From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for August 2012

Mars Curiosity: One Year Later

August 6, 2013 - 09:30 PM
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Today marks the one year anniversary of the Curiosity rover landing on Mars.  The Mars Exploration Mission thrives on seeking signs of life.  NASA put together a great video that highlights the twelve month Mars mission in two minutes.  Below is the blog I wrote a year ago, today, that goes into more depth on the Mars mission. 

 

AUGUST 6, 2012:

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  The Mars Curiosity rover successfully landed on the fourth planet from the sun very early Monday, August 6th, 2012.  NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California found out the rover landed at 10:32PM PDT (1:32AM EDT).  What an incredible accomplishment made by the extremely passionate and talented scientists and engineers of NASA.  Here's one of the first few images taken by the Curiosity rover, on Mars, looking toward the highest peak, Mt. Sharp.  To put this into perspective, Mt. Sharp is about 3.4 miles taller than Mt. Whitney in California (over 14,500 ft.). 

View from Curiosity rover

The main purpose of this nearly two year mission is to see if there is any sign that life existed once before on Mars.  The Curiosity rover will investigate parts of the planet, including Mt. Sharp, to see if there is any evidence of chemical ingredients for life.  Here on Earth, we'll be able to follow what the Curiosity is seeing through all the cameras placed on the rover.  Take a look at all of the 17 cameras built into the rover.

Curiosity Cameras

Curiosity was launched on Thanksgiving weekend 2011 and traveled 354 million miles in eight months.  The rover is the size of a small car and traveled at 13,200 miles per hour!  Now think about this - How do you slow an object, the size of a small car, going more than 13,000 mph, down to about 2 miles per hour to land on a distant planet?  Well, that was one of the hardest parts of this mission.  Previous Mars missions encountered the same issue when trying to use airbags to slow the rovers down (that didn't work in any of the seven previous missions).  Curiosity's landing was dubbed "Seven Minutes of Terror" since the execution of the landing had to fall into place perfectly.  A team of talented engineers and scientists devised a new plan that would successfully allow Curiosity to land on Mars.  Here is a phenomenal snapshot of the team cheering after learning Curiosity landed safely on Mars.

NASA scientists cheering

The landing was executed by a parachute that slowed the rover down and then a rocket-powered backpack lowered the rover on a tether (sort of like a crane) down to the middle of Gale Crater on the Martian surface.  Check out this amazing image below of the rover attached to the parachute.  This shot was taken via NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter (MRO).  The HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) took this photograph from 211 miles away (Curiosity was about 2 miles from Mars' surface).   The most impressive part of this image was the timing.  If the MRO was a second early or a second late in snapping the photo, this shot of the rover and the parachute would not have been taken.  The timing was impeccable! 

Curiosity slowing down by the parachute

Read more about Curiosity through NASA's Mars Mission page.  What a momentous day in space exploration.  It will be exciting to follow the progress of Curiosity's mission and to learn about the possible life and geology of planet Mars.

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Washington DC Summer: A summery summary

August 31, 2012 - 04:31 PM
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Today, August 31, marks the last day of summer.  Well for weather records and climate records this is the last day of summer.  Traditionally the Labor Day holiday weekend is also the last weekend of summer. So how was this summer?  Some headlines will probably read "Third Hottest Summer in Washington"  Well Yes and No

Here is the summery summary for Washington Regan National Airport, the "official" weather observation location for "Washington"

Average summer temperature 80.4° + 2.8° and the third summer in a row with an average temperature above 80°

In Washington 50 90° days and 28 days with a high of 95° or higher.  This number of 95° days ties the record number of super hot days from the hot summer of 1980.

BUT. . .was it really that hot where most of us live?  Probably not.  Here is the summer summary for Dulles airport, just about 25 miles west of Regan National Airport.

Dulles average summer temperature 76.5° or almost 4° "cooler" than Washington.  Yes the area around Dulles airport is not near the Potomac and has always been a bit cooler than downtown Washington, but a large effect of the difference is due to the urban heat island effect.  Look at the airport 

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when Washington's official  weather observations were moved from the weather office downtown to what is now Washington Regan National Airport.

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The summery summary for the summer of 2012 

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Enjoy the Labor Day Holiday weekend, whether it is the last weekend of summer for you or not.  Since not many of us live at Regan National Airport, yes it was a hot summer, but maybe not quite as hot as "offically" hot.

