Mild air greets the New Year, but it's just a tease. Just as it warms-up, showers move in and a cold front slices through the region late today and tonight. Sunday some rains linger, especially early, as in turns cooler. Then seasonably cold and dry air settles in for the work week.
The Caps face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the much anticipated "Winter Classic" this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Heinz Field. As the game is being played in the open air, National Hockey League officials are keeping a watchful eye on the weather. The National Weather Service's GFS model indicates between a quarter and half inch of rain is likely to fall in Pittsburgh during the six hours spanning the period prior to game time and the game itself. The European forecast model, not shown, simulates a similar amount of rain.
High clouds have filtered afternoon sunshine but we've still managed to hit 50 degrees or slightly higher in most spots - the first time since December 1. Through the overnight hours, skies remain partly cloudy as temperatures gradually drop back to the low 40s by 8 p.m. and from the upper 30s to near 40 when the New Year rings in.
We're staring down 50s and plenty of sunshine today. After a month full of cold wind, this is quite the perfectly timed treat! Mild temperatures continue into tonight. You probably still want a jacket when headed out for New Year's Eve festivities, but the bundling up ritual should be a little less involved thanks to temperatures only dipping into the 30s.
December 2010 had the sunshine state shivering. The National Weather Service reports Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Naples - among others - all observed their coldest December on record.
Relative to yesterday, the winds are less, the clouds are more, and the mercury about level - reaching the mid-40s for highs. But temperatures rock upward for New Year's Eve and climb even higher as we ring in the New Year. Are you ready for some 50s?
Many people love snow due to its visual beauty. Watch this inspired, must-see short film of the December 26 blizzard shot in Brooklyn by James Stuart.
The Weather Channel (TWC) has ranked the top 10 weather stories of 2010, and heat is #1.
I've compiled some snowfall plots of past storms to show us a few direct hits to our area. The snowfall plots show the snow accumulation across the entire Washington area, not just at the official recording stations. This is useful to understand the scope of the storm and to see who received the snowfall bullseye.
Hallelujah! The wind is gone for at least a couple of days. And what a start to the weekend! I would not be surprised at all to see us make a run at 60 on New Year's Day. But a cold front comes to spoil the fun late Saturday into Sunday promising some light rain showers.
Our second day in a row of above average temperatures in the area was only slightly devalued by wind that continues to gust. That wind should continue to become less of an issue over the next day, though Thursday's temperatures are likely to be a little cooler once again. However, a warm-up for New Year festivities is still on!
Yesterday, Jason summarized research performed by Judah Cohen and colleagues which finds above normal fall snow cover in Siberia leads to cold winter over eastern North America. As a long-range forecaster with the Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Md., I can confirm that this relationship has some legitimacy.
Why were the "best-bet" (deterministic) forecasts of snowfall amounts for the Boxing day snowstorm (or No-mageddon) so poor in the Washington area? Despite expressing that this storm was a exceptionally tricky one, some readers are miffed or more by the mostly no snow result. The following paragraphs outline our thinking during the storm and where I think we might have done better.
We showed you a crude illustration of eastern U.S. snow cover Monday after the "Beach Blizzard, Beltway Bust." Now see it from space.
Still coolish today, but with mercifully lighter winds than the past two days. After highs in the 40s today and tomorrow, we finally reach or top 50 on Friday. Temps should stay up through New Year's weekend, though a few showers are possible.
Andy Revkin of the New York Times posted a fascinating story on his Dot Earth blog yesterday summarizing new research linking fall snow cover in Siberia to winter weather patterns and temperatures over North America and Europe. The research indicates colder than average conditions in the eastern United States January and February.
The chill in the air today was less than predicted, but I'm hearing few complaints. Afternoon readings soared into mid-40s and, for only the third time this month, were warmer than average. Winds have remained strong, but are slowly trending weaker. Winds tomorrow are fairly light as even milder air moves in.
The debate over the wisdom of postponing the Eagles Vikings game (rescheduled for tonight) due to the blizzard in Philadelphia Sunday night rages on and has become a national story. It boils down to two points of view: 1) It was smart to cancel the game due to public safety 2) Football is a game that can/should/has be(en) played under extremely inclement conditions
Jamie Yesnowitz, Capital Weather Gang's (CWG) "Weather Checker" referred to the uncertainty aspect of the CWG forecasts, but yet called the performance of CWG as "less than accurate". This suggests to me he might not understand the basic concepts of probability.
After several weeks of cold, we finally see a warm "time-out" ahead. Temperatures increment up through the 40s this week under mostly sunny skies (and calming winds) with a potential for us to peak well into the 50s this weekend. I'm even thinking we could touch 60 in spots. But we've got one more day of blustery 30s today.
We're not going to get into the habit of naming every storm and non-storm. Naming will customarily be reserved for the big ones that don't come along very often. That we didn't solicit names prior to Sunday's storm should have served as a sign that we didn't think it was going to be anything special. Nonetheless, because quite a few readers volunteered names for Sunday's no-show storm, we thought we'd put some of them up for a vote.
We've seen a lot of windy and cold days in December. On the wind scale today probably topped them all. The mega low-pressure responsible for the blizzard to our east and north continues to slowly pull away to the northeast, and as that continues our wind will also slowly subside. Tomorrow is still looking breezy, but much less so than today.
Incredible time lapse video of New Jersey snow blitz.
The powerful nor'easter that largely bypassed Washington delivered one of the most punishing blows in years to many coastal locations from southeastern Virginia and Maryland to coastal New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Snowfall amounts were most impressive in parts of New Jersey, where a persistent band of very heavy snow set up late yesterday afternoon and barely budged for much of the night. The result: around two feet in many parts of the "Garden State."
After the historic snow last season, it seemed too good to be true (for snow lovers, at least) that yet another significant snow event was going to hit the DC area yesterday. And ultimately it was, defying the predictions of most forecasters, including the Capital Weather Gang.
Sometimes pictures speak louder than words... (NOAA snow cover image valid yesterday)...
Thankfully, we're not going to have to spend the upcoming week tracking a winter storm threat. Instead, we experience a warming trend. Temperatures probably rise above 50 by late in the week. But before we can enjoy the warmth, we have to endure very high winds today along with cold. The winds relax some tomorrow just as temperatures begin their slow, steady ascent.
With daylight long gone and light snow lingering, the potential for a dusting to 1" remains across the area this evening, before the light snow winds down by midnight or so. Watch out for some icy patches forming if you're out and about this evening and there may even be a few slippery spots early in the morning.
As some of us squint our eyes to see flakes here in the D.C. area - though a band of light to moderate snow is now trying to move toward the District from the northeast - they're getting hit hard up in Philly, NYC and Boston.
Light snow and flurries continue mainly along and east of I-95 with little accumulation. Accumulating snow is mainly confined to the counties on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay and to the east. That will continue to be the story for the next few hours into this evening. However, even spots which haven't seen much today could still get some snow as radar does show some light activity to the southwest. While little to no accumulating snow may fall in large parts of the metro area, where it is snowing, the combination of snow, wind, and falling temperatures may create some slick conditions, especially after dark.
9:10 a.m. update: Last night, based on the model data, we indicated we thought totals would be near the lower end of the ranges we had forecast west of the Bay. Based on this morning's radar and model data, we've decided to lower the accumulation total forecast.
A late Christmas present for snow lovers, and a travel nuisance for others, the storm moving up the coast today leaves us with a dose of the white stuff. It's no Snowmageddon or Snowpocalypse, at least not here in the D.C. area. But probably enough snow to slow down an already busy travel day.