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Throwing in the Snow Towel?

Steve Scolnik @ 4:45 PM

Temperatures rising to a high of 62 at 1am last night have dropped dramatically to the low and mid 40s around the Washington DC metro area this afternoon. Westerly winds gusting at times over 30 mph make it feel even colder. The rain, which was late to arrive in the area, cleared out quickly after heavy downpours in many locations.

Since the Pacific air behind the "cold" front is relatively mild, temperatures will remain above the seasonal long-term average. With yesterday's 12-degree departure from average and today's warm readings, we have now had only one below-average day in the last 27 days. As Matt has already noted, the current overall monthly average of 42.6, while near the average high for this time of year, is still impossibly short of the amazing 48 degrees in 1950. The official trace which was recorded from the pitiful 2 hours of wet flakes on Saturday makes this January tied with 13 others in the past 118 years for least amount of snow. Snow lovers shouldn't throw in the towel quite yet, though: Those January traces were followed 3 times with a trace in February, but once each with 18 and 21 inches, in 1934 and 1983.

Surface weather map at 7am this morning from HPC/NWS/NOAA

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight's lows under mostly clear skies will be near freezing in the city, upper 20s in the 'burbs, possibly a little lower in areas with light winds. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with highs in the mid 50s.

Slow Burn

David Ignatius has an interesting op-ed piece, "Is It Warm in Here?" in today's WaPo. He speculates on why "we are all but ignoring the biggest story in the history of humankind." That story of climate change is, of course, not as immediately compelling as "a plane crash or a brutal murder." My favorite analogy to the problem is the story of the frog who jumps right out if you put him into a pot of boiling water. If you put him in a pot of cold water and gradually raise the temperature a few degrees at a time, however, he ends up on the dinner menu at Momma Nature's Weather Grill.


In light of the recent brouhaha in the Comments section, the inimitable Joel Achenbach has some suggestions we might want to consider for comment guidelines.

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