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Drying Out and Feelin' Good

Dan Stillman @ 11:35 PM

Forecast First

Sunshine, low humidity and a few fair-weather clouds should put a smile on everyone's face today. Temps will top out in the low 80s before dropping down to the low 60s tonight, upper 50s in the cooler suburbs.

More of the same tomorrow and tomorrow night.

The humidity attempts a comeback for Friday through Sunday, but it will fall short of the oppressive levels we've seen during so much of this summer. High temps will continue to be in the 80s through the weekend with minimal chances of rain.

In the Mood for a Nice Day

WTOP reporter Hillary Howard had this yesterday about the ability of weather to affect one's mood. The gist of the story is what you would expect -- sunny skies and comfortable air are believed to make people happy, while hot and humid conditions have the opposite effect. For those of you wondering -- yes, that's the same Hillary Howard who used forecast weather on Channels 5 and 9.

As a side note, the relationship between weather and emotional state has always been a subject of great interest to me, so much so that for my master's thesis I researched possible correlations between weather and phone calls to telephone counseling services. Believe it or not, there's an entire science -- biometeorology -- devoted to studying this kind of thing.

Picture courtesy NASA.

Chilling Out in the August Heat

Contrary to popular opinion -- and high-temperature readings during the past few weeks -- Washington is a pretty cool place to be in August. At least that's how D.C. Examiner columnist Harry Jaffe sees it. In his column yesterday, Jaffe notes correctly that August is often cooler than July (it's true -- here are the average monthly temperatures for DCA all the way back to 1871, if you need proof). But more significant is the fact that "with Congress and the president and the lobbyists out of town, the stress level drops to zero. New Yorkers used to dismiss Washington as a sleepy Southern town. That's still true - and sweet - but only in August."

Jaffe also points out that in August "traffic evaporates. Gridlock eases. One can find a seat on the Metro. Less traffic, fewer cars, less road rage, fewer angry people. We rush less."

Which begs the question -- is anyone else dreading the morning commute the Tuesday after Labor Day?

BoatU.S. Magazine Throws Santorum Overboard

Just when you thought the outcry over Sen. Rick Santorum's controversial proposal to clarify the role of the National Weather Service as it relates to competition with the private weather sector had died down, the powers that be at BoatU.S. Magazine have sounded off, and boy do they drown the Senator in a wave of criticism. Richard Schwartz and Michael Sciulla make a point of warning those who are against the bill not to assume the legislation will never see the light of day. Here's an excerpt of what they had to say:

"... we have recently come to find that the Commercial Weather Services Association has hired some very talented and well-connected lobbyists -- former senior congressional staffers -- who in our view at least -- have the capability of getting this bill slipped into any omnibus bill moving through Congress. For this reason alone we urge you to ... contact your home state's senators and ask that they take a position in opposition" to the bill.

Santorum, meanwhile, has a different interpretation of his bill, while NOAA is taking a step toward alleviating some of the concerns raised by the private weather industry.

Watching Depression #12

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for parts of Florida's eastern coast and the Florida Keys. As of last night, Tropical Depression #12 was continuing to organize over the Bahamas as it moved northwestward toward the Sunshine State. Should the depression become a tropical storm, which could happen sometime today, it will take on the name "Katrina." Steve will update the situation in his post later today. If you can't hold out that long, visit the National Hurricane Center for the latest advisories.

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