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Good News/Bad News

Steve Scolnik @ 3:50 PM

Heat advisory until 8pm Tuesday.

The good news is that it's sunnier today in the Washington metro area than it's been in the last several days. The bad news is that with dewpoints as high as the upper 70s, the heat index is even more uncomfortable. At 4pm, several stations were reporting heat index readings of 100 or more, although the reported area-high temperature of 97 and dewpoint of 79 at Leesburg appeared to be excessive. As of 4pm, National was again stuck for the last 3 hours at its reading of 31.7 C (89 F), but the 90 on Saturday was the 5th of this month. Combined with the 7 90-degree days in June, that makes a total of 12 so far this year. As Jason has already indicated below, this total should increase significantly this week. On radar, a few scattered showers had broken out in Virginia and western Maryland, but the heaviest activity was north of Philadelphia and along the Jersey shore.


Tonight will be warm and muggy with a 40% chance of showers or thundershowers and lows in the mid 70s. Tomorrow will again be hot and humid, highs in the low 90s and a 40% chance of afternoon or evening showers or thunderstorms.

Tropical Topics

The good news is that the core of Hurricane Emily missed Cancun. The bad news is that it hit Cozumel. The good news is that damage was not disastrous. Reuters reported "Mexican resorts survive Hurricane Emily's wrath". The Miami Herald reported that concrete utility poles were snapped in half. After about 9 hours over land, Emily emerged to the relatively cool waters north of Yucatan this morning. At 2pm, maximum winds reported by a NOAA reconnaissance plane were 75 mph.

As Emily moves over the warmer waters of the western Gulf of Mexico, it is expected to strengthen again before making final landfall. The National Hurricane Center noted this morning that there is an upper-level low over the Bay of Campeche to the west, but that this low is forecast to weaken by all of the major models. This would reduce wind shear and improve the prospects for strengthening, as well as the likelihood of maintaining a more westerly track. The current projected track brings the storm ashore on the northeastern Mexican coast, about 80 miles south of Brownsville, with maximum winds of 95 mph around midnight tomorrow night. The good news is that this is a sparsely settled area. The bad news is that south Texas badly needs the rain. (The other major drought area in the U.S. is Illinois. Corn and soybean prices have been rising sharply in the last several weeks.)

There is a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning in effect for the coast of Texas from Baffin Bay south to Brownsville.

The National Hurricane Center is tracking several tropical waves over the central and eastern Atlantic and the eastern Caribbean, but none of these is expected to develop in the near future.

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