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Hopey New Year

Steve Scolnik @ 5:30 PM

It's a gloomy, clammy first full work day of the new year in the Washington DC metro area. Temperatures are stuck in the low 40s in late afternoon with high humidity and some very light drizzle. As a low in West Virginia weakens and a low off the southeastern coast of New England moves away, conditions in the area will gradually dry out through tonight. The snow fans (You know who you are!) will have to rely on hope-casting for the next chance of snow. See Matt's Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for the CapitalWeather position on the subject. As Camden pointed out in the earlier comments, this view continues to be supported by the afternoon models, in spite of the plunge of a potential rain/snow line as far south as the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Skies will remain overcast tonight with lows around 36, a few degrees lower in the colder 'burbs. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with highs near 45.

Momma Nature's Tropical Grill: Fish and Ships

Like a tune you just can't get out of your head, the tropical season continues to linger. Tropical Storm Zeta is hanging on despite hostile upper-level flow. At 11am, it had estimated maximum winds of 65 mph (55 kt). There was no change in strength at 5pm. It is forecast to remain at that strength for 24 hours, then weaken. At 1400 miles from the Leeward Islands, it's expected to threaten only fish and ships.

More Wild Women

On Sunday, Jason posted the greatest hits of 2005. Columnist Dave Barry, who is based in Miami but is also published in the WaPo magazine, included several hurricane season events in his annual review, "A Year on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown". Below are some of the highlights; a Real Media video version is available on the Miami Herald web site.

(Cartoon from Miami Herald)
[July] "In weather news, the formation of Hurricane Dennis is followed closely by the formation of Hurricane Emily, arousing suspicions among some staffers at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency that hurricane season might be going on. It is agreed that somebody probably should look into this and write a report no later than Halloween."
[August] ". . . by far the biggest story in August is Hurricane Katrina, a massive, deadly storm that thrashes Florida, then heads into the Gulf of Mexico. For decades, experts have been warning that such a storm, if it were to hit New Orleans, would devastate the city; now it becomes clear that this is exactly what is about to happen. For days, meteorologists are on television warning, dozens of times per hour, that Katrina will, in fact, hit New Orleans with devastating results. Armed with this advance knowledge, government officials at the local, state and federal levels are in a position to be totally, utterly shocked when Katrina -- of all things -- devastates New Orleans. For several days, chaos reigns, with most of the relief effort taking the form of Geraldo Rivera, who, by his own estimate, saves more than 170,000 people."
[September] "With the horror of Katrina fresh in everyone's mind, a new hurricane, Rita, draws a bead on the Gulf Coast, causing millions of panicky Texans to get into their cars and flee an average distance of 150 feet before they become stuck in a monster traffic jam, where some remain for more than 12 hours. 'It was hell,' reports one traumatized victim. 'The classic rock station played 'Daydream Believer,' like, 53 freaking times.'
President Bush, after an aerial tour of the devastated region, tells reporters that he always kind of liked 'Daydream Believer.'"

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