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Capital Weather Gang: April, 2012

Posted at 04:59 PM ET, 04/12/2012

PM Update: Crisp, frosty tonight; sunny and warmer Friday

For the first time since early March and only the 2nd time since January, we strung together two colder than average days. Temperatures could do no better than about 60, but there are much warmer times to come. After a clear, chilly night, sunny skies put us back close to normal to close out the work week, into the mid-60s.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:59 PM ET, 04/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 04/06/2012

Forecast: Windy, cool day with weekend trending slowly warmer, calmer

Winds may whip us around at times through tomorrow. Particulate debris and pollen also pain our eyes just a bit more than usual. Consider wearing a windbreaker during the day today, and perhaps a coat tonight with frosty temperatures possible to the north and west of town. Bring in those potted plants, particularly if living outside the Beltway! As we finish our weekend on a warmer, sunnier note, remember to enjoy it before clouds, showers, and cool temperatures greet us next week.

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 04/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:44 PM ET, 04/05/2012

PM Update: Comparatively chilly but clear through Friday

Relative to yesterday’s mid-70s, this afternoon’s low 60s felt a little nippy even if normal for the time of year. Temperatures edge even cooler Friday thanks to a gusty wind from the north. Frost and freeze concerns are limited to northern Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley tonight but extend closer in Friday night.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:44 PM ET, 04/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/31/2012

Forecast: A few showers today, then sunnier through early next week

Yesterday featured temperatures a smidge cooler than normal, and today should be pretty close to normal. Not a bad way to end what looks like the warmest March on record for D.C. Unfortunately for weekend sunshine fans, we battle clouds today and perhaps a few showers as well. However, tomorrow features sunnier times, and it’s just the start of a number of days with plenty of that stuff.

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 03/30/2012

PM Update: A few light showers into Saturday; warmer Sunday

Clouds and a few light showers helped cast a bit of a chill across the area today. In fact, it’s been one of our colder days of this very warm March. For those hoping for a weekend full of warmth and sunshine, well we can’t quite deliver fully. But any showers are probably light, and we do see some opportunities for sun, specially on Sunday.

By Dan Stillman  |  04:15 PM ET, 03/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 03/30/2012

Wind map: twisting, turning eye candy

The winding currents of our atmosphere have never been easier to appreciate thanks to a new visualization project by Google computer scientists. Browse on over to hint.fm/wind and watch our nation’s streams of flow converge, diverge, accelerate and decelerate as they create our weather.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:14 PM ET, 03/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Technology

Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 03/30/2012

Landspout, dust-tube tornado near Monterrey, Mexico (VIDEO)

On the road to Monterrey, Mexico, incredible, close-up footage of a landspout was captured Thursday and posted to YouTube. What is a landspout and how is it different from a tornado?

By Jason Samenow  |  12:34 PM ET, 03/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography

Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 03/30/2012

Lack of snow and recent dryness cause for concern for Washington D.C. summer drought?

Even with some — generally underachieving — rains last weekend and Wednesday, much of the area remains abnormally dry. The new U.S. Drought Monitor update, released yesterday, even shows the beginnings of a short-term drought to the south and east near the Maryland shore. Does the recent dry weather portend a drought this summer?

By Ian Livingston  |  10:05 AM ET, 03/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Droughts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/30/2012

Forecast: Average March day today, with more warmth “on hold” for a few days

We start off a bit chilly today but slowly the warm weather eases back in to our region by late in the weekend and into next week. We need some rain, but we may not see too much with showers tonight through tomorrow — hopefully a downpour can soak us by next Tuesday? It remains to be seen. For now though, bundle up just a bit until Sunday, when we really start clearing out and could hit 70 again!

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:52 PM ET, 03/29/2012

PM Update: Chilly tonight with frost in outlying areas, then a fine Friday

Compared to recent warmth, today was a bit on the chilly side with highs barely edging above 60. Tack on winds gusting from 20-30 mph and it felt like...well...March. Tonight’s cold enough that frost may be an issue in the far north and west suburbs. Temperatures are a touch warmer Friday, with less wind but more cloud cover

By Jason Samenow  |  04:52 PM ET, 03/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 03/29/2012

Ten days of cherry blossoms

PHOTOS | The Capital Weather Gang’s Kevin Ambrose documented the evolution of this year’s blooms.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  02:47 PM ET, 03/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Cherry Blossoms, Photography

Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 03/29/2012

Tree pollen spikes to March record high

The tree pollen count has surged into the very high range. This looks to be the highest March reading 1998-2011 for tree pollen due to an early oak surge this year.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:13 PM ET, 03/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Latest, Health

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 03/29/2012

National Weather Service budget cuts misguided, misplaced

President Obama’s 2013 budget for the National Weather Service (NWS) reduces funding by $36.4 million in operations and research while weather satellite programs are slated for an increase of $163 million. Is there something wrong with this picture of enormous investments for satellites at the expense justifiably valuable components of NWS’s operational mission? In the opinion of many, including myself, the answer is a confident yes.

By Steve Tracton  |  10:20 AM ET, 03/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Government, Science

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/29/2012

Forecast: Brisk start today but mild finish; balance of weekend looks good

We will actually be stuck with seasonable weather the next three days before summer tries to make another comeback early next week. Another nuisance shower event shows up early Saturday but the entirety of Sunday should be a real winner! Rains for the garden and pollen purging remain in short supply.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 03/28/2012

PM Update: Scattered strong storms exit by evening; breezy, cooler Thursday

Scattered showers and thunderstorms exit during the late afternoon into early evening. Skies clear tonight with a cooler and still breezy day tomorrow.

By Ian Livingston  |  03:00 PM ET, 03/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 01:42 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Shock stat: Maryland has third highest tornado density in U.S.

Florida, Kansas, and MARYLAND: these three states have experienced the most tornadoes per 10,000 square miles over the last two decades. That’s right - twisters have concentrated more in Maryland than in the tornado hotspots of Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Tennessee, and Alabama.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:42 PM ET, 03/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Thunderstorms

Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 03/28/2012

What is thunderstorm Convective Available Potential Energy, CAPE, and why care?

