued inaction of the current administration on climate change.

According to the NYT, residents of the Bangor, Maine, area are unlikely to see this news on TV. The general manager of the ABC and Fox stations WVII and WFVX (both under the same ownership) is quoted as issuing a stern warning prohibiting the stations, which recently began broadcasting previously taped versions of the 11:00 news, from covering global warming. When "Bar Harbor is underwater, then we can do global warming stories," he said.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Treat: Unscary Weather


Sunny, mild. Today's sunny, mild weather has been a preview of the kind of warm Halloween the Washington metro area has experienced for most of the current century. In the 5 years starting with 2001, Halloween highs have been: 64°, 47°, 70°, 79°, and 71°. This afternoon's temperatures at National were hindered slightly (high of 68°) by the infamous southerly river breeze, but Dulles reached 70° at 3:34, and several locations in the southern fringe of the region were in the 70s.

Pictured: Temperature map at 4pm shows large pre-Halloween area of 60s and 70s (shades of orange) in the eastern U.S., from Unisys.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Dry and mild. With clear skies and light winds, lows tonight will be in the upper 40s downtown ranging to near 40° in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny and seasonably warm with highs near 74°. Little ghosties and goblins should expect temperatures in the low 60s and light winds at Trick or Treat time; chance of rain is less than 5%.

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

Winter Outlooks

In the annual triumph of hope over experience (September/October temperatures explain only 9% of the variance of Washington winter temperatures), winter outlooks have been rolling out. Dave Tolleris (DT) of gave his yesterday on WeatherTalk Radio. He's calling for temperatures within +/-1° of average and snowfall near to a little above average. He also disclosed that he is moving from the snow-challenged Richmond area to Leesburg. Welcome to the local blogging area, DT!

Several other winter outlooks are posted on the WeatherTalk web site. Stay tuned here for the winter outlook coming out soon.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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