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Rain, Rain, Going Away

Steve Scolnik @ 5:00 PM

Except for a few leftover sprinkles, the showers which arrived near midnight had moved out of the Washington metro area by mid afternoon. Radar shortly before 4pm showed rain north of Baltimore, across part of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and into New Jersey. Temperatures are hovering around 50 degrees after a high yesterday of 52. Although there was only 1 50-degree day in the first 3 weeks of the month, we have now had 4 in the last 7 days including today. This reduces the December temperature deficit to a still-respectable 4.3 degrees through yesterday.

Radar image showing showers departing the Washington area this afternoon, from

Tonight and Tomorrow

Clouds will gradually decrease towards morning, with lows in the mid and upper 30s. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with highs near 50.

New Precipitation Tool

NOAA has just announced an experimental interactive precipitation analysis web page from the NWS. Maps are available for the continental U.S. as well as individual states. The high data resolution of about 4 km (2.2 mi) results from combining the 150 NWS Doppler radars with measurements from over 4000 rain gauges. Time periods range from the current day to the last 7 days, last 14 days, month to date, and year to date. Data can be displayed in either English or metric units. Apparently spelling is also experimental for this product. At least one location is misspelled; see if you can find it. (Hint: It's within the regional blogging area.)

One disadvantage I can see of the presentation is that the graphics apparently cannot be saved except with the cumbersome process of screen capture. There is a download option for the raw gridded data, but it involves lots of geeky stuff like XMRG format, HRAP coordinate system, shapefiles, netCDF, and compiling C programs. While a diet of raw data may be high in fiber, I find that it takes up large amounts of precious time. Comments on the new service may be submitted during the trial period which runs through June 2006.

The Afternoon Update will be taking a long weekend, so have a safe and happy holiday; see you next year.

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