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Labor Day Weekend Beach & Boating Forecast

August 31, 2012 - 03:22 PM
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The Labor Day weekend has begun ...the traditional end of Summer and perhaps the last chance for many to enjoy a few days by the beach, bay or pool. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Mother Nature will provide us with the best weather for the entire holiday weekend.

If you are heading to the mid Atlantic Beaches expect partly cloudy skies Saturday with daytime highs in the middle to upper 80s.  Sunday may begin with sunshine however clouds may arrive during the afternoon with a 30% chance of showers and storms  by evening.  Water temperatures remain very mild in the mid 70s. Showers and thunderstorms now seem more likely during the day on Monday.

If your travels take you to Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks you can expect similar conditions as a frontal boundary will stall near by on Sunday.  This means that Saturday will also be the best of the three days this weekend with highs in the middle to upper 80s.  It appears that on Sunday the sunshine will also give way to added clouds and the threat of scattered thundershowers.There too, rain chances will increase on Monday.

In summary,for the beaches...the best beach day will be Saturday, Sunday will be pretty good at the Maryland/Delaware Beaches and Monday may wind up as a cloudy and probably wet day at all the beaches./

 

 

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Tropical Storm Isaac flooding: How much water has Isaac released?

August 30, 2012 - 03:02 PM
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Hurricane Isaac is maintaining its power and tremendous rainmaking.  This is a general estimate from the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service of the rainfall over the last few days. 

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Those areas in red are where 10-20 inches of rain has fallen. Look at some of the amounts to our WeatherBug schools we tapped into.  

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But how much is this really? Well let's have a little fun with math, even with a terrible storm such as Isaac. I estimate that for the Gulf region (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama) and now Arkansas, about 100,000 square miles have been getting Isaac's rains. 

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A conservative estimate is an  average rain (so far and counting) of 4 inches of rain.  Every inch of rain over 1 square mile dumps over 17 MILLION GALLONS of WATER on the ground.  So 4X17X1,000,000X100,000 gives us a rough idea.  That comes out (check my math) to 7 TRILLION (7 followed by 12 zeros) Gallons of Water.  How much is 7 TRILLION GALLONS? Imagine standing at Niagara Falls. 

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You would have to stand there every minute, every day for about 3 MONTHS to see 7 trillion gallons.  Or 7 trillion gallons is also enough fresh water to give every man, woman and child on earth, 1 gallon of fresh water every day for about 3 years.  Monster storm such as Isaac are tremendous engines that create enormous power and destruction and indeed incredible amounts of water.  And Isaac is not doe yet.  The winds are decreasing but the path is very likely to bring some rain our way before the Labor Day holiday weekend is over.

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Tropical Rainstorm Isaac is still at it and by the time it finally dies out early next week, may have generated 2-4 times as much water as it already has. Oh and I didn't even count the rain that Isaac dumped on the islands last week and Florida early this week!!

 

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Tropical Storm Isaac Update: Latest track and local impacts

August 29, 2012 - 04:16 PM
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Isaac continues to produce tremendous storm damage and flooding rains along the Gulf Coast.  Here is the latest view from space.  

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But the rainfall and wind gusts from our WeatherBug network in Louisiana  give a sense of the power and rains this storm is generating.

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Even though Isaac is now a tropical storm, it's wide area and slow movement mean more torrential rains through the night for the central Gulf Coast, especially Louisiana.

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The track later in the week and into the weekend will take this tropical moisture into the Great Lakes and the latest projection of rain across the country in the next five days mean what is left of Isaac (Still should be called "Tropical Rainstorm Isaac" don't you think?) could lead to weekend flooding in states such as Indiana.

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The impact here is still very uncertain and will depend if Isaac's leftover moisture hooks up with a weather front late Sunday into Monday and then could produce some heavy rain showers around the D.C. area. There's NO SIGN of any real threat for us right now. 

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Stay with us and we'll be sure to keep you posted and enjoy the weather of the next few days as folks in New Orleans go through another very dangerous hurricane now tropical storm.

 

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Hurricane Isaac Path: Latest and Impact on DC area

August 29, 2012 - 01:12 AM
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Isaac is now a stronger storm with winds gusting to 90 mph. 

Here is how it looks from the GOES satellite with the central thunderstorms towering almost 10 miles high. 

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 The latest track brings it ashore tonight.  The latest storm surge is for a surge 5-10 feet in southern Mississippi and Louisiana late tonight and Wednesday morning. 

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Rain may well be over 1 foot along the coast.  

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The latest track does keep any left over impact well to the west of our area but by late in the weekend...

