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Capital Weather Gang: February 13, 2011 - February 19, 2011

Wind advisory through midnight

The high wind warning has been discontinued, but a wind advisory (a less extreme classification) is in effect through 12:00 a.m. Sustained winds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 50-55 mph are possible before winds slowly abate later tonight. The red flag (fire weather) warning has been allowed to expire.

By Jason Samenow  | February 19, 2011; 8:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Updates, Wind  
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After winds & more warmth, could it snow?

I'm not one for exaggerating or overhyping the weather, but it sure does seem to get wilder by the moment around here lately. Even as today's winds gust over 50 mph in the wake of yesterday's record-breaking mid-to-upper 70s, we have another weather threat to track - a chance of snow Monday night into early Tuesday.

By Dan Stillman  | February 19, 2011; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Latest, Snow Lover's Crystal Ball  
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Forecast: Hazardous winds raging across region

A high wind warning is in effect for much of the day which means damaging winds and power outages are potential issues. Fortunately, temperatures remain mild (if also much cooler than yesterday) with highs in the 50s. The rest of the weekend should be fairly tranquil, but early week storminess threatens.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Ian Livingston  | February 19, 2011; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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High wind warning Saturday, gusts to 60 mph

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a high wind warning for the metro region from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring.

By Jason Samenow  | February 18, 2011; 5:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Latest, Wind  
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PM Update: Big winds follow today's record warmth

Reagan National Airport hit 77 this afternoon, breaking the old record of 76 set in 1981. But this unseasonable warmth is over as cooler air streams into tonight, followed by excessive windiness tomorrow. A high wind watch as well as a fire weather (red flag) warning are in effect.

By Jason Samenow  | February 18, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Snow chance early Tuesday, but big uncertainty

Despite all of this week's warmth, and the increasing possibility President's day may be pretty warm itself, we're carefully monitoring the potential for crashing temperatures Monday night while a storm system approaches from the west and southwest. This system may bring rain that changes to snow by Tuesday morning, potentially impacting the back-to-work rush hour. This is a very complicated set up which we will be providing updates about through the holiday weekend.

By Wes Junker  | February 18, 2011; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms  
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A new view of weather and climate

I recently toured a unique art show in Seattle, which opened during the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The show, presented by the AMS and EcoArts Connections, offers new ways to engage with weather and climate information. It features not only your typical depictions of weather, such as cloud photographs, but also extremely imaginative representations of weather and climate phenomena, including a homemade and functional weather station comprised of blown glass and mixed media.

By Andrew Freedman  | February 18, 2011; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest, News & Notes  
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High wind and fire weather watches Saturday

The prospect of bone dry conditions and howling winds Saturday have prompted the National Weather Service (NWS) to post both a high wind and fire weather watch for the region Saturday.

By Jason Samenow  | February 18, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Latest, Wind  
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Snowmageddon makes "new words and slang" list

The Baltimore Sun's Frank Roylance reports the term "Snowmageddon" - which caught fire last February from use on this blog was added to Merriam-Webster online dictionary's "New Words and Slang" list.

By Jason Samenow  | February 18, 2011; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Humor, Latest, Snowmageddon  
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Forecast: 70s today could challenge record

Accompanied by sun this afternoon, temperatures are likely to rise to 70 or so across the area today. Winds from the southwest are gusty at times. Tonight, a cold front comes through and drop temperatures closer to average. Tomorrow it's dry and very windy. Some storminess may arrive early next week.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Camden Walker  | February 18, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next Tuesday snow: True or tease?

Presumably due to interest in solar flares and seventy degree temperatures, there was surprisingly little chatter today about next Monday night and Tuesday's snow potential. I take it that won't be the case tomorrow and over the weekend, if the GFS model continues to simulate a snow event bearing any resemblance to its latest run (from 1 p.m.). On the other hand, the event has the potential to be a dud if the latest European model run (from 7 a.m.) is correct - which we lean toward more.

By Jason Samenow  | February 17, 2011; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms  
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PM Update: 70 likely for week's 3rd time Fri.

For the second time this week, Reagan National reached 70 degrees today. It looks like tomorrow the airport is likely to score a hat trick, as 70 is well in play again. Enjoy, as colder air arrives this weekend.

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Jason Samenow  | February 17, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Drought conditions nearing metro region

All the "snow holes" we've seen this winter may have negative implications for the upcoming growing season. According to the latest U.S. drought monitor, abnormally dry conditions cover much of the metro region, with moderate drought conditions developing not far to the west and southwest.

By Jason Samenow  | February 17, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Droughts, Latest  
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Solar Flare 2011: Aurora alert

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (part of NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), has issued an alert for an increase in solar activity to moderate levels with a chance for an isolated major solar flare over the next few days. The consequent solar wind, consisting of charged atomic particles, is expected to intersect the upper atmosphere over Polar Regions February 17-19, leading to the possibility of brilliant auroras. Whether or not we will be able to see an aurora locally in the northern sky depends upon several factors.

By Steve Tracton  | February 17, 2011; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Latest, Science, Tracton  
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Forecast: A Spring tease over next two days

Pinch me. This can't be February. Today it's warm and tomorrow warmer. While not quite record-breaking warmth, we should come within just a few degrees tomorrow. The problem is it does not look like it will hold for the holiday weekend.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By David Streit  | February 17, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Cloud streets, Hawaii calls, Commutageddon, communication, and climate change

There have been lots of interesting and entertaining weather and climate nuggets in the news the last few days, too many to write about as individual items. So here is an aggregation of them for your reading pleasure...

