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Hurricane Maria is brushing the Carolinas — and lingering there — this week

Hurricane Maria on satellite Monday morning. (NOAA)

Hurricane Maria is just a few hundred miles off the East Coast, crawling north and churning up 40-foot waves near its center. The storm is expected to maintain its Category 1 strength through Tuesday morning as it lingers near the Carolinas.

Landfall isn’t in the forecast, Maria will be close to the coast for the next few days, which means an extended period of coastal and off-shore impacts from the Carolinas to New England.

After the storm departed the Bahamas, it entered an environment that was not favorable for hurricanes. Chaotic upper-level winds are eating away at the edges of the storm, which is preventing it from not only strengthening but maintaining its current intensity. On top of that, Hurricane Jose churned up cool water off the East Coast last week, which Maria is encountering now.

Given these factors, the National Hurricane Center does not expect Maria to strengthen beyond its current, weak-hurricane intensity.

However, significant impacts are likely along parts of the East Coast — particularly the Carolinas.

Because Maria’s tropical-storm force winds are expected to reach the Outer Banks, a tropical storm warning is in effect for Cape Lookout to Duck, including the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A tropical storm watch has been issued for areas north of Duck to the N.C.-Va. border, as well as south of Cape Lookout to Surf City, N.C.


  • Storm surge of two to four feet is possible from Cape Lookout to Duck, N.C., including the sound side. Because of Maria’s path, winds will be blowing out of the east first, which will create surge on the ocean side, and then out of the west, which will create surge on the sound side. The amount of surge will depend on whether the strongest winds coincide with high tide.
  • High surf and rip currents will be present along the East Coast, from the Southeast to New England. The Ocean Prediction Center is forecasting six- to nine-foot waves from South Carolina to Maryland, and three-foot waves through New England.
  • Winds up to 40 mph are expected in the warning area — mainly the Outer Banks — starting Tuesday.
  • Up to 2 inches of rain is likely along the North Carolina coast beginning Tuesday morning and lasting through Wednesday night.

A group of simulations from the GFS (blue) and Euro (red) weather models (0Z Monday). Each line represents a different simulation with slight tweaks to initial conditions. This gives us an approximation of the different possibilities in Maria’s future track. (stormvistawxmodels.com)

Source: Local Weather

It’s the greatest season of all — apple-butter season — and we have a 100-year-old recipe

Traditional apple butter is cooked for 10 to 12 hours in a copper kettle over an open wood fire. (Kevin Ambrose)

The smell of wood smoke and cooking apples filled the air at the Apple Butter Celebration held at Shenandoah National Park‘s rustic Skyland resort in Luray, Va., on Saturday. Under a beautiful blue sky, apple butter was boiled in 40-gallon copper kettles over open wood fires as hundreds of visitors sampled hard apple cider, apple cobbler and, of course, apple butter.

During the day-long event, volunteers and visitors took turns stirring the apple butter with wooden paddles continuously for 10 to 12 hours. That’s a lot of stirring! The wooden paddles had very long handles to ensure the boiling brew didn’t splatter up onto the arms of those stirring the pot.

After cooking, the apple butter was poured into canning jars and prepared for sale. The apple butter produced during the celebration is usually sold out on the same day it’s made, even before the jars finish cooling. It’s very good, and it’s very popular!

Lindsay Abbot and Mollie Spivey stir the apple butter at Saturday’s Apple Butter Celebration at the Skyland resort in Luray, Va. (Kevin Ambrose)

David Foltz, who supervised the cooking of the apple butter, told me that the recipe used on Saturday has been passed down in his family through multiple generations and is at least 100 years old. I asked David whether he would share his family recipe with us, and he was more than happy to disclose all of the buttery details. A word of warning, however: This recipe calls for an open wood fire and a 40-gallon copper pot.

