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60-Degree Forecast a Bust?

Dan Stillman @ 12:10 AM

We've been talking since the beginning of the week about the possibility of reaching 60 degrees or higher tomorrow, as have most other forecast outlets. But Steve cautioned in his Monday post that "the coming week has high potential on the bustometer scale, especially for temperature, as the Arctic air to the northeast battles encroaching warmth from the center of the country."

Was Steve on to something? Find out in the forecast below. And see what the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball has to say at the end of this post as it monitors the potential for a winter storm early next week.

Forecast First

Today: We'll begin the day partly cloudy and cold with morning temps starting out in the low-to-mid 30s, upper 20s in the 'burbs. An early-morning flurry or sprinkle is possible south of town. Mostly sunny skies from mid-morning through afternoon should boost the high temperature to around 50. Then, increasing clouds toward sunset with evening temps dropping into the mid 40s on their way to an overnight low in the upper 30s. As low pressure approaches from the west, there's about a 50 percent chance of rain anytime after about 10 p.m. tonight.

Tomorrow: We'll likely wake up to some combination of showers, drizzle and fog in the morning courtesy of the low pressure mentioned above, with temps in the low-to-mid 40s. Precipitation and fog should diminish by mid-morning, but skies remain overcast for the remainder of the day and lingering showers are possible. The models, which as recently as yesterday morning were predicting high temps in the low 60s, have changed their tune. Now it looks as if colder air behind the low will come in more quickly than expected, keeping highs in the low 50s at best. A word of caution, though: Confidence in tomorrow's temperature forecast is on the low side because we'll be right along the battle line between cooler air to the north and warmer air to the south.

Friday and the Weekend: Breezy north to northwest winds throughout the period will dry us out and keep temperatures on the cool side, with highs on Friday and Saturday in the mid-to-upper 40s, and on Sunday near 50. Lows should range from near 30 in town to the mid 20s in the 'burbs.

Pictured: Sunset approaches yesterday in Oakton, Va., by photographer Kevin Ambrose.

ICC Comments Due ASAP

The public has until March 23 (extended from Feb. 27) to comment on an environmental study for Maryland's Intercounty Connector, at least anyone in the public willing to tackle the more than 1,000-megabyte Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Talked about and studied for more than four decades, the six-lane ICC would stretch 18 miles in an east-west direction across parts of Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. The highway would, in effect, act as an outer Beltway connecting I-270 and I-95, running from Gaithersburg to Laurel.

I can't say I know enough to even begin to assess what kind of toll, if any, the long-debated ICC would take on streams, wetlands, habitats and other aspects of the environment. Nor do I have enough time to read the three-volume study. What I do know is that Beltway traffic between I-270 and I-95 is often a nightmare. So if there's any way at all to get this project done while minimizing the environmental impacts, then I'm all for it.

Image courtesy Maryland Department of Transportation.

Reinventing Todd Gross

The Concord Journal has a story about the online reincarnation of former Boston TV meteorologist Todd Gross. We first mentioned Gross when he was criticized and defended for instituting a "tip jar" on his Web site, which he created after being abruptly fired from WHDH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Boston. Gross was the station's chief meteorologist, had worked there for nearly 22 years, and was apparently quite popular with viewers

Gross's blog-style Web site is not entirely unlike, the main difference being that Gross is manning the site all by himself, as opposed to the team approach we use here. In this excerpt from the article, Gross says that there's more to weather than just the forecast:
"People say, 'Who cares, just give me the forecast,'" he said. But there is a group of people who don't want to be talked down to, who actually want to understand the science behind the prediction.
So, is a desperate attempt by a fired meteorologist to revive his career? Or, is it indicative that people are turning more and more to the Internet and blogs for daily weather information?

To the second question, we here at can only hope the answer is yes.

Snow Lover's Crystal Ball

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow:
Monday, March 6 - Wednesday, March 8

Probability: 15%
Potential Impact:
Commentary: We're watching for the possibility of a storm developing off the coast early next week. The good news for snowlovers is that it looks like an ample supply of cold air will be available. The bad news for everyone is that we're just too many days out to predict with any skill whether the storm, if it materializes, will move up the coast and bring us wintry precipitation, or track harmlessly out to sea.

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