Thursday, July 2, 2015

Recap of This Thursday and a Disjointed Week With Photos of Today's Very Pleasant Lunch at Thunder Grill and from My Sunday Bike Ride

Yours truly (center) with my mom and stepfather (Ray) at Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:32PM July 2, 2015.

Blog Editor's Note:

The first 8 pictures in this entry were taken this afternoon at Thunder Grill at Union Station here in D.C. today.

The bulk of the other pictures were taken on my approx. 20-mile Sunday bike ride that had the following route: My apartment north up 16th Street (on the sidewalk, of course) to Silver Spring, connecting to the Georgetown Branch Trail and over to Bethesda, and then down the Capital Crescent Trail into Georgetown and back home (though not before I stopped at No. 9).

Another two pictures were sent to me by a friend who is in Maine right now.

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Today has been a good day in that it featured a nice extended lunch with my mom and Ray and my invited guest, Andrea, at Thunder Grill at Union Station. I really like that place, in particular when it's early to midafternoon and not crowded. I also love how the trains lightly shake the place when they pass directly underneath it.

Andrea and myself, Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:30PM July 2, 2015.

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The rest of the day was kind of mediocre and a bit stressful as I tried to do some errands via my bike, which I did NOT want to ride today, and it caps a disjointed week that also includes some foot issues. In order to explain, let me back up a bit.

For starters, this has been something of a topsy-turvy week in terms of my work schedule, trying to go to the gym twice (which I did), keeping up this blog, going out on Tuesday night, and sleeping.

My mom and stepfather, Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:33PM July 2, 2015.

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In a sense, I'm quickly getting too old to be able to do all of that and function well.

As for the gym, everything was fine on Monday night with my usual three-part workout of jogging, weightlifting / minor core workout, and a brief swim spanning 3+ hours. However, on Wednesday night (that is, last night), my jogging (6.69 miles over 65 minutes including 5 minute cool down (too much?)) really exacerbated some of the foot problems I have been having.

Yours truly, Richard Todaro, at Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:42PM July 2, 2015.

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I'm not referring to my fascist planter plantar fasciitis, which seems to have ebbed, and no more lost toe nails (three at least count), but rather, on my middle right toe, just a somewhat painful under-the-skin red blotch from bleeding. At this point, I need to go to the podiatrist, although I have to go to my regular physician for a checkup -- scheduled for July 17th -- to get a referral (which I know she will give me).

Slightly blurry photo but I like it: Andrea and myself, Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:42PM July 2, 2015.

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More immediately, I'm not sure I can do any jogging, in particular tomorrow as I wanted to go to the gym tomorrow because Saturday is July 4th / Independence Day and the YMCA has limited hours. At this point, I'm not sure what to do.

Yours truly, Richard Todaro, at Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:43PM July 2, 2015.

Yes, another picture of me -- and I've got still one more to post below!.

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Giving up the jogging is not something I want to do but I might have to, at least for a while. It's not like there aren't other things I can do at the gym. Rather, it's just that it has paid off so well over the past four years in terms of losing and keeping off 40 pounds, not to mention being a truly outstanding "detox" procedure.

But I guess I'm just getting old.

Yours truly, Richard Todaro, at Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., again at 3:43PM July 2, 2015.

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As it is, I purchased -- for frickin' $14 -- Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel insoles at the Dupont Circle CVS. (The new layout of that place with its second floor is so much nicer. All it needs is a lunch counter and non-fluorescent lighting and it'll be just like a 1940s Peoples Drug back-to-the-future, early 21st Century-style.)

Ray and my mom (partially visible in this picture), Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:34PM July 2, 2015.

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As for today, workwise, it was mostly a total loss although we were given 2 hours early dismissal. My supervisor (who is no longer Andrea, so she's just back to being my friend) was good about letting me claim the 2 hours even though I was off for half the day due in large measure to the extended lunch at Thunder Grill.

East-West Highway in Silver Spring, Md., near Rosemary Hills (and the North Cornerstone), 4:41PM June 28, 2015.

