Thursday, April 19, 2007

April to Become More Enchanted


Cloudy, cool. A very weak low pressure area drifting through southwestern Virginia is bringing isolated sprinkles to the Washington metro area this afternoon. Once again, temperatures are in the unseasonable mid and upper 50s. Considerable reduction in the cloud cover should permit readings to return to the 60s tomorrow and even milder levels this weekend.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clearing, milder. Scattered showers and sprinkles should end this evening, and clouds will decrease overnight with lows in the mid 40s in town and low 40s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with highs 63-66°.

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


The Weather Channel's countdown of the 100 Biggest Weather Moments concludes tonight at 8 and 11, beginning with #20, Doppler radar.

TWC is also planning extensive coverage of Earth Day, which is this Sunday, including a special edition of Forecast Earth at 5:00. The show will feature Cheryl Crow's Stop Global Warming College Tour, which is appearing that day at GW's Smith Center at 4pm. The Tour is also scheduled for 1pm on Saturday at UMD's Cole Field House.

A second new episode of Forecast Earth at 5:30 will include a debate on the most frequent arguments of global warming skeptics, including the chronic red herring raised by many broadcast meteorologists who blindly refuse to see the forest for the trees, "If forecasters can't predict the weather 3-days out, certainly they can't forecast a year, a decade or a century out!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Once More Upon a Midday Dreary


Mostly cloudy, chilly. It wasn't exactly scarf and mittens weather for lawn mowing here at the Update ranch today, but it was certainly brisk. (The trusty Honda engine showed its finest cold-temperature starting capabilities once the out-of-practice operator remembered to turn the gas setting to "on".) Despite some earlier valiant attempts at a comeback by the sun, clouds have rolled back in over most of the region this afternoon, with temperatures again stuck in the low to mid 50s, over 10° below seasonal averages.

There is the possibility of some showers or sprinkles through tomorrow as a weak low pressure area drifts eastward from the lower Ohio Valley. Once that passes, the elements will be in place for the area's much-deserved spring warmup over the weekend.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Cloudy, cool, chance of showers Skies will remain mostly cloudy tonight with a 30% chance of showers and lows in the low to mid 40s. Tomorrow will again be mostly cloudy with highs 54-58° and a 40% chance of showers, especially to the south and west of the metro area.

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

Blogospheric Climate

A tip of the rabbit ears to RealClimate and Professor Bunny for yesterday's pointers to the Green Issue (May) of Vanity Fair magazine. Featured in the special section is an article, "A Convenient Untruth", which effectively deconstructs Myron Ebell, "the denialist's denialist" (the wascally wabbit's words, not ours, so send your hate mail accordingly), of the Spin-City-based Competitive Enterprise Institute.

If you want to see what a real scientific debate is about (as opposed to Ebell's "most preposterous bullshit I've ever heard", in the words of climate scientist Tom Wigley), check out the adjoining posts (here and here) regarding the very real issue of determining trends in oceanic heat content. Warning: There are actual numbers involved, including (shudder!) exponents, so if you got your roommate to do your math for you, you might want to stick to the South Park or Simpsons versions. [This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.]

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Mighty Wind


Mostly cloudy, breezy, cold. Despite some "BINOVC" (breaks in the overcast), temperatures struggled to reach 55° by 4pm this afternoon. The continuing northwesterly breeze from the remnants of Sunday's storm gusted over 30 mph at times, although it was significantly lower than yesterday.

Temperatures have now been below average for all but the first 3 days of this month. Yesterday's high of 47° was only 1° above the average low for the date. The first half of the month averaged 6.4 degrees below the long-term "normal".

Winds and clouds will continue to decrease tonight as a slow warming trend begins to get underway towards the weekend. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Under slowly decreasing clouds, lows tonight will be from the low 40s downtown to the upper 30s in 'burbistan. Tomorrow will see a little more sun and less wind than today with highs in the mid to upper 50s.

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

Capitol Climate

Following the release of the IPCC Working Group II report a week ago Friday, the House Science and Technology Committee held a hearing today on "The State of Climate Change Science". This was one day after the publication of a more detailed 67-page chapter specifically addressing the effects of climate change on North America. Today's dead-tree WaPo covers the new report in an article, "Warming Predicted to Take Severe Toll on U.S.".

Monday, April 16, 2007

Storm Slowly Spinning Down


Cloudy, cold, windy. Cold winds peaking over 50 mph in many locations throughout the region caused some power outages and prompted various school closings this afternoon. The winds were produced by the large storm system, now stalled near Long Island, which brought heavy rain and some stream flooding to the area yesterday. A few leftover showers were moving into the area this afternoon, especially to the northeast of the Beltway. Temperatures have remained stubbornly in the wintry 40s, returning to the overnight low of 42° by 4pm. Winds and clouds will slowly diminish through tomorrow as temperatures begin to moderate toward more April-like levels.

Graphic from IntelliWeather shows the huge storm, like a giant spider web, enmeshing the entire East Coast early this afternoon. Lowest pressure was a remarkable 971 mb., or 28.67".

Tonight and Tomorrow

Winds, clouds slowly diminishing. Skies will remain overcast overnight with a few light showers or snow flurries possible. Winds will decrease to around 20 mph by morning. Lows will be in the mid to upper 30s. Some sunshine should gradually return, especially in the afternoon, tomorrow. Highs will be in the low 50s.

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

Fear of Climate

Today's WaPo front page features an article, "Climate Change Scenarios Scare, and Motivate, Kids", which is ostensibly about the effect of climate change issues on young people. It manages, however, to echo probably the most bizarre denialist argument against global warming action: "It scares the kids!". Note to the WaPo's increasingly lax copy-editing department: An Armageddon is indeed "climactic", but one caused by climate change has only two c's.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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