What in the world is CAPE? It’s a measure of potential thunderstorm energy that uses actual and calculated temperatures and humidity at all altitudes up to more than 40,000 feet. In other words, CAPE estimates the “fuel” available to accelerate air upward.

By Jack Williams  |  11:42 AM ET, 03/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Thunderstorms, Education

Posted at 10:18 AM ET, 03/28/2012

Slight risk of severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening in Washington, D.C. area

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) cautions there’s a slight risk of severe thunderstorms for the central and western portions of the mid-Atlantic into the Ohio Valley this afternoon and evening. This includes the D.C. metro region along and west of I-95.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:18 AM ET, 03/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Thunderstorms

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/28/2012

Forecast: Warmer Wednesday with p.m. storm risk

Yesterday morning’s near-freezing temperatures were a nice change of pace. But we all know the story by now - cold air just can’t seem to hang around for long in March 2012. So while we’re still kind of cool this morning, by afternoon we’re looking at temperatures into the 70s and the potential for some showers or t’storms. Highs take a step back tomorrow and Friday before warming a bit this weekend.

By Dan Stillman  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:44 PM ET, 03/27/2012

PM Update: Warmer Wednesday with PM shower risk

A rarity: today’s high temperatures - in the low-to-mid 50s - were cooler than average. Days like this have been few and far between since November, basically. On Wednesday, we’re back to warm - the new norm - as highs bounce back into the 70s. A fast moving cold front - however - introduces the chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:44 PM ET, 03/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:10 PM ET, 03/27/2012

Weather pattern shifting cooler, stepping towards normal

The pattern associated with the nation’s recent spectacular warmth is beginning to break down. Before all said and done, however, March 2012 will go down as the warmest March on record for many locations. And it’s not even close.

By Greg Postel  |  02:10 PM ET, 03/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:08 PM ET, 03/27/2012

Temperatures dip to around freezing around Washington, D.C.

Forecasts for last night’s freezing temperatures in the Washington, D.C. area verified pretty well. Overnight lows ranged from the upper 20s to mid-30s.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:08 PM ET, 03/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:56 AM ET, 03/27/2012

Crescent moon, Jupiter, and Venus dazzle in night sky (PHOTOS)

Monday night marked the curtain call for triangular trio of the crescent Moon, Jupiter and Venus. The Moon snuggled up to within three degrees of Venus while Jupiter sat beneath the Moon-Venus. The night before (Sunday), the Moon paired up with Jupiter as Venus looked down on them from above. Check out neat photos of these formations from CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose and several readers.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:56 AM ET, 03/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Space

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/27/2012

Forecast: Freeze fades quickly but chill lingers today, back to warmth Wednesday

Any freezing temperatures around dawn quickly thaw but an unimpeded sun still struggles to meaningfully warm a rare cold airmass over the area. Do not fret though, the warmth returns Wednesday and freeze threats are unlikely to stage any comeback soon. Showers chances Wednesday and Saturday are not substantial.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 03/26/2012

PM Update: A freezing night ahead, with a cool Tuesday to follow

It was a pretty nice day out there. As long as you don’t mind a stiff breeze, plentiful sunshine and temperatures rising to near 60 earlier felt quite pleasant. Even the upper 50s this afternoon are not too bad. Some might think it’s a little chilly, but considering the average daytime high has yet to hit 60 degrees, there should be few complaints. We’ve got a cold one ahead tonight with a risk for a freeze everywhere. If you have not done so yet, you should prepare those early-sprouting plants to minimize potential damage.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:30 PM ET, 03/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:54 PM ET, 03/26/2012

Freezing warning issued for entire Washington, D.C. metro region Tuesday morning

Despite an abundance of late March sunshine, cold winds blowing in from the northwest have held afternoon temperatures in the upper 50s - setting the stage for freezing temperatures in many areas tonight. Officially a freeze warning is in effect from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday morning for north and west of Washington, D.C. including Fairfax and Montgomery counties. The District, Alexandria, Arlington, and counties to the east are excluded, but remain under a Freeze Watch.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:54 PM ET, 03/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest

Posted at 01:33 PM ET, 03/26/2012

United Kingdom experiences unseasonably warm March weather; record in Scotland

Just as the record-smashing heat wave concluded in the Great Lakes, Midwest and Northeast, unseasonably warm weather moved into the United Kingdom. The UK Met Office is reporting Scotland set a new record high temperature for March of 22.8 C (73 F) on Sunday.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:33 PM ET, 03/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:13 AM ET, 03/26/2012

Curtain call for moon, Venus, and Jupiter

On several occasions over the past month, Jupiter, Mars, and Moon have arranged themselves in a captivating triangular formation. Depending on cloud cover where you live, you may or may not have had the opportunity to feast your eyes on them. Assuming the skies cooperate, tonight offers one final opportunity to catch a glimpse.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:13 AM ET, 03/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Space

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/26/2012

Forecast: Possible Monday night freeze aside, still a mild week

March promises to exit much like it entered - like a lamb. Yes, there’s the possibility of freezing temperatures Monday night. Otherwise, the week is more or less benign. With the exception of Tuesday, the mercury should pass 60 - the current average high - each day. There’s not a lot of rain potential, but we could see some showers and storms late Wednesday and, perhaps, a steadier rain on Sunday.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 03/25/2012

Freeze watch Monday night for most of Washington, D.C. area

Just 48 hours ago it was in the low 80s, but in another 30 hours, temperatures may dip near or even below freezing in the metro region. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch late Monday night into early Tuesday morning everywhere in the greater Washington, D.C. metro region except for Calvert and St. Mary’s county - due to the moderating Bay waters.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:15 PM ET, 03/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/25/2012

Forecast: Shower chances linger today before sun makes a major comeback tomorrow

We get all this great weather during the week, then get a bummer of a weekend. It’s not fair I tell ya. At least today’s showers should be fewer than yesterday. Sunshine makes a triumphant return tomorrow, and it’s fairly pleasant into midweek. The biggest difference from last week? Temperatures start the work week closer to normal, especially Tuesday which looks to be our coolest day in quite some time.