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...a weak weather front may pick up some of the moisture and showers from the "ghost of Isaac" may still be possible in our area.  We'll keep you posted and updated.

 

 

 

 

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Hurricane Isaac Track: forecast by zip code

August 27, 2012 - 04:54 PM
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The latest track from the folks at the Hurricane Center shows Tropical Storm Isaac as an increasing threat and risk to the central Gulf Coast, coming ashore Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. 

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The great threat along the coast, as with all tropical storms and hurricanes, is the storm surge. Here is the latest surge outlook with a 50 percent probability of a surge of five feet or more along the Mississippi to Louisiana coast, especially near New Orleans. 

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You can track the latest on Isaac here. Our interactive 7-day is a great way to see the detailed forecast for any spot along the Gulf.  

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Put these zip codes in or any zip code where you have friends, family or loved ones to see the forecast. 

Pensacola, FL   32501

Mobile, AL        36601

Biloxi, MS        39530

Bay St. Louis, LA  39520

Morgan City, LA  70380

Port Arthur, TX   77640

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Local drought stricken areas received some much needed rain

August 27, 2012 - 02:34 PM
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Rain during the this past weekend may have thrown a wrench in your outdoor plans however when we need rain, like portions of our region are, it is welcomed. Sure the timing could have been better, but at least Mother Nature delivered some much needed rain and targeted many of the driest locations.

Below are both Maryland and Virginia Drought Monitor maps that highlight drought conditions ranging from no drought to exceptional drought. It should be noted that the data used to compile these maps are cut off Tuesday at 7 a.m. Eastern Time. This is the most recent drought assessment and was released last Thursday August 21st. At that time our drought levels ranged between no drought to severe. The District of Columba, Howard, Montgomery, Loudoun, and the Shenandoah Valley was Abnormally dry. However just to the south and east all of the other Counties were in a moderate drought. The worst were Calvert County and isolated small areas of St. Marys, Charles, and Prince Georges where severe drought conditions were present.

 

NOAA, NDMC,USDA,

 

USDA, NCDC,NDMC, NOAA

 

Like it or not the slow moving low pressure system/disturbance over the weekend did help to put a dent in all of the deficits. Below is an image I took from our Storm Scan Doppler Radar showing rainfall estimates. Additionally below there is a list of some of the more impressive rainfall totals from our Live Local Weather Bug Network.

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 Some Notable Rainfall Totals From Our Weather Bug Network
-- Calvert County - Appeal Elementary School – 3.81”
-- Anne Arundel County – Shady Side – 3.05”
-- Baltimore City – Camden Yards – 2.30”
-- King George County – King George EOC – 1.62”
-- Prince Georges County – Patuxent Elementary School – 1.32”

Before this weekend on Friday the 24th of August 2012 the deficit for the year to date was -7.35. Today Monday the 27th of August 2012 the deficit since January 1st is -7.28. No, it’s not a huge difference but every little bit helps.

Hopefully we will get more rain like this soon and if we are lucky it won't be on a weekend!

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Tropical Storm Isaac update: Storm to coincide with Hurricane Katrina anniversary

August 27, 2012 - 11:41 AM
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Tropical Storm Isaac forecast today and 2005 Hurricane Katrina's path

With the anniversary on the costliest natural disaster looming so is Tropical Storm Isaac. The National Hurricane Center projects Isaac becoming a hurricane late tonight churning through the eastern Gulf of Mexico before likely making landfall somewhere along the gulf coast between Louisiana and Mississippi. Latest guidance suggest that Isaac will not gain as much strength as earlier noted, possibly making landfall as a Category 1 Storm.

See more on Tropical Storm Isaac here

National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb told ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning that Isaac wouldn't be as strong as they initially thought. But Knabb urged residents not to focus their preparations the storm's current strength because such storms often do not stick to forecasters' predictions.

Hurricane Katrina's Track


Katrina was a Category 5 storm at one point before making landfall as a Category 3 storm. It is important to note that Katrina formed into a hurricane further south than Isaac will and had more time over the warm water of the Gulf that acted as fuel to intensify the deadly storm. I have attached an image of the latest track for Isaac along with the path Katrina took nearly seven years ago.

Isaac's latest track

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day and coming days as the impact come into focus.

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Tropical Storm Isaac path: Louisiana, Mississippi preparing for landfall

August 27, 2012 - 09:24 AM
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Isaac continues to churn in the Gulf of Mexico.

THE LATEST UPDATE:  As of the 8 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Isaac appears to be getting a little better organized as it tracks west-northwestward through the Gulf of Mexico at 14 mph. Isaac has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is forecast to become a hurricane later Monday or overnight into Tuesday.