The sky (cloud deck) was distinctly not summerlike -- more like a mid-to-late autumn sky.

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(Blog Editor's Note: For the discussion that follows until the next bike ride picture, I have no cellphone images, so you just have to image it.)

The morning featured some soaking rain showers that woke me up as large drops hit against my window a/c, although it quickly became a showery rainfall rather than a downpour.

KDCA is already at 1.32" of rainfall for the month and we are only two days into July. The other three regional climate stations are less to much less: KBWI at 0.80"; KIAD at 0.05"; and KMDH at 0.38".

Today's dawn featured the most wonderful subdued lighting, at once misty-blue-gray but not somber or ominous.

Rather, the rainfall and mist, the green of the city trees that line the avenues, and the street / exterior lights that were still on all combined to a wonderful feel (at least from my 2000 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW perspective).

The glow of an orange hybrid sodium / mercury vapor lamp on the side of The Brittany -- the historic "crime (deterrent) light" of American cities was reflected in a pattering puddle beneath the leafy green elm tree above it. The whole effect was wonderful.

Alas, I was so tired, I feel right back to sleep and got up way late.

View of the Rock Creek nearly in flood stage as seen from the Georgetown Branch Trail bridge, Silver Spring, Md., 4:57PM June 29, 2015. I already posted this image here.

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Oddly enough for this time of year, the rest of the day was solidly overcast with only a hint of the around 6PM. Continuing with the odd light patterns of this day, the sky began to clear at sunset and a slightly iridescent yellowish-orange glow that slowly shifted to orange filled the air. The Sun was behind The Brittany (from my vantage point at this time of year), so I didn't see it actually set.

Potomac River and Virginia side view from the Capital Crescent Trail, Washington, D.C., 6:52PM June 28, 2015.

The Potomac was borderline in flood stage and quite silt-filled brownish from all the heavy rainfall runoff.

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Speaking of sunsets ...

... we just past the latest sunset times of the year -- 8:38PM EDT here in Washington, D.C., this year, between June 26th and 30th -- and already it is starting to get earlier (8:37PM EDT tonight). The earliest sunrises occurred, as always, ahead of the summer solstice (this year, June 10th - 18th). The "longest day(light)" was, of course, on the solstice (June 21st this year). It's not a coincidence that in the present epoch, Earth reaches aphelion each year around now, i.e., the first week of July. (Yes, Earth is farthest away from the Sun at the start of the Northern Hemisphere summer.)

Anyway, I rode my bike to work today. I actually did not want to but I need to go to the ATM, and I didn't feel like walking to Dupont Circle or going up to Columbia Heights to a Bank of America. The bike ride is the easiest way to do this because there is a Bank of America at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Again, Potomac River and Virginia side from the Capital Crescent Trail, Washington, D.C., 6:52PM June 28, 2015.

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I had a very minor collision with two tourist pedestrians by the White House (an older large man and a lady). It was nothing like the near-disaster I had back in 2002 or thereabouts, also by the White House involving a 7-year old boy (Jeremy) who was with his mom (Virginia) on an all-black church tour group Chicago. Actually, that one ended with a prayer circle and no one badly injured. It was close. In today's event, I was almost able to stop though not entirely. It was, technically, my fault (they were stepping into the bike lane, not looking, except they had the crosswalk and the bike lane is supposed to stop). Nothing came of it and I continued on my way.

I headed over from L'Enfant Plaza to Union Station on the Metro around 120PM and met Ray and my mom at Thunder Grill. Andrea was stuck in a meeting and joined us around 215PM.

Lunch was nice and enjoyable.

Yachts docked along the Potomac River in the Washington Harbour area -- with Rosslyn in the distance -- Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:10PM June 28, 2015.

The flood gates were actually raised on Sunday afternoon along Washington Harbour.