Apple Butter Ingredients

  • 9 bushels of golden and red delicious apples –peeled, cored and finely sliced
  • 50 lbs. of sugar
  • 13 teaspoons of cinnamon oil
  • 3 gallons of apple cider


  • Pour the apple cider into a 40-gallon copper kettle and place over an open wood fire.
  • Add the sliced apples and sugar into the copper kettle.
  • Add the cinnamon oil.
  • Cook for 10 to 12 hours while stirring continuously.
  • Serve or can when the mixture is thick and dark brown.

Since many of us can’t prepare David’s family recipe at home, here’s a link to an old-fashioned apple butter recipe that will scale to your kitchen: All-day Apple Butter.

The Apple Butter Celebration was held at mile 42 of Skyline Drive. A wide view from Skyline Drive on Saturday shows the foliage is just starting to change color. (Kevin Ambrose)

The event also included music, dancing, pony rides, locally made wine and cider, and plenty of food. Skyland is located at mile 42 on Skyline Drive, where the views are terrific. Despite the warm temperatures, there was a definite feeling of fall at the event. The smell of wood smoke, cooking apples and cinnamon helped set the mood. Also, the trees at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains are starting to show a hint of fall color.

Apples are peeled, cored, sliced and slowly cooked into apple butter. (Kevin Ambrose)

The Apple Butter Celebration is held on National Park Service property and is run by Delaware North. Helen Morton, sales director, and Nick Smith, general manager, of Delaware North said this was the event’s 18th year. There is also a blackberry event that is held in July at Skyland called Blackberry Delight, but it’s not quite as large and popular as the Apple Butter Celebration.

If you missed Saturday’s festival, Berkeley Springs, W.Va., will hold its downtown Apple Butter Festival during the weekend of Oct. 7-8. Capon Springs resort will also produce apple butter in October.

Cinnamon oil is a key ingredient of the apple butter made at the event. (Kevin Ambrose)

Let us know your favorite apple butter recipes, stories or events, and tell us your favorite way of serving apple butter. For me, I love to make peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches. I also toast bread, spread on a lot of butter, then add a thick layer of apple butter. I’ll even eat apple butter out of the jar with a spoon. But I don’t double dip — really.

Stirring apple butter at the Apple Butter Celebration (Kevin Ambrose)

Freshly baked apple cobbler with a side of ice cream was served with a smile. (Kevin Ambrose)

Kelli Stover, sales and marketing manager of Showalters Orchards, helped serve hard cider from Old Hill. (Kevin Ambrose)

Pine Wind Music by Timothy Seaman performed at the event. (Kevin Ambrose)

Pony rides were available for the kids. (Kevin Ambrose)

Locally produced wine was also available for tasting and purchase. (Kevin Ambrose)

The author took a turn stirring the apple butter. (David Foltz)

Jars of apple butter produced this month at Capon Springs. (Jonathan Bellingham)

Source: Local Weather

Charting a path forward after Charlottesville

Students at the University of Virginia on Aug. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As an educator, citizen and particularly as a member of the Charlottesville and University of Virginia communities for 30 years, I was deeply troubled and saddened by what happened here last month. Hate visited our community. The words and actions of the neo-Nazi, white supremacists and Klan who came here incited violence that led to the tragic loss of life. And now Charlottesville sadly joins the list of cities whose names are synonymous with the dark side of American history.

As a dean of a school of education, in the university founded by Thomas Jefferson, a man and an institution with mixed records on race, it is not surprising to find myself talking with students and colleagues about diversity, free speech, equity and justice. And after what happened here in August, I have a far deeper awareness that these topics are not abstractions and the discussions are not another academic exercise, here in Charlottesville or elsewhere in America.

Both here and around the country, we see the beginning of a rededication to facing issues of social and economic justice with greater moral clarity. In our mission as a school of education, we have a special responsibility to work that fosters human development, recognizes and embraces human assets and potential and creates opportunity for all, particularly those who have been left out, left behind and too often are targets of discrimination and hate. With this responsibility, we must provide our students, and those they eventually serve, with the skills and knowledge to engage in the kind of civil discourse and action that build community. At no time has it been so clear that our public educational systems and institutions are essential to civil society — to helping prepare a generation to understand and learn from the lessons of history, to more fully embrace diversity in all its forms and to engage in the hard work of promoting equity and justice.