 

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane warnings are already in place from just west of New Orleans to the Florida panhandle. While the accuracy in forecasting the tracks of hurricanes has improved greatly, forecasting its strength remains difficult. While it is easy to focus on the center of the official forecast track, you must remember that the storm can make landfall anywhere within the cone of uncertainty.

As you can see in the computer model guidance below, there remains a large degree of disagreement between even the most reliable models. Additionally, it is important to note that the longer this storm spends over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the better chance it will have to strengthen.

WeatherUnderground

WHERE AND WHO WILL SEE THE WORST?  The worst of the storm including storm surge, winds, rain and isolated tornadoes, will be on the right-front side of the storm as it makes landfall.

The bottom line is that everyone within the current forecast path should be rushing to complete their hurricane plans and preparations. They are all possible targets for the worst that this storm has to offer.

ANY LOCAL WEATHER IMPACT?  The remnants of Isaac may ultimately make its way into the Mid-Atlantic region later this weekend, but aside from picking up some much needed tropical moisture, there should be little noticeable impact. We are once again talking about something more than a week away, though, so that may very well change.

 

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Tropical Storm Isaac update: Will it impact the D.C. area?

August 27, 2012 - 12:19 AM
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The trend late Sunday into early Monday has continued to have Isaac an increasing threat to the central Gulf Coast and especially Louisiana.  Some of the tools used to forecast the track are called ensemble forecasts.

Rather than use one "deterministic" simulation of the atmosphere, ensemble forecasts use the uncertainty we know exists in forecasting and then generate a variety of solutions to find an average or more confident solution.  Ensembles also generate a spread or show us the likely error in relying on any one deterministic physical simulation of the future weather.  Here is a link for the latest ensemble position of Isaac. 

Here is the latest forecast of confidence from the National Hurricane Center.  Forecasting the track of tropical storms has become more accurate over the years but forecasting rapid changes in intensity remains difficult.  The "fan" or forecast envelope is really a 66% probability that the path will be within that range, so no one should think of the center or the center track being more likely than a path near the edge of the envelope. 

The trend is to keep the path of Isaac moving toward the west in the Gulf of Mexico but over 85 degree water.  If this continues, the treat to landfall in the Florida decreases, but then increases for southern Mississippi to Louisiana and New Orleans. 

That is the reason authorities have already begun to take action along the central Gulf.  There is NO indication right now of any significant impact from what is left of Isaac on the D.C. area.  We will sure keep you posted as to local impacts if any throughout this week

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Isaac set to grow stronger, Gulf region remains on watch

August 26, 2012 - 03:45 PM
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The latest on Isaac from ABC 7 Weather and Baron Services Curtis Brideau.

"Tropical Storm Isaac is currently located about 50 miles SSE of Key West, Florida and moving WNW at 18 mph. Isaac presently has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, with a central pressure of 994 MB. Satellite imagery and radar show a more organized storm with a partial eye wall becoming apparent on radar. While Isaac has become more structured, its intensity has not changed much today. Gradual strengthening is expected as it enters the Gulf of Mexico.

Isaac should continue on a west-northwestward to northwestward motion during the next 48 hours.

The BAMS model has Isaac passing over the Florida Keys this afternoon and in to the Gulf of Mexico later tonight. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Tropical Storm Isaac to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane by tonight then to a Category 2 hurricane by Wednesday morning. The ECMWF and NAM have Isaac turning to the North before landfall and moving on-shore between Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL. However, most of the models including the BAMS now have Isaac continuing its west-northwestward track all the way until landfall and are clustered between New Orleans, LA and Houma, LA.

The current NHC forecast track has Isaac making landfall Wednesday morning around Gulfport, Mississippi while the latest BAMS model run goes to the west has Isaac making landfall around 10 am EDT Tuesday near Venice, Louisiana."

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Isaac lashing Keys & South Florida as it heads for the Gulf

August 25, 2012 - 11:15 AM
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While tropical storm warnings are being discontinued for Cuba and the southern Bahamas islands, they are now in effect for much of South Florida.  Isaac is still a strong tropcial storm as of 11 AM on Sunday with winds clocked at 65 mph.  The projected path of the storm takes it over the Keys and then on into the Gulf of Mexico wfhere it could possibly strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall.  The storm could come ashore farther west than thought yesterday - and the landfall projections have been veering from east to west for the past three days - with Morgan City, LA which is west of New Orleans, within the cone of possible sites.  Once ashore, bands of heavy rain are possible throughout the southeast with some of the remnant rain arriving in the DC area perhaps late in the week. 

