Friday, February 23, 2007

Windy Cold At Bat; Wintry Mix On Deck

*Winter Storm Watch in Effect Late Saturday Night Through Sunday Night*


Windy, cold. We're in the late innings, but winter isn't ready to put away the bat just yet. Winds peaking as high as 55 mph overnight have made it feel a lot colder than the near 40° temperatures this afternoon in the Washington metro area, especially after the relatively balmy experience of 3 consecutive days above average (and above freezing). Highs were 41° at National, 39° at Dulles, and 38° at BWI.

A low pressure area just now becoming organized in the central Rockies will deepen and move northeastward toward the Great Lakes, bringing with it the threat of some wintry precipitation in the Mid Atlantic region Sunday.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clear, less windy, cold. Under clear skies and diminishing winds, lows tonight should be from the low 20s downtown to the mid and upper teens in 'burbland. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny and continued cold, less windy than today with highs 42-45°

For the outlook through the rest of the weekend, including Sunday's potential wintry mix, scroll down to Camden's post below.

Tropical Topics

Winter may be still batting, but tropical season is just over 90 days away. Here at PM Update, we're getting in the mood by starting to read Ivor van Heerden's "The Storm", a scientist's on-the-scene report of the Katrina experience. From the tone of the introduction, it appears that he will be pulling no punches in his analysis of what went on.

Meanwhile, yesterday the National Hurricane Center published their annual post mortem analysis of forecast accuracy for last year's storm season. The good news: Atlantic track forecast accuracy set new records in the range from 12-72 hr., beat each individual dynamical model, and only slightly trailed the consensus models. The bad news: Intensity forecasting continues to be a formidable problem. Intensity accuracy was close to the average of the last 5 years, but skill levels (improvement over average conditions, or climatology and persistence) were "down sharply."

Chart of hurricane track forecast accuracy in nautical miles at 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hr., years 1990-2006, from NHC

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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