Friday, December 22, 2006

It Came Upon a Midnight Drear


Showers, cool. As the low which brought all that snow to Denver gradually spins down over the Great Lakes, convergence of Atlantic and Gulf moisture to the east is putting a damper on holiday cheer along much of the East Coast. Here in the Washington metro area, persistent light rain showers had put a mere 0.04" of water into the official measuring bucket by early afternoon, although that total has now slightly more than doubled. This month has just today been mathematically eliminated from breaking the record for driest December (0.19" in 1889), although only by a few hundredths of an inch so far.

Temperatures have barely budged all day, staying in the range of 45-48° for the last 24 hours. This Seattle-like pattern will be slow to clear out as we head into the holiday weekend.

Surface weather map and satellite picture at 1m today from HPC/NCEP/NWS

Tonight and Tomorrow

Showers continuing, cool. Showers, fog, and possibly some periods of heavier rain will continue through this evening and overnight. Temperatures will remain within a couple of degrees of where they are now, in the upper 40s. Conditions will start to dry out by the middle of the day tomorrow. If enough sun breaks out by early afternoon, highs could reach 60°, although the models are being somewhat optimistic about the timing on this, IMHO.

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


Andrew's Sunday Undercast on why climate change and broadcast meteorology don't seem to mix was picked up by the USA Today Weather Guys on Wednesday and by the Weather Channel blog yesterday. Both of them had some very thoughtful responses to the issues raised; I think Dr. Cullen's were especially insightful. WeatherTalkers, are you listening?

One thing I noticed about the posts at USA Today and TWC was the fact that, despite being national in scope, they each had only 1 comment. The one at USA Today was especially bogus. We are fortunate here at to have such a literate, well-informed, and enthusiastic audience. Please continue to share your input with us in the future (but be prepared to be challenged if you don't back up your assertions with facts).

Programming note: PM Update will be on "standby mode" next week. To steal a phrase from Comedy Central, however, whenever weather breaks, we'll fix it, posting as news warrants. We look forward to sharing with you the wonderfully wild and wacky world of Washington winter weather when our regular schedule resumes after New Year's. In the meantime, we send best wishes to you and your families for a happy, healthy holiday.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Solstice!


Cloudy, cool. Winter solstice is at 7:22pm tonight. A few peeks of sun and a southerly breeze were no match for a mid-level overcast and a few minor sprinkles of rain on one of the shortest days of the year in the Washington metro area. The temperature in most places stayed below 50°; the highs were 46° at National, 47° at Dulles, but 53° at BWI. Clouds will become thicker and showers will develop through the day tomorrow.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Showers developing, cool. Tonight will be overcast with a 40% chance of showers by dawn; lows will be in the low 40s in town, a couple of degrees cooler in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be cloudy with showers likely, especially in the afternoon and earlier west of the mountains, with highs in the upper 40s.

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


If you've been with us since last year (if so, thanks; if not, welcome!), you may recall we did some fun-with-numbers analysis of the relationship between December and January in Washington. Considering the amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth going on lately in the Comments section about the End of Winter As We Know It, this is probably a good time to take a second look at the data. The gist of the results is that, despite any amount of wishcasting, guessing, golden childhood memories, El Niño, NAO, or EIEIO, snow in Washington is enough of a random event that there is almost no connection whatsoever between the amount of snow in December and the amount in January. Anyone who tells you differently should be closely examined for controlled substances. In fact, the nearly microscopic amount of correlation (¼%) which does exist is actually slightly negative.

Since this December is well on its way to the "bust" category for snowfall, it's relevant to look more closely at the data points huddled along the y-axis in the original chart. The January snowfall for the 30 winters with December snowfall of 0.1" or less is shown in the chart above. Included in that set are 2 Januaries with over 20" each. The average amount of 5.6" is not very far from the January average of 6.6" for the entire period of record.

Although Mr. GW may have his greasy carbon-bloated thumb on the scale over at Momma Nature's Weather Grill and Deli, reports of winter's demise are certainly premature. (Before you fire up the political flamethrowers, please note that "GW" refers to "global warming", not a certain person's initials, but you knew that anyway, didn't you? ) chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Clarification: In the interest of full disclosure, we should point out that a site visitor noted that the Union of Concerned Scientists climate projection map posted yesterday was based only on summer heat index. A projection based on the entire year would show a smaller geographic change.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Snow Crash


Sunny, cool. There was a rare sight for the current season in this part of MoCo this morning, a hard frost which persisted in north-facing areas until close to noon. Following the cold lows, a high layer of broken clouds defied the southerly wind direction to keep temperatures a couple of degrees cooler than yesterday. Highs were 48° at National and Dulles, one degree higher at BWI.

