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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 07/15/2009

PM Update: July Heat Returns, Humidity to Follow

By Ian Livingston

Hot and muggy Thursday; morning showers?

* Can Wind Farms Change Weather? | Hurricane Season's Slow Start *

After another cool and pleasant morning, typical July heat returned to the area today, but thankfully humidity levels remain modest for now. Highs are generally reaching the upper 80s to near 90 this afternoon under partly cloudy skies. We'll see just a few passing clouds through the evening, making way for a warm but nice one to spend outdoors.

Webcam: Latest view of D.C. from the Netherlands Carillon at Arlington National Cemetery. Courtesy National Park Service. Refresh page to update. See this image bigger on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: Look for evening temperatures falling to the low 80s around sunset and variably cloudy skies overnight. With dew points on the rise with a south wind, lows will hold in the upper 60s to lower 70s across the area.

Tomorrow (Thursday): There's a risk of some early-morning isolated to scattered showers, and an isolated shower or storm thereafter. But overall, rain chances look rather hit-or-miss. After waking up to partly to mostly cloudy skies, partly sunny conditions are expected along with "climatologically correct" levels of heat and humidity (i.e., kind of sultry). Many spots should make a run at 90, and given enough sun, we could all rise into the low 90s.

See Dan Stillman's full forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Noctilucent Clouds: Over the past few days numerous reports of noctilucent clouds (NLCs) have been popping up throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including unusually far south here in the United States. NLCs are the highest clouds in the atmosphere and composed of tiny ice crystals. Best viewed after twilight, when the sun is below the horizon and lights them up, they typically occur north of 50 degrees latitude. Though very rare, some believe the greenhouse gases behind climate change may be making them more common.

By Ian Livingston  | July 15, 2009; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: NatCast: Muggy & Warm; Isolated T'storm?


Fascinating bit on the norticulent clouds.

Posted by: mmurphy70 | July 15, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Livingston wrote, "... some believe the greenhouse gases behind climate change may be ..."

The latest study claims the current climate models explain only roughly half of the warming found in warm periods in Earth's past.

--begin quote--
"In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record," said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models."
--end quote--

If the study is correct, it would mean that your sentence, as I quoted from your column, is wrong. If the study is correct, greenhouse gases are NOT the dominant force behind climate change.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | July 16, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to include the link to the study.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | July 16, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

--begin quote--
The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. "Some feedback loop or other processes that aren't accounted for in these models -- the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming -- caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM."
--end quote--

Like I have said for some time, CO2 is not driving this train. CO2 can not be the dominant climate driver because CO2 levels have been going up while temperatures have been going down. This isn't rocket science.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | July 16, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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