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Soggy Sandwich

Steve Scolnik @ 4:00 PM

The mid-Atlantic region today is sandwiched between the dying remains of Dennis in the lower Ohio Valley and a weak backdoor front working southward from central New York and northern New Jersey. Under varying amounts of cloudiness through the area, temperatures are mainly in the upper 80s with dewpoints in the oppressive mid to upper 70s. Some thunderstorms broke out by early afternoon in Virginia; National had a heavy thunderstorm around 12:15 and Dulles had a heavy thunderstorm around 2:20. Shortly after 4:30, a storm with some heavy rain was in the Alexandria/Mt. Vernon area extending across the river to southern Prince Georges and northern Charles Counties. There was also a smaller area of heavy rain southwest of Manassas.


Scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely to continue to develop and move through parts of the area through this evening. The chance of any given location seeing measurable rain is about 30%. Lows tonight will be in the mid 70s. Mostly cloudy skies tomorrow will limit highs to the mid 80s; chance of afternoon or evening showers and thunderstorms is 50%.

Tropical topics

Tropical Storm Emily has been slower than expected to intensify. Consequently, at 2pm, hurricane warnings which had been in effect for parts of the Windward Islands were all downgraded to tropical storm warnings. Maximum winds are 60 mph. The storm track has also remained south of earlier forecasts. The current projection takes the storm south of Jamaica this weekend and into the Yucatan Peninsula on Monday.

The 2 tropical waves to the east of Emily continue to move westward without development, although the eastern one, about 650 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, has the potential to become a tropical depression in the next couple of days.

Shuttle Launch Scrubbed: Not Weather Related

As Dan updated below, the shuttle Discovery launch was scrubbed today because of a fuel sensor problem, not weather. One still might ask why the launch was scheduled for a time of day with a high risk of thunderstorms in a season and a location of high thunderstorm risk. Is this another reason certain private parties can use to demand that they be paid to provide the weather information instead of the incompetent government? Some scientifically-ignorant politicians may try such a cheap trick, but the actual reasons for the launch scheduling involve orbital dynamics and fuel capacities.

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