Clouds will be increasing as the blizzard walloping the Front Range of the Rockies heads toward the Great Lakes. As noted in Jason's post below, the SLCB isn't dead, it's just sleeping.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Increasing clouds, cool. Clouds will increase toward morning as lows tonight reach the mid 30s downtown and closer to 30° in the burbclaves. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with highs near 51°.

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


The WaPo Washington plant climate article cited in Jason's earlier post is consistent with a study, "Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast", published a couple of months ago by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Depending on the level of greenhouse gas emissions, Massachusetts could be passing what used to be DC climatologically by mid-century on its way to the former South Carolina.

Accompanying the plant article on carbon-based page A1 is an article about the lack of snow so far this season in Europe as well. In Moscow, where 5 daily temperature records have already been set this month, street cleaners have put aside their ice axes and are reduced to picking up cigarette butts. Britain's Met Office reports that 2006 may turn out to be the warmest since temperature records began in England almost 350 years ago. A climatologist at the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics in Vienna (the other one) says, "We are currently experiencing the warmest period in the Alpine region in 1,300 years." An EU climate study has found that the current warming already exceeds warming periods in the 10th and 12th centuries.

Meanwhile, snow fans in the Rockies are happy, at least. A blizzard has shut down the United Airlines Denver hub as well as Colorado's 3 interstate highways, I-70, I-25, and I-76. There was a 20-car wreck on I-25 near Colorado Springs; at least 5 were injured. I-80 was also closed from Cheyenne, WY, to Ogallala, NE. Snow totals early this afternoon ranged up to 15" at Telluride, CO. (SUV drivers, please check out the photo in the link above before you try any stunts on the Beltway this winter.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why Ask Why?


Sunny, cool. In a more average December, it would be considered a thaw, but the low 50s in the Washington metro area this afternoon feel cold compared to the balmy records yesterday. Highs were 52° at National, 51° at Dulles and BWI. The relatively mild and dry conditions are likely to continue for a couple more days.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clear, cool. Under clear skies and light winds, lows tonight will be near 34° in the city to the mid and upper 20s in cooler 'burbland. Tomorrow will be much like today, but with less breeze and highs again near 50°.

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

ISO Snow

"Why ask why, when all that's true
The sky is blue, blue for no reason"

Bonnie Raitt, Blue For No Reason, from Fundamental

The snow lovers keep asking why, but the facts on the ground are that there is very little snow around so far this season. It may be no consolation, but they should be aware that they are not alone in being frustrated. The national plot of major reporting stations shows virtually zilch, nada, bupkis throughout the continental U.S. A more comprehensive view derived from satellite data is a little more interesting, but still limited to the western mountains and fringe northern border areas.

Until patterns are more favorable, you're going to have to be satisfied with virtual snow. The current (January/February) issue of American Scientist has an article, "The Formation of Snow Crystals", by the "Snowflake Man", Prof. Kenneth G. Libbrecht, professor of physics and chairman of the Physics Department at Caltech and author of "The Snowflake". The article itself is limited to subscribers, but there are several interesting links, including some animated computer simulations of snowflake growth. Libbrecht's work is also featured in today's WaPo KidsPost, online and carbon-based edition.

Snow crystal images from American Scientist

Monday, December 18, 2006

May in December; Records Fall


Mostly sunny, record warmth. A high temperature of 73° would be right at home on May 8, climatologically speaking, but that was the record-breaking reading at National Airport at 2pm today, a week before Christmas. Dulles blasted through its old record of 69° from 1984 with 76° at the same hour. BWI and Charlottesville also broke records set in 1984. Following a cold frontal passage, temperatures will return to more seasonable levels in the next couple of days, but the air behind the front is of Pacific origin, so the cold will not be particularly intense.

Temperature chart at 2pm today from Unisys shows 70s well into the Mid Atlantic region, while freezing temperatures are mainly confined to Canada.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Partly cloudy, cool. Under variable cloudiness tonight, lows will be from the low 40s in the city to the upper 30 in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny and much cooler, with highs near 51°.