But before we move on to what’s next, it is worth pausing to reflect on what we in Charlottesville witnessed and experienced and what that tells us about the work ahead. The role and value of leadership in civil society could not be more evident — both for its presence and its glaring absence.

The issues are much larger than our small community, but events here revealed the oft-hidden reality of evil that can lurk underneath the surface of politics and rhetoric. We heard the vile chants and saw the horrible violence. But we also witnessed goodness, compassion and courage.

It is fashionable to characterize college students today as “snowflakes” — looking for a “safe space” or wanting to avoid speech they dislike. I will admit to holding that thought myself a few times. But not anymore. In fact, I wonder if youth also provide us with opportunities for moral clarification. Here in Charlottesville, in the face of brazen and extraordinary challenge, our students stood their ground and stood up to those in the torch parade. Many students joined our community the next day to meet speech with speech. And days later, thousands of students and community members returned to UVA to quietly protest the white supremacists and reclaim the ground, holding candles, singing – and showing – Amazing Grace. A week after seeing the worse of America on display, these students showed the very best of this country. And they showed one of the qualities of great leaders: moral clarity.

Our students’ actions stood in sharp contrast to our national leadership. By failing to unequivocally denounce supremacist groups and instead offering some twisted equivalency between those spewing racial hatred and those who protest against that hatred, President Trump again showed his lack of a moral compass. And the policies and behaviors of his administration – eviscerating voting rights, demonizing immigrants, gutting supports for poor people, and ignoring basic human and civil rights – are both an affront to civil society and an invitation for real leadership to emerge elsewhere.

We deserve better; our youth deserve better. As an educator, I truly wonder what America’s schoolchildren think about their leaders. Shouldn’t our presidents speak for all of us and represent the very best American ideals, particularly at times of crisis? Shouldn’t they embody and reflect some sense of moral clarity? From where and whom will leadership emerge? Charlottesville was his test; he failed. Our students did not.

We must rededicate ourselves – as educators and as citizens – to the work of inclusion and equity, and to improving civic education. To unflinchingly examining and owning a history that can neither be erased or replaced while also claiming a better, improved future. We must resolve that those who lost their lives that day in Charlottesville shall not have died in vain.

“There is much to be done, there is much that can be done,” Elie Wiesel said in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. It is true today. Make no mistake, there is no cheap grace here. Thoughts and prayers will not suffice. There are no easy answers, only hard work and vigilance. But this Charlottesville community and our university students are now engaged in this work in a new way, exploring what leadership can look like, and we should be grateful for their example as we face into what lies ahead.

Robert C. Pianta is the dean of the University of Virginia Curry School of Education.

Source: Washington Post Opinions

Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is leading in Virginia governor's race: Poll

Democrat Ralph Northam is leading Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race by 6 points, according to a poll released Monday.

The Wason Center poll shows Mr. Northam leading Mr. Gillespie 47 percent to 41 percent while Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra comes in at 4 percent with another, 8 percent undecided. The race for lieutenant governor also shows Democrat Justin Fairfax leading Republican Jill Vogel by 5 points with Mr. Fairfax at 46 percent and Ms. Vogel at 42 percent.

Democrats are favored overall in the House of Delegates generic ballot test, leading Republicans by 7 points.

The off-year election set to take place this November is expected to be close. Many see this race as the first official test of President Trump’s impact on the state races for next year.

The poll was taken among 776 likely Virginia voters on both landline and cell phone with a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

Source: Headline news

D.C.-area forecast: Summer-like fling ends Friday; watching Maria midweek

Kayakers at Great Falls, Sept. 24, 2017. (George Jiang via Flickr)

* Code orange air quality alert Monday: Unhealthy for sensitive groups *

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

4/10: Moderately muggy upper 80s might score a 7 in mid-July. Problem: It’s not mid-July.


