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Capital Weather Gang: October, 2011

Posted at 04:20 PM ET, 10/31/2011

PM Update: Not too frightful tonight, and quite sunny tomorrow

We saw lots of sun this Halloween, but the sky has been increasingly obscured by clouds this afternoon. That’s our story for the rest of the day and into the night, though at least temperatures are warmer than they’ve been. Today’s highs in the mid-and-upper 50s stay above freezing tonight and return to about there again tomorrow.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:20 PM ET, 10/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 10/31/2011

Readers, Capital Weather Watchers document rare October snow

Who knew the first opportunity to enlist our readers and newly minted Capital Weather Watchers to document the season’s first snowfall would come before Halloween? Throughout the storm, we received a constant stream of reports as well as multimedia to ground truth what was happening throughout the region. Thanks to these reports, we were able to keep everyone informed about who was getting rain, sleet, and snow, and how much. Suffice to say, our community of readers provided in­cred­ibly useful, entertaining, and visually stunning content. Thanks so much! And enjoy the imagery in this post!

By Jason Samenow  |  03:15 PM ET, 10/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography, Winter Storms

Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 10/31/2011

“I never eat October snowflakes. I always wait until January.”

The snowflakes that fell in the immediate Washington area on Saturday were conversational, good for tasting, but not disruptive. Areas to the north and west of Washington, however, had significant accumulations and wide-spread power outages. Areas to the south and east of Washington experienced a cold, rainy day.

By Kevin Ambrose and Ian Livingston  |  01:50 PM ET, 10/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Photography

Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 10/31/2011

Historic October Northeast storm: Epic. Incredible. Downright ridiculous.

Epic. Incredible. Downright ridiculous. These words best describe the historic snowstorm that delivered a crippling wallop to parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the weekend. Widely referred to by its social media moniker, “Snowtober,” the storm smashed records that had stood since the beginning of the reliable instrument record in the late 1800s (and in some cases, even longer than that), and upended assumptions about what a fall nor’easter can do. The heavy, wet snow pasted onto trees still bearing foliage in many areas, weighed down power lines and caused more than three million power outages.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:02 AM ET, 10/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms, U.S. Weather, Freedman

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/31/2011

Forecast: A not so scary Halloweeen forecast; dry most of the week

After unleashing a wintry blast Saturday, mother nature’s taking a deep breath and relaxing this week across the D.C. metro region. Sure, some clouds increase today, and a few light showers may dampen the pavement after midnight. But for balance of the rest of the week, days are sunny and seasonable, with high temperatures within a few degrees of 60 degrees.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/30/2011

Forecast: Cold, calmer for now; another coastal storm Halloween night?

A much better day to end our weekend, that’s for sure. The novelty of early-season snow leaves behind another cold, but brigher day. In fact, we have a good deal of sun in the forecast through midweek. We do, however, have to keep our eye on another coastal storm that threatens at least a glancing blow Halloween night. Would any precipitation wait until after trick-or-treat time?...

By Brian Jackson  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 06:15 PM ET, 10/29/2011

Rare October snow tapers; freeze tonight

Snow and mixed precipitation have largely tapered off across the region. Temperatures tonight will get quite cold, ranging from the mid-20s in some the coldest suburbs to the low 30s downtown - ending the growing season across much of the region. Sunday is sunny but brisk, with highs only 45-50.

By Jason Samenow  |  06:15 PM ET, 10/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts, Winter Storms

Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 10/29/2011

Snow and sleet falling across much of area, with accumulations north and west

Despite snow and sleet in the area, including accumulations of such well north and west of the District (an incredible 9”+ in Frostburg, Md.), the biggest shock to the system for most in the close-in metro area may be temperatures. Here, still two days out from Halloween, we’ve seen temperatures at the surface mostly in the mid-30s to near 40 from D.C. to the north and west, into the low 40s south and east.

By Dan Stillman  |  01:25 PM ET, 10/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts, Latest

Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 10/29/2011

Rain and snow battering the region; snow accumulation growing, primarily in elevated areas

Talk about a raw October morning. Rain that mixed with and/or changed to snow in parts of Loudoun, Fairfax and Montgomery counties (as well as north and west) continues mostly unabated. The wintry mix is also on the move, though spots further south and east are still enjoying a really cold rain. So far, outside elevations around 800-1,000+ feet or so, many with snow have seen only light accumulation mainly on grass or elevated objects.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:15 AM ET, 10/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/29/2011

Forecast: Major early season winter storm impacts the area with rain, snow and wind

Today is shaping up as one for the record books, even if some locales don’t end up with much more than a cold rain. Daily snowfall records should fall in spots, monthly ones could seemingly be set too. D.C. itself may not end up with the most extreme conditions, but a lowest maximum temperatures of 44 degrees (20 degrees below average) for the date looks to be bested. And the daily snowfall record of a trace is a decent bet to be tied if not surpassed. As one heads west or north, wintry weather only becomes progressively more spooky...

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 11:38 PM ET, 10/28/2011

Light rain develops, snow in mountains

Patchy light rain has overspread the immediate metro region with temperatures generally in the low 40s. Locations in west central Virginia above 1,000 feet or so, however, have been reporting snow. Overnight, low elevation rain and high elevation snow is likely to be the story. On Saturday, as the storm winds up and mixes in colder air, snow should gradually work down to lower elevations from west to east.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:38 PM ET, 10/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest

Posted at 06:30 PM ET, 10/28/2011

Evening update: Precipitation headed north; winter weather advisory posted along and west of I-95

Our general forecast for the region hasn’t changed from earlier this afternoon. We’re still expecting a sharp transition from mostly rain around the District, possibly changing to snow before ending to potentially heavy snow toward the mountains. Here are a few notes..

By Jason Samenow  |  06:30 PM ET, 10/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 10/28/2011

PM Update: Bracing for an early season winter storm

That morning sunshine was nice, wasn’t it? Well, no more of that for now. Clouds have thickened and begun to lower ahead of a storm system that promises to bring a wintry mix to the area beginning late tonight and then continuing tomorrow. Everything is still more or less on track with earlier ideas, though plenty of uncertainty remains. One bet is a sure one, today’s highs in the 50s, chilly as they were, should seem mild by this time tomorrow.