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

Tropical Topics

A post-season review by the National Hurricane Center has identified a 10th tropical storm of the season. The unnamed storm developed on July 17 about 200 miles southeast of Nantucket and remained offshore, weakening before it crossed southeastern Newfoundland.

Friday, December 15, 2006

DC Decemberology


Mostly sunny, mild. Morning fog, mist, and some mid-level clouds sandwiched between 2 weak fronts have once again capped the official Washington temperature below the most optimistic projections this afternoon, but most of the area still had readings in the low 60s by mid afternoon; on the southern fringes of the region, Fredericksburg recorded 70° at 2pm. Following the passage of a very weak frontal system, tomorrow will be a little cooler and dryer.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Mostly clear, a little cooler. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows near 40° in the city to the mid 30s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny with highs in the mid 50s.

For the outlook through the rest of the weekend, scroll down to Camden's post below.

Snow Freqs

The natives have been getting a bit restless in the Comment Gallery recently over the prospects for snow (or the lack thereof), but longtime residents know that snow droughtiness is a common feature of DC December. The exceptions always stand out in the collective memory, but the sad fact for snow lovers south of the Mason-Dixon line is that the long-term monthly snow average for Washington of 1.5" didn't get that way without lots more misses than hits. The measly few flakes last week which went down in the record books as a trace already put this month above 5% of all Decembers dating back to 1888. Over 20% of the months had no more than this amount.

Hope springs eternal, however, when nearly 25% of Decembers have had 5" or more, including almost 1 per decade, on average, with over 10". (The most recent occurrence of a 10+" December was over 3 decades ago, in 1973, but the 1960s, 1930s, and 1900s share the honor of having 2 occurrences in the same decade. The 1960s are distinguished by having both of the top 2 December totals, 16.2" and 16.1".) Although, like Red Sox Nation, the DC snow lover frequently has to be content with the chant, "Wait 'til next year!", in the case of snow season, next year is only a bit more than 2 weeks away. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose


The Weather Channel's Climate Code (Sunday 5pm) is scheduled to cover the 10 biggest climate stories of the year.

WeatherTalkers Berk and Pann have as their guest on Sunday (3:05pm, WCBM-680 AM) Dr. Jeffrey Halverson, Associate Director-Academics at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, UMBC. His research interests include "climatology and severe storms of the Mid Atlantic region, including nor'easters, severe thunderstorms and tropical cyclones undergoing extra-tropical transition."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Deficit Reduction


Sunny, mild. Heavy fog persisting until a little past noon put a damper on the Washington official high reading of 59° at National Airport this afternoon, but most other locations in the region enjoyed spring-like temperatures in the low and mid 60s. Dulles hit 63°, but fog-plagued BWI still had visibility of 1/8 mile late this afternoon and a high of 55°.

A shot of slightly cooler and drier air should arrive late tomorrow, but generally mild and dry conditions will prevail into next week. Since there are only 6 days in December history which have never observed temperatures of 70° or more, the best chance to set a daily record is Monday, as posted by Josh earlier. Thanks to last week's cold, the month so far was still averaging 0.5° below average through yesterday, but that deficit was erased today.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Mostly clear, mild, some fog possible. Skies will be mostly clear tonight, but the still-moist dewpoints could result in some fog in low-lying areas by morning; lows will be from the low 40s downtown to the upper 30s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny and continued mild, highs in the low 60s.

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


One Degree, the online affiliate of The Weather Channel's weekly "Climate Code" series, has posted the 2006 Hot List
to call attention to those around the world who dedicated their time and energy to an issue that exploded into the public's consciousness in 2006 -- global climate change.
The non-partisan list of 10 individuals and groups represents those "policy makers, advocates, skeptics and scientists" who were deemed to have had the most influence during the year on this topic. Of particular note to readers is the fact that our own Andrew Freedman was one of the contributors to the writeups of the list members.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

DC December Dryness Continues


Sunny, mild. Following this morning's showers amounting to only about 0.1", even the near-solstice low sun angle was enough to push temperatures in the Washington metro region into the upper half of the 50s by mid afternoon in most places. Only National and Quantico lagged behind with 53° and 50°, respectively, at 3pm. Highs were 54° at National, 57° at Dulles, 56° at BWI. More sun following the passage of a "cold" front will give us even milder conditions tomorrow.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Some clouds, seasonably mild. Under mostly clear skies, lows tonight should range from the lower 40s downtown to the mid 30s in the cooler 'burbs. After some possible fog in the morning, tomorrow will be mostly sunny with highs in the lower 60s.