Today: Partly to mostly sunny and hot. Highs: 87-92.
Tonight: Some increasing high clouds. Lows: 65-70.
Tomorrow: Partly sunny, slight chance of showers. Highs: 79-84.

View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post headquarters.


The mercury surged to 92 steamy degrees Sunday and should make another run at 90 today. Temperatures are much above normal through Thursday before taking a big step down Friday into the weekend when fall is finally in the air.

We’ll watch and see whether any of Hurricane Maria’s outer bands brush the region Tuesday and Wednesday with some showers; unlikely, but not impossible. Otherwise, there’s little chance of rain for our increasingly parched lawns and gardens.

Listen to the latest forecast:

Get our daily forecasts on your Amazon Alexa device. Click here to find out how.

Today (Monday): An unusually warm air mass combined with sunny skies means temperatures some 15 degrees above normal. Highs approach 90 degrees and, with dew points in the mid- to upper 60s, it feels a few degrees hotter than that in the late afternoon. Winds are light from the north. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: It’s a warm evening but one with a dwindling supply of daylight; the sun sets before 7 p.m. for the first time this season. Overnight, as some high clouds start filtering in, lows slip into the 60s, and near 70 downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): The cloud deck along Hurricane Maria’s western fringe could ease into the region and, if it progresses far enough inland, a few showers can’t be ruled out — especially in our eastern areas. More likely, we’re seeing filtered sunshine through high clouds and highs near 80 degrees or even a little higher. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Skies are partly to mostly cloudy owing to Hurricane Maria’s presence off to our southeast. Again, there’s a slight chance of showers (10 to 25 percent from west to east across the region) as lows settle in the 60s. Confidence: Medium-High


Maria may still linger close enough to the coast of the Mid-Atlantic to throw back some clouds and the outside chance of showers Wednesday. But, more likely, it’s another partly to mostly sunny and very warm day, with highs in the mid-80s. Partly cloudy Wednesday night with lows in the 60s to near 70. Confidence: Medium

Thursday is the last summery day in the region, perhaps for some time, as highs make one more run up to near 80 — with a healthy dose of sunshine. It starts to cool off Thursday night, as lows fall into the 50s. Confidence: Medium-High

After a two-week-plus break, fall-like weather returns in force Friday through the weekend. Highs are generally around 70, with overnight lows 50-55, except 40s in our normally cooler areas. There’s an outside chance of a shower Saturday, but the pattern remains a dry one. Confidence: Medium

Source: Local Weather

Following Travel Ban 3.0, Supreme Court Removes Argument From Docket

U.S. Supreme Court building
The U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court removed upcoming oral arguments over President Donald Trump’s so-called travel ban executive order from its calendar Monday after the White House issued a new policy as parts of the existing one expired Sunday.

The court removed the arguments pending further order and directed the parties, including the state of Hawaii, the federal government and various advocacy groups, to file supplemental briefs on whether and to what extent the case is now moot. The briefs are due by noon on Oct 5. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed a letter with the court Sunday requesting the supplemental briefing schedule.

The White House announced new restrictions on travelers from eight countries Sunday, replacing the executive order issued March 6. The new policy involves additional countries, country-specific rules and different requirements for immigrants and nonimmigrants. The new restrictions add new countries: Chad, Venezuela and North Korea. It also drops Sudan, which was included in the March 6 order.

Despite these changes, lawyers from the National Immigration Law Center and other civil rights organizations said on a call with reporters Monday morning that the new proclamation is simply a revised version of the “Muslim ban” the president promised during the campaign.

Advocates said the addition of countries that do not have a majority Muslim population, North Korea and Venezuela, are largely symbolic. The restrictions only apply to government officials from Venezuela, and very few North Koreans immigrate to the U.S. due to restrictions from their own country.

