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Ivan and the week ahead...

Jason Samenow @ 12:15 AM

Sunday's Redskins game, courtesy Weatherbook.comThis week in DC: We'll have a couple of nice days to start off the week... Today, with high pressure in control, expect plenty of sunshine and warm temps, with highs in the low 80s. On Tuesday, temps drop a bit in response to easterly winds as the high pressure system moves offshore--but still a nice day (if the icon above shows rain Tuesday, disregard it). On Wednesday and Thursday, a shortwave approaches from the west which coupled with the onshore flow/easterly winds, will create damp conditions. Not a washout, but periods of light rain and drizzle are possible. Then by sometime on Friday, the remnants of Hurricane Ivan may spread rain into the region. Generally speaking, the first half of the work week looks good, and the second half of the week "iffy". The CapitalWeather team will continue fine tuning the forecast and keeping you abreast of developments.

What about Ivan? Ivan continues to fluctuate between Category 4 and Category 5 intensity as he treks through the Caribbean towards the Gulf of Mexico. See this AP article about initial reports of his impact on the Cayman Islands.

On its current track, Ivan should cross the Yucatan channel today and provide a blow to western Cuba. Once in the Gulf of Mexico, Ivan should begin turning north but the landfall forecast remains a challenge. The storm's track continues to be west of forecast and models continue to trend westward with the track as they adjust to what the storm's actually doing. Accordingly, I'll call for landfall closer to Panama City than Apalachicola (which I suggested yesterday). Having said that, any location from Tampa Bay to Galveston could still be threatened and should keep watching this storm. The uncertainty in the track forecast is elevated due to the fact Ivan's forward motion will slow in the Gulf of Mexico due to weak steering currents. And the slow motion means Ivan may not make landfall until sometime Wednesday.

My thinking on the intensity forecast remains the same as yesterday.

Ivan Links: Infrared Satellite Image, Washington Post article on hurricane physics, WxNation Log

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