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

Precipitation Perspective

The 0.09" of rain which fell in the light showers at National Airport was exactly "normal" for an average Dec. 13, but it was only the second time measurable precipitation has occurred this month. The last day more than 0.1" was recorded was over 3 weeks ago, on Nov. 22. This continues the common pattern this year in which an above-average total has occurred with a relatively smaller number of precipitation events. Although the yearly total so far is about 25% above the annual average, the 82 days with measurable amounts are nearly 30% below the long-term average. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Monday, December 11, 2006

December Rollercoaster


Clear, mild. After a solid week of lows below freezing, this morning's official low was only 33°. Brilliantly clear skies and some downslope air flow have allowed even the weak December sun to push temperatures into the low 60s and above in the Washington metro region this afternoon. Highs were 63° at National and BWI, 62° at Dulles.

Some clouds and a more easterly wind direction will likely put a somewhat lower lid on temperatures tomorrow, although the exact extent of the cooling is a bit uncertain. chart from NWS data, photo © Kevin Ambrose

Tonight and Tomorrow

Some clouds, seasonably mild. With a few scattered clouds, tonight's lows will be near 38° downtown to around 30° in the cooler 'burbs. Clouds will increase somewhat tomorrow with highs in the mid 50s.

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

Climate Corner

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) announced today the results of a study being published tomorrow in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters. The study results, which are also being presented at the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union this week in San Francisco, indicate that Arctic sea ice melting is likely to accelerate to the extent that the polar region will be essentially ice-free in summer as early as 2040. The researchers, from NCAR, University of Washington, and McGill University state
We examine the trajectory of Arctic summer sea ice in future climate projections and find that abrupt transitions are a common feature of 21st century model simulations. These events have decreasing trends in September ice extent that are typically 4 times larger than comparable observed trends. One event exhibits a decrease from 6 million km2 to 2 million km2 in 10 years, reaching essentially ice-free September conditions by 2040. In the simulations, ice retreat accelerates as thinning increases the efficiency of open water formation for a given melt rate and the ice-albedo feedback increases shortwave absorption. In one climate model, the retreat is abrupt when ocean heat transport to the Arctic is rapidly increasing. Analysis from multiple climate models and three different future forcing scenarios suggests that reductions in future greenhouse gas emissions moderate the likelihood and severity of these events.

Political Science: End of an Error

Yesterday's WaPo editorial, "Mr. Inhofe's Last Hearing", bids a not-so-fond farewell to the reign of error by the Senator from Oilahoma.'s post last week, "Inhofe’s last stand", however, admits a touch of nostalgia in noting the last performance at the political theater formerly known as the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Frigid Friday: A Callendar Effect


Sunny, breezy, cold. After last evening's scattered first flurries of the season, temperatures have struggled to get beyond the mid 30s throughout the National Capital region this afternoon under mostly clear skies and brisk northwesterly breezes. Highs were unofficially 35° at National and 33° at Dulles.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Cold, then moderating. Under clear skies and light winds, tonight's lows will be near 20° downtown, ranging as low as the low teens in the 'burbs. Temperatures will rebound to much more seasonable levels tomorrow. Highs will be in the mid 40s with mainly clear skies.

For the outlook through the rest of the weekend, scroll down to Camden's post below.

Tropical Topics

The Atlantic hurricane season officially ended last week, so it must be time for the 24th annual extended hurricane season outlook for 2007 issued today from land-locked Colorado State. The forecast calls for above-average storm activity, with a total of 14 named storms, including 7 hurricanes, 3 of those severe. The long-term average numbers are 9.6, 5.9, and 2.3, respectively.

Climate Calendar

This Monday, the 11th, from 3-5pm, the Woodrow Wilson International Center is presenting a seminar entitled, "Climate Change: Historical Perspectives and the Current Debate". The speaker, James Fleming, is Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College. He is the author of "The Callendar Effect", which has just been published by the American Meteorological Society. The book is
the untold story of the remarkable scientist who established the carbon dioxide theory of climate change. Guy Stewart Callendar discovered that global warming could be brought about by increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide due to human activities, primarily through burning fossil fuels. He did this in 1938!
The event is also scheduled to be webcast live. The Wilson Center is located adjacent to Federal Triangle Metro.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Transition Thursday; The "S" Word?


