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Dreaming of a Wet Christmas

Steve Scolnik @ 4:55 PM

Yes, Virginia, (and Maryland and DC, too!) there really is a "5" digit in your temperature display. Even the anomalous airport reached 51 by 4pm for the first time since the 4th of this month, despite a wind from the infamously cold direction (south). If that seems counter-intuitive, look at the map, which shows a south wind at National has the most exposure to cold river water of any direction. For an even bigger example of this effect, look at Annapolis, which is getting a southeast wind off the Bay and a temperature of 43. In the far southern parts of the region, on the other hand, Culpeper, Stafford, and Fredericksburg all had readings in the low 60s.

Graphic from Yahoo Maps

Unfortunately, the outlook for Christmas is gloomy weather-wise. The graphic shows the latest 48-hr model forecast for 1pm on Sunday. The shaded green areas represent precipitation, with heavier amounts in blue. The dashed blue line through northern Maine, into Canada, and across Michigan is the approximate dividing line between snow and rain. The models have been coming up with some variation of this solution all week, so confidence is relatively high. We'll keep an eye on the situation through the weekend here at

NAM model 48-hr forecast for 1pm Sunday from NCEP/NWS/NOAA

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight will be seasonably mild, with lows in the low to mid 30s. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with highs around 53.

Be Careful What You Wish For

The Associated Press reports that surfers have been enjoying waves as high as 15 to 20 feet along the southern California coast as a result of the recent persistent storms over the Pacific. However, the death of a surfer whose body was found offshore of Carlsbad State Beach is being investigated. The waves were strong enough to destroy a concrete building on the Venice Beach pier. USA Today has some video of the surf.

AP Photo via

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