By Brian Jackson  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/24/2012

Forecast: Showers and some rumbles possible through the weekend

It had to rain sometime, and that time is the weekend. Unfortunately we might be dodging showers through both days. On the other hand, it’s probably not a washout for many of us, but we’ll still have to watch for slow-moving bands of rain. Still, it has been dry for a while and it’s uncertain just how much of the heaviest of the rainfall will work into the area versus being located to the south and west. At least the sun returns for the work week!

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:40 PM ET, 03/23/2012

PM Update: Saying goodbye to 80s and hello to rain

Most spots have seen temperatures near 80 or into the low 80s this afternoon, along with fairly high levels of humidity. It’s not feeling too much like March, though perhaps we’re used to that at this point. Thus far, no records have officially been tied or broken, but we’ll let you know if that changes. We’ve got some different weather coming though, and unfortunately that means a fairly wet weekend is ahead. But before that, a pretty brilliant evening for any outdoor plans!

By Ian Livingston  |  04:40 PM ET, 03/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:50 PM ET, 03/23/2012

How has the warm winter and early spring affected your life?

That’s the question we asked Washingtonians on Facebook and Twitter earlier today, and we got plenty of responses - good, bad and otherwise.

By Dan Stillman  |  02:50 PM ET, 03/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 03/23/2012

Lousy end to lousy mid-Atlantic ski season

After two amazing seasons of decent snow and consistently good ski conditions, our area suffered one of the worst ski seasons in recent memory.

By Kyle Dodd  |  01:00 PM ET, 03/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 03/23/2012

Stink bugs emerge from hibernation

The recent warm weather has awakened stink bugs from hibernation, causing them to scamper from their hideouts in our attics and walls, emerging both indoors and outdoors, wherever they can find a getaway.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  10:45 AM ET, 03/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Nature, Latest, Photography

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/23/2012

Forecast: One last chance at 80s, before weekend rain and cooler air

We have a shot at 80 degrees after our Groundhog-Day-like fog repeats its burning off. Then we have a wet Saturday and still-damp Sunday to contend with. Be warned, you may not be able to wear your shorts as much as recently, with temperatures next week struggling to get into the 60s. Get ready for a wet transition this weekend that should finally net us some average temperatures!

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:02 PM ET, 03/22/2012

PM Update: First Friday morning fog, followed by warm, fantastic sunshine

Extremely dense morning fog was eventually overcome by the strong late March sun and incoming flow from the south. Temperatures responded by warming into the mid-to-upper 70s around D.C. to the low 80s towards Fredericksburg . Fog returns early Friday - but not as extensive as today. The balance of Friday is partly to mostly sunny and probably a bit warmer than today.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:02 PM ET, 03/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:31 PM ET, 03/22/2012

Epic March heat wave in Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast: link to global warming?

For more than a week, dozens of towns and cities in the Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast have smashed, obliterated and demolished warm weather records - sometimes on multiple consecutive days.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:31 PM ET, 03/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:41 PM ET, 03/22/2012

Summer in spring? Head for the hoses...

Our unseasonably warm readings have pushed soil temperatures in much of the area into the 50s. Given this warmth, do we dare to start planting seeds and seedlings of tender plants outside?

By David Streit  |  12:41 PM ET, 03/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening

Posted at 11:13 AM ET, 03/22/2012

National Park Service: Cherry blossoms peaked on March 20, third earliest on record (tie)

The National Park Service (NPS) has confirmed Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossoms peaked on March 20, tied for third earliest on record.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:13 AM ET, 03/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Cherry Blossoms

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/22/2012

Forecast: Fog fading, summerlike warmth into Friday, very wet weekend ahead

For the next two days, June-like weather in March resumes - following bouts of morning fog. Hard to complain if you are out and about in the evenings. However, you may complain this weekend as a slow moving storm system moves right through our area. Saturday outdoor activities are likely to be soggy and Sunday does not look much better. There is the possibility of as much as two inches of rain.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 03/21/2012

PM Update: Clouds mostly won today’s battle, but what about tomorrow?

If the sun made an appearance today, it was generally a short one, though we’ve finally seen some increased rays late this afternoon. Most of us have been socked in with clouds throughout the day, and that’s kept temperatures down a bit, yet they’re still quite mild for this time of year. Those highs in the mid-60s to near 70 should be about as cool as we see for the next few days.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:30 PM ET, 03/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:11 PM ET, 03/21/2012

Exceptional March heat wave re-writing history in Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast

Warm weather records continue to mount at a feverish pace over the Eastern half of the U.S. Both the intensity and longevity of the summer-like warmth defy belief. Here’s the latest round-up of records...

By Jason Samenow  |  03:11 PM ET, 03/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 03/21/2012

From March heat in Washington, D.C. to a summer scorcher?

A few weeks ago, we examined what the 20 warmest meteorological winters (Dec-Feb) turned into during the summer to follow and if we could draw any conclusions about this warm stretch. There was no meaningful correlation. Though in a raw count, a cooler than normal summer occurred slightly more than half of the time. Nothing to worry about when imaging the warm months ahead if your A/C is on the fritz, right?

By Ian Livingston  |  12:24 PM ET, 03/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 03/21/2012

Warmest astronomical winter on record in Washington, D.C.

The winter of 2011-2012, by the astronomical definition, was the warmest on record in Washington, D.C. according to the National Weather Service.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:08 AM ET, 03/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/21/2012

Forecast: Still warm and getting warmer

It’s getting harder and harder to find new ways to describe this relentlessly warm weather pattern. But it sure is easy to enjoy it.. Highs return to the 70s today, top out in the upper 70s to near 80 tomorrow, and could go even higher Friday.While an isolated shower or thunderstorm can’t be ruled out through the end of the work week, the weekend may present the best chance of getting wet.

