Thursday, March 22, 2018

Snowed Over, Sand Bagged In, & Going Nowhere: Yes, It's a Sad Sort of Life I Lead ... (UPDATED)

Updated 6:33PM 3/22/2018: See below.

Snowy morning view from my 5th floor apartment onto the 2000 block New Hampshire Ave, Washington, D.C., 10:50AM March 21, 2018.

I took this image and the two below (not captioned) during the heaviest of the snowfall yesterday.


I'm not having a good day. Or week. Or life.

The current proximate cause of my existential woe is that I lost my book bag containing my work laptop last night, and while there is a chance it is at Trade (where bartender Lucien texted me back that, yes, a book bag was found), there is also a chance it is not mine. If that's the case, then that creates a slew of problems for me including posting blog entries.

I have to go there as soon as the place opens to check. Yes, I was imbibed while there last night. I had walked there after work from L'Enfant Plaza. I went into the office around 2PM and was there until 8PM -- and I was the only one there (here) the entire time.

As you can see, it was a pretty (wet) snowfall in the way it coated everything including these trees.


As for the snow, it came and went -- and the European model basically busted in terms of a historic snowfall. Amounts were in the 3 to 6 inch range but surface air temps were so marginal -- at or even a tad above freezing -- that by the time the snow tapered off, it was already rapidly melting. For a while, the Sun even appeared diffusely through the clouds and snowy mist.

KDCA officially picked up 4.1 inches (all of it yesterday since just a "trace" fell on Tuesday), which brings its seasonal total to 7.8 inches or about half the normal-to-date of 15.3 inches. It wasn't even a daily record since that was 5.3 inches back in 1924 in the pre-National Airport record.

KBWI received 4.7 inches over two days, bringing its seasonal total to 15.2 inches or 4.7 inches below normal-to-date. Of the 4.5 inches that fell yesterday, it was no where near the daily record of 9.7 inches set in 1964. For KIAD, the numbers were 5.3 inches over two days including a daily record of 4.8 inches yesterday, thus bringing its seasonal total of 11.9 inches or 9.3 inches below the normal-to-date.

The good news is we got decent precipitation (rain and snow) the past two days -- over an inch -- that we really needed.

Today, in a brilliantly sunny, chilly, breezy late March day with lovely blue sky fleeced with a few cirrus streamers.

That's all for now. Depending on whether I retrieve my computer or not will determine whether I'm even able to post a blog entry later tonight. It is a gym night.

Sunset as seen from the 1400 block of K Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:09PM March 18, 2018


Yes, it's a sad sort of life I lead. And going nowhere except to an end somewhere in the next ten to fifty-ish years.

Updated 6:33PM 3/22/2018

I have successfully retrieved my computer no worse for its unplanned overnight stay at Trade -- not to mention my book bag with gloves and a hat in it. Thus, I am whole, except for the matter of the cash I also lost yesterday, but that falls under the category of "lost causes" and I'll just quit while I'm ahead. 

I'm heading to the gym now. My intention is to post an entry later tonight (after midnight).

End of Update and of Entry


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Beyond Snow-Trolling and Into Gaslighting: The European Model Gone Wild -OR- Update on the Allegedly Impending Start-to-Spring Snowstorm

European 12Z 3/20/2018 snowfall map for the mid-Atlantic valid 9PM EDT March 21, 2018 from


OK, now I think the ECMWF ("European") model is trolling us -- no, wait, we're beyond trolling and into the realm of gaslighting -- but today's 12Z Euro buries the Baltimore/Washington corridor in a historic snowstorm with amounts in the 16 to 24-inch range -- figures that just aren't plausible in late March in our region.

Another version of the above map produced by a different entity:

European 12Z 3/20/2018 total snowfall map through hour 54 assuming 10:1 ratio ending 18Z 3/22/2018 from (I think)


While noting all the usual caveats about snow-to-liquid ratios this time of year, I'd like to point out that "DMV" snowfall map isn't that different than what the Euro showed five days ago:

European 12Z 3/15/2018 total snowfall map through hour 156 assuming 10:1 ratio ending 0Z 3/22/2018 as created by

This is from the Euro 12Z run on March 15th -- six days or 11 runs ago. The implausibility of the 19 inches of snow at KDCA aside, the Euro has been remarkably consistent.