By Jason Samenow  | February 16, 2011; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Latest, News & Notes  
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PM Update: Springlike air returns

After a brief cool down yesterday, this week keeps on giving to those sick of wintry conditions. Temperatures well into the 50s and near 60 this afternoon were just the beginning as the next two days look pretty spectacular!

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Ian Livingston  | February 16, 2011; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Bad pattern for snow through end of February

Yesterday Ian wrote an article summarizing snow chances moving forward based on the climate record . Today, I'll look at the forecast pattern and how it bodes for our snow chances during the next couple of weeks. In summary, the pattern is not one that is particularly favorable for snow. But while the pattern is not that good overall, it still could produce surprises.

By Wes Junker  | February 16, 2011; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms  
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Classifying beliefs about climate change

In the climate change debate, commentators on the issue in the media and cocktail parties alike often use labels to put people into camps based on what they "believe" about the issue. The labels I've heard include: the mainstream, alarmists, progressives, deniers, delayers, skeptics, believers, hawks, contrarians, naysayers, doomsayers, chicken littles, non-skeptical heretics,and dissidents - to name a few off the top of my head. The problem, of course, is that people's beliefs about the issue can be either simple or complex and these labels may or may not perfectly fit.

By Jason Samenow  | February 16, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Climate Change, Latest  
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Forecast: On the warm track again

It's been nice to see this winter's relentless cold loosen its grip. Though it seems these nicer days as of late have come with a catch, be it clouds or wind. When will we see conditions ideal enough for the year's first Nice Day Sun? Well, if it doesn't happen tomorrow, there's a good chance Friday will fit the bill.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Dan Stillman  | February 16, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Video: 2010 Hurricane season in one minute

We already posted the five minute version of the 2010 hurricane season, created by NOAA. If you have a short attention span, you may prefer the one minute version below.

By Jason Samenow  | February 15, 2011; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Latest, Tropical Weather  
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PM Update: Countdown to next warm-up...

Although today's highs in the mid-to-upper 40s were 20-25 degrees colder than yesterday, they're about exactly average for mid-February. And the violent winds are history. A seasonably chilly night looms, before our climb toward spring-like bliss commences Wednesday.

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Jason Samenow  | February 15, 2011; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Amazing U.S. snow cover retreat in six days

In a blink of an eye, snow cover extent has diminished from nearly two thirds of the lower 48 states to just not even one third.

By Jason Samenow  | February 15, 2011; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Latest, Science, U.S. Weather  
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D.C. area snow chances decreasing, not done

Following above average snowfall in December and January, much of the area has managed 8 to 18 inches of snow so far this season, including 9.5" at Washington and 11.9" at both Dulles and Baltimore. A vast majority of the snow came during Commutageddon. February has been quiet so far. While near average seasonal snowfall is still within reach many spots, we may need some help getting there as we chew away at available winter days. However, it may be that a year such as this (moderate to strong La Nina) offers more tail-end hope than others.

By Ian Livingston  | February 15, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate  
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Forecast: Return of the cold

Despite yesterday's surge to 70 degrees, winter is not quite dead yet. At least today's chilly 40s are short-lived with another round of big warming by mid-to-late this week. And March is only two weeks away!

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Matt Rogers  | February 15, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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PM Update: Warm winds turning chilly

Our warmest day in several months is coming to a close as a previously toasty wind starts to turn colder. Overnight, we continue to hear it howl, and temperatures eventually fall back toward freezing or just below. Tomorrow's going to feel rather chilled with highs in the 40s and breezes persisting. But more warmth is right around the corner.

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Ian Livingston  | February 14, 2011; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Temps spike to 70, warmest day since Oct. 28

Here's a little something to warm your heart on Valentine's Day: Reagan National has reached at least 68 degrees today (eight degrees above our initial forecast, big whoops), making it the warmest day since November 23, when it hit 69. The record for the date is 73 from 1990.

By Jason Samenow  | February 14, 2011; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Updates  
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When is love most in the air?

The headline poses the question "when is love most in the air"? Is it amidst winter's bundle up chill and picturesque blankets of snow, fall's crisp, fresh air and vibrant colors, spring's emergent warmth and blossoming flora, or summer's steamy days and soft, warm nights?

By Jason Samenow  | February 14, 2011; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Humor, Latest  
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The snowstorm of February 11-12, 2006

It's been five years since the snowstorm of February 11-12, 2006 dumped 8 to 32" of snow across a heavily populated swath from Northern Virginia through eastern Massachusetts. In the immediate Washington area, snowfall depths ranged from 8 to 17", with increased amounts to our north and much less snow in central Virginia and southern Maryland. Near Columbia, Maryland, 21" of snow was reported.

By Kevin Ambrose  | February 14, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  History, Latest, Photography  
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Forecast: A February week akin to March

Here we are in mid-February with high temperatures in the week ahead forecast to in the 50s and 60s (just 40s Tuesday though). The unusual warmth and the very gusty winds - prompting a Wind Advisory this afternoon - at times beg the question: have we fast forwarded a month?.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Jason Samenow  | February 14, 2011; 6:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Forecast: Welcome warmth on the way

Our welcome respite from the gray chill of winter gets even better today, with lighter winds (still some occasionally breezy gusts) and warmer temps. Tomorrow is warmer still, before a cold front gives us a mini cool-down for Tuesday. Then, a second and possibly stronger warm-up is in store for mid-to-late week.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Brian Jackson  | February 13, 2011; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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