By Ian Livingston  |  03:30 PM ET, 10/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:26 PM ET, 10/28/2011

Rare October snow likely for suburbs

CAPITAL WEATHER GANG | Snow may begin to mix with the rain late Saturday morning.

By  |  03:26 PM ET, 10/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:55 PM ET, 10/28/2011

Nor’easter poses big snow, power outage risk to interior mid-Atlantic and Northeast

A powerful fall storm, more characteristic of winter, promises to bring a large swath of heavy snow for interior sections of the mid-Atlantic, and locations just west of I-95 in New England. According to NOAA, 25 million people are under winter storm watches.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:55 PM ET, 10/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  U.S. Weather, Latest, Winter Storms

Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 10/28/2011

Rare October snow likely for D.C.’s north and west suburbs

A rapidly developing, intense East Coast storm will bring unseasonably cold temperatures and heavy precipitation to the entire metro region Friday night and Saturday. For the immediate metro region, rain is likely to be the predominant precipitation type, but snow may begin to mix with the rain late Saturday morning and possibly change to snow briefly during the afternoon. Accumulation is unlikely but cannot be ruled out. Towards western Montgomery, Frederick and Loudoun counties, a changeover to snow is more likely to occur and occur earlier, with the potential for some accumulation, especially at higher elevations.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:43 AM ET, 10/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms

Posted at 09:52 AM ET, 10/28/2011

State of the art NPP weather and climate satellite launched

At 2:48 a.m. Pacific time (5:48 a.m. EDT), NASA successfully launched what is considered the next generation satellite for monitoring weather and the Earth’s climate. The satellite was boosted into space by a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:52 AM ET, 10/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Government, Science, Space

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/28/2011

Forecast: Colder air is here as wintry weather approaches for Saturday

Some challenges await us as today’s filtered sunshine gets shrouded in increasing cloudcover and temperatures reach the 50s. Tomorrow’s the real tough one: How soon could any snowflakes mix in with our rainfall or even become all snow? We know there’s a storm coming, but the details remain about as uncertain as we see in this range. The odds of accumulating snow in parts of the area appear on the way up, at the very least.

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 06:50 PM ET, 10/27/2011

The low odds, high impact October snow scenario

I debated even posting this, but if I have information, why hide it? The latest North American Model (NAM) pastes the D.C. metro region with an unprecendented late October snow event. Ready for this? It simulates 4-8” of heavy, wet snow Saturday. Caution: this model has been wildly inconsistent and had the storm out to sea as of this morning, so take it with a huge grain of salt.

By Jason Samenow  |  06:50 PM ET, 10/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 10/27/2011

PM Update: A few more showers possible as a cold wind enters the region

A cold front pushing through has given us plenty of clouds and raindrops throughout the day, and cold air is about to rush into the area on a gusty north wind. As we head through tomorrow and into the weekend, highs near 60 and into the mid-60s may soon feel like a mild day at the beach.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:30 PM ET, 10/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 10/27/2011

Saturday storm analysis: will cold rain change to snow?

The odds of a highly unusual, though not unheard of, period of October snow have increased for northern and western parts of the D.C. region on Saturday. Yesterday, Jason outlined what ingredients were needed to get accumulating snow in the Washington area during October . The majority of computer models are now showing more of those ingredients than yesterday.

By Wes Junker  |  02:30 PM ET, 10/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms

Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 10/27/2011

Rina weakens to tropical storm, still set to strike Cozumel, Yucatan

Aircraft reconnaissance, satellite pictures, and radar observations indicate that one-time hurricane Rina continues to weaken. As of 11 a.m., Rina has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

By Greg Postel  |  12:12 PM ET, 10/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Tropical Weather

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/27/2011

Prepping the garden as winter approaches...

The weather has been pretty accommodating for gardeners in the past week, given the nice weekends. Moisture has been plentiful as can be seen in the map of the past two week’s rains. I have been busy getting my spots all plotted for those bushels of bulbs that have just arrived. The dormant season is approaching, but now is far from the dormant time for the gardener, so today let’s talk about getting the garden ready for winter.

By David Streit  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/27/2011

Forecast: Showery day ahead; early weekend snow flakes?

The weather over the next 5 days promises to be a real mixed bag, full of tricks and treats! The rains today are pretty run of the mill, but a storm zipping up the coast early Saturday looks like it has enough cold air to play with that some spots could see a few snow flakes mixed in with the rain drops.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:33 PM ET, 10/26/2011

PM Update: Showery through Thursday

Rain showers today were a bit more prevalent than forecast. Nevertheless, temperatures were mild as advertised, reaching the upper 60s. We catch ia break in the rain until late tonight before it resumes ahead of Thursday’s morning commute. Much of Thursday is mild but occasional showers continue.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:33 PM ET, 10/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:10 PM ET, 10/26/2011

National Weather Service releases false tornado warnings for D.C. area

Three invalid severe weather warnings were inadvertently issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) Sterling, Va. office serving Washington, D.C. and Baltimore this afternoon. A system error was the source of the false warnings.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:10 PM ET, 10/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Government

Posted at 02:55 PM ET, 10/26/2011

Saturday snow chance remains longshot; freezing temperatures possible Saturday night

The latest computer models continue to suggest the odds of seeing snow Saturday morning in the Washington metro region are small, but not non-existent especially in outlying western areas. A cold, light rain remains the most likely scenario and it’s still possible much of the precipitation misses to our east, and it’s dry. Perhaps of greater significance, many locations may experience their first freeze Saturday night.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:55 PM ET, 10/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms

Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 10/26/2011

Hurricane Rina forecast to weaken; Cozumel and Cancun prepare for landfall

Bearing down on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Hurricane Rina has weakened to a category 1 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center is no longer forecasting intensification and the season’s sixth hurricane has probably just missed becoming the fourth major (category 3 or higher) hurricane.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:27 PM ET, 10/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Tropical Weather

Posted at 10:22 AM ET, 10/26/2011

Drive-by rainbow in Reston (video)

I’m rarely surprised by the weather. Monday, however, was one of those rare, surprise weather moments. A heavy rain shower, bathed in sunlight and followed by a rainbow, seemed to appear from nowhere.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  10:22 AM ET, 10/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/26/2011

Forecast: Warm, cold, cloudy, sunny, rain... snow?

