The Washington Post

PM Update: Chilly but calm into Friday; fixing Atlanta’s weather response

Temperature Map

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map. See interactive map on our Weather Wall.

It was a cold winter day, but nothing too extreme by recent standards. Highs reached the mid-30s or so, held back by considerable high clouds. Calm, partly cloudy, and pretty cold weather hangs around through Friday.

Through Tonight: Skies remain partly to mostly cloudy. The clouds retain some of today’s heat, so lows don’t dive as far as they would under clear skies.  They range from the low 20s in the colder suburbs to the upper 20s downtown. Light winds.

Tomorrow (Friday): We probably see a bit more in the way of sunshine compared to today, but still plenty in the way of mid-to-high level clouds. Highs range from the upper 30s to low 40s, with light winds from the west around 5 mph.

See David Streit’s forecast into early next week. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Sunset in the District Wednesday (John Sonderman via Flickr)

Fixing Atlanta’s weather response: In the wake of “Snowjam 14″ – the name assigned to the commuting debacle following the Atlanta snowstorm January 21, big thinkers are offering guidance for avoiding a repeat scenario. David Titley, Director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State, says it requires a new way of communicating risk. See this excerpt quoting Titley from a commentary in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Yet a 20 percent chance of snow can easily be misunderstood. To most civilians, it means an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather. But let’s also say that on an average day, the chances of ice and snow bringing down metro Atlanta is one in a thousand. Titley did a quick calculation in his head.

“I would have said, ‘Hey, boss, today there is a 200-times greater likelihood of us having a really, really bad shutdown,” Titley said.

The whole piece is worth reading: Talking about the weather in Atlanta — and maybe fixing it

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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