A deep breath and some quiet reflections plus beautiful weather
After yesterday’s tempestuous weather and the associated forecasting and warning activity forecasters are taking a collective deep breath today and reflecting on what actually did occur. As expected there were a number of high wind reports plus flash flooding in the NWS Sterling forecast area and at least one funnel cloud was reported in Culpeper county. After such a day I fully expect some folks to wonder what the fuss was all about as they didn’t see any severe weather at their location.
Weather forecasting is a mathematical exercise, the results of which are probability-based…i.e. no one can guarantee with 100% assurance that any one spot on the map will definitely see bad weather. The challenge forecasters face is how to translate those mathematical results into terms that everyone can relate to, especially when meteorologists (including amateur ones like yours truly) tend to be “numbers people” and much of the rest of the world is not. Fortunately the weather community has realized this and is beginning to incorporate social scientists into the mix of how to inform the public of what to expect and how to respond to weather events.
Meanwhile we can enjoy the post-tempest conditions today (Wednesday) through Friday under clear blue skies, pleasant temperatures, and dry air. The highs will start in the low 70′s (F) today and rise to near 80 degrees on Friday ahead of the next cold front, while the nightly lows will dip into the upper 40′s to mid-50′s. This cool weather looks to continue per the Climate Prediction Center graphic below for the period Sept 24-29:
Note that while we enjoy cooler than normal temperatures the western U.S. is absorbing the punch of warmer than average weather. If you ever thought of visiting the Pacific Northwest under warm and dry conditions now might be the time!