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As I said, I quite like Thunder Grill, although it got crowded by the time we left. The next time I go there, though, I am going to order something a bit heavier, or rather, more filling. I was hungry by the time I got home and had some dinner after that late lunch.

Union Station itself was mobbed with tourists and travelers coming and going, and the central hall is still partially under renovation (but when isn't it??).

Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway by the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument in the distance, Washington, D.C., 7:16PM June 28, 2015.

The bronze sculpture on the left is (the backside of) Aspiration and Literature, which joins Music & Harvest opposite it as the two James Earle Frasier sculptures that adorn the entrance to Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway. These are the "Arts of Peace" duo. The "Arts of War" duo of "Valor" and "Sacrifice" by Leo Friedlander loom over the entrance to the Arlington Memorial Bridge leading to Arlington National Cemetery.

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Interestingly, a certain someone who (upon his request) shall remain nameless started texting me -- he always texts me at random times and always on his terms. I say "interestingly" because he used to go to Thunder Grill at Union Station 10+ years ago when he lived in Severna Park (which is next to Glen Burnie, where I used to live with my mom and Ray back in my teenage years).

Now living in coastal New England, he was visiting the Maine coastline. He sent me two pictures from Kennebunkport of the Bush Family compound at Walker's Point. They are quite nice pictures, actually.

They are posted below with the horizontal and vertical ratios unchanged; click on them for larger versions.

The large central house of the Bush Compound, Walker's Point, Kennebunkport, Maine, 2:24PM July 2015.

Do you think Babs the She-Dragon was home, screaming at the servants and going on about her "beautiful mind"??

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Walker's Point with the main Bush house visible on the right, Kennebunkport, Maine, 2:25PM July 2, 2015.

I was actually going to make this the lead image of the entry, but then I realized that just wouldn't have made any conceptual sense.

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After lunch, and it now being about 4PM, I headed back to the office (which was deserted and the lights out), collected my computer in my backpack , and started for the Metro -- only to realize that I had biked to work today. So I walked over to the spot outside DOE HQ, retrieved my bike, and headed up to Dupont Circle, where (as mentioned), I stopped at Dupont CVS. I then went over to the Hair Cuttery and got a haircut before coming home.

My mom and Ray headed on a MARC train back up to Anne Arundel County and home, where she sent me some of the pictures I posted in this entry.

As for tonight, it is basically the equivalent of a Friday night since tomorrow is the federal holiday. I suppose I'll go to No. 9, though I might stop at Larry's Lounge and/or Floriana.

That concludes this meandering update. My next planned update will be on Saturday.

--Regulus

NEW HORIZONS UPDATE! Awesome Time-Lapse and Color Images of Pluto (and Charon!): A Very Distant World Begins Its Close-Up

**This entry was posted on July 2, 2015.**

This is an awesome animated GIF released by NASA showing Pluto and Charon getting larger and more detailed as New Horizons draws closer.

NASA released another version of this video on June 30, 2015 with dates, distances, and other information superimposed on the images. These reveal the time-lapse was taken between May 28, 2015 and June 25, 2015 in roughly 6 hour intervals with the distance closing from 56.07 million km to 22.06 million km.

Conveniently, NASA also posted it on YouTube:


YouTube embedded clip of the same nearly one-month time lapse approach -- with each image approximately 6 hours apart -- along with other information.

To be clear, this is a "Plutocentric" set of images; were it "barycentric," you would see Pluto and Charon orbit a common center, although that point is significantly closer to Pluto than to Charon. In such a frame of reference, you would see the two locked in their endless face-to-face tidally-locked dance.

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The New Horizons mission control also released new color photos of Pluto showing its two hemispheres. This includes the "encounter hemisphere" that New Horizons will see and the opposite one on its impending July 14, 2015 flyby of the Pluto system.


