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Great Weather Continues, but Keep an Eye on the Tropics

Matt Ross @ 12:00 AM


Today will continue the dry, comfortable conditions of Labor day weekend with sunny skies and highs in the low 80s with a pleasant northeasterly breeze.
Expect similar conditions to persist throughout the week, with just a slight chance of moisture on Friday and a very modest warming trend.

Tropical Update

While Hurricane Maria is curving safely out to sea, we now have Tropical Storm Nate to deal with. The good news is that it also looks to be a "fish" storm. The bad news is that there are a whole host of tropical waves and areas of circulation that have the potential to develop. Of particular interest is a low pressure system over the Northern Bahamas, currently drifting northwest, that has a good chance of development over the next day or two(See image pictured above courtesy of Accuweather). Stay tuned for frequent updates should there be any threat to the US mainland. On a side note, given the large number of named storms this season, I was curious what happens if they run out of names. I discovered that if they run out of names, they move to the Greek alphabet, starting with Alpha. As there are only 21 names and we have already seen 14 named storms, this season might be the best chance to see Hurricane Alpha or Beta. Let's hope not.

How the summer stacked up

Summer 2005 ended up at 78.8 degrees or about 1.5 degrees above normal. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the heat this summer was the very warm nighttime minimums as opposed to the daytime highs. It was these warm nights that were most responsible for our above average temperatures. In terms of history this summer is the 11th warmest of all time dating back to 1871. While there is no question we experienced an above average summer by any measure, there are some things to consider when placing it in proper historical context. Summers are significantly warmer than they used to be. In fact for the period from 1871 through 1930 summers averaged just below 75 degrees versus over 77 degrees today. Much of this can be attributed to the official measuring station being moved to National Airport in the early 1940's. But one must also factor in the possible effects of Global Warming and Heat Island as well as climate cycles. Thus it is no surprise that every single one of the top 10 hottest summers has occurred in the last 30 years. So while our warmest summer of all time remains 1980(80.0F), it may actually be 1872 that should take the top prize. At 78.5 degrees, only 0.3 degrees cooler than this summer, 1872 stands way out as defying climatology for the time period at almost 4 degrees above the norm. It was 101 years before we saw a hotter summer than 1872. Quite a remarkable statistic.

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