Oh boy. We’ve got a little bit of everything in this forecast. Even the chance of some October snowflakes. It all starts with a more than halfway decent day today followed by a chance of rain tomorrow. Friday shapes up as sunny but chilly. And then things get interesting Friday night into Saturday, when a possible coastal storm could threaten rain, a mix of rain and snow, or not much of anything.

By Dan Stillman  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:40 PM ET, 10/25/2011

PM Update: Sunshine to fade Wednesday, still warm

Another splendid fall day has about drawn to a close. Full-on sunshine pushed temperatures into the pleasant 65-70 degree range. Before the weather takes a turn for the worse, we may squeeze in one more mild, dry day tomorrow even as clouds increase.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:40 PM ET, 10/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:35 PM ET, 10/25/2011

How likely is snow Saturday in the D.C. metro region?

Over the past couple of days, the European weather model (ECMWF) has been advertising the potential for snow in the Washington area Saturday, especially for areas west of the city with elevation. As Ian Livingston noted , accumulating snow is extremely rare in Washington during October. It has only been recorded five times in a total of 4,340 days. Because of its rarity, any model forecast of snow should be looked at with some skepticism, especially when the forecast is a projection that is four days from now.

By Wes Junker  |  02:35 PM ET, 10/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms

Posted at 01:16 PM ET, 10/25/2011

Hurricane Rina strengthens, on track towards Yucatan

Hurricane Rina has intensified over the past day, reaching category 2 strength. Aircraft reconnaissance penetrations have recently observed maximum sustained winds near 105 mph (90 knots; pressure 971 mb), just 6 mph shy of category 3 intensity. Positioned about 300 miles southeast of Cancun, Mexico, it’s on a slow west-northwest jog at about 3 mph.

By Greg Postel  |  01:16 PM ET, 10/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Tropical Weather

Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 10/25/2011

Aurora (northern lights) seen in more than half United States

A stunning auroral display amazed and awed sky watchers as far south as Arkansas Monday night. SpaceWeather.com reports the unusual northern lights display was observed in more than half of the U.S. states. MSNBC called it the “farthest-reaching auroral shows in years”

By Jason Samenow  |  10:43 AM ET, 10/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Space, Photography

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/25/2011

Forecast: Very nice today; then unsettled with falling temps by Thursday into Friday

Fast-moving high pressure delivers a super nice day today with nearly full sunshine and temperatures reaching toward the 70-degree mark. While still warm tomorrow, clouds increase from afternoon into the evening. Shower chances build to the likely category by tomorrow night into Thursday ahead of a cold front. Friday and the weekend look damp and chilly with possible snow flakes toward the mountains. Sunday could see improvement late.

By Matt Rogers  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:39 PM ET, 10/24/2011

Setting sun and showers spring stunning rainbows

The widely scattered showers that passed through Fairfax and Loudoun county produced a flurry of stunning rainbow images late this afternoon and this evening. Here are a few of the standouts...

By Jason Samenow  |  05:39 PM ET, 10/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography

Posted at 03:47 PM ET, 10/24/2011

PM Update: Clouds to clear, then a terrific Tuesday

A very weak cold front is sweeping through the region, producing some scattered clouds and even some light showers, mainly in the north and west suburbs. Once the front passes, high pressure builds back into the region. Sunshine dominates the skies Tuesday.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:47 PM ET, 10/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 01:21 PM ET, 10/24/2011

Hurricane Rina rapidly develops, may strike Yucatan

UPDATE: In less than 24 hours, Rina has rapidly intensified from a tropical depression to a hurricane. FROM EARLIER: The 17th named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, tropical storm Rina shows signs of intensifying a little over 100 miles off the coast of Honduras. The successor to hurricane Rita, whose name was retired in 2005, it is moving northwestward at just a few miles per hour.

By Greg Postel  |  01:21 PM ET, 10/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Tropical Weather

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 10/24/2011

Will new studies confirming global warming settle skeptics’ questions? Don’t hold your breath

During the past several years, skeptics of manmade global warming have focused their attention on the reliability of the modern surface temperature record, which according to numerous studies, shows a distinct warming trend starting in the middle of the 20th century, and continuing through the present day.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:33 AM ET, 10/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest, Science

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/24/2011

Forecast: Week starts mild, turns chilly late

Save some clouds and an isolated late day shower today, the weeks gets off to a promising start. And Tuesday will generate few complaints with mild sunshine. But Wednesday into Thursday, while it’s mild, we transition to an unsettled and ultimately cold weather pattern for the end of the week.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:20 PM ET, 10/23/2011

Forecast: Sunnier and warmer through Tuesday, then trending unsettled

With as finicky as this fall has been, I’ll take days like today anytime they come around. Partly to mostly sunny and a mild afternoon presents perfect weather for raking leaves, picking apples, or whatever fall delights (or chores) you’d like to take part in. The nice weather should, for the most part, stick around for a few days. By midweek, though, a stalling cold front threatens a stretch of increased clouds and shower chances.

By Brian Jackson  |  05:20 PM ET, 10/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/22/2011

Forecast: Clouds sully our Saturday, but a nicer Sunday expected

Today’s averages are 66 for a high and 48 for a low. As far as normal goes, we won’t be too far off throughout the weekend before trending above average into next week. Winds continue to slacken compared to the past few days and daytime skies are also more sunny than their predecessors. Remember the layers when not out during mid-day and you should be just fine!

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:55 AM ET, 10/22/2011

UnitedCast: Finale weather to appreciate

This is it. Thankfully the weather will cooperate. Plan on a cool one, but it won’t be too bad with little wind to worry about. Temperatures fall through the 50s.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:55 AM ET, 10/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  UnitedCast, Latest

Posted at 03:58 PM ET, 10/21/2011

PM Update: Clouds to fade; fantastic fall weekend beckons

A mid-level cloud deck kept today cool, but we trend increasingly sunny this weekend. Today’s afternoon temperatures were a couple degrees warmer than Thursday’s. And we should continue tacking on a couple of degrees to afternoon highs through the weekend.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:58 PM ET, 10/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 10/21/2011

Fall foliage peaking within an hour of Washington, D.C.