Caption: "Pluto shows two remarkably different sides in these color images of the planet and its largest moon Charon taken by New Horizons on June 25 and June 27. The images were made from black-and-white [LORRI] images combined with lower-resolution [Ralph] color data. The left image shows the side of Pluto that will be seen at highest resolution when New Horizons makes its close approach on July 14. The hemisphere is dominated by a very dark region that extends along the equator. The right image is of the side that faces Charon; the most dramatic feature on this side of Pluto is a row of dark spots arranged along the equator. (The equator appears near the bottom of the images, as only about half of the planet is shown.)"

Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Just as an aside, it is worth looking at both the New Horizons Mission Home Page and the NASA New Horizons page for image and video updates since these two sites are posting different content.


WE LOVE YOU, NEW HORIZONS! GO, LITTLE ONE, GO!

Blog Editor's Note: I will be covering New Horizons' rendezvous with the Pluto system on this blog very closely during the month of July. The encounter with "dwarf planet" Pluto marks the end of the "initial phase" of planetary space probe exploration of the "Canonical Nine" set of planets of our "Terran" Solar System.

--Regulus

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Cedes to July as High Summer Arrives -OR- Flint Briefly Discovers His Run, but the Widow Still Can't Find Her Mite

Corrected 11:31PM 7/1/2015: See bottom of entry.

A jet on ascent from BWI Airport makes a sharp turn to avoid a mass of cumulus congestus clouds over northern Anne Arundel County near Glen Burnie, as seen from Millersville, Md., 3:03PM June 30, 2015.

My mom took this picture from outside her house yesterday afternoon. A cluster of t-storms had formed over this part of AA County and was moving over the Chesapeake Bay.

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Apologies for no update last night, assuming anyone noticed.

Yesterday was a challenging day that ended in a sleep-deprived and somewhat intoxicated, all-around weird but ultimately harmless way (although I do need to send some text apologies out).

Another view of the sun-bedazzled celestial white and ominous blue-gray cumulus congestus -- also called towering cumulus -- clouds in a summer blue sky near Millersville, Md., in a picture my mom took yesterday, 3:03PM June 30, 2015.

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For starters, and following my previous entry, I stayed up until about 5AM in the wee hours of Tuesday working on the report for DOE I needed to finish. There followed an awful 3 to 4 hours of agitated sleep after dawn had already broke (it gets too light too early this time of year). I got to work by 11AM and had a full day until about 730PM, completing that report and having a series of meetings. Thus, I worked 13-1/2 hours yesterday.

One more picture of the cumulus congestus clouds near Millersville, Md., in a picture take by my mom yesterday, 3:02PM June 30, 2015.

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As it wasn't a gym night, I left work and went to Baan Thai (the old Tsunami Lounge) on 14th Street for some dinner and two drinks and then to No. 9, where I stayed too late. I was walking home but instead ended up meeting Dave J. upstairs at a nearly empty Local 16. I was imbibed and sleep deprived at that point.

Seeing Sue Palka on the TV behind the bar (even if muted) made me so angry and I just went off on a rant about her to Dave. I also sent out some text messages including to LP that, upon reflection, was a bad idea.

Not a Monet painting gone wrong: The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in composite mode and honed in onto the Washington, D.C. area, 1:03AM EDT July 1, 2015.

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NWS advisories for the eastern third of the United States as of 2059UTC (4:49PM EDT), June 30, 2015.

Note the widespread severe thunderstorm watches (deep pink shading; or is it magenta?).

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I got home and saw on the radar strong thunderstorms were bearing down on the D.C. area. Looking out of my 5th floor window, I saw it lightning flashing off to the south miles away. Indeed, it was soon continuous lightning -- mostly cloud-to-cloud but also some cloud-to-ground.

What was odd is that earlier in the day, there were extensive severe t-storm watches out covering huge swaths of the eastern third of the U.S. including the entire Baltimore/Washington corridor but then almost nothing came of it -- and everything was cancelled, only to have these late night, lightning-laced storms fire up in north-central Virginia and sweep across the area.

The Sterling (LWX) NWS website main webpage showing the county warning area (CWA) advisories in effect as of 5:01PM EDT June 30, 2015.