By Dan Stillman  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:48 PM ET, 03/20/2012

PM Update: Clouds/fog late tonight, some Wednesday afternoon sunshine, warm

Whereas incredibly warm weather is the broken record to our northwest, an easterly flow of air (off the ocean) has moderated temperatures in our region the last several days. Yet it’s still unseasonably mild here despite the bouts of fog and clouds, and the cooling breeze. That’s the case again Wednesday.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:48 PM ET, 03/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:20 PM ET, 03/20/2012

Mind-boggling warm weather records swell in Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast

The record warm weather in the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast continues to destroy century old records by unthinkable margins. Let’s take a tour of some of the latest unfathomable records...

By Jason Samenow  |  03:20 PM ET, 03/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Extreme Heat

Posted at 01:48 PM ET, 03/20/2012

Fairfax County, Va. prepares for tornado season

Since the 1950s, 16 tornadoes have struck Fairfax county. With the 2012 tornado season off to a fast start, the county is readying itself for a worst case scenario of a major tornado outbreak through a three-day response exercise.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:48 PM ET, 03/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:53 AM ET, 03/20/2012

D.C.’s cherry blossoms have shifted 5 days earlier: what about global warming and the future?

Real-world data support the overall idea that the D.C.’s March climate is warming and the blosssoms’ bloom dates are shifting earlier in response.. How do the historic changes fit in with future projections?

By Jason Samenow  |  10:53 AM ET, 03/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Cherry Blossoms, Local Climate

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/20/2012

Forecast: Warm and considerably cloudy first day of spring; more sun by Thu-Fri

Our super-warm pattern continues through the balance of this week with both highs and lows running around 15-20 degrees warmer-than-normal. This impressive situation is only muted by some light easterly breezes that keep cloud cover around, especially through mid-week during the morning hours. The easterly flow fades by Thursday and Friday, allowing for more sunshine and warmer afternoon temperatures (upper 70s to low 80s!). But wet weather, at times, may unfold this weekend.

By Matt Rogers  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 03/19/2012

PM Update: A shower or two possible; remaining warm

We pulled off another pretty fine day (especially for a Monday!), with a good deal of sun before some afternoon clouds. Highs have generally shot for the mid-70s most spots, which remains well above average for this time of year. There’s no real break in the warmth anytime soon, though we’ll continue to have to dodge clouds from time to time, and there’s a slight risk of showers into tomorrow.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:30 PM ET, 03/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:41 PM ET, 03/19/2012

Midwest, Great Lakes basking in unprecedented warm weather for March

The current spell of warm weather in the Upper Midwest is not just breaking but obliterating records which have stood for more than a century. The warmth is so intense in some areas, high temperatures have reached mid-summer levels while it’s still winter. The longevity of the heat is as impressive as its intensity: temperatures have run some 20 to 45 degrees above normal for 6 to 10 straight days in some areas.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:41 PM ET, 03/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Extreme Heat

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 03/19/2012

Cherry blossoms bursting out

I have assembled a small collection of images from Friday evening showing the cherry blossoms bursting out at the Tidal Basin. They should be peaking any day.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  12:02 PM ET, 03/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Cherry Blossoms, Photography

Posted at 09:51 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Spring equinox marks the official end of winter early Tuesday morning

Meteorologists consider March 1 the first day of spring, and this year it has certainly felt like it. Recent summerlike warmth across much of the country makes it hard to believe that winter has not officially ended – at least not according to the traditional definition of the seasons.

By Justin Grieser  |  09:51 AM ET, 03/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Astronomy, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Forecast: Mostly cloudy mornings, more afternoon sun; chance of showers Monday PM

Morning fog followed by the eventuality of some sunshine and warmth - the trademark weather of coastal southern California - visits the D.C. area through midweek. However, a few showers are possible this afternoon. By Thursday and Friday, we lose the morning marine layer taking temperature to new heights - perhaps up to 80 or so - and it’s totally dry. From this vantage point, the weekend looks unsettled - but uncertainty is high.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/18/2012

Forecast: Still mild, even if more clouds than sun

There’s something to be said for consistency, and we’ll have plenty of that over the next several days. A stationary area of high pressure off the East Coast means an onshore component to our winds, and that means we hedge to the somewhat cloudy side. But, that’s not the worst price to pay for highs near and past 70 while we’re still technically in winter.

By Brian Jackson  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/17/2012

Forecast: Mild and mainly benign weather pattern continues into next week

We’re on the usual springtime rollercoaster, only this go around its from “what the heck?” kind of warmth to, “it’s still warm but not that warm” stuff. Today is probably warmer than yesterday as we should kick the thicker cloud cover, but we lose a few degrees again tomorrow. Beyond that, the forecast does not seem as certain as it once was, but we should continue to lean pretty mild compared to average throughout.

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:52 PM ET, 03/16/2012

PM Update: Showery & cool into tonight; more sun this weekend

The marine layer has really socked us in today, with clouds and showers holding high temperatures to around 60. It remains raw and showery through early to mid-evening before high pressure starts to take control and drying initiates. The weekend looks splendid with at least partial sunshine and pleasant temperatures.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:52 PM ET, 03/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 12:43 PM ET, 03/16/2012

Back door cold fronts kick heat out of mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes

A remarkable 593 record highs were tied or broken from the East Coast to the Upper Midwest Thursday (compared to just 2 record lows) and record warmth is possible again in some of these same areas again today. But from the northern mid-Atlantic to the Great Lakes, temperatures are 10-25 degrees colder today than they were yesterday. In both regions, sneaky cold fronts have oozed south, placing a temporary halt on this historic March heat wave.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:43 PM ET, 03/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  U.S. Weather, Latest, Extreme Heat

Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 03/16/2012

Recapping the 2011-12 Snow Potential Index

With D.C.’s first occurrence of three straight 80-degree days in March since 1998, snow is now a distant memory. Capital Weather Gang officially retired Season 2 of the Snow Potential Index (SPI) last Friday, forcing disappointed snow lovers to come to terms with the remarkably warm winter of 2011-2012.

