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Taste of November a Day Away

Dan Stillman @ 12:20 AM

Low pressure tracking along the U.S.-Canada border will bring us lots of clouds and a chance of a few showers and isolated thunderstorms today as we warm into the upper 60s. Most of the precipitation should stay to our north and west.

Turning breezy this afternoon and evening as a cold front associated with the low comes through, giving us an increased chance of showers and storms during the overnight hours. Temps should stay fairly warm tonight -- in the low-to-mid 60s -- until the front passes by after midnight, dropping temps to the upper 40s and low 50s by morning.

Tomorrow will be dry and partly sunny, but windy and colder, with highs in the mid 50s. It'll be the first rather November-like day of this November. Another possible first tomorrow night -- the low at National may drop below 40 for the first time this season.

Friday and the weekend look much calmer in both weather and wind, as high pressure takes over. Still cool on Friday, with high temps again in the mid 50s. But warming to the mid 60s for Saturday, and upper 60s to near 70 on Sunday ahead of the next front.

Image, courtesy NCEP, shows precipitation forecast for today. Light green is the lightest, blue the heaviest.

Enjoy the Price of Nice Weather, For Now

While warm weather has eased heating cost worries through much of the country for the time being -- Washington is 83 heating degree days below normal since Sept. 1 -- the reprieve won't necessarily last. According to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, "51 percent of daily oil production and 45 percent of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico remains off-line" thanks to hurricane damage, which means energy prices may rise once temperatures fall.

Meanwhile, oil company executives are in town today for Senate hearings. Lawmakers -- and you and me -- are curious as to why the oil industry is reporting record profits at a time when consumers are paying through the nose.

Screaming From the Hilltop

Last week, Howard University's student newspaper, the Hilltop, bashed weather forecasters. This week the publication is bashing the weather. It blames "sneezes, sniffles and coughs ... heard all over campus in the past couple of weeks" on the large diurnal changes in temperature we've been having -- in other words, on the warm days and cold nights.

My favorite lines of this hard-hitting news story include, "Many students can tell you their personal accounts of being sick or stories of their friends being sick during the last couple of weeks and dealing with D.C. weather in past years," and this educational quote from a junior nursing major: "When she woke up in the morning she was hoarse and suffering from dystasia, which means she was having difficulty swallowing."

OK, so I'm picking on the Hilltop. But any publicity is good publicity, right? At least I'm not provoking an entire student body.

Weatherman Is No Dummy

Though it has nothing to do with D.C. weather, the following blurb from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette caught my attention nonetheless:

"KDKA-TV meteorologist and ventriloquist Dennis Bowman ..."

Are they kidding? Apparently not. Bowman appears to be an accomplished forecaster and ventriloquist. He and his dummy named "Chester Drawers" (again, not kidding) travel to schools, parties, meetings and fundraisers to entertain and teach about the weather.

In all seriousness, I think this is a wonderful gimmick. And from looking at his Web site, it sounds like Bowman does a good job of entertaining and educating at the same time.

Image courtesy

What's wrong with this headline?

Midwest Tornado To Cause Wacky Weather In MD

Two things. First, the story that goes with it, as seen on the Web site of Baltimore's WJZ-TV, makes no mention of Maryland. Second, a tornado in the Midwest can't impact weather as far as Maryland. The area of instability that created the tornado could make its way eastward and "cause wacky weather" in Maryland, but not the tornado itself. Tornado lifespans range from a few seconds to over an hour, with corresponding travel distances of a few yards to, in the most extreme cases, 100 miles.

OK. Lecture over.

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