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Some People are Weatherwise

Steve Scolnik @ 4:45 PM

We hope you can increase your weather wisdom here at, but the lessons have been getting a little repetitious lately. Stop me if you've heard this one before: "A low pressure area moving northeastward through the Great Lakes is spreading warmer temperatures and rain into the mid Atlantic region . . ." After an official low of 33 near midnight, temperatures have risen to the low and mid 40s in the Washington DC metro area at mid afternoon. Radar shows rain and showers extending through much of West Virginia, across far northwestern Virginia and into portions of western and central Maryland.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Showers and possibly thunderstorms will become more widespread and heavier this evening, continuing through early afternoon tomorrow. As with the previous storm, there is a chance that precipitation will end as light snow or flurries, especially in the higher elevations. Temperatures tonight will remain steady or rise a few degrees to the mid or upper 40s. After a morning high near 50, temperatures will drop through the afternoon tomorrow to near 39 by evening. Winds will also become strong and gusty from the west and northwest.

300 Candles

Philadelphia's Franklin Institute is closed for the occasion, but today is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin in 1706. Along with many other classic sayings, Franklin is credited with the statement, "Some people are weatherwise, but most are otherwise." Besides his famous lightning experiment, Franklin also contributed to the theory of mid-latitude cyclones. He suggested that nor'easters move from the southwest toward the northeast when he observed in 1743 that a storm prevented him from observing an eclipse in Philadelphia, but the eclipse was visible in Boston. Franklin also studied climate, including the effects of deforestation and volcanic eruptions. He theorized that the unusually cold winter of 1783-84 was caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland the preceding summer. He made the first scientific observations of the Gulf Stream when he charted ocean temperature measurements he made on voyages to England.

The National Weather Service Benjamin Franklin award is presented to cooperative weather observers who have achieved 55 years of service. Two of the topics at the American Meteorological Society's annual meeting later this month are "Benjamin Franklin's Science" and "Meteorology from Ben Franklin to Climate Change." Today's weather at Ben Franklin, Texas, zip code 75415, is clear, with a high near 50.

Image of Franklin from NASA Earth Observatory

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