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Full Frontal

Steve Scolnik @ 4:30 PM

Surface weather map at 1pm today from NWS/NCEP/HPC
Temperatures are starting to plunge in the Washington metro area as an industrial-grade cold front passes through. The 3pm "hourlies" captured the front cruising inbound on the Toll Road: Dulles was 58 degrees with heavy rain and a NW wind gusting to 22 mph, while National was still 74 with a SW wind at 17. There was a similar dichotomy between Leesburg and Manassas. The following hour, National was down to 59. The high of 75 was only 1 degree short of the record which was set in 2001.

Showers ahead of the front were briefly intense over the northwestern portions of the region, particularly northwestern Montgomery County and southeastern Frederick County in Maryland. Rainfall over the rest of the area was generally light. The Official Report from National had nothing more than light rain, with only a trace of accumulation. This keeps the total for the first half of the month at 0.05", still below the record driest November of 0.29" in 1981. Dulles, on the other hand, had reported close to a quarter of an inch as of 4pm.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight, skies will clear by morning, and temperatures will drop to lows around 40 in the city, mid 30s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy, windy, and cold, with highs only in the December-like upper 40s.

Tropical Beat

Despite valiant efforts to become the first storm Gamma in recorded history, Tropical Depression 27 succumbed overnight to strong westerly wind shear. The last advisory on the Gamma wannabe was administered at 10am this morning.

Meanwhile, another disturbed area to the west of TD 27 has more favorable conditions to develop, although it's also closer to Central America. A reconnaissance flight is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow to investigate.

Katrina Recovery

The recovery process gets much less attention in the media now that the scenes are a lot less dramatic, but both WaPo and NPR this morning highlighted the difficulties in recovering from such a massive disaster as Hurricane Katrina, especially for those of limited means. About 150,000 people are still living in government-subsidized hotels, and WaPo reports that FEMA has announced that support will be phased out for many of them by Dec. 1. Those in Louisiana and Mississippi may get an extension because of the scarcity of regular housing in those areas. The NPR story interviewed several people still living in shelters on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

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