Here is a CWG entry (with its present title and content) (link embedded): Washington's biggest snowstorm of the winter likely Wednesday, starting before dawn.


Forecasted Snowfall Amounts (from midday Tuesday):

Below are two additional snow forecast maps. One is from our regional (Baltimore/Washington) National Weather Service (NWS) office, a.k.a., "Sterling" since the office is in Sterling, Virginia, and abbreviated "LWX." The other is from the Capital Weather Gang's afternoon update.

Expected snowfall for the Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA), Noon March 20th - 2AM March 22nd, 2018.


Capital Weather Gang (CWG) snowfall forecast map for March 21, 2018.


Precipitation totals so far:

As for today, So far, it has been mostly rain or a mix of rain and sleet in D.C. with sleet and snow in the suburbs and accumulating snow in the higher elevation exurbs and rural areas. The good news regardless is that we received some badly needed rainfall today. Precipitation totals so far:

KDCA: 0.81 inches
KBWI: 0.44 inches
KIAD: 0.72 inches
KDMH: 0.51 inches

Nearly all of this has been as rain but with some sleet and snow at Dulles and BWI. This is round one (the first storm). The next one is progged to come through later tonight into tomorrow and mostly in the form of moderate-to-heavy, wet snow.


Radar imagery:

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard composite mode looped 2:07PM - 2:46PM EDT March 20, 2018.

Three hours later as I post this, the radar looks more or less the same as the precipitation is forming over southern Maryland and the Virginia Northern Neck region and moving due north. The main upper level energy that will help to energize tomorrow's coastal low is still back over Tennessee / Kentucky.

NWS Great Lakes sector composite radar looped 1718 - 1828 UTC March 20, 2018.


Current and forecast weather maps ...

NWS high-resolution surface map for a portion of the eastern United States valid 15Z March 20, 2018.


NWS/WPC/NDFD surface weather map forecast for 12Z March 21, 2018.


NWS advisories ...

We are under a winter storm warning for much of this part of the Mid-Atlantic region including the entire Metro D.C. and Metro Baltimore areas with "heavy snow" in the forecast for tomorrow (Wednesday).

Sterling (LWX) NWS county warning area (CWA) advisories map updated 5:06PM EDT March 20, 2018.

This map includes parts of the Wakefield (AKQ) area -- and when it is in a winter storm warning all the way down to the middle Chesapeake Bay, that's impressive. That is it late March, all the more so.


Mt. Holly / Philadelphia NWS CWA advisories map updated 5:08PM March 20, 2018.

Lots of offshore storm warnings but none of those confusing "hurricane force wind warnings."


PHI NWS CWA advisories map updated 3:47AM EDT March 20, 2018.

I posted this one from 11 hours earlier since it looks prettier -- because the winter storm warnings had not been raised for New Jersey, thus "coloring over" the coastal flood warnings and coastal flood advisories. (The more serious weather advisory product always takes precedence).


GFS 12Z 3/20/2018 showing animated precipitation type and intensity as well as MSLP (unlabeled) for the Mid-Atlantic region in 3-hour time steps from 2AM March 21st - 5AM March 22, 2018.


One good thing about this event -- even if it ends up a total "Snowquester" bust -- is that Boston should MISS OUT for once and NOT have the snow jackpot.

A second good thing is that it really won't take much snow to double D.C.'s current official seasonal total of 3.7 inches as measured at National Airport.

OK, that's all for now. I might update this entry with more info later if situation warrants.

Right now, I have some more work to do on an editing assignment. I'm staying late at the office -- it's a non-gym night.


Impending Mid-Atlantic Sloppy Winter Storm on the First Two Days of Spring: Overview, Forecast, and (Cranky / Not Cranky) Snow Total Maps

**This entry was posted March 20th, 2018.**

Central Park in New York City on a snowy day in December 2017; Photo by Jacqueline Clair and posted on her blog in this entry.


Expected snowfall for the Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA), 10PM March 19th - 8PM March 21st, 2018.


So the whole "DMV" region -- Maryland, Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia to include the Metro D.C. and Baltimore areas -- are under a winter storm watch (for while the northern and western suburbs are also under a winter weather advisory (for tomorrow) with the winter storm watch in effect for midnight through 8PM March 21st -- yes, the first full day of astronomical spring (which begins March 20th) -- as a complex weather scenario involving two distinct low pressures unfolds.

LWX CWA weather advisories updated 11:21PM EDT March 19, 2018.


The winter storm watch is for accumulations of 5 or more inches of wet snow.

Here is the main CWG write up (updated through 10:35PM) (link embedded): Winter storm to bring wintry mix to D.C. area Tuesday and Wednesday with accumulation possible.

GFS 0Z 3/20/2018 showing 6-hr precipitation and MSLP for the NECONUS, valid hour 18 at 18Z March 20, 2018 as prettied up by Tropical Tidbits.


The lead paragraph of Sterling (LWX) area forecast discussion from 8:18PM tonight sums it up as follows:

Low pressure over southern Missouri will push across the Tennessee Valley later tonight. A coastal low will develop along the mid-Atlantic Coast Tuesday ahead of this main low pressure system. A second low pressure system will develop off of the Tidewater of Virginia Tuesday night and move northeast Wednesday. Canadian high pressure returns for the latter half of the work week.

GFS 0Z 3/20/2018 showing 6-hr precipitation and MSLP for the NECONUS, valid hour 42 at 18Z March 21, 2018 as prettied up by Tropical Tidbits.


Well, I was going to put more of the discussion and interspersed with forecast model images from the NAM, operational GFS, and operational Euro including snow totals. However, after perusing the Storm Hamster site written by Cranky Weather Guy in his characteristically overwhelming, insightful, but borderline vituperative tone, I'm now not inclined to do it.

This isn't going to be "Snowquester" bullshit all over again as far as I'm concerned in terms of falling for something that is patently absurd.

North America satellite picture with explanation of features, March 19, 2018.


Suffice it to say, I perused his most recent write up and he is bearish on snow prospects given how late in the season it is and how little genuinely cold air is in place. He gives the D.C. area just 1 to 3 inches but on the doorstep of 3 to 6 inches.

Cranky Weather Guy's snowfall map forecast for the period March 20 - 22, March 2018.


About those snowfall forecast maps, to be clear, the models do not generate those. Instead, they are created by other outfits such as Tropical Tidbits,, Pivotal Weather, and WeatherBELL Analytics that get the data including temperature profiles and boundary layer conditions plus a specified snowfall-to-liquid ratio (i.e., the 10:1 ratio) which for this system is simply unrealistic given the time of year.

6Z 3/19/2018 NAM snowfall total map created by Tropical Tidbits with CrankyWxGuy's take on the matter.


Below are some of the aforementioned snowfall outputs along with CrankyWxGuy's take on the matter on why those totals should be ignored this time of year and for this event.

European 12Z 3/19/2018 snowfall map for the mid-Atlantic valid 9AM EDT March 22, 2018 as created by


From Cranky Weather Guy:

Observations made here's your problem. This is utter trash to be ignored. There is sleet which is converted to snow by the model and that's how you get these insane totals. Up north you halve the totals because it's not 25 degrees and at night. Hey, when it's VERY cold out? You trust these things. When it's 35 degrees and daytime in late March? You cut back.

GFS 18Z 3/19/2018 snowfall map for the NECONUS valid hour 60 at 6Z March 22, 2018 from Tropical Tidbits.


Yet everyone sees the pretty colors, sees it doesn't match the forecasts, and starts gunning for heads. All I can do is show you the error. This is a lot of mixed precipitation and sleet. It is not pure snow. These maps are 10:1 ratio but our system won't do'll be lower. 6:1 to 8:1 for most. There is just so much wrong with these maps outside of any very cold environment. At best, use the outlines to say "ok the model wants frozen precip in this zone" yet ignore the totals. It'll drive you crazy.

GFS 0Z 3/20/2018 snowfall map for the NECONUS valid hour 54 at 6Z March 22, 2018 from Tropical Tidbits.


I know you don't care. The colors are pretty, and screw this guy for not forecasting one to two feet of snow. You mean like the last storm when the NAM had one to two feet for the Mid-Atlