Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Flakes Fly or Schoolkids Cry?

Next update: 10-10:30pm, with accumulation map, SchoolCast and frequently asked questions.


Mostly sunny, cold. Following some stray snow showers this morning, it's been a mostly sunny (but with some increasing high, thin clouds), breezy, and cold day in the Washington metro area. By early afternoon, temperatures at many locations were barely reaching 40°. Highs for the day were: National 42°, Dulles 39°, BWI 38°.

The next weather maker for the region is a weak "clipper" system just getting organized in the upper Midwest. The latest models this afternoon confirm that this system should move quickly southeastward, bringing with it the likelihood of some light snow tomorrow.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Increasing clouds and cold, then some light snow. Clouds will increase and winds decrease tonight with lows in the upper 20s to near 30° downtown and the low to mid 20s in the 'burbosphere. Some light snow or flurries could develop by dawn, especially to the west of the Blue Ridge. Intermittent light snow or flurries are likely tomorrow (70% chance) with most places in the immediate metro area seeing up to an inch on grassy areas. Some colder locations to the north and west could get as much as 2". Highs will be 34-37°.

For the outlook through the rest of the week, including the detailed Snow Lover's Crystal Ball and SchoolCast, scroll on down to Matt's post below.

Snow Crystals

While you're waiting for the flakes to arrive (or not) at your particular location, you can read about the physics of snow and ice crystals in this month's Physics Today Quick Study (free online to non-subscribers).


Today's Diane Rehm show on WAMU-FM featured "Politics of Global Warming", including the UN climate conference currently meeting in Bali and prospects for energy legislation in Congress. Guests were David Doniger, climate center policy director, NRDC; John Fialka, environment and energy reporter for "The Wall Street Journal," Washington bureau; and John Stowell, V.P. environmental policy, Duke Energy. Multiple flavors of streaming audio can be found at the usual joint, and a podcast is available on iTunes.

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