Sunny, breezy, turning colder. After temperatures reached an unexpectedly high 56° around noon, the first phase of a double-barreled cold front passed through the metro area, lowering readings mainly into the 40s by early afternoon. At 4pm, Leesburg and Winchester were even into the upper 30s.

By mid afternoon, scattered snow flurries on radar were moving eastward, but only as far as I-81. To mix a metaphor, the other shoe drops tonight, when the Arctic air west of the mountains will come into the region on strong northerly winds. The "S" word of the day is "slight", as in chances of a light flurry east of the Blue Ridge.

Surface weather map at 1pm today from HPC/NCEP/NWS

Tonight and Tomorrow

Much colder. Tonight will be windy and cold under clearing skies; lows will be in the low to mid 20s. There is a slight chance of a passing snow flurry through this evening. Tomorrow will be sunny and brisk, windy with highs only near 36°.

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

El Niño Update

The NOAA/NCEP/Climate Prediction Center (CPC) today published the monthly El Niño Diagnostic Discussion. As shown in the chart, sea surface temperature anomalies have continued to increase in the tropical Pacific. In the month ending last week, the maximum departures from the long-term average were over 2°C (red area) near the International Date Line.

The outlook calls for the El Niño conditions to continue to increase through the winter months, followed by weakening from March to May next year. CPC's Dr. Vernon Kousky said that "typical El Niño effects over the U.S. during January through March 2007" can be expected. These effects are reflected in the NOAA winter outlook, which calls for near to above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation in the Mid Atlantic region, with the polar jet stream remaining primarily in Canada.

The CPC analysis is consistent with the latest report from the UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The WMO notes that El Niño impacts are already significant in the western Pacific, with severe drought occurring in Indonesia and Australia, where the worst conditions in a century are impacting economic growth. Eastern equatorial Africa is also being affected, but by flooding from heavy rains.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Brief Cold Shot on the Way


Sunny, seasonable. Southerly breezes gusting over 20 mph at times have lifted temperatures back to seasonable levels in the Washington metro area this afternoon under sunny skies. Highs were 51° at both National and Dulles as well as at BWI. A new cold shot arriving late tomorrow will be sharp but short in duration as milder air returns by the weekend.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Mostly clear, not as cold. Lows tonight under mostly clear skies will be in the mid 30s in town to near 30 in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with highs in the upper 40s but turning windy and colder by late in the afternoon. There is a slight chance of isolated snow flurries.

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

Tropical Topics

As indicated here yesterday, Bill Proenza was announced today as the new Director of the National Hurricane Center. Proenza was appointed Director of the National Weather Service Southern Region in 1999. He was selected as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2003.

Photo of Bill Proenza from NOAA

A report today by the Government Accountability Office says that FEMA has misspent at least $1 billion of Hurricane Katrina aid on fraud and abuse. The amount includes $20 million paid to thousands of people who filed claims for the same damage from both Katrina and Rita.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Clearly Cold; Center Contenders Considered


Sunny, cold. After early afternoon highs slightly over 40°, temperatures have dropped back to the 30s late this afternoon in the Washington metro area. Skies are mainly clear after some earlier clouds and a few very isolated snow flurries. Cold and dry conditions will continue through tomorrow.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Mostly clear, cold. Lows tonight will be similar to last night's under mainly clear skies, upper 20s downtown to low 20s in the 'burbs, some upper teens possible in the outlying areas. Skies will be mostly sunny tomorrow with more seasonable temperatures, highs near 49°.

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

Tropical Topics

NOAA will be announcing the replacement for outgoing National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield at the National Press Club tomorrow afternoon. The logical choice would be deputy director Ed Rappaport, but he is reported by the Miami Herald to have declined to apply. According to the same article, Bill Proenza, current director of the NWS Southern Region, is the leading contender. Other candidates, however, are Steve Letro, meteorologist in charge of the Jacksonville office, Bill Reed, in charge of the Houston office, and Richard Knabb, a forecaster at the Hurricane Center.

Miami's WPLG, Channel 10, among the child run over by grandma, shots fired near middle school, and $35K worth of iPods missing from Best Buy stories, is more definite about the choice. Bob King's Eye on the Storm blog in the Palm Beach Post, on the other hand, is unsure. Retiring director Mayfield was recently profiled in the Tampa Tribune.

Max Mayfield photo from Tampa Tribune.