“This latest ban is another example of this administration’s xenophobic agenda and does nothing to change the fact that this started out and remains a Muslim ban. Our Constitution is intended to ensure that all of us, regardless of where we were born, how much we earn, or how we pray, are be able to live in the United States without fear that our government will treat us any differently than anyone else,” said Avideh Moussavian, a senior policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source: Law Journal

Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., to relocate to Bethesda, Maryland, in 2021

The District’s Fox affiliate, WTTG, and WDCA Fox 5 Plus have entered into a letter of intent with Carr Properties to relocate their television facilities and operations from the Friendship Heights section of the capital to 7272 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda, Maryland — a distance of less than 2 miles — by 2021.

“We are thrilled to move our facilities to Montgomery County into what will be a grade A complex developed by Carr Properties and we thank the State of Maryland and Montgomery County for making this possible,” Patrick Paolini, vice president and general manager at WTTG, said in a statement. “This will be a state-of-the-art facility that will keep us in the heart of the Washington, D.C. metro area and allow us to better serve our community.”

The new state-of-the-art studio and office space will comprise 57,500 square foot of the new Carr property in Bethesda. WTTG has operated at its District location since 1966.

“Fox Television’s relocation to Maryland is further proof that more and more great companies are recognizing the tremendous value and advantages of doing business here,” said Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement. “This move, which brings approximately 200 employees into the state, is a win for our state and for Montgomery County as we continue to attract growing companies like Fox.”

Source: Headline news

P.M. Update: Warm and muggy overnight. Summerlike weather for Monday.

Sunrise on the Lincoln Memorial. (Angela N. via Flickr)

Cloudless Sundays should be cause for celebration in late September. But not when they are accompanied by 90-degree heat and high humidity. You can be forgiven if you spent most of today inside and near an air conditioner.

Listen to the latest forecast:

Get our daily forecasts on your Amazon Alexa device. Click here to find out how.

Through Tonight: Mostly clear, warm and muggy again. Overnight temperatures will be similar to last night’s, ranging from the low to mid-60s in the suburbs and right about 70 downtown. Light and variable wind.

View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post.

Tomorrow (Monday): Some early morning patchy fog will quickly burn off. Mostly sunny with another day of warm and humid conditions. Highs will reach the upper 80s, with dew points in the mid- to upper 60s. Some high clouds may work their way in tomorrow night. Otherwise, warm and muggy conditions prevail, with overnight lows in the 60s.

See Brian Jackson’s  forecast into early next week. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Record warmth abounds: It’s quite warm across much of the northern part of the country today. So warm, in fact, that many daily maximum temperature records have been broken. So perhaps we can take solace in that many of our fellow citizens are sweating through this Sunday just like we are.

Many temperature records fell on Sunday afternoon.

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Source: Local Weather

Maria prompts tropical storm watches to be issued for Carolina and Virginia coasts

5PM official NHC track forecast for Maria.

5 PM Update: Tropical storm watches have been issued for the entire North Carolina coast and parts of the extreme southern end of the Virginia coast. A storm surge watch has also been issued for the North Carolina coast. The forecast track for Maria hasn’t changed much today, with the storm still expected to remain off shore but sideswipe coastal locations with tropical storm conditions beginning on Tuesday. Storm surge flooding is a strong possibility, especially along the Outer Banks as Maria’s slow movement will result in several hours of onshore flow.

Original Post: Hurricane Maria emerged as a slightly weaker storm on Sunday morning, officially classified at category 2 intensity with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Maria will continue to move slowly toward the north over the next few days, making a close pass to the North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic coasts early this week. The threatening storm position will probably prompt tropical storm watches and even some hurricane watches to be posted by this afternoon.

On Sunday, models reached a greater consensus over the ultimate fate of Maria, tracking the storm parallel to the East Coast for the next 72 hours before getting quickly pushed out to sea by the end of the week. Just how close Maria gets to the coast is still somewhat uncertain and a slight shift to the west or east by just 100 miles will drastically change the intensity and locations of the storm’s impacts.

