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Capital Weather Gang: February 27, 2011 - March 5, 2011

Forecast: Salvageable Saturday, soggy Sunday

We've got a lot of clouds to deal with today but at least it should be rather mild with temperatures in the 60s. Those looking to spend time outdoors probably don't have to dodge many (or any) raindrops during the day. As we head through tonight and into Sunday that changes quite a bit.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Ian Livingston  | March 5, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Weather image of the day: Last snow pile of 2011?

Hopefully, this is the grossest image of the day we ever post. Capital Weather Gang photographer Kevin Ambrose spotted the nasty remains of a snow pile in Reston (shown above) on Wednesday and captured it for the record.

By Jason Samenow  | March 4, 2011; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Latest, Photography  
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PM Update: Mild Saturday before rain

if you're a warm-weather fan, today's warm-up to near 50 was far less satisfying than other recent warm-ups to near 60 and 70. We should see the mercury closer to or past the 60-degree mark tomorrow despite increasing clouds, before rain becomes increasingly likely by tomorrow night or Sunday.

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Dan Stillman  | March 4, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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My perceptions of winter, a review: Part III

This is the third part of my review of winter, covering February. On the heels of our Commutageddon forecasting triumph came the Midwest blizzard that crippled Chicago. That storm did not have much of an impact on our area. We next started looking at a storm that would ultimately give the area a dusting to an inch in a few of the southern suburbs on February 6.

By Wes Junker  | March 4, 2011; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms  
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Glory climate satellite fails: information & reactions

A rocket carrying an Earth-observation satellite is in the Pacific Ocean after a failed launch attempt, NASA officials said Friday.

By Jason Samenow  | March 4, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Climate Change, Government, Latest  
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Forecast: Fine Friday before wet weekend

Temperatures warm back to near and above 50 today, but a mix of clouds and sun -- plus an occasional breeze -- keep memories of colder days alive. As we head into the weekend, watch for increasing clouds through Saturday but also milder air. By Saturday evening, rain showers may be arriving and Sunday should be quite wet.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Camden Walker  | March 4, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
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Weather image of the day: Arctic sea ice record low

February 2011 tied February 2005 for the lowest Arctic ice extent for the month in the satellite record since 1979. Including 2011, the February trend is now at -3.0 percent per decade.

By Jason Samenow  | March 3, 2011; 9:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Climate Change, Latest  
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PM Update: Friday temps inch upward

Looking out the window this afternoon could easily mislead those seeking insight into the weather. Skies were just as sunny as yesterday, but temperatures a good 25 degrees colder. After a chilly night, temps swing back up tomorrow - roughly midway between today's upper 30s and Wednesday's low-to-mid 60s.

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Jason Samenow  | March 3, 2011; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Active U.S. spring severe weather season likely

The predictions of several independent long-range forecast outlets support a very busy severe weather season across the middle portion of the U.S. from east of the Rockies to near the East Coast.

By Jason Samenow  | March 3, 2011; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Latest, Long-range outlooks, Thunderstorms, U.S. Weather  
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Was this winter really that windy in Washington?

I don't know about you, but I thought that this past (meteorological) winter, although not particularly snowy around here, was brutally windy on many days, perhaps more so than in many years. But perceptions are often wrong, particular when it comes to the weather, so I decided to do a little research. Was I right or am I just getting older so that I can't take those "hold-your-hat-down-days" any more?

By Don Lipman  | March 3, 2011; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Latest, Lipman, Local Climate, Wind  
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My perceptions of winter, a review: Part II

This is the second part of my review of winter, covering the month of January. In all of meteorological winter - spanning Nomageddon, Commutageddon, and other threats - the most schizophrenic reaction to a blog about snow came in response to a commentary I posted Friday, Jan. 7 about a potential for snowstorm the following Tuesday (Jan.11).

By Wes Junker  | March 3, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Latest, Winter Storms  
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Forecast: Lots of sun but chill returns

Today is a taste of the winter that has not receded that far to the north yet. Warmth comes charging right back as spring reasserts itself this weekend. But as spring is prone to do, a cool front pushes showers across the area on Sunday.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By David Streit  | March 3, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Weather image of the day: Greek crescent moon

The beautiful image above of a waning crescent moon over the Poseidon Temple is described by photographer Elias Chasiotis: "On the morning of January 1, 2011, I visited Sounion, Greece hoping to celebrate the start of the New Year with a glimpse of the waning, crescent moon rising over the ancient Poseidon Temple. Just before the start of morning twilight, the Moon's crooked grin appeared and seemed to strike a balance atop the approximately 2,500 year old temple."

By Jason Samenow  | March 2, 2011; 7:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Latest, Photography  
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PM Update: Cold front to bring fresh chill

Hope you enjoyed today's warmth as tomorrow you'll probably need to bundle up! A dry cold front moving through the area sends temperatures lower and winds temporarily higher. Pretty much everyone should expect a freeze tonight, and temperatures only rising into to near 40 during the day tomorrow despite plenty of sunshine.

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Ian Livingston  | March 2, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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February & December-February weather recap

The average February temperature of 41.7F at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA), was a healthy 3.6F above normal. The month recorded four days at or above 70 degrees, in rare company with just four other years, and surpassed only by 1976 (seven such days). In historical context, Feb 2011 ranked 121 in a cold-to-warm ranking of 140 years (or 20th warmest on record) at DCA

By Matt Rogers  | March 2, 2011; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Recaps  
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Global warming & snowstorms: not a yes or no link

A day after the Union of Concern Scientists (UCS) - a non-profit environmental group - announced "Climate Change Makes Major Snowstorms More Likely", USA Today's Weather Editor Doyle Rice published an interesting story on possible linkages between U.S. snowstorms and global warming. Unfortunately, however, the headline USA Today chose to accompany the story "Scientists: Global warming to blame for big U.S. snowstorms" is scientifically dubious and grossly misleading.

