PM Update: Few showers Wednesday; Mikulski criticizes proposed NOAA furloughs

11:02 p.m. update: A decaying line of showers/storms in eastern West Virginia may reach the D.C. area between 1-3 a.m., but shouldn’t produce much rain.  The best chance of measurable rain and perhaps even a rumble of thunder is in areas west of the beltway and especially towards the mountains.


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From 6:02 p.m.: Winds from the south helped to break apart the overcast skies and gave temperatures a friendly upward nudge this afternoon.  Temperatures touched the mid-70s with even a hint of humidity.  A weak front lurking to the northwest slinks south Wednesday, acting as a focus for clouds and a few showers, while cooling us off just a bit.

Through Tonight: That southerly flow keeps temperatures on the mild side much of the night.  In fact, locations inside the beltway probably don’t fall below 60, with perhaps some upper 50s in the cooler suburbs to the west and northwest.  There’s an abundance of clouds and the breeze is light.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Skies are cloudy and, as the front to our north pushes south during the course of the day, winds probably switch from the south to out of the northeast.  Before the wind shifts, we may manage to reach the low 70s or so. But, if the front comes in sooner, highs could end up only in the 60s.  There’s a 20-30 percent chance of showers, but it’s by no means a washout, with dry weather more often than not.  Like Monday, the air will have a humid feel much of the day.

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Pollen update from the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab: Cooler, cloudy weather continues to keep our tree count lower, however,  trees remain in the HIGH range at 282.43 grains/cubic meter.  Ash, birch, beech, oak, elm and pine are the major allergenic tree offenders at this time. Grass pollen is LOW at 1.92 grains/cubic meter and will continue to climb steady.

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) speaks out against NOAA furloughs: Responding to the news that NOAA has proposed to furlough its employees for 4 days, Senator Mikulski issued the followed statement:

“NOAA’s announcement that all agency employees may be furloughed starting in June is the latest example as to why sequester is bad policy.

“These furloughs are a real consequence of sequester that puts family livelihoods into jeopardy for over 12,200 people who work hard every day to issue severe weather warnings quickly, map safe maritime waterways, and protect our fishery economies.

“I am especially concerned that these furloughs will start in June at the beginning of hurricane season and the onset of strong summer storms.  America has experienced several severe weather events in recent years and scientists suggest that severe weather will continue.

“NOAA and the weather service play a pivotal role in early forecasting that protects lives and livelihoods. The nation depends on these civil servants to help local weather forecasters get it right so our citizens can secure their property and get their families out of harm’s way. Our Industry and our economy depend on them, too. One-third of our GDP is weather sensitive.

“We owe it to our communities to have a weather service that is ready for duty – from the coastal states that depend on accurate hurricane forecasts to the interior states that depend on timely tornado warnings.

“As Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work across the aisle, across the dome, and across town with the White House to find a balanced approach to eliminate sequester. It’s a terrible policy that was never supposed to happen.”

Also on Capital Weather Gang

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