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Mild Today; Cooler, Comfortable Weather to Follow

Dan Stillman @ 10:05 AM

It looks like early May will be off to a less erratic start than early April, which if you remember saw temperatures go quickly from quite warm to quite cold. After a mild day today -- in the upper 70s to near 80 for the high -- temperatures will settle into a groove with highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s through the weekend.


Forecast Confidence: HighStill mild. As a cold front slowly sinks southward through our area, we'll see a mix of sun and clouds with a 30 percent chance of a shower or thundershower. Highs in the upper 70s to near 80. Tonight, partly cloudy with lows in the mid 50s in town, near 50 in the burbs.


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighCooler, pleasant. The morning should be partly to mostly sunny, with increasing clouds possible during the afternoon. There's a slight chance of an afternoon shower. Temperatures will be cooler behind the cold front, with highs 65-70. Overnight, partly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower. Lows 50-55 in town, 45-50 in the burbs.


Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighVery nice. Under partly to mostly sunny skies, highs should reach the upper 60s to near 70. Overnight, mostly clear with lows in the upper 40s to near 50 in town, low-to-mid 40s in the burbs.

The Weekend

Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighPotentially Perfect. Saturday and Sunday are looking pretty good. We'll be under the influence of a broad area of high pressure centered to our north in Canada, which should be able to fend off clouds and showers in the Southeast U.S. The result -- a mostly sunny weekend with highs in the low-to-mid 70s, and Saturday night lows from the low 40s in the burbs to near 50 in town.

When News Becomes Science

I found Sunday's A1 story in the Washington Post -- D.C. Area Sees Spike in Rate of Emissions -- intriguing on a couple of levels.

The story reports that carbon dioxide emissions in the Washington area from vehicle and electricity use increased at more than double the national rate between 2001 and 2005. That, in itself, is distressing, though not necessarily surprising considering the rate of growth of the metropolitan area. What's more interesting, I think, is that the Washington Post itself came up with this estimate.

While carbon dioxide emissions are tracked globally and nationally, there's a lack of such information at the local level. So the Post set out to fill this void with their own study. The Post estimated carbon dioxide emissions based on traffic statistics and utility records. The story says that a spokesman for the U.S. Energy Information Administration reviewed the Post's calculations, and it acknowledges that "those calculations leave out greenhouse gases from other sources, such as agriculture, planes, boats and oil furnaces. Those missing figures could account for half of all emissions."

Investigative journalism is nothing new. Nor is the careful scrutiny and manipulation of statistics by news organizations looking for a story. But this seems to take the art to a new level. This is more like news reporter turns citizen scientist. I'm not sure it's a bad thing, but I'd be interested in your opinion?

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