Fall color is already showing up around the D.C. metro region, and if you’re on the lookout for peak color, you need not go far. Prime fall color can be found as close as Frederick county in Maryland and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:52 PM ET, 10/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest

Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 10/21/2011

When should the Washington, D.C. area expect to see its first freeze of the cold season?

As we head through fall, the first freeze of the season is assured in only a matter of time. But, when is that time? Well, it depends on where in the area you are located. For many places, especially north and west of downtown D.C., a freeze can be expected before October is out. As you head into lower elevations to the south and east of D.C., or those close to warmer water, the wait often goes through November. Some years, spots even make it to December without one!

By Ian Livingston, Justin Grieser and Katie Wheatley  |  11:12 AM ET, 10/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, History, Latest

Posted at 09:42 AM ET, 10/21/2011

Orionids meteor shower peaks tonight

Skies early tomorrow morning (Saturday) before twilight should be clear and starry along the East Coast and across large parts of the country, but showers are a virtual certainty. Still, early rises risers venturing outdoors can leave the umbrella behind. The showers of which I speak will be bright streaks in the sky associated with the peak of the Orionids meteor shower centered on the morning of October 22.

By Steve Tracton  |  09:42 AM ET, 10/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Astronomy, Space, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/21/2011

Forecast: Calmer, sunnier conditions usher in great autumn weather

Slowly but surely, the winds that have plagued us begin to calm. Even with clouds mixing into our increasing sunshine over the next few days, I want you to think positive: rain chances are basically nonexistent through the start of next week! So, enjoy a decently good streak of fall weather. We should turn the corner to a bit milder air heading through the weekend, but even before then it’s not too bad. Go hiking, perhaps? Report to us your local tree foliage colors and post pictures, if you get the chance!

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 06:36 PM ET, 10/20/2011

Verizon weather line, 936-1212, is dead

The process was drawn out, dramatic, and confusing, but it’s finally over: Verizon has officially pulled the plug on the local weather line for good.

By Jason Samenow  |  06:36 PM ET, 10/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Media

Posted at 04:08 PM ET, 10/20/2011

PM Update: Winds to slowly diminish; cool and dry

Winds gusted as high as 30-40 mph today but should gradually wane over the next 12-24 hours. Capped by cool air spilling into the region and clouds, today’s afternoon temperatures in the upper 50s to around 60 were the coolest since October 3. We rebound slightly Friday afternoon, with low-to-mid 60s.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:08 PM ET, 10/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:56 PM ET, 10/20/2011

Watch simulation of ROSAT satellite death spiral (video)

The remains of the German satellite ROSAT are predicted to crash into Earth this weekend, including its 1.7 ton heat-resistant mirror. If you have difficulty visualizing this process, Analytical Graphics, Inc. has come to the rescue. It has created an excellent animation of the satellite’s re-entry which deftly depicts ROSAT’s current orbit, the burn-up as it clashes with the Earth’s atmosphere, the remnant debris and the satellite’s ground track. Watch it in this post.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:56 PM ET, 10/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Astronomy, Astronomy, Space

Posted at 12:56 PM ET, 10/20/2011

NOAA winter outlook: Drought to deepen in Texas; cold and stormy across northern U.S.

Suffering its worst drought on record, dry, warm conditions are predicted to persist through winter across Texas according to NOAA’s winter outlook, released this morning. The outlook is based on the redevelopment of La Nina, an episodic cooling of the tropical Pacific ocean, which often brings warmer and drier than average conditions across the South, and cold, stormy conditions across the northern tier.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:56 PM ET, 10/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 10/20/2011

Chicago’s amazing wind and waves

As low pressure over the Ohio Valley rapidly deepened over the last 24 hours, screaming winds wrapped around its backside, creating tropical storm-like conditions in Chicago. The counter clockwise flow around the low drove raging winds southbound over Lake Michigan, piling up the water on Chicago’s shorelines.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:02 AM ET, 10/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/20/2011

Forecast: Clearing skies but winds are whipping; splendid weekend

The one undeniable fact today is that it will be windy. This makes it feel cooler than it is. However, with increasing sunshine and showers out of the picture, who can grouse. Our streak of keeping the good weather on the weekend is still golden.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 10/19/2011

PM Update: Showers and a storm possible through evening; changeable weather thereafter

It’s been a rather cool and clammy day with winds and moisture rushing in off the ocean. Following early-morning rain, we’ve seen mainly some passing showers since, which have not amounted to a lot most spots. Now we await the next spoke of energy to see if it touches off storms heading into evening. Given today’s stable (little sun, little warmth) air mass, the severe storm threat caused by a major upper-level low to the west should be muted, at least relatively speaking.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:15 PM ET, 10/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:08 PM ET, 10/19/2011

South Florida tornado and Chicago waves: big East Coast storm hits hardest on its edges

Spanning from the Florida Keys to eastern Maine and as far west as Wisconsin, a sprawling storm system with two areas of low pressure is producing a wide range of inclement weather conditions. Interestingly, the storm system is packing its biggest punch near its extremities. The Florida Keys have been inundated with rain, a devasting tornado ripped through Broward county in south Florida and Chicago’s lake front is already being pounded by massive waves.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:08 PM ET, 10/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 01:01 PM ET, 10/19/2011

German satellite ROSAT forecast to wallop Earth this weekend

More space junk is about to plummet through the heavens and collide with Earth. Sometime this weekend (October 22 or 23), the remains of the German satellite ROSAT (the ROentgen SATellite) are projected to come crashing through our atmosphere.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:01 PM ET, 10/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Astronomy, Space, Latest

Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 10/19/2011

Franklin’s storm: How Benjamin Franklin discovered how storms move

In October, 1743, Franklin, who was probably one of the most “reasoned” people of his time, had a huge opportunity to put his reasoning skills to the test. On the night of October 21st of that year (November 1st by our current Gregorian calendar)--some 268 years ago--an event occurred which cast a whole new light on the movement and structure of storm systems in the Northern Hemisphere (and the world). Previously, it had always been thought that storms came from the same direction as their surface winds, so it came as a great surprise to Benjamin Franklin when, as a result of a simple astronomical observation and a twist of fate, that this was not the case.

By Don Lipman  |  11:02 AM ET, 10/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, History, Lipman

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/19/2011

Forecast: Rainy today, windy tomorrow; another sunny weekend?