Monday, December 4, 2006

DC: December Chill, Displaying Calendars


Windy, cold. A low pressure area which developed off Cape Hatteras last evening brought some light to moderate rain to the Northern Neck, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore before scooting away to the Nova Scotia coast early this afternoon. As it strengthened rapidly, the counter-clockwise flow brought a reinforcement of cold and dry air to the Washington metro area on winds gusting over 30 mph at times.

Afternoon highs have been the coldest of the season, generally in the upper 30s; the daily highs at Dulles (39°) and National (41°) were both between 4:00 and 5:00 this morning. The dewpoints are mainly in the low teens and there are even some single digits around the region.

Surface weather map at 1pm today from HPC/NCEP/NWS

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clear, cold. As winds diminish tonight under mainly clear skies, temperatures will drop to the mid 20s in the city and the upper teens in the coldest 'burbs. Tomorrow will be sunny with highs near 40°.

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

Weather Pinups

It's calendar time again. It may not be as sexy as Weather Babes Gone Wild (Mrs. Update wouldn't let us put that one up anyway), but the perennial favorite here at PM Update Command Center is the Weather Guide with Phenomenal Weather Events. This is the 20th anniversary of the calendar which was at one time co-branded with The Weather Channel. Thanks to the merger of the publisher Accord Publishing into the conglomerate Andrews McMeel Universal, the calendar is now available through Amazon and other retail outlets. The discounted Amazon price is cheaper than ordering direct from the publisher, and orders of 3 or more qualify for free shipping.

A little more exotic and also available from Amazon is the 19th edition of the Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar. This one is so hot that a used copy of the 2003 edition is listed for $192.42!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Record Balminess Yielding to More December-Like Conditions

Windy, warm.
The Wind Advisory was cancelled as of 5:48. Record-breaking warmth will turn to more seasonable conditions tonight on the heels of some strong winds. (75° at National smashed the old record by 4° and Dulles also set a record at 75°. Records were set at Martinsburg and Baltimore as well.)

Despite some ominous-looking clouds earlier, the focus of severe storm activity remained mostly north of the Mason-Dixon line this afternoon, although very strong southerly winds ahead of a sharp cold front did produce some scattered power outages and road closures in the area. National gusted to 48 mph and Dulles to 53 mph; a gust of 71 mph was reported at Wintergreen VA.

Temperature chart at 4pm today from Unisys shows cold air getting ready to spill over the mountains into the Mid Atlantic area.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Windy, colder. Temperatures will turn sharply colder tonight under clearing skies and strong winds. Lows will be generally near 40° with some mid and upper 30s in the outlying areas. Tomorrow will be sunny and brisk, breezy and much less humid with highs in the low 50s.

For the outlook through the rest of the weekend, scroll down to Camden's post below.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Extremes and Supremes


Mostly cloudy, warm. A mid to upper level cloud deck and a sun intensity roughly equivalent to Jan. 15 might indicate otherwise, but strong southerly breezes pushed the November closing day temperatures very close to where they started the month in the Washington metro area. Highs were 70° at both National and Dulles; BWI was 71°. Dewpoints were nearly muggy in the spring-like mid and upper 50s.

Radar showed some widely scattered light showers during the afternoon. These were mainly in the mountains, although the PM Update Mobile Unit observed some sprinkles in the Shady Grove area of Rockville/Gaithersburg.

Temperature chart at 3pm today from Unisys shows teens in Oklahoma and 60s along the New England/Canada border.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Showers, continued mild. Mild temperatures will continue through tonight with increasing clouds and a 50% chance of showers by morning; lows will be in the mid to upper 50s. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with showers likely and highs in the upper 60s, turning much colder at night. A High Wind Watch is in effect for the afternoon through the evening, and there is a slight chance of thunderstorms.

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


Last evening, Seattle broke the all-time monthly precipitation record of 15.33" in 115 years of record. Olympia WA was also threatening its monthly record of 19.84", although so far today the record appears intact.


Regarding the EPA CO2 regulation case heard by the Supreme Court yesterday: The RealClimate blog has links to an editorial in the Tuesday NYT and, for the lawyer types, the actual briefs, pro and con, from the case. The Prometheus science policy blog at the University of Colorado also has a discussion of the friend of the court brief filed by a group of climate scientists. Today's WaPo has an article about yesterday's court arguments (page A3 in the carbon-based edition). Last night's PBS NewsHour had discussions with Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal and between Vicki Patton and David Rivkin, lawyers on each side of the case.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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