Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oct-over, Fall-ing Temperatures Ahead


Variable clouds, warm. Continuing the October trend of double-digit departures from average temperatures, November has begun with readings above the high end of the forecast range. Just ahead of a cold frontal passage, National was at 73° at 3:00, while Dulles had dropped to 62°, and Leesburg was down to 59°.

Despite some associated clouds, the front was rain-free through the entire Mid Atlantic area. The latest weekly drought monitor report, released this morning, shows that last week's torrential rains have improved the immediate metro area into the abnormally dry category with some areas of only moderate drought to the northwest and southeast. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clearing, cooler. Skies will clear tonight with lows in the mid 40s in the city to the mid and upper 30s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, breezy, and cool with highs 56-60°.

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

Tropical Topics

Tropical Storm Noel strengthened somewhat today as it began to accelerate toward the north-northeast, passing over Nassau early this afternoon. As a result, the tropical storm warning for southeastern Florida was cancelled at 2pm, but a gale warning has been issued for Bermuda. Maximum winds at 2pm were 65 mph; the National Hurricane Center was unreachable for the 5pm report, at least from this particular corner of cyberspace. As it moves northeastward toward the Canadian Maritimes and becomes non-tropical, the models indicate that it will potentially undergo bombogenesis.

Science vs. Religion?

The AP reported last night (via virtual WaPo) that "Religious Leaders Act on Climate Change". A broadly ecumenical coalition of religious organizations have joined to lobby Congress to "ensure that the poor and most vulnerable are protected from the effects of climate change."

The week's edition of NOW on PBS featured the journey in August of "an unlikely alliance of Evangelical Christians and leading scientists to witness the breathtaking effects of global warming on Alaska's rapidly changing environment." Video and audio podcasts are available on the show's web site.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spooktacular Halloween
Smashing Pumpkins: October temperature record obliterated


Clear, mild. Halloween afternoon is spectacularly clear and mild in the Washington metro area; it's the 8th clear day of an historically warm month. Temperatures are generally in the upper 60s with a few 70s in the southern portion of the region. Dewpoints are slightly more humid in the 40s.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clear, then increasing clouds, mild. Trick-or-treat temperatures will fall through the 60s this evening under clear skies to the upper 50s well after dark. Some clouds will develop toward morning with lows near 50° in the city to the mid and upper 40s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with highs 67-71°.

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

Tropical Topics

Tropical Storm Noel strengthened a little to a maximum wind speed of 50 mph as it emerged off Cuba's northern coast. It was stationary at 5pm, but is expected to begin a turn toward the north and northeast in the direction of the Bahamas. Meanwhile, wind advisories and gale warnings are in effect for the Florida coast because of the strong pressure difference between the storm and high pressure centered to the north, and a tropical storm watch has been issued at 5pm for southeastern Florida. Major beach erosion has already been reported in Florida from the persistent winds of the last several days.

Historic Heat

As Matt posted yesterday, this October is finishing by far the warmest in Washington history. Based on the high so far today of 68 and low this morning of 46, the month is on track to be 8.2° above average, or a staggering 2.7° above the old record set in 1984. Expressed in terms of departure from average, that makes this month the warmest overall for any month, April through December, in 137 years of records. The 8.2° departure is within 0.1° of the warmest March and cooler than only a tiny handful of the most extreme Januaries and Februaries. For the 30 days through yesterday, there have been 3 highs in the 90s, 12 in the 80s, 9 in the 70s, 4 in the 60s, and only 2 in the 50s. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tuesday, October 30, 2007



Clear, warmer. As a strong high pressure ridge remains in control, it's a crystal clear pre-Halloween afternoon in the Nation's Capital region. Virtually the only precipitation in the entire country is in the form of some showers in the northern Rockies and in southern Florida. Locally, temperatures have rebounded over 20° from the frosty lows to reach seasonable levels of the low and mid 60s.