Well, for the second week in a row we’re looking at midweek showers followed by weekend sun - school kids area-wide can only hope the trend for midweek storminess continues right on into snow season. As for today’s rain, it transition to a chance of scattered showers this evening. Then we’re windy tomorrow as the sun returns.

By Dan Stillman  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:55 AM ET, 10/19/2011

UnitedCast: Cool and damp with showers possible

Rain chances are down from the daylight hours but not out. So plan for at least a chance of showers unless radar really starts to dry up before the game.

By Dan Stillman  |  04:55 AM ET, 10/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  UnitedCast, Latest

Posted at 03:58 PM ET, 10/18/2011

PM Update: Showers move in late tonight; wet, breezy Wednesday

Another pleasant fall day is in the books. We managed to reach the 70s despite cloud cover ahead of the next storm system. A comfortable and dry evening precedes the incoming storm’s first drops of rain, unlikely to reach the region until after 2 a.m. Wednesday is unsettled with showers and possible thunderstorms.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:58 PM ET, 10/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 01:59 PM ET, 10/18/2011

About 50 tornadoes in Virginia in 2011, second most on record

After 7 twisters touched down in Virginia last week, the 2011 count has risen to about 50*, second most on record (since 1950) for the state. 2011 ranks only behind 2004, when 87 tornadoes touched down, and just ahead of 2008, when there were 39

By Jason Samenow  |  01:59 PM ET, 10/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Thunderstorms

Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 10/18/2011

Grading our summer outlook

Hopefully the pleasant autumn weather of late has helped purge another brutal summer from your memory.  Unfortunately, we are here to remind you one last time before we can get on with the business of looking ahead to winter.  Here is a quick recap of our summer outlook. Although we did predict all three summer months to be warmer than normal, there will be no back patting.  With the second hottest summer on record, rivaling 2010, we missed the mark. 

By Matt Ross  |  11:42 AM ET, 10/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Capital Weather Gang, Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 10/18/2011

Dust storm (haboob) blasts Lubbock, Texas (video)

A cold front slicing through the Texas panhandle Monday carried a wall of dust that plastered the Texas South Plains during the afternoon and evening. The dust storm dropped visibility to near zero and was accompanied by wind gusts over 60 mph, resulting in power outages and tree and property damage.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:35 AM ET, 10/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/18/2011

Forecast: Warmer today, but clouds invade; another wet Wednesday on the way

Dry and warmer weather today is offset by increasing cloud cover this afternoon ahead of a partial tropical low pressure area arriving tomorrow. Showers develop late tonight with the best chance of heavier rains tomorrow morning into midday along with windy weather. A thunderstorm is even possible. But drier and cooler weather quickly return for Thursday all the way through the upcoming weekend.

By Matt Rogers  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 10/17/2011

PM Update: A little more dry and quiet weather before mid-week storm arrives

As if Monday isn’t already a hard enough day to spend inside at work, today’s splendid weather has made it even harder. After waking up to a good deal of clouds, skies cleared out nicely for much of the day, allowing temperatures to rise to near 70 for the third time in a row.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:00 PM ET, 10/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:04 PM ET, 10/17/2011

An East Coast rainmaker with tropical pedigree, coming midweek

A wet and windy rainstorm will be moving northward along the East Coast this week, giving some highly populated areas from south Florida to Downeast Maine gusty winds and excessive rains.

By Greg Postel  |  02:04 PM ET, 10/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Tropical Weather

Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 10/17/2011

2011 on track to be slightly cooler than recent years, but global warming continues

Following 2010, which tied 2005 as the warmest year on record, this year is on track to be considerably cooler, although still unusually warm. Global average surface temperatures for the January through September period were the 11th warmest such period on record, according to new data. The return of La Nina conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean makes it unlikely that the year will rival last year’s record warmth, although it will continue the streak of consecutive years with warmer than average conditions.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:45 AM ET, 10/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change

Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 10/17/2011

The evolution of Friday’s rainbow

Portions of the Washington area were treated to some interesting and vivid rainbows last Friday. The rainbows were created as bands of moisture-laden rain showers were illuminated by bright sunshine.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  10:28 AM ET, 10/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/17/2011

Forecast: Nice start and end to week, wet, mucky middle

After a dazzling weekend, the week gets off to a promising start. But then we cloud over, and a strong frontal system teams up with a decaying tropical system to deliver rain and even some thunderstorms midweek. We clear out and cool off to close the week.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 12:05 AM ET, 10/16/2011

Forecast: Nice Sunday, then trending cloudier toward midweek rain threat

The gem of the next few days should be today, even if we end up seeing a few more clouds than yesterday, so please get out and enjoy! Slowly but surely we have atmospheric “activity” coming toward us as we head into midweek. Expect rain chances by Tuesday and more so Tuesday night into Wednesday.

By Camden Walker  |  12:05 AM ET, 10/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 10/16/2011

SkinsCast: Comfy temps and a cool breeze

A pretty nice day for a game with at least partly sunny skies, comfortable temps topping out near or a couple degrees past 70, and cool breezes. I suggest dressing in layers, and if you tend to run cold, try to stay in the sun as much as possible!

By Camden Walker  |  12:00 AM ET, 10/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  SkinsCast, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/15/2011

Forecast: Fall breezes conspire with sunshine to create a pleasant weekend

We’re now past the time of year where we should expect days above 70 degrees as a norm, but we’ll want to test that mark over the coming period. Other than a return of sunshine, wind is probably the story of the weekend -- especially today. It’s going to be gusty and might be a bother here and there. Given the gloom of most of the recent work week, we’ll just have to take what we can get and it’s still pretty darn good.

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:55 AM ET, 10/15/2011

UnitedCast: A great evening to run around on the field, or watch from the stands

It’s going to be verging on chilly, especially as the game progresses. Winds die down compared to during the day, but they’re still sustained around 5-10 mph with some higher gusts.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:55 AM ET, 10/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  UnitedCast, Latest

Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 10/14/2011

PM Update: Bye bye rain, hello sun and wind

The storms are gone, and clear skies plus drier air are on their way to replace the rain. Get ready for a pretty stellar weekend, as long as you don’t mind some wind. It’s going to be rather gusty both Saturday and Sunday, but with temperatures near 70 in the afternoon; it should not feel too bad.