NOTE: While much of the US is suffering from drought, Florida is running a healthy surplus of rain ranging up to 13 inches.  Thus the projected rainfall from Isaac of from 4 inches to over a foot, will fall on thoroughly saturated ground.

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Tropical Storm Isaac approaches Florida

August 25, 2012 - 12:02 AM
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UPDATE (11AM SUNDAY):

As of the 11AM update on this Sunday, Isaac is revealed to have lost a bit of strength as it passed over Hispaniola. The storm is now approaching eastern Cuba and producing maximum sustained winds of 60mph, down from 70 mph last night. Isaac is expected to push toward the Florida Keys next and then into the Gulf of Mexico Sunday into Monday. The current forecast shows Isaac strengthening further to a Category 1 hurricane. While models show it passing close to Florida's west coast and thus impacting the events in Tampa, landfall is expected along the Alabama or Mississippi coastlines. It is prudent to note that this large somewhat disorganised storm is over 600 miles wide and is of no small consequence even if it stays as a tropical storm or becomes "just" a Category 1 hurricane.  Highs winds and flooding from storm surge and heavy rainfall from such storms can cause very serious destruction.  Witness the effects of Irene last year here in DC and in Vermont when she was "only" a tropical storm.  Some of the remnant rain from Isaac could impact the DC area later next week. 

2012 Hurricane Season Storm Names

Even if Isaac doesnt make a direct hit on Florida it still could be a terrible scenario for the state as not only will flooding rains and isolated tornadoes be possibilities, but also some high storm surges may be noted along the extent of Florida is it travels north along the coastline. Remember that the north east quadrant is the strongest part of hurricane and that would put the west coast of Florida in the crosshairs.  Again, exact track of this storm is still uncertain at the moment but guidance has consistantly shown a trend more westward with each consecutive run.  Below is a link to the latest computer models and forecast tracks. 

http://www.skeetobiteweather.com/picservice.asp?t=m&m=09&av=4

To the east of Isaac we are also tracking tropical depression Joyce.  Over the past 12 hours dry air and wind shear has taken its toll on this storm, weakening it considerably.  Joyce is forecast to remain a tropical depression as it tracks to the northwest and then turns northeast into the cooler water of the northern Atlantic.  This storm will be mainly a shipping concern but may bring some tropical moisture to Bermuda.  Again, below is a link to the computer model projections and track of Joyce.

http://www.skeetobiteweather.com/picservice.asp?t=m&m=10&av=4

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D.C. Summer Showers & Spectacular Sunset!

August 20, 2012 - 11:25 PM
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D.C. got some welcome rain to start the work week.  Watch the dark clouds roll in, the heavy rain douse the WeatherBug camera lens, and the brilliant pink skies unfold -- all in under 25 seconds!

Check out more neat timelapses from our WeatherBug network via our StormWatch7 YouTube page!

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A Dent In The Local Drought

August 20, 2012 - 07:09 AM
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Widespread rainfall on Sunday didn’t just delay the Nationals game for the 33,764 fans at Nats Park, but it also put a dent in the drought. According to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, not everybody in our area is in a drought, but 51% of Maryland and 18% of Virginia is in a moderate or severe drought with the hardest hit locations being lower Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

After taking a peek at the ABC7 WeatherBug Network, I found that the heaviest rain fell in the District with 1.71 inches of rain at Lafayette Elementary School, but other locations reported healthy accumulations as well. Here’s a rundown of other area rainfall totals and how much of a dent was put into the drought in your area: 

 




 

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D.C. Haze: What A Difference A Day Makes (PHOTOS)

August 17, 2012 - 06:30 PM
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If you walked outside today (Friday, Aug. 17), you may have noticed the haze.  It was a code orange air quality, which means air pollution levels are predicted unhealthy for elderly and sensitive groups.  The air quality index (AQI) was near 100, which indicates moderate levels of air pollution.  Take a look at what it looked like over Maryland and Virigina from space via the NASA Terra satellite (image below).

NASA

To put this into perspective - take a look at how clear it was just one day earlier (image below)!  A lot can change in 24 hours!  The air quality on Thursday was green with an AQI between 0 and 50.  Green air quality indicates satisfactory levels of air pollution. 

NASA

 Here's where you can find the latest air quality for the D.C. Baltimore area. 