Again, there were widespread severe thunderstorm watches, all of which were dropped before anything happened -- and then, finally, around 1AM, a cluster of drenching storms moving through the Baltimore/Washington corridor.

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The rain came in monsoon-like sheets. I went outside -- just in a t-shirt, shorts, socks and my gym sandals, and a jacket. I had my drivers license and keys but nothing else. I was only outside for about 5 or 6 minutes but I might as well have jumped into a pool.

Oh, and rain water even in July is cold.

The Sterling (LWX) NWS website main webpage showing the county warning area (CWA) advisories in effect as of 5:01PM EDT June 30, 2015.

What's unusual about this is that there are a number of severe thunderstorm warnings and special marine warnings in effect (orange) but no severe thunderstorm watch -- all of them having been dropped hours earlier.

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I saw in a raging curb-side rivulet tearing down New Hampshire Avenue toward 16th Street. (That might be a brief surface vestige of what I saw on a map of the land tracts of this part of D.C. BEFORE it was D.C. and still part of Prince George's County: Slash Run in a land tract called "Flint's Discovery." For its part, Dupont Circle and surrounding neighborhoods were part of a large land tract called "The Widow's Mite." At least according to that odd map I saw at Benjamin Banneker Park near my office.)

A map of the land tracts in the City of Washington that were taken from what had been Prince George's County, Maryland in the period between independence (1776) and the creation of the City and the surrounding 10 mile by 10 mile federal Territory of Columbia.

The "City of Washington" refers to those areas inside of what is today Florida Avenue (the old Boundary Street) rather than the larger District of Columbia.

CLICK ON MAP FOR LARGER VERSION.

This is a map image I had intended to post in an entry last month along with some other photos of the strange and "isolated" little "park" with giant fountain at the end of L'Enfant Promenade overlooking the southwest D.C. waterfront -- all of which is under tremendous redevelopment.

The giant fountain, turned off, in Benjamin Banneker Park at the end of L'Enfant Promenade, 1:18PM June 18, 2015.

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Anyway, I came in, took a warm shower, and warm shower and went to bed. However, I still didn't really get enough sleep. Tonight is a gym night and then home. I'll try to update the blog after that.

Oh, yes, the rain that fell last night was after midnight, so all of those huge June rainfall totals are unchanged* from what I posted in this entry. Looking at the NWS observations, the following amounts were recorded:

KDCA: 0.97"
KBWI: 0.62"
KIAD: 0.17:
KMDH: 0.38"


*That is, except for minor changes to the departures given the 3 extra days through the end of the month.

UPDATE / CORRECTION 11:31PM 7/1/2015:

It turns out that 0.01" fell at KDCA and 0.12" fell at KIAD on June 30th, so the monthly totals were 11.94" / +8.16" and 7.44" / +3.46", respectively.

The KDCA total is the 2nd wettest June on record while the KIAD total is the 5th wettest June on record. (The KIAD record wettest June is 18.19" in 1972, which is also the wettest month of all time.) KBWI recorded a trace on the 30th, so its monthly total remained at 13.09" / +9.63". This is the wettest June on record, easily eclipsing the previous record wet June of 9.95" set in 1972.

End of update

OK, that's all for now. I'm going into work late this morning.

--Regulus

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In Lieu of a Blog Entry Update, Some Late Night Light Reading Links: A Needless Greek Tragedy Courtesy German Banksters and Alaska Burning

View of the Rock Creek nearly in flood stage as seen from the Georgetown Branch Trail bridge, Silver Spring, Md., 4:57PM June 29, 2015.

Note the tree that had fallen into the stream.

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OK, I really cannot post a blog entry tonight.

I have to spend at least 4 hours -- maybe more -- tonight completing a report that is due tomorrow morning. Actually, I'm so tired that I might just go to sleep for a few hours and start on it around 5AM to have something by 9AM.