By Ian Livingston  |  03:15 PM ET, 10/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 10/14/2011

Would a Rick Perry administration censor climate science?

A climate scientist in Texas is accusing Governor Rick Perry’s administration of politically motivated editing of a scientific report. The report raises the question: would a President Perry be a repeat of George W. Bush when it comes to interfering with climate science research? The signals are mixed.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:50 PM ET, 10/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Government, Latest

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 10/14/2011

Yesterday’s storms: Ground-shaking thunder, plus controversy in College Park

Yesterday’s storms didn’t produce much in the way of damage in the immediate metro area. But they did produce a confirmed tornado near Quantico, put on a thunder and lightning show for many, and stirred some controversy at the University of Maryland in College Park.

By Dan Stillman  |  10:00 AM ET, 10/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Thunderstorms, Recaps, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/14/2011

Forecast: Showery, a bit muggy, and mild before cold front clears our weekend

Can you hang on just a bit longer? We have showers and storms with a fair amount of clouds for just one more day before a slightly brisk—but clear—weekend ahead. Keep that windbreaker or light jacket out on the coat rack in case you go out in the early morning or late hours. We’ll have some chilly moments. But as we head into the workweek next week, we’ll have those 70s back and still decent amounts of sunshine.

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 09:05 PM ET, 10/13/2011

PM Update: Tornado Watch through evening; still gloomy with showers and storms

We may see a wave or two of widespread showers and storms this evening or overnight. There has been a pretty wide spread in temperatures from the mid-60s to the west to the mid-70s to the east, and even a few spots of sun here and there. Keep those umbrellas handy.

By Ian Livingston and Dan Stillman  |  09:05 PM ET, 10/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 10/13/2011

Musings on a fall gardening weekend...

For once, the past two weeks have been pretty uneventful. Rains have been a little light but nothing bad, save for a few heavy showers this morning. Temperatures have been near normal. Why we even have the good weather coming on the weekends now! This brings me to the week’s discussion: musings while working in the garden last weekend.

By David Streit  |  01:00 PM ET, 10/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 10/13/2011

Chasing the perfect storm: Ten years of thunderstorm photography in Washington, D.C.

Ten years ago, I set out on an effort to photograph thunderstorms in our nation’s capital. At the time, I didn’t have an understanding of photography, and I didn’t know Washington’s streets or popular destinations for photo shoots. Over time, I grew to understand the fundamentals of photography, through trial and error, using lightning bolts as my subjects. I’ve put together a unique collection of Washington images with thunderstorms, rainbows and lightning.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  10:30 AM ET, 10/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Photography, Thunderstorms, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/13/2011

Forecast: Cloudy today with a few showers & storms; sunny weekend

A few lightning strokes are possible with today’s scattered showers. We do a repeat tomorrow with late day showers and a possible thundershower. Then it is all clear sailing as our new found knack of getting the nice weather on the weekend works once again.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 10/12/2011

PM Update: Gray skies with occasional raindrops

We’re stuck back in the clouds for now, and some concentrated showers are moving through into the evening following isolated to scattered activity during the day. We’re not about to lose the rain risk right away, though it appears we’ll see extended periods of just clouds and spotty rain rather than a true washout heading into tomorrow. Temperatures in the 60s today fall toward the 50s tonight before attempting to run at 70 or higher tomorrow.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:15 PM ET, 10/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:24 PM ET, 10/12/2011

NASA preparing for Earth-observing satellite launch

On October 27, NASA will launch the next generation weather and climate satellite. Known as the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (or, to save some syllables, NPP), the satellite spacecraft, roughly the size of mini-van, will orbit at an altitude of 512 miles above the Earth’s surface. The data it beams back to Earth will help improve understanding of both global change and weather prediction.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:24 PM ET, 10/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Government, Climate Change, Media, Science, Space

Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 10/12/2011

Capital Weather Watchers spotter training recap

Braving a difficult Tuesday evening commute, over 200 weather enthusiasts from across the D.C. metro region packed the Washington Post auditorium for the first ever Capital Weather Watchers training. Convened by the Capital Weather Gang (CWG), attendees took the National Weather Service Basics I Skywarn class gaining official weather spotter credentials. This group is now certified to report significant weather conditions such as damaging winds, hail and snowfall totals to NWS. And by attending the training, these spotters also formed the foundation of Capital Weather Watchers network to enrich CWG’s reporting of weather information around the region.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:43 AM ET, 10/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Capital Weather Gang

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/12/2011

Forecast: Shower chances into Friday, then sunning up for weekend

If it’s gotta rain, better it do so during the work week than the weekend. Today and late Thursday into Friday present the best chance of showers over the next few days. It does look like we clear out nicely for the weekend, which should be a pretty good one despite some significant breezes

By Dan Stillman  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:34 PM ET, 10/11/2011

PM Update: Cloudy, with rain developing tonight and Wednesday

Despite overcast conditions for the first time in more than a week, with the exception of southern Maryland, rain has mainly held off. And comfortable temperatures in the low 70s generated few complaints. Rain chances increase as tonight wears on, with the possibility of some steady, heavier rains Wednesday.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:34 PM ET, 10/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:26 PM ET, 10/11/2011

Hurricane Jova weakens, nears west coast of Mexico

Hurricane Jova, a powerful category 3 hurricane 24 hours ago, has weakened to category 2 intensity in the hours prior to landfall. Still, the storm threatens to deliver a big blow to the southwest coast of Mexico.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:26 PM ET, 10/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Tropical Weather, International Weather

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 10/11/2011

Low solar activity linked to harsh winters in U.S. and northern Europe

A new study published in Nature Geosciences presents new support for the idea that when the sun’s intensity weakens, it favors weather patterns conducive to cold and snow over large parts of the U.S. and northern Europe.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:25 AM ET, 10/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Science, Winter Storms

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/11/2011

Forecast: Gloom blooms again; clouds and rain moving in

A weather system arriving from the Southeast overspreads the area with more cloud cover today, setting the stage for rains to develop this afternoon and persist into tomorrow. Those clouds hold temperatures lower with low-to-mid 70s more likely today. Rain chances are highest tonight into tomorrow with heavy rains possible at times.