Tonight and Tomorrow

No tricks! Lows tonight under clear skies will be not quite as cool as recent nights, in the mid 40s downtown to the mid 30s in the 'burbosphere. Halloween will be a treat: sunny and a little warmer with highs 68-72°.

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

Tropical Topics: It Ain't Over 'til Momma Nature Says It's Over

Tropical Storm Noel has weakened as it moves westward across eastern Cuba. Its track is expected to take it more northwestward then turn toward the Bahamas, keeping off the coast of the U.S., although there is currently a 5-10% chance of tropical storm wind speeds along the Outer Banks and Cape Cod and up to a 20% chance over southern Florida. At 5pm, maximum winds were near 40 mph, and little change was expected in the next 24 hours.

Climate Corner: College Course

Don't want to get your climate change information from a former politician, but you don't want it filtered through the press, the Drudge Report, or squawk radio either, and you also don't have the time (or expertise) to read the original literature? Here's a chance to get a comprehensive college-level presentation on the subject (no prerequisites or exams required) at a bargain price: The Teaching Company is offering their course, "Earth's Changing Climate" at 80% off the regular price until November 15. The course consists of 12 30-minute lectures and is available in several formats: DVD, audio CD, audio download, and audiotape. Because the company is based in Chantilly, regular shipping to the metro area is usually overnight. In honor of Halloween, The Teaching Company is offering a free sample download in mp3 or iPod format of a 55-minute lecture on Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

Image from The Teaching Company

Monday, October 29, 2007

Extreme October Makeover

** North and West of DC: Freeze Warning 2 AM to 8 AM Tuesday **
** DC and Points South and East: Frost Advisory 2 AM to 8 AM Tuesday **


Clear, crisp. After being in strong contention for one of the driest Octobers in history, this month has come roaring back as the ninth wettest in 137 years of records. The 6.18" storm total at National, nearly half of which fell from Friday evening through Saturday morning, was enough to push the fall total so far (September-October) about half an inch above average, although the yearly total is still 4.78" below normal. The other major reporting stations had somewhat lower amounts: 3.17" at Dulles and 5.44" at BWI. The 2.65" 24-hour amount on Friday at National was a new record for the date.

Also being made over, although not as extremely, is the temperature. Yesterday's low of 45° just before midnight was enough to put the day's average 1° below normal, the first time this has happened since Sept. 20. At 68.5° through yesterday, the monthly average is still 9.2° above normal, about 3° above the previous warmest October.

Temperatures this afternoon have rebounded from the low of 41° at National to the upper 50s under bright sunny skies. The air is also very dry with dewpoints in the upper 20s to low 30s. Calm winds, low humidity, and clear skies should provide chilly lows and widespread frost again tomorrow morning; a Frost Advisory is in effect for those areas which did not already experience frost last night. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clear, cool. Lows tonight under clear skies should range from near 40° downtown to the low 30s in the cooler 'burbs with frost likely. Tomorrow will be mostly clear and warmer with highs 63-66°.

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

Tropical Topics

Tropical Storm Noel formed over the weekend in the eastern Caribbean and is headed northwestward toward the Bahamas after bringing heavy rain to Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola. It is expected to turn more toward the northeast as a low pressure trough moves off the East Coast. Maximum winds were 50 mph at 5pm.

Climate Business

A former software industry executive is announcing today that he has raised a near-record amount of $200 million in private venture capital funding for a radically new approach in electric car development. His company aims to provide the infrastructure for electric vehicles by establishing a network of charging stations and automated battery replacement stations. The new venture was also discussed in last week's Business Week and on CNBC's The Call this morning.

This morning's Diane Rehm Show on WAMU-FM discussed the general topic of "Going Green in the Private Sector". Podcast is available online.

Sports Weather

It's often said that baseball is a game of inches, but the roughly 5000 feet of altitude (and its 15% or more reduction in air density) in Denver has a radical effect on the sport as played there, according to the WaPo's Thomas Boswell.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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