By Justin Grieser  |  10:08 AM ET, 03/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Local Climate, Winter Storms, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/16/2012

Forecast: Cooler much of today as marine air teases the area

We’re probably out of the running for 80 degrees today as a weak cold front continues to dance around our area, and that lasts into the weekend. So far it appears to not have serious consequence except reducing the warmth when it moves through. Rain chances today are also welcome news for gardeners and allergy sufferers alike. It should help your plants but also should help wash-out some of the tree pollen in the air. Achooo! Next week we return to our drier and warmer conditions.

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:05 PM ET, 03/15/2012

PM Update: D.C. sets record high; still warm but shower chances into Friday

Both Reagan National and Dulles Airport set new record high temperatures today, climbing to 82 and 84 respectively. The old records, set in 1990, were 81 and 82. It’s warm again Friday, but clouds and and the opportunity for showers drop readings by a good 6-8 degrees.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:05 PM ET, 03/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:12 PM ET, 03/15/2012

Lack of winter snow reduces spring flood threat

The dearth of snow this past winter was a bummer for skiers and winter weather lovers. But thanks to the paltry snow output, residents along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers can probably breathe easier this spring. NOAA announced today the risk of spring flooding is the lowest in four years.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:12 PM ET, 03/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 01:22 PM ET, 03/15/2012

Has the sun driven recent precipitation extremes in Northeast?

New research published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters presents evidence to suggest that the solar cycle plays a significant role in precipitation fluctuations in the Northeast U.S.

By Matt Rogers  |  01:22 PM ET, 03/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 03/15/2012

Historic record warm weather brings summer to central and eastern U.S.

Temperatures more characteristic of June have broken hundreds of temperature records over the last several days and promise to continue into the next week in many areas. In some places, temperatures have been an eye-popping 30-40 degrees above normal, nearing or surpassing the warmest temperatures ever recorded so early in the season.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:35 AM ET, 03/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Extreme Heat

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/15/2012

Forecast: Record warmth possible today, thundershowers sneak in tomorrow

Spring was great wasn’t it? Well, on to summer! I’m not really joking with pretty much everybody likely to be in the 80s. Records are apt to drop as fast as the pollen from the trees now kicking into high gear. A few showers should knock readings down to more reasonable levels tomorrow and the weekend should be delightful.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:45 PM ET, 03/14/2012

PM Update: March “heat wave” rolls on

When we talk heat wave, we’re usually looking at three days above 90 in a row. But by March standards, we’re in the midst of a heat wave as far as I’m concerned! We’ve seen another day of temperatures near 80 today, and it looks like we get there again tomorrow before a slight cool down brings us back down to more “normal” above average temperatures.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:45 PM ET, 03/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 03/14/2012

NASA to launch 5 rockets in 5 minutes from Wallops, Va. tonight (maybe)

Between midnight and 3:00 a.m. March 23 (tentative), 5 NASA rockets will soar into the atmosphere to obtain information about rip roaring winds 60-65 miles high in the atmosphere. Assuming clear skies, NASA says the 5 rockets will be launched in just over 5 minutes from Wallops Island, Va.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:39 PM ET, 03/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Space, Science

Posted at 01:16 PM ET, 03/14/2012

Cherry blossom peak bloom forecast moved up by Park Service; pollen surging

The National Park Service (NPS) has revised its prediction for the peak bloom date of the Cherry Blossoms from March 24-28 to March 20-23. This change brings the NPS outlook closer to Capital Weather Gang’s peak bloom forecast of March 18-22.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:16 PM ET, 03/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Cherry Blossoms, Capital Weather Gang

Posted at 11:28 AM ET, 03/14/2012

Sea level rise from global warming magnifies coastal flood risk in Washington, D.C., mid-Atlantic

Sea level rise resulting from global warming will dramatically increase the risk of storm surge flooding in Washington, D.C. and along much of the U.S. coast, according to a new report from Climate Central. The report, “Surging Seas” describes the risk of exceeding established flood levels by 2030, when taking projected sea level rise into account.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:28 AM ET, 03/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/14/2012

Forecast: Warmth that makes you say ‘Wow!’

What a pair of days we’ve got on tap today and tomorrow. Plenty of sun and highs flirting with 80 make it hard to resist at least a couple outdoor breaks for those who spend most of their day indoors. If you care about records, tomorrow is the main day to watch. Best chance of showers and storms is Friday and possibly into Saturday, with temperatures remaining well above normal right through the weekend

By Dan Stillman  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:01 PM ET, 03/13/2012

PM Update: Late spring-like weather continues; warm Wednesday ahead

Afternoon temperatures today - up to around 80 - resembled what we typically experience around June 1. And there’s plenty more to come. There’s an outside chance of a thunderstorm into the evening as a little front rolls by - but the air behind it is no cooler, just a bit drier. So Wednesday should be just delightful.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:01 PM ET, 03/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:22 PM ET, 03/13/2012

Jupiter and Venus get intimate in night sky

Just weeks ago, Jupiter and Venus, together with the moon, formed an unmistakable triangle in the night sky before the moon drifted away. Ever since, these two planets have drawn closer together. And tonight, they come about as close as they’ll ever get - separated by just three degrees in the night sky.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:22 PM ET, 03/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Space

Posted at 11:36 AM ET, 03/13/2012

Widespread record warmth to continue next 7-10 days; Midwest severe weather possible next week

Large parts of the United States are right now experiencing one of the most spectacular warm spells in modern times. On Sunday, 188 record highs were tied or broken in the U.S. and 117 on Monday. Similar numbers will likely come in today as well. And record warmth is likely to keep coming for the next 7-10 days.

By Greg Postel  |  11:36 AM ET, 03/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/13/2012

Forecast: Partly sunny with 70s today; warm week continues

The warm weather pattern continues. Expect lots of 70s for highs over the next several days (maybe 80s on Thursday!). While clouds and widely scattered showers complicate today a bit, tomorrow and Thursday look excellent. Friday and the weekend keep the big warm pattern going, but we could get some complications in the form of clouds and isolated showers.