By Matt Rogers  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:47 PM ET, 10/10/2011

PM Update: String of nice days concludes; cloudy Tuesday, rain at night

What a run! We’ve had exactly a week of highs from around 70 to around 80 with partly to entirely sunny skies and just a trace of rain. Now it’s back to reality with increasing clouds and the return of rain chances. Despite the lowering and thickening clouds, we may actually eke out a decent day tomorrow before the first drops fall, most likely at night.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:47 PM ET, 10/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 01:40 PM ET, 10/10/2011

Hurricane Jova, dangerous category 3 storm, bears down on Mexico’s west coast

On a collision course with the west coast of Mexico, major hurricane Jova continues intensifying. Packing sustained winds of 125 mph, the high-end category 3 storm could reach “catastrophic” category 4 levels prior to landfall.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:40 PM ET, 10/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Tropical Weather, Latest, International Weather

Posted at 11:38 AM ET, 10/10/2011

Texas rain storm just a drop in deep bucket; drought continues

It finally happened – in the midst of Texas’ worst one-year drought on record, it actually rained in parts of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. As in, actual drops of liquid fell from the sky.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:38 AM ET, 10/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Freedman

Posted at 10:19 AM ET, 10/10/2011

Beautiful weather for the Army Ten-Miler, but some travel headaches

For the third year in a row, beautiful weather greeted runners at the Army Ten-Miler. The race is always spectacular, from its scenic course to its military showmanship. However, I wonder how many runners were challenged to get to the starting line on time.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  10:19 AM ET, 10/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/10/2011

Forecast: Columbus Day gem before rocky weather stretch

As our Columbus Day weekend draws to a close so does our five day streak of glorious weather. Tuesday won’t be terrible but clouds increase and by night, rain chances return. Wednesday may well be the week’s worst day, with rain likely. Showery conditions persist at times into Friday before probably cooler and mainly dry weather for the weekend.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 10/09/2011

Forecast: Still crankin’ out sunshine; perfection slips away toward midweek

So this must be what it’s like to live in San Diego. Warm, dry and sunny conditions continue through Columbus Day. The nice weather has been around for a while now but don’t take it for granted. As we head toward midweek, a disturbance likely spreads clouds and a good chance of rain our way.

By Brian Jackson  |  12:00 AM ET, 10/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/08/2011

Forecast: Wow! A sunshine-filled weekend!

Remember July? That’s the last time a weekend with this much sun visited the area. The streak of glorious weather continues today, tomorrow and into Monday before any threat of rain returns. Temperatures are mild to warm as well, with many spots nearing 80 today and perhaps going a few degrees above that mark by tomorrow.

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:55 PM ET, 10/07/2011

PM Update: Splendiferous, falltacular soul-shine!

I asked Capital Weather Gang Facebook fans and Twitter followers what one best word described today. My favorite suggestions make up today’s headline. Those imaginative adjectives perfectly characterize the indescribable, falltastic, scrumtrulescent and ausumm (to use a few more submissions) weather we’re having today which will carry right on through the holiday weekend.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:55 PM ET, 10/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 01:38 PM ET, 10/07/2011

Is our current weather “normal,” or not?

With the recent release of the new climate “normals,” the perennial question rears its head, as it always seems to do every 10 years, if not sooner: “What does normal weather really mean?” Is it the weather to be expected or is it just an average of weather over the past 30 years?

By Don Lipman  |  01:38 PM ET, 10/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:54 AM ET, 10/07/2011

Stacking lightning bolts over Washington, D.C.

Stacking lightning photos is becoming a popular technique for lightning and storm photographers. I’ve seen lightning stacks for years, often from storms in the western U.S., but I never tried to lightning stack a Washington thunderstorm. I was quite pleased with the results with stacking Washington thunderstorms. Lightning stacks not only create cool, surreal-looking images, they show the lightning output and lightning distribution of a thunderstorm. It tells the story of the storm in one image.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  10:54 AM ET, 10/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography, Thunderstorms

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/07/2011

Forecast: Ideal weekend weather on tap

With this giant ridge of high pressure around, our fine weather ain’t goin’ anywhere for a while. Just in time for the long weekend, our temperatures rise into what I consider the ideal range (right on schedule), and skies remain nearly cloud free. Pleasant conditions stay with us until a possible moisture-laden system threatens to take aim at our region by late in the upcoming period. But, let’s forget about that for now.

By Brian Jackson  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:55 PM ET, 10/06/2011

PM Update: Sunsational 70s - savor it

You know the weather is good when we must debate whether this morning’s low near 50 and this afternoon’s high near 70 are too cold or “just right.” For most, it’s the latter it seems. But if you want it warmer, here it comes, with highs reaching into the mid-70s tomorrow and to near 80 over the weekend.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:55 PM ET, 10/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:10 PM ET, 10/06/2011

Dramatic Draconid meteor shower possible Saturday

This Saturday, not a mere meteor shower but a meteor “outburst” or “storm” may spray through the heavens. NASA is predicting up to 750 meteors per hour from the dust stream of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, known as the Draconid meteor shower.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:10 PM ET, 10/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Space

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 10/06/2011

Potential Florida subtropical system could be East Coast rainmaker next week

By Greg Postel and Jason Samenow  |  02:00 PM ET, 10/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  U.S. Weather, Tropical Weather, Latest

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 10/06/2011

Mold spores surge to triple historical average

Although the D.C metro region continues to dry out after the incessantly cloudy and wet September, mold spore levels remain elevated due to the lingering moisture. Today’s count of 15, 345 spores per cubic meter, while just a fraction of last week’s record high of 47,483, remains in the high range.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:30 PM ET, 10/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Health

Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 10/06/2011

Atlantic tropical storm activity may fire up again

The tropical atmosphere has been unusually biased against Atlantic hurricane development this season. As discussed in our last post, global-scale mechanisms have stacked the odds against it, nudging the general circulation into a regime that has so far been really dry, and really stable for long periods over the Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Time and time again, the conditions have been especially unkind to hurricane production. Never before in our records have so few hurricanes (4) developed from so many named systems (16)

By Greg Postel  |  11:10 AM ET, 10/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Tropical Weather, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/06/2011

Forecast: Wall to wall sunshine and not a hint of humidity

There is nothing to say about the next five days except payback is a beautiful thing. Given our penchant for weather systems to park over us for long periods of time, I am happy to report that this time high pressure will produce a string of super days.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 10/05/2011

PM Update: Spectacular weather keeps on coming

Lots of sun and highs in the 70s. What more could we ask for? A continuation of the same or similar of course! That’s what we’ve got on tap for at least the next several days. Add in some nice cool nights and it’s just about perfect.

