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Ophelia Update and Mid-September Review

Matt Ross @ 12:00 AM


Today will be our warmest day since we hit 90 degrees on the 2nd of the month. We should fall just shy of the 90 degree mark this afternoon. Look for sunny skies and highs in the upper 80s. It will feel quite sticky in the afternoon, but mostly by comparison. The oppressiveness of July and August wont be matched. While the same general pattern will persist for the near future, look for temperatures to moderate downward toward the weekend.

Ophelia Update

Ophelia has been one of the trickier storms to forecast this season since her infancy, when some were predicting her to go into the Gulf. The Gulf threat has now passed, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty with Ophelia's track. Much of this uncertainty is surrounding timing as she is moving painfully slow. According to the latest guidance, Ophelia is still a strong Tropical Storm, although she could become a Category 1 Hurricane again at any time. Best current consensus is for Ophelia to brush the Carolina coast and then strike the Outer Banks in the late Wednesday to early Thursday period, most likely as a Category 1 or 2, before rapidly accelerating northeast and away from the coast. Under this scenario the metro area would be exposed to stiff winds of 30-35 mph and possibly some moderate to heavy rain showers starting late in the day on Wednesday, with the worst conditions well to our east. As such, the National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for DC Metro, even though the impact to our immediate area appears to be limited. Of particular note is Ophelia's very large radius of Tropical Storm force winds, extending 160 miles from the center. Add the significant amount of uncertainty with Ophelia's track and speed, and it merits staying tuned for further updates on this changing situation.

Mid September Update

So far September is continuing the trend of the summer as it is averaging around one degree above normal. However, unlike the summer, the warm temps have benefited most from our warm afternoon highs, which have averaged over 2 degrees above normal. Our nighttime lows, on the other hand, have averaged slightly below normal in contrast to the summer trend. So far we have yet to see a high temp in September below 80 or a low below 60. This will change this weekend as both the 70s during the day and the 50s at night are likely. If September finishes above average, it will make 4 months in a row. The last 2 times June through September all finished above average was 2002 and 1995. Two of our snowiest winters of all time followed. Don't get too excited snow lovers. I think it is more coincidence than anything else. More winter discussion will follow in the next month or two. A full winter outlook will be put out in mid to late October.

Image Above Courtesy of Accuweather

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