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The Sun Sets on 2005

Dan Stillman @ 12:15 AM

Forecast First

Before we get to something a little more interesting, here's a quick look at a not-so-exciting forecast.

Today: Increasing clouds. High 51-55. Tonight: Showers develop after 10 p.m. with lows in the low-to-mid 40s. Tomorrow: Could see a steady rain during the early morning hours, possibly lasting into rush hour, then diminishing to periodic showers that may linger into the afternoon. High in the upper 40s. Tomorrow night: Cloudy and damp early, then partial clearing toward dawn. Friday: Partly sunny, high in the low-to-mid 50s.

The Weekend: We'll have to keep our eye on a system that might bring showers on Saturday (New Year's Eve). The outlook for Sunday (New Year's Day) appears dry right now.

Pictured: The sun sets yesterday evening in Dumfries, Va., by photographer Kevin Ambrose.

The 10 Most, Biggest and Funniest of 2005

One look at the forecast and I knew the weather alone wouldn't be enough to spice up today's post. So, with 2005 winding down, I thought why not honor this year's weather-related winners and losers? In no particular order, the awards go to ...

1. Most Annoying: Sen. Rick Santorum, for his bill proposing to "clarify" the role of the National Weather Service by limiting the information it's allowed to provide to the public. What needs clarifying is the bill itself, which is so poorly written that no one knows exactly what it would do if it ever sees the light of day.

2. Most Accurate: The National Hurricane Center, for its on-the-mark forecasts throughout a record-setting hurricane season.

3. Most Wacked Out: Scott Stevens, who left his job as an on-air weather forecaster for the NBC affiliate in Pocatello, Idaho, to pursue "alternative" explanations of the weather, such as his theory that the Japanese Mafia had a hand in creating Hurricane Katrina.

4. Biggest Local Failure: The effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, which has made little progress despite 30 years of work. An annual report gave the bay's health a letter grade of D.

5. Most Shameful: Contract workers at Red Cross call centers accused of stealing money donated for Katrina victims. Let's hope that, if proven guilty, these folks get the maximum penalty possible.

6. Funniest Quote: "It's not so good for person to be angry for weather, for another conditions, because the main (one) is the weather in your heart." Those words of wisdom were uttered by Madina Kadyrova in response to the mayor of Moscow's plan to fine weather forecasters for inaccurate predictions.

7. Most Misleading: AccuWeather, for consistently over-hyping approaching winter storms, and for its inconsistent, always-changing forecasts.

8. Most Creative:'s Kevin Ambrose, for his hilarious April Fool's post titled, "The Great Cherry Blossom Tornado of 2005."

9. Biggest Scapegoat: Former FEMA head Michael Brown, who took the brunt of the heat -- and rightly so -- for the agency's wholly inadequate response to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

10. Most Obviously Incorrect Statement: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." These were of course the now infamous words spoken by President Bush about Brown, who was, by most all accounts, barely doing his job at all.

What Happened to Bob Ryan's 2006 Almanac?

Here's the answer straight from the horse's mouth.

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