By Jason Samenow  | March 2, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Climate Change, Latest  
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My perceptions of winter, a review: Part I

This three-part series is a review of the winter season forecasts, reader comments and my thoughts and perceptions - my first as the Capital Weather Gang's winter weather expert. A meteorologist's view of winter is often driven by how difficult and challenging the forecasts were during the winter. This year they were difficult compared to last year. My perception of a winter is directly related to how well my forecasts verified and by how others viewed the forecasts. The season offered one spectacular success, one abysmal failure and one other forecast that most would consider a bust. Most of the thoughts and ideas about other potential storms worked out reasonably well.

By Wes Junker  | March 2, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Latest, Winter Storms  
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Forecast: Warmer Wednesday; weekend rain?

Cold yesterday, mild today, colder again tomorrow, and warmer again Friday. The ups and downs of late winter continue, though even the colder days aren't so bad if there's sun. Will rain to dampen at least part of the coming weekend? It very well might.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Dan Stillman  | March 2, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
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Tree pollen starting to spike

It's been a while since we've had to think about pollen. But it's that time again. The tree count is HIGH at 567.41 gr/cubic meter with cedar/cyp/jun pollen comprising 539.94 grains/cubic meter of the total count. Alder, birch, elm, maple and pine were also observed.

By Jason Samenow  | March 1, 2011; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Health, Latest  
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PM Update: Sunny Wednesday warm-up

Chilly winds from the northwest held temperatures below average for the first time in six days today. Mid-to-upper 40s were all the March sun could muster on its incipient day. But after a clear and a cold night, the absence of north winds help temps bounce back into above average territory tomorrow.

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Jason Samenow  | March 1, 2011; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Christchurch: Before and after earthquake

Last week, Steve Tracton shared climate researcher's Kevin Trenberth eyewitness account of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. In separate correspondence, Kevin passed along an astonishing series of before and after photos of some well-known buildings in Christchurch, including only this commentary: "It makes you appreciate how lucky we really are..."

By Jason Samenow  | March 1, 2011; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  International Weather, Latest  
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Recent March weather: In like lion, out like lamb?

The saying goes: If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. But how has that saying held up over the last decade?

By Jason Samenow  | March 1, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate  
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Weather image of the day: Red snow moon

Today we're debuting a "weather image of the day" post - to showcase some of the best weather images from around the web, and also provide an opportunity for readers to submit photos (email weathergang@wpni.com) for consideration. In addition to images, we'll also consider/feature videos. Some days we may publish multiple images.

By Jason Samenow  | March 1, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Latest, Photography  
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Forecast: Sun and cold back in town

Welcome to the first day of meteorological spring! It certainly feels like spring-time transition with temps bouncing every day. Today is cold, tomorrow is mild, Thursday is cold, and Friday in-between. Unfortunately, the weekend looks messy, but maybe we salvage Saturday.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Matt Rogers  | March 1, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
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PM Update: Rain out, wind in

We dodged the severe weather bullet today as just a few stronger storms moved through along with more widespread light-to-moderate rain. A cold front moving across the area, and fairly strong wind behind it, dries us out this evening. Lows fall to near freezing in the cold spots tonight before a sunny and seasonably cool day tomorrow.

CWG's Detailed Forecast

By Ian Livingston  | February 28, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Passengers aboard jet view Discovery launch

Some lucky passengers aboard a jet out of Orlando, Florida Friday serendipitously caught the final launch of the Discovery space shuttle on their outbound flight. One opportunistic passenger recorded the soaring shuttle from the comfort of his window seat. Check it out

By Jason Samenow  | February 28, 2011; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Latest, Photography  
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Polar plunge into the Potomac river

The air temperature early Saturday afternoon was near 50°F and the water temperature was near 40°F. The sun began to break through the clouds at 2 p.m. and the conditions were perfect for the start of Tim's Rivershore Polar Plunge. It was the 9th Annual plunge benefiting for Special Olympics Virginia. This year, the 2011 Polar Plunge® Winter Festival raised $1 million, the most money ever raised in the event's 19 year history.

By Kevin Ambrose  | February 28, 2011; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Tornado watch dropped for metro region

Due to the potential for severe thunderstorms which may produce a few tornadoes in the region, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch through 4 p.m. for regions southeast of the District. The watch which had been in effect for D.C. and western suburbs was canceled.

By Jason Samenow  | February 28, 2011; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
Categories:  Latest, Thunderstorms  
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Forecast: Warm, but risk of dangerous storms

February may end with a bang as we carefully monitor the risk of severe thunderstorms today. When it's not storming, temps near 70 degrees feel great. But it won't last as cold, gusty winds bring chilly air back for the middle of the work week.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Jason Samenow  | February 28, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
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Forecast: Warm-up leads to Mon. severe threat

Milder air and rain holding off until this evening allows us to enjoy the final day of the final weekend of meteorological winter (Dec.-Feb.). Tomorrow is where the action lays this week as highs jump to the 60s or 70s and a late-day cold front brings the risk of severe thunderstorms with potentially damaging winds. Beyond that, though, pleasant weather returns through midweek.

CWG's Express & Detailed Forecast

By Brian Jackson  | February 27, 2011; 10:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Forecasts  
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