Thursday, November 9, 2006

Bipartisan Stamp of Approval


Sunny, breezy, warm. Except for the extremist snow partisans, today's Washington metro weather should appeal to the entire political spectrum. The calendar says November, the wind gauge earlier said northwest with gusts over 25 mph, but the temperature this afternoon has been in the upper 60s and even low 70s in some places. The fine weather will continue through tomorrow's Veterans Day holiday.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clear and warm. Under clear skies tonight, low temperatures will be from the low 50s downtown to the mid and upper 40s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow promises to be even a little nicer than today, with less wind and high temperatures a few degrees warmer, in the low 70s in most places, some mid 70s possible.

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

Snow Stamps

Snow lovers shouldn't feel completely left out in this mild weather. The USPS recently released a set of 4 snowflake stamps as part of its annual holiday series. The stamps feature the snowflake photography of Caltech physics professor Dr. Kenneth Libbrecht.

Dr. Libbrecht's book, "The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty", covers the history of the science of snowflakes and includes numerous snowflake photos. His new book, "Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes" was just published last month. It "describes the many different types of snowflakes, where and how to find them, and what can be learned from their intricate structures and patterns."

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Winds of Change


Damp, cool. In contrast to the strong winds of political change in the Nation's Capital, light atmospheric winds have allowed mist, drizzle, and some fog to linger this afternoon. Temperatures, however, are above 60° for the first time in a week (high as of 4:30 is 63°), and general improvement is on the way.

Rainfall has been substantial throughout the area, with the 1¾" at National equaling nearly 60% of the average monthly total for November. On the other hand, that's still not enough for a record, since the all-time November daily record of 3.07" was set on this date in 1943. As the low pressure area centered nearly directly over the region this afternoon moves slowly northeastward, gradual clearing and warmer temperatures will set in.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Forecast Confidence: HighGradually decreasing cloudiness, becoming warmer. Skies will remain overcast tonight with lows in the low 50s; a few lingering showers or some drizzle are possible through the evening, especially in the eastern portion of the region. Clouds and humidity will decrease tomorrow with highs near 69°.

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

As Goes November?

No amount of recounting will reverse the result that this fall through the first week of November has been cooler than average. A couple of weeks ago, PM Update noted that September-October average temperatures are not a particularly good indicator of the upcoming winter. What about November, since it's closer to the event? The chart shows that November average temperatures explain twice as much of the variance of the winter (Dec-Jan-Feb) average as do October temperatures, but that's still only 18%.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

For Whom the Reign Falls


Light rain, cool. To paraphrase an old quotation, the rain falls on Democrats and Republicans alike. Light rain was scattered through most of the Washington metro area this Election Day afternoon, but the heaviest amounts were well to the south in North Carolina, where Raleigh had already picked up over 1" as of 4pm. Once again temperatures have struggled to make it out of the lower half of the 50s; the high at National was 56°, but Dulles was only 53°.

As a low pressure area developing over the Southeast becomes more organized and moves northeastward, rain will increase tonight, tapering off tomorrow.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Rain, continued cool. Rain will become steadier and heavier tonight. Temperatures will remain mostly in the low 50s. Rain will diminish and become more intermittent around the middle of the day tomorrow, tapering off during the afternoon, but skies will remain cloudy with highs near 60°.

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

Political Storms

Andrew's Sunday Undercast explored some weather-related political issues. What about the effect of the weather on voting itself? Although conventional wisdom says rain depresses voter turnout, a site visitor noted last week that The Hill newspaper recently quoted Yale professor and "voter-turnout expert" Donald Green saying that "cliches about the weather on Election Day affecting turnout are bunk." On the other hand, University of Georgia visiting professor Brad Gomez says, in a study to be published in the Journal of Politics, that every inch of rain reduces overall voter turnout by 1%. I guess voter forecasting isn't the exact science that weather prediction is!

Monday, November 6, 2006

Some Rain on the Bandwagon?


Cloudy, cool. Warm air moving over the top of the cold high pressure area which has dominated our weather for the last several days has produced considerable high cloudiness from NoVa across the Washington metro area into SoPa. This has kept temperatures in the low and mid 50s this afternoon (high of 54° at both airports), while in much of RoVa (rest of Virginia) more seasonable 60s prevail.

Meanwhile, as the high retreats eastward, a low pressure area developing over the Southeast has the potential to tap into some tropical moisture, bringing substantial rain to portions of the East Coast toward the middle of this week. (One model, most likely overdone, this afternoon develops as much as 9" of rain along and offshore of the Carolina coast in the 48 hours ending Thursday morning.)

Above: Surface weather map and satellite picture at 1pm today from HPC/NCEP/NWS

Tonight and Tomorrow

Cool, rain developing late. Skies will be mostly cloudy tonight with lows in the mid 40s in the city to near 40° in the cooler 'burbs. Rain will develop from the southwest across the region Election Day afternoon, with a 60% chance of rain by evening in the immediate metro area. Highs will be in the upper 50s.

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

Meet a Meteorologist

The Library of Congress has scheduled a talk on weather by Channel 4 meteorologist Bob Ryan next Wednesday, the 15th, at 11:30.


Correction: The fact-checkers at PM Update must have gotten into the Halloween candy again. The interview with Ted Turner and Richard Branson on the Weather Channel's "Climate Code" is scheduled for next Sunday, not yesterday as previously announced here.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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