By Matt Rogers  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:45 PM ET, 03/12/2012

PM Update: A few showers tonight, warm with a storm possible tomorrow

We’re settling into this warm stretch nicely with what should be the first of many days near or above 70 in the coming week. Clouds are beginning to roll in from the west, and that often means a cold front with cooler air is on the way. Well, a cold front will arrive tomorrow but chilly air is going to remain quite hard to find for a long while.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:45 PM ET, 03/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:23 PM ET, 03/12/2012

Washington, D.C. cherry blossoms destined for early bloom, Capital Weather Gang prediction

The May-like warmth forecast over the next week promises to give the cherry blossoms a big shot of adrenaline, likely bringing them to peak bloom considerably earlier than normal (which is around April 1). With the big temperature spike ahead, the peak bloom date could come close to the earliest on record (over the last 20 years) of March 17, 2000.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:23 PM ET, 03/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Cherry Blossoms

Posted at 10:24 AM ET, 03/12/2012

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

Meteorological spring starts with the first day of March, and the astronomical version comes along in the final third of the month. It’s by no means one of D.C.’s warm months, but the signs of milder times to come are often significant. But, it can also still be chilly at times and even snow.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:24 AM ET, 03/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/12/2012

Forecast: Mid-March to more closely resemble mid-May weatherwise

When we moved our clocks forward by an hour Sunday, we might as well have flipped our calendar ahead two months - because that’s how mild it’s going to be this week! Aside from today, most days this week we easily sail pass 70, and 80 could be within reach later this week. There will be the episodic shower chance, mainly tonight and towards the start of the weekend. But, more often than not, warm sunshine...

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/11/2012

Forecast: Spring warmth spreads in, and we’ve got an extra hour to enjoy it!

Now this is more like it! After a chilly start to the weekend, today’s temperatures are headed in the right direction. Clear skies and a breeze from the south boost us 10-15 degrees higher than yesterday. And the warming trend continues as we head toward midweek, with only a threat of mainly light showers Monday night into Tuesday.

By Brian Jackson  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/10/2012

Forecast: Moderately cool today, with significant warming to follow

Well, CWG unofficially canceled winter yesterday with the shelving of SPI, so it’s time to fully root on warmth, right? After we get through today, that sounds like a winning plan in the upcoming period. Even today, with temperatures running a little cooler than normal, it should not feel too chilled. By tomorrow, the warm-up begins in earnest. And, going into next week the pollen count is sure to stay quite high.

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:59 AM ET, 03/10/2012

UnitedCast: Sweet weather for home opener

You might want a layer or two, especially if getting out to the stadium in the hours before the game. Otherwise, it’s smooth sailing!

By Ian Livingston  |  04:59 AM ET, 03/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  UnitedCast

Posted at 04:16 PM ET, 03/09/2012

PM Update: Chilly, sunny Saturday, milder Sunday

Behind last night’s cold front, brisk winds from the northwest ushered in much cooler temperatures. Still, even just partial March sunshine lifted afternoon temperatures into the mid-to-upper 50s. We won’t be that mild tomorrow, but when winds from the south come back Sunday, it will get even warmer than today.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:16 PM ET, 03/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:17 PM ET, 03/09/2012

After the winter that wasn’t, time to “spring ahead” again

In case you forgot because the dark days of winter didn’t feel quite as cold and gloomy as they usually do, daylight saving time starts this Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 a.m. That means we turn the clocks ahead one hour (and unfortunately lose an hour of sleep in the process).

By Justin Grieser  |  02:17 PM ET, 03/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Astronomy, Latest

Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 03/09/2012

Solar storm peaks at strong level; why forecasting space weather is difficult

After the sun hurled out the biggest solar flare in five years, media were abuzz, sometimes hyperbolically, about the prospective solar storm threat. Then, when a mere “minor” storm arrived Thursday with minimal impact, headlines pronounced the storm a fizzler. But, just as it was presumed dead, geomagnetic storming surged early Friday, and a strong solar storm is presently underway. The twists and turns of this recent solar event illuminate the challenges in forecasting and reporting solar activity.

By Steve Tracton and Jason Samenow  |  12:07 PM ET, 03/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Space, Science, Tracton

Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 03/09/2012

Moonrise over Washington, D.C. on March 7

It was not the perfect moonrise for postcard photos, but for a weather-watcher, the interplay of sunlight, clouds, and the rising moon was very cool. I captured a time lapse video and some still photos of the event. I hope you enjoy the scenes of our beautiful and interesting March 7th moonrise.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  10:15 AM ET, 03/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Astronomy, Photography, Latest

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/09/2012

Forecast: Cooler and breezy the next couple days before more big warmth

If you can stand a couple days of cooler air, it will wane -- and so will the windy conditions -- by Sunday. It looks like a fairly dry upcoming period, where warmth is more favored than cold air. By Sunday we should see 60s again, and by Monday it could near or hit 70. That trend continues into the workweek. Break out the spring gear?

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:32 PM ET, 03/08/2012

PM Update: Showers tonight then temperatures tumble, windy

A formidable cold front is closing in on the metro region, but what a wild push of warm air out ahead of it! Temperatures spiked into the low 70s this afternoon while wind gusts from the south soared to 40 mph. The cold front brings overnight showers but a return of sunny skies Friday and not as gusty winds.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:32 PM ET, 03/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:18 PM ET, 03/08/2012

Red sky in morning... (SUNRISE PHOTOS)

To explain and illustrate the weather setup for colorful sunrises, I analyzed past sunrise photos with their associated satellite images. I found a predictable and repeatable weather pattern that is responsible for creating vibrant color in the sky at sunrise.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  02:18 PM ET, 03/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography, Science, Education

Posted at 01:37 PM ET, 03/08/2012

Henryville, Indiana tornado: incredible video

The Henryville, Indiana tornado, rated intensity 4 on NOAA’s 0-5 Enhanced Fujita scale, caused massive destruction. The twister stayed on the ground for more than 50 miles and generated winds to 170-mph. Some of the recent video posted online of this tornado is simply not to be believed. See below for the most dramatic yet.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:37 PM ET, 03/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 03/08/2012

