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Warmth a Welcome Treat for Humans and Hamsters Alike

Dan Stillman @ 12:45 AM

It's the kind of week that warms the spirit of those who would just assume skip winter altogether, and that makes weather purists nervous that our chances for cold and snow are slowly slipping away. Could temps go even higher than they already have this week? Indeed, they could. But what goes up must eventually come down ...

Forecast First

Today: Mostly cloudy with about a 30 percent chance of light showers through noontime. Then, showers are likely, and a period of steadier rain is possible, during the afternoon and early evening. High temps should reach near 55. Don't be surprised if the early-spring-like air mass even triggers a few rumbles of thunder, as we are smack in the middle of an area in which the Storm Prediction Center (see their image at right) says thunderstorms are possible today.

Tonight: Precip should be out of here by around 8 p.m. Partly cloudy for the remainder of the night with lows only dropping to the low 40s in town, mid-to-upper 30s in the 'burbs. Tomorrow: We get back into the sun, and our temps get back to around 60. Friday: Even warmer -- believe it or not -- with highs climbing into the mid 60s ahead of a strong cold front that looks to trigger showers and, who knows, maybe another chance of thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening.

The Weekend: Much colder on Saturday behind the front, and very windy. Highs in the low-to-mid 40s (that's right around our average high this time of year) and wind chills in the 30s. Sunday: Temps remain in the 40s, but winds should slacken by late morning or early afternoon.

Hamster Blues

Those in the MidAtlantic who suffer from the winter blues are getting a welcome spell of sunlight (although not today) and above-normal temperatures. Some hamsters in Ohio have not been as lucky.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that, much like humans, hamsters may get depressed during the winter. An Ohio State University study found that hamsters exposed to only 8 hours of light per day exhibited more behavior indicative of depression than those who spent 16 hours in light per day.

AP seems to be a bit late on this story, though, as I found reports on the OSU study from the university itself and from back in November and December, respectively. To help fight seasonal depression, the abcnews story suggests light therapy, waking up early, exercise, eating well, spending time outside and taking a vacation.

No word yet on whether any of the hamsters have hopped a flight to the Caribbean.

Saturated in Seattle

What are the chances that come Saturday the Seattle Seahawks and their fans will have the energy of a depressed hamster? Pretty good, if you ask me.

As Steve mentioned in his most recent post, yesterday was Seattle's 23rd consecutive day with measurable rain. According to a story in yesterday's Seattle Times, rain is in the forecast for at least the next seven days, which means the city's record of 33 straight days with rain could be in jeopardy.

I'm thinking that such constant gloominess can't be good for the psyche of Seahawks players or fans. Meanwhile the Redskins should have an extra spring in their step thanks to an unseasonably warm week in Washington. Could this be the intangible that puts the Skins over the hump?

Not every Redskin will benefit from the Seattle dampness. While safety Sean Taylor's alleged loogie may have evaporated quickly into the relatively dry Tampa atmosphere on Saturday, his saliva may have a bit more staying power in the moist air of the Pacific Northwest. Let's hope the only spitting this coming Saturday comes from the clouds above.

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