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Hottest July? Well Not Everywhere

August 17, 2012 - 09:10 AM
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OK so I just came back from a break from the typical DC summer heat and humidity.  This July sure was hot and in the headlines "Second Hottest in DC Weather Records".  Look at this and in Eileen's blog about the July heat. 

 

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Statewide it was the warmest July on record for Virginia, the second hottest July on record in DC (100+ years of records) and Maryland and in many places east of the Rockies, one of the hottest and driest months in weather records.  For the U.S. overall, it was the hottest month in weather records.  But look at this global overview from the National Climatic Data Center.  It's the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere and the coolest July in Australia in many years. 

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 As you can see (larger image here) England and the UK had the coolest July in more than 10 years.  Still a bit chilly during the Olympics.  And in Scandinavia and the Baltic, where I spent part of my vacation, rather cloudy and cool.  Many folks grumbling about how cloudy and cool the summer had been.  The latest global 30 day temperature anomaly compiled by NOAA shows the general July trend continuing.

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NOAA Earth Systems Research Lab

Sure in this global temperature anomaly (departure form long-term average) the continuing mid-summer heat in not only the U.S. but much of North America clearly shows, but parts of Australia are almost 7º colder than average and Scandinavia and the Baltic the last month have been relatively chilly . . . certainly compared to St. Louis and Washington, DC.  Want cold?  Head to mid-winter in Antarctic where it was -101º during the last 3 days at the Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole,

Yes, in most of the world July 2012, and as you can see the last 30 days, have been toasty. . .and sure toasty where most people live.  Ready for some cool weather?  These patterns do change, although the high latitude warmth seems more and more, another signal that climate models are correct about long term global warming.  But there is always this Autumn and Winter.  Alex's blog is neat about the joys of the changing seasons.  More hot summers ahead?  Another next year would make the 4 hottest in DC in a row.  I'll stick my probabilistic neck out and say not likely.  And not likely the United Kingdom will be as chilly next summer either . . .although the Brits grumble about the weather even more than we do.  First freeze can't be too far away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekend Beach & Boating Forecast: Atlantic City to the Outer Banks

August 16, 2012 - 08:45 PM
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It's hard to believe Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end to the summer season, is just three weekends away!   Now even though the sun starts setting earlier, there's still plenty of time to enjoy time at the beaches and along the Bay - especially since water temperatures are the warmest in late summer and early autumn. 

So are you thinking of going to the beach this weekend?  Or maybe taking the boat out on the Chesapeake?  Well, the weather will certainly be "cool" for August standards and there could be some wet weather.  

A strong cold front will slide through the Mid Atlantic late Friday and will usher in some much "cooler" air.  Temperatures along the coast will only be in the upper 70s to low 80s.  Also, if you're looking to get some sun, there probably won't be too much.  Rain will be possible early Saturday and then a few more showers can't be ruled out on Sunday.  It won't be a washout along the coast, from Atlantic City to Hatteras, but it won't be the sunniest of weekends either.

Beach Forecast Saturday, Aug. 18th & Sunday, Aug. 19th

Similar weather is expected along the Chesapeake Bay.  Temperatures will be in the 70s and 80s with a few showers early Saturday morning.  A little more sunshine is expected late Saturday and Sunday and the winds should be relatively light, out of the North-Northeast, for boaters.

Chesapeake Bay Forecast Saturday, Aug. 18th & Sunday, Aug. 19th

Overall, it won't be a bad beach weekend, but it won't be the warmest and most sunny.  Make the most out of it and enjoy!  Three (unofficial) summer weekends left!

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Summer is winding down and daylight is losing ground in D.C.

August 16, 2012 - 11:40 AM
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The sunset is at 8:01pm this Wednesday the 16th. One more day and it goes back to 7:59pm, which to me and a few of my colleagues is a huge deal. Mentally, this is one of the first signals for us that summer is coming to an end. Don't worry though, there is still plenty of time between now and our first snow. Roughly 100 to 130 days if our first snow lies in November or December!

Meteorological Summer (June, July and August) comes to an end in a measly 15 days. Astronomical Fall begins on September 22nd at 10:49am. Here's what you can expect as far as daylight the rest of the year.

There will continue to be over 12 hours of daylight through September 25th. By October 20th, daylight goes under 11 hours, and by November 17th, daylight is under 10 hours. We finally bottom out between Decemeber 20th and 22nd with the Winter Solstice at 9 hours and 26 minutes of daylight. It's hard to imagine right now the sun setting prior to 5pm and all of us driving home in the dark, but it's only 4 months from now.

 

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