The other problem is that I'm supposed to go to the Landover office tomorrow (walkably close to the New Carrollton Metro) by 11AM but at this point, that seems unlikely. I'll just have to "Skype" (well, actually, call in) to that meeting.

I made it to the gym tonight for more or less a regular three-part workout although the swim part was quite shortened.

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Pondering the Grexit ...


In lieu of an entry, here are links to a few Paul Krugman pieces on what is happening in Greece ...

Monday op-ed column in the regular New York Times (link embedded): Greece Over the Brink.

NYT-hosted blog entries (links embedded): Grisis and The Awesome Gratuitousness of the Greek Crisis.

Screenshot of Huffington Post headlines to aggregated stories on the Greek crisis, 12:20AM June 29, 2015.

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I think Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is doing exactly the right thing in calling this referendum. Now it's up to the Greeks themselves how to proceed -- endless austerity-induced depression and self-defeating mass suffering for the sake of frickin' German banksters and their oligarchs who want nothing less than the destruction of people, or exiting the euro and, quite possibly, the EU and into uncharted territory.

Peaceful protestors in Athens, June 29, 2015. The Tsipras government has necessarily closed banks and imposed capital controls.

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I wonder what Uncle Fred Hiatt (R - Third Way) and his Washington Consensus crowd think. On second thought, never mind. We know what they think. And don't care.

Oh, and Alaska is burning as sub-Arctic and Arctic climate change run amok.

A wildfire rages near Willow, Alaska on June 14, 2015. Photo: Reuters /Mat-Su Borough/Stefan Hinman.


According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 76 major fires are burning in Alaska at the present time (see map above).

James MOUNTAIN Inhofe's snowball is still missing.

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OK, that's all for now. I'll try to update the blog tomorrow night with a few pictures from my approx. 21 mile Sunday bike ride -- from my apt. up to Silver Spring, over to Bethesda, down to Georgetown, around to the Mall, and back home via No. 9 and Larry's Lounge.

Sigh.

--Regulus

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Overview of Yesterday's Deluge: Rainfall Totals and Pictures -OR- The June 2015 Monsoon Chronicles (An Ongoing Series)

The view driving along Military Road, Washington, D.C., in yesterday's monsoon, 4:03PM June 27, 2015.

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I know I said I wasn't going to post any entries today, but I just wanted to note the tremendous rainfall totals for yesterday and also post some pictures that I took.

The Baltimore/Washington I-95 corridor had the most rain with widespread 2 to 4 inches, increasing the large monthly totals. BWI Airport was already at a record 9.98" for the month of June before yesterday's totals.

Radar estimated rainfall totals across the Baltimore / Washington region for June 27, 2015.

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So here are the four climate station totals, departures, and averages (in parentheses) for precipitation through yesterday, June 27th, 2015 at National Airport (KDCA), BWI Airport (KBWI), Dulles Airport (KIAD), and the Maryland Science Center (KDMH):

KDCA:

Day: 2.75" (daily record); old record: 2.59" (1881)

Month: 11.93" +8.53" (3.40")

Year: 26.71" +7.35" (19.36")

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KBWI:
Day: 3.11" (daily record); old record: 2.04" (1883)
Month: 13.09" +9.97" (3.95")
Year: 30.29" +10.14" (20.15"

KIAD:
Day: 1.47" (tied daily record set in 2006)
Month: 6.95" +3.35" (3.60")
Year: 20.81" +0.39" (20.42")


KDMH:
Day: 2.83"
Month: 7.60" +4.66" (2.94")
Year: 23.94" +4.91" (19.03")

Note: Averages are for the 1981 - 2010 base period, except at KDMH, which does not yet have a full 30-year climate record.


The White House rain gauge recorded 2.32" of rainfall yesterday.

Oh, and conveniently for statistically purposes, all the rain fell during the calendar day of June 25th with no additional measurable rainfall after midnight.