Maria’s tropical storm force winds will extend quite far from the storm’s center.

The storm, which has been at hurricane strength (winds greater than 74 mph) for more than a week, has begun to enter into a more hostile environment for hurricane sustainability. Increasing wind shear (a change in wind speed or direction with height) is eating away at the edges of the storm, limiting Maria’s ability to maintain its current intensity.

Increasing wind shear (solid red lines) will weaken the maximum sustained winds of Maria over the next few days. (University of Wisconsin)

However, Maria’s weakening would not prevent parts of the East Coast from feeling some direct impacts. Maria’s size stretches across several hundred miles, dwarfing recently re-upgraded Hurricane Lee located in the central Atlantic.

For the time being, the waters off the Southeast coast will continue to be rough, with 6-9 foot waves located just offshore. Wave heights along the shore will increase during the next few days, creating dangerous surf and increased chances of rip currents.

The worst conditions will probably target the North Carolina Outer Banks between late Tuesday and Wednesday night when the storm center makes its closest approach (but probably remains offshore). This is time period when tropical-storm force winds and perhaps hurricane-force gusts, heavy rain, and coastal flooding are most likely. By Thursday, a strong cold front will sweep the storm out to sea.

European model simulation of Hurricane Maria at 4 p.m. Wednesday. It shows sustain winds of 45-55 mph at the N.C. Outer Banks. (StormVistaWxModels.com)

All residents of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states should pay close attention to forecast updates throughout the day.

Source: Local Weather

D.C.-area forecast: Turning back the clock with summery warmth through midweek

A summerlike September Saturday at the U.S. Capitol. (Jennifer Lichty via Twitter)

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

6/10: One day was tolerable. But with most pools closed, two days of temps near 90 wasn’t the weekend sweep I was rooting for.


Today: Sunny and summery. Highs: Near 90.
Tonight: Warm and humid. Lows: Upper 60s to low 70s.
Tomorrow: Still very warm, humid. Highs: Mid-80s to near 90.

View the current weather at The Washington Post headquarters.


It’s a great day to hit up the neighborhood pool, as, wait, *checks calendar*, well, nuts. The summer that seemingly ended early has returned, and we’re in for another hot one with moderate humidity. In fact, we could tickle the 90-degree mark a few times through midweek, as we continue to watch Hurricane Maria off the East Coast.

Listen to the latest forecast:

Get our daily forecasts on your Amazon Alexa device. Click here to find out how.

Today (Sunday): For those who thought Saturday was too hot, I’m sorry to say we’re likely to add a few ticks to temperatures and dew points today. Highs near 90 with moderate humidity turn back the clock to mid-August rather than late September, and we don’t even get much of a breeze for relief. Confidence: High

Tonight: Conditions remain warm and muggy overnight. Under partly to mostly clear skies, we manage to only cool into the upper 60s to low 70s. A few areas of fog are likely as well, thanks to the humid air mass and little to no breeze. Confidence: High

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through midweek …

Tomorrow (Monday): The possibility of some high clouds and filtered sun late in the day are really the only change in the forecast. Otherwise, we’re looking at another mostly sunny and very warm day, maybe even a bit more humid. Highs should reach the mid-80s to near 90, with just a light breeze from the east-northeast around 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Clouds look to increase through the evening and overnight, with areas of fog possible again. Air conditioning units continue to earn their keep, with overnight lows in the muggy upper 60s to low 70s. Confidence: Medium-High


Hurricane Maria makes its closest approach to the Carolina coast Tuesday and Wednesday. For us that likely means at least partly cloudy skies, with the chance of a few showers. Our humidity stays high, perhaps even feeling tropical with dew points near 70, but the extra clouds should hold highs to the low-to-mid 80s. Tuesday night lows bottom near 70 to the low 70s, still with that chance of a shower. Confidence: Low-Medium

Source: Local Weather