Solar storm underway, may reach strong levels; aurora likely at high latitudes tonight

The blast of solar wind associated with the second strongest flare unleashed by the sun in the last five years has reached Earth. But it may have yet to pack its biggest punch.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:40 AM ET, 03/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Space

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/08/2012

Forecast: Blissful warmth today gets shaved back by cold front tonight

We get our spring spoiling over with today but the weekend chill down is pretty tame. A few showers with a potent cold front tonight are welcome for our awakening gardens. We do have to put up with one below normal day on Saturday. Other than that, temperatures remain mild and sunshine is our companion for the next several days.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 03/07/2012

PM Update: Continued warm through tomorrow, before shower chance late

Here we are, back to well above average temperatures and abundant sunshine. It was a beautiful one out there today, if also a bit windy! We’ve got a mild night ahead for area sky watchers. And there is more warmth -- including a shot to hit 70 -- coming up tomorrow.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:30 PM ET, 03/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 03/07/2012

December through February, meteorological winter: 4th warmest on record in U.S.

Throughout the Lower 48 states, there was no escaping milder than average weather this past meteorological winter (December through February). Overall, it was the 4th warmest in the last 117 years.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:39 PM ET, 03/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  U.S. Weather, Latest

Posted at 01:37 PM ET, 03/07/2012

The central Virginia snow zone from space

Twice now, over the past two-three weeks, the immediate Washington, D.C. metro area has been deprived of accumulating snow falling just 60-100 miles to its south. No image tells the stor y better than the one below.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:37 PM ET, 03/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography

Posted at 11:46 AM ET, 03/07/2012

Onslaught of solar flares bring space weather storms to Earth

The sun is hot and bothered, and exhaling its fury towards Earth. Solar radiation and geomagnetic storms are currently in progress, and a second, more intense geomagnetic storm is forecast to arrive tonight. This second storm is associated with the X-class solar flare spewed out by the sun Tuesday night, second largest this solar cycle, which began early in 2007.

By Jason Samenow and Brian Vastag  |  11:46 AM ET, 03/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Space

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/07/2012

Forecast: Warm today and warmer tomorrow, then cooler into the weekend

Today and tomorrow are keepers in my weather book and probably yours too, unless you’re not a fan of mostly to partly sunny skies and highs in the 60s to near 70? Thursday night into Friday interrupts the fun with clouds and a decent chance of showers. We’re dry and cooler to start the weekend, but can’t say with much confidence how we end it.

By Dan Stillman  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:55 AM ET, 03/07/2012

Capital Weather Watchers sign-up

Interested in joining our most trusted group of weather spotters? Sign up using the form in this post, and we will point you to training opportunities. Already have Skywarn Spotter training? Just indicate so, and we’ll get in touch with you about enrolling.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:55 AM ET, 03/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang

Posted at 11:49 PM ET, 03/06/2012

Sun unleashes huge solar flare; possible Earth-bound solar storm

Between 7 and 8 p.m.Tuesday night, the sun spit out a large, X5-class solar flare. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center called it “one of the largest solar flares of the current solar cycle.”

By Jason Samenow  |  11:49 PM ET, 03/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Space

Posted at 05:47 PM ET, 03/06/2012

PM Update: Awaiting Wednesday’s big warm-up

Has this winter’s warm weather turned some Washingtonians into weather wimps? Today’s highs in the mid-to-upper 40s - a few degrees below normal - drew a lot of complaints. But any wimps won’t have to whine for long as warmth charges back into the region tomorrow. How does sunny and 65 sound?

By Jason Samenow  |  05:47 PM ET, 03/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:05 PM ET, 03/06/2012

Poll: How would you grade this winter’s weather in Washington, D.C.?

It was the warmest meteorological winter (December through February) since the Great Depression, ranking third mildest on record. Snow? What snow? We’ve had 2” of it and never more than 0.6” in a single day! Assuming we don’t get any more snow by the end of April, it will also rank as 3rd least snowy on record.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:05 PM ET, 03/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 02:05 PM ET, 03/06/2012

Ash Wednesday storm of 1962: 50-year anniversary

Today marks the 50-year anniversary of one of the most intense winter storms to hit the East Coast in the last century. The Ash Wednesday storm of March 5-9, 1962, battered the coast the of mid-Atlantic and Northeast, causing over $200 million in property damage and killing 40 people. The storm destroyed or severely damaged 45,000 homes, according to the National Weather Service.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:05 PM ET, 03/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 03/06/2012

Mild March forecast on target for much of U.S.: big warming possible next week

After experiencing one of the mildest winters in modern times, the Lower 48 is staring down …you guessed it … a warm start to Spring. Earlier long-range forecasts for above average temperatures in March are now supported by multi-week predictions from the global weather models. Fortunately, as outlined by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), severe weather prospects appear limited through the next week at least.

By Greg Postel  |  10:46 AM ET, 03/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/06/2012

Forecast: Mostly sunny, but still chilly; warmer Wednesday and Thursday

Cold Canadian high pressure passes right overhead today and locks in some below-normal temperatures. Highs should range from the middle 40s to maybe near 50 in spots under mostly sunny skies. Still on the cold side tonight before stronger warming propels us into the 60s tomorrow to around 70 by Thursday! Look for rain Friday morning, a cold front midday, and some colder trends by Friday night into Saturday before warming again on Sunday. The early spring weather yo-yo continues.

By Matt Rogers  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 03/05/2012

PM Update: Cold tonight and cool tomorrow before moderation midweek

With snow flurries in the air at times, it was a pretty wintry day around here. The southern periphery of the region even got some snow accumulation (but it will melt fast). Today’s highs ranging from near 40 to the mid-40s are a good 5-10 degrees below average, and we’ve got more chill to go through tomorrow before a warm-up into midweek.

