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Beyond the Fringe

Steve Scolnik @ 4:00 PM

Today's weather map shows now-Tropical-Depression Dennis raining itself out over the mid-Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys. Some of the outflow from the outer fringes of the storm is bringing high thin cloudiness to the Washington metro area. The sinking motion of this outflow is also bringing temperatures near or above 90 to the region, as the air warms adiabatically (literally, "without heat") from the compression that occurs when it moves to the higher pressures at lower altitudes. The high so far at Washington National of 31.7C is just a few tenths of a degree C from being rounded up to 90 F. Humidity has also increased significantly; yesterday's dewpoints in the mid or even lower 50s have been replaced with upper 60s and a few low 70s. The stability of the atmosphere has limited rainfall to a few scattered showers in southern West Virginia.


Tonight will be warm and muggy, lows in the low 70s. If you had your air conditioning off last night, you will probably need it back on tonight. Tomorrow will again be hot and humid with temperatures a few degrees warmer, highs in the low 90s.

Code Orange

Today's mainly yellow air quality for ozone is expected to be orange tomorrow.

Tropical Topics: Post-Dennis Depression, Doing the Wave

The combination of weakening at landfall, a very compact eye (about 10 miles across), and fast storm movement (18-20 mph) combined to limit the damage from Hurricane Dennis. South Florida Business Journal reports that insured losses from Dennis could be as low as $3 billion, about half of those from Ivan in the same area last year.

The active early tropical season continues. Tropical Depression 5, currently about 1000 miles east of the Windward Islands, is not yet well organized, but it has the potential to become Tropical Storm Emily by tomorrow. For those of you keeping score at home, the position this afternoon was 10.6N 46.0W. The projected track takes the storm through the northern Windward Islands, south of Puerto Rico as a hurricane, and across southern Hispaniola early in the weekend.

Further east, there are tropical waves located near longitude 22W south of 16N and near 32W south of 15N.

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