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Autumn Around the Corner

Matt Ross @ 12:00 AM


Today will be a cooler version of yesterday as a colder air mass continues to invade from the north and west. Look for glorious, dry conditions with a few scattered clouds and highs in the low 80s. In addition to the cool, crisp days, look for nighttime minimums to be quite comfortable this week. We should see the temperature drop near or below 65 several times this week for the first time since June 23rd.

The above map depicts the temperature departures from normal for June and July of this summer. While we have been warmer than average here in DC, the warmest anomalies have been centered in the Great Lakes region. Courtesy of the Climate Diagnostics Center.

Cold Augusts

Although this week's weather will be in sharp contrast to the persistent 90s of much of the summer, it is actually quite normal to see the cool air of autumn start to take hold during August. While we will see some below average days over the next week, we will still finish above normal for the month, and this cool spell will not come close to comparing to some of the big ones of the past. One of our recent exceptionally cool Augusts was 1992. The temperature at National Airport(DCA) failed to surpass 80 degrees 11 times that month as they recorded the 2nd coldest August on record since official DC observations moved to DCA in the early 1940's. Dulles Airport(IAD) recorded its coldest August on record. Many have attributed the cold summer of 1992 to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. August 1986 was not quite as cool as 1992, but featured a very cold outbreak during the final few days. DC fell to 49 degrees during the peak of the cold on August 29th tying the lowest August temperature on record going back to 1871. Dulles hit a very chilly 41 on both the 29th and 30th, setting a daily record on the 29th. The monthly all time lowest August temperature at Dulles is 38 degrees on August 29th, 1982, for the only sub 40 degree temperature ever recorded there in August. As low temperatures average below the 50 degree mark at IAD by the end of September, it is only a matter of a few weeks or less before the outlying suburbs will see the 40s at night for the first time this season.

Tropical Storm Jose

Jose was finally born tonight in the Bay of Campeche out of what was formerly Tropical Depression 11 as Tropical Depression 10 never formed into a named storm. Fortunately, Jose will have a very brief existence as he is currently making landfall along the Gulf coast of Mexico and will weaken rapidly as depicted by the map to the right courtesy of the National Hurricane Center. Tropical Depression 12 may be right around the corner as a wave in the far eastern Atlantic tries to get organized. Indications are that this could occur in the next few days and thus Katrina may be born.

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