By Ian Livingston  |  04:30 PM ET, 03/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 03:52 PM ET, 03/05/2012

Tornado outbreak: recap of deadly March 2 storms in Tennessee and Ohio Valley, South

The tornado outbreak, which ravaged the Tennessee Valley, the Ohio Valley, and parts of the South last Friday, will go down in the record books as one of the worst, if not the worst, March tornado events on record. NOAA has confirmed 45 tornadoes touched town, and continues to conduct storm surveys. A lot has been written about Friday’s outbreak. Here’s a guide to some of the most significant information.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:52 PM ET, 03/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 03/05/2012

Does D.C.’s warm winter mean a hot summer is to follow?

As we now know, meteorological winter (December through February) 2011-12 finished as the third warmest on record here in Washington, D.C.. Thinking back, warmth seems all too common around here, especially when one considers the last two summers were the hottest two on record. The fourth warmest February on record to close our toasty winter can’t be a good omen going into the warm season, can it?

By Ian Livingston  |  11:30 AM ET, 03/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 03/05/2012

Super snow band blankets central Virginia

As light snow and flurries - of a conversational nature - fly around parts of the D.C. metro area, a narrow band of heavy snow has set up from just west of Charlottesville to just south of Fredericksburg. A winter storm warning for 4-6” of snow has been posted for that region through 1 p.m. today.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:35 AM ET, 03/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/05/2012

Forecast: Cold start to week with possible flakes, then a warm-up

Some conversational snowflakes may be in the air today, but the best chance of a dusting or better is south of Fredericksburg. The first couple days this week have a wintry feel, but warmer weather springs back for Wednesday and Thursday. Perhaps some rain showers Friday before what *should* be a pretty decent weather weekend.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/04/2012

Forecast: Cooler today. Could be cold enough for a few flakes late tonight and tomorrow

Cooler air makes its way into the region today, as well as the chance of a shower or two. The cool air sticks around long enough to give us a chance of flurries or snow showers late tonight and tomorrow, especially south of D.C. For now, accumulation doesn’t appear to be much of a concern until you get a good bit south of D.C., but there’s still time for some forecast fluctuations.

By Brian Jackson  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/03/2012

Forecast: Sun returns today with a breeze, but turning cooler through early next week

Today’s sort of the reverse of yesterday, where any rain or clouds should be around early with nicer conditions as the day wears on. It’s going to be breezy though as the storm which caused all the tornadoes to the west yesterday shoots away, leaving a temporarily more wintry (you might not notice it with today’s temperatures) pattern its wake.

By Ian Livingston  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 05:55 PM ET, 03/02/2012

Tornado outbreak in Tennessee and Ohio Valley; Towns destroyed, state of emergency in Kentucky

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and extreme south central Indiana under a “high risk” of severe thunderstorms today. The “high risk” designation is reserved for the most dire severe weather situations, and used only a few times a year on average.

By Jason Samenow and Ian Livingston  |  05:55 PM ET, 03/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:44 PM ET, 03/02/2012

PM Update: Rainy through midday Saturday, flood watch, no tornado threat

As a terrible tornado outbreak ravages the Tennessee and Ohio Valley, the D.C. metro region is fortunate to contend with just clouds and rain showers. A few heavier downpours are possible towards morning, enough to prompt a flood watch, but relative to entire towns being wiped out in southern Indiana, our problems are trivial. And by Saturday afternoon, we should begin clearing out.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:44 PM ET, 03/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:19 PM ET, 03/02/2012

Poll: when will the cherry blossoms peak?

Yesterday, the National Park Service announced it expects cherry blossoms to reach peak bloom between March 24 and 31 in their centennial year at the Tidal Basin. March weather is one of the main predictors of the peak bloom, and above average temperatures are forecast. The earliest peak bloom on record occurred on March 17, 2000 when conditions were unseasonably warm in the weeks prior. Could the NPS be wrong and 2012’s blossoms bud prior to its projection? Vote in our poll.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:19 PM ET, 03/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Cherry Blossoms

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/02/2012

Forecast: Sunshine gives way to clouds and showers before front blows through tomorrow

Today starts somewhat sunny, and stays mild albeit breezy. By tonight, most of us should get a small dose of rain with more coming into tomorrow. We may see some more sun before too long though, as the cold front passes through midday tomorrow. This new, cooler airmass gets us much closer to our average highs in the low 50s, and upper 40s to low 50s through Tuesday appear possible. A little more shiver before spring sets in for good?

By A. Camden Walker  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 04:04 PM ET, 03/01/2012

PM Update: Becoming cloudy Friday, not as warm

March kicked off in style today, with afternoon temperatures soaring to a sunny 70 degrees or so. Clear skies this evening allow temperatures to take a bit of a dive. They recover Friday, but stop short of today’s levels as clouds increase. A few showers may reach the area by late in the day.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:04 PM ET, 03/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

Posted at 02:27 PM ET, 03/01/2012

Major Tennessee Valley severe weather, tornado outbreak possible Friday

Reeling from destructive thunderstorms and tornadoes on Wednesday, the Tennessee Valley is bracing for another round of severe weather Friday.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:27 PM ET, 03/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 12:11 PM ET, 03/01/2012

National Park Service: Cherry Blossoms to bloom early in Washington, D.C. in 2012

Rob DeFeo, chief horticulturalist at the National Park Service, predicts an early peak for this year’s Centennial cherry blossom bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C..

By Jason Samenow  |  12:11 PM ET, 03/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Cherry Blossoms

Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 03/01/2012

February 4th warmest on record, meteorological winter 3rd warmest

February and the meteorological winter (spaning December through February) have just come to a close, but why do I feel like we are transitioning from autumn to spring right now? This has certainly been a winter in name only as we continue to draw sharp contrasts against the previous two colder-than-normal winters. So let’s look at how we stacked up in the final tallies...

By Matt Rogers  |  10:16 AM ET, 03/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/01/2012

Forecast: Sunshine back in full force, next rains arrive Friday night

If this is March coming in like a lion, it must be a cowardly one. It only manages a few roars from gusts of wind. Otherwise, lamblike warmth is in control. Our next bout of showers comes in meekly on Friday night but there could be a good rain burst on Saturday morning before a cold front surges through and brings us back to a dry and more seasonable Sunday.

By David Streit  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts

 

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