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The Weekend is Here - but Spring? Not Yet.

A. Camden Walker @ 2:02 AM

Forecast: Breezy, not Brutal

Click for more information on Kevin Ambrose's photographyPretending to ignore a few clouds is ok since it's Friday, right?  Mainly sunny skies and afternoon highs in the mid-40s will be accompanied by steady northwesterly nippiness today.  Any wind gusts should be under 25mph.Forecast fairly simple after last night's frontal passage

Since light colors are encouraged to be worn during hot summer days, I propose you wear dark colors today. Have a dark overcoat or peacoat?--add in a warm hat and you might very well be set!

Saturday & Sunday:
Saturday morning lows will be in the 20s for most of us, under cobalt blue, clear skies (especially south & east of the city). Afternoon highs will struggle to reach the upper 40s. Breezes will still be around, but not prevalent. Dress the same for Saturday as you did for Friday!

Sunday morning will again dip into the 20s. Skies will be clear, winds will be seriously slackened, and lucky locations may hit 50! The ground will have had a chance to dry out thus today might be your best bet to play soccer or bike around the park without the risk of as much mud. Also a plus, sunset occurs now after 6:00pm (6:05 on Sunday) allowing for perceptible light until 6:30 on clear evenings!

Kevin Ambrose snapshoots a chipmunk foraging on a blustery, cloudy day. Click photo for more.

Snow Lover's Crystal Ball
Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Monday night, March 6
Probability: 25%
Potential Impact:
Commentary: Late evening Monday, weak atmospheric energy will be plunging down into our region from the Great Lakes prior to energizing a storm over North Carolina on Tuesday. Temperatures are forecast to remain below freezing before dawn during a possible period of light snow. However, the Metro Area should warm enough after mid-morning Tuesday that any remaining precipitation will turn to liquid.


Policy Prediction: More Difficult than Forecasting Weather

January 10, 2004 radar image
On Capitol Hill, Wednesday, meteorology & policy performed a concert. Dialogue--very direct at times--centered around the pre-existing budget paradigm that money allocation goes towards higher population-density areas.

I had a chance to observe Senator Ted Stevens' (chairman) Commerce, Science, & Transportation committee hearing on "Winter Storms: Disaster Prevention and Prediction."  From the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), Dr. Louis Uccellini was forced to mostly defend the record of NOAA outlets, including NCEP and the National Weather Service (NWS).  To attest to improved NWS warnings in recent years but simultaneously to lobby for additional resources, Nome, Alaska, Mayor Denise Michels flew many hours to appear before the committee.

Of foremost contention, Senator Stevens (R-AK) repeatedly questioned Dr. Uccellini "Why are there only 3 of 122 U.S. National Weather Service offices located in Alaska, while the rest of the continental United States gets the remainder." He went on to gesture at maps detailing density of forecasting buoys & river monitoring stations.  Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks each cover a forecast area of over 250,000 square miles.  While Mayor Michels lauded the performance level of NWS officers communicating warning information to her in greater time increments than previous decades' 17-hour advanced warning level.

With this year's budget already locked-in and decided, the senators cannot earmark money for specific reallocation.  Will more money solve the problem? Should Senator Stevens' constituents in a very sparsely populated state receive the exact same geographic coverage by surface sensors as the Northeastern megalopolis?  Dr. Uccellini rebutted with the importance in budget funding for space orbiting instruments (satellites) and robotic airplane missions that benefit high latitudes the most near Alaska and negate surface observation gaps.  Do you agree?

Would you like to know community events taking place this weekend? Check

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