The KDCA total is now the 2nd wettest June on record only behind 2006. The top 5 wettest Junes officially in Washington, D.C., through yesterday, June 27th, 2015 are:

2006: 14.02"
2015: 11.93"
1972: 11.53"
1900: 10.94" (Pre-KDCA D.C. record)
2013: 9.97"

The heaviest of the monsoon-like tropical downpours occurred between 3 and 5PM -- right as Gary and I were driving up to Ijamsville for the work-related event at Holly Hills Country Club, although by the time we got there, the rain had stopped.

The Sligo Creek just about out of its banks in yesterday's deluge, Silver Spring, Md. Picture taken by Carol Blymire and posted in the CWG entry linked below.

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There was widespread short-lived street flooding and various streams and creeks briefly came out of their banks. The Capital Weather Gang overview entry with pictures is here (link embedded): Saturday soaker sets daily record in D.C.; second wettest June.

Street flooding along Roberts Road near Braddock Road in Fairfax County, Va., in yesterday's deluge, June 27, 2015. Picture by "Kudzu81" and posted in the above-linked CWG entry.

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Archived real-time info on yesterday's deluge with lots of pictures and images is available in this entry (link embedded): Worst of storms exit D.C. area, but lingering downpours, flooding (Updates).

View from my Hampton Courts apartment here in Washington, D.C., 11:51AM June 28, 2015.

It's actually not quite as gloomy as it looks in that photo, and in fact, much brighter when the Sun emerges. The cloud deck, though, is a bit unusual for summertime.

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Today is a very different kind of day, and a most unusual (and wonderful) June / summer one: Cool, breezy, and variably cloudy with temps. only around 74F at the noon hour with a dew point of 57F. There is a gusty westerly breeze with gusts to 25MPH forecasted for later today. Flattened stratocumulus clouds are filling the rain-washed blue sky with peeks of sunshine (see picture above and below).

View from my Hampton Courts apartment here in Washington, D.C., 12:21PM June 28, 2015.

Note how much brighter it is with the Sun shining.

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Obviously, a cold front must have swept through and, indeed, looking at this morning's high-resolution surface weather map for our region, that is in fact what happened:

NWS high-resolution surface weather map centered on the mid-Atlantic region,  0Z (8AM EDT) June 28, 2015.

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As a brief update, it took Gary and I an hour to get to the place in Ijamsville. Attendance was weak due to the far away removed location and monsoons. However, it was pleasant enough in a place I would never have otherwise seen.

Another seen of the deluge along Military Road, Washington, D.C., 4:06PM June 27, 2015.

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We returned at dusk and actually stopped in Rockville at Bar Louie, where we met DD for some drinks and food. We then went to American Tap Room, which I like (although I didn't like the young Asian bartender).

Gary and I headed back into D.C., stopping at his place where -- as he feared -- there was some flooding. I helped him with the wet-vac vacuum up the water and dry off the floor. Thereafter, he drove me home by about 2AM.

The rolling, semi-wooded glen, Ijamsville, Md., 5:06PM June 27, 2015.

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For today, I just don't know what to do. I should go to the gym and then work on that report this afternoon. However, I am deeply reluctant to give up my Sunday in that fashion -- a day on which I typically take a bike ride -- and given the weather today, I don't see myself doing what I should do.

I'll have to figure something out. That's my new phrase.

Saturday night in the country: A family eating dinner at the downstairs grill restaurant at Holly Hills Country Club, Ijamsville, Md., 8:26PM June 27, 2015.

Oh, yes, it apparently is pronounced with a silent "j" though I'm still not entirely sure how to say "Ijamsville": "EYE-yams-ville"? "Ee-yams-ville"? Or maybe it really is "Eye-JAMS-ville"??)

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Of course, after what happened on my bike ride last week with whatever insect or spider I unknowingly encountered -- and I'm still not 100 percent "recovered" in terms of the slightest bit of residual swelling below my right eye -- I'm a tad reluctant to spend hours in the great out-of-doors.

OK, that's all for now. My next update might not be until late Tuesday.

--Regulus