By Ian Livingston  |  03:30 PM ET, 10/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 10/05/2011

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in October? Breaking down norms and extremes

October and abundant sunshine often go hand in hand in the D.C. area, but the pattern is still a bit lazy compared to winter, so rains can come in heavy bouts over several days. When it comes to temperatures, averages are about as good as they get all year for some serious outdoor enjoyment! The shift toward colder weather is clearly evident though.

By Ian Livingston  |  01:30 PM ET, 10/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, History, Latest

Posted at 11:16 AM ET, 10/05/2011

AccuWeather: Expect second straight “brutal” winter in US north; slightly above normal snow, average temps in D.C.

AccuWeather says local weather will start cold and snowy but turn mild in 2012, while many areas north will get hammered.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:16 AM ET, 10/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Winter Storms, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/05/2011

Forecast: Nothin’ but sun

My goodness have I been waiting a long time to issue a forecast like this. The sun is setting up camp for an extended stay, humidity is on the decline, and temperatures are settling into the comfort zone. The best news of all?... confidence is fairly high that our fun in the sun lasts at least through the weekend.

By Dan Stillman  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:04 PM ET, 10/04/2011

PM Update: Sun emerges and is here to stay

What a welcome sight this afternoon: the sun! And we even managed a hint of warmth - with temperatures near 70 this afternoon. That’s much better than Sunday and Monday’s low 50s, right? If you liked today, tomorrow is even more of a treat, with an uptick in sunshine and warmth.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:04 PM ET, 10/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:19 PM ET, 10/04/2011

Did the atmosphere signal March Japan earthquake before it happened?

Imagine how many lives would be saved if the atmosphere could detect a major earthquake 30 or minutes before it rocked the land beneath. Japanese researcher Kosuke Heki believes he may have identified such a precursor: electron counts 185 miles high in the sky, in the atmospheric layer known as the ionosphere. His research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, shows ionospheric electron counts unexpectedly escalated beginning 40 minutes before Japan’s deadly March 11 quake.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:19 PM ET, 10/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Environment, Science

Posted at 01:05 PM ET, 10/04/2011

Watch: comet collides with sun, then solar blast

You don’t see this every day. On Saturday, a newly discovered comet crashed into the sun. Moments later, the sun unleashed a massive coronal mass ejection (CME), or blast of solar wind. Watch the video.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:05 PM ET, 10/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Space, Astronomy

Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 10/04/2011

The record-breaking Arctic ozone “hole” and global warming

According to research published in the journal Nature this week, the largest ozone “hole” on record above the Arctic opened up last winter, exposing residents of the Far North to high doses of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause skin cancer and cataracts. The area of severe ozone loss extended southward from the Arctic to cover populated areas in northern Russia, Greenland and Norway.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:55 AM ET, 10/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Latest, Environment, Freedman

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/04/2011

Forecast: Warmer with some sun by afternoon

The weather improvement story begins today with clearing skies by afternoon (after lingering morning overcast) along with highs in the warmer 60s. Super weather arrives tomorrow with 70s for highs and plentiful sunshine. That becomes the narrative for the balance of the week AND the weekend.

By Matt Rogers  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 10/03/2011

PM Update: Cruddy weather on borrowed time

Temperatures again refused to climb very far upward today as a stubborn area of low pressure continues to spin overhead. Along with intermittent drizzle and rain, readings ranging from near 50 and into the mid-50s feel rather raw. There is good news though, and that’s heavily thanks to this lumbering low pressure system finally moving away from the area allowing sun to return.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:15 PM ET, 10/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:52 PM ET, 10/03/2011

Say goodbye to sunless September 2011

The cloud cover quantity in September was quite impressive as only TWO days qualified as mostly sunny (30% or less cloud cover). At Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), it rained on 60% of the days. Those rainy days piled up a 5.12” surplus of rain compared to normal (8.84” total!). Historically, that is the fifth wettest September on record. Despite a very wet month, it was still less than half of the record for the wettest September (a super-saturated September 1934’s 17.45”)!

By Matt Rogers  |  02:52 PM ET, 10/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 12:51 PM ET, 10/03/2011

D.C.’s weird weather: record cold, mountain snow and rainbows

The region’s experienced an odd mix of rain, mountain snow, record cold, and even rainbows in the past 24 hours. Here’s why.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:51 PM ET, 10/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Photography

Posted at 11:14 AM ET, 10/03/2011

United Kingdom sees October record heat; cool down on the way

Over the last week, parts of the United Kingdom have basked in unseasonable and historic warmth. Amazingly, the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the UK from September 29 to October 2 were surpassed.

By Justin Grieser  |  11:14 AM ET, 10/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, International Weather

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/03/2011

Forecast: Miserable Monday but magnificent mid-to-late week

Yesterday’s high temperatures in the D.C. metro region were the coldest (or tied for coldest) on record for the date and among the coldest in the country. Showers amplified the late November-like chill. Same deal today but a major pattern change is around the corner. By Tuesday afternoon the sun makes a triumphant return.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/02/2011

Forecast: Weekend clunker continues; sunnier, warmer weather ahead

The October weather we know and love - sunny 60s and 70s with low humidity - is on the way. But you wouldn’t know it being outside yesterday or today. This clunker of a weekend continues with another cold and cloudy day today plus the chance of more showers. Tuesday and beyond, though, we’re in for a treat as a stretch of sunnier and warmer weather takes hold.

By Brian Jackson  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/01/2011

Forecast: October begins on a mid-November temperature note with showers possible

If you’re looking for a nice weekend, this is probably not it. Temperatures are going to struggle to get out of the 50s most spots for highs both today and tomorrow while lows reside mainly in the 40s. It’s also going to threaten to rain, likely more today than Sunday. Now, if only we can find some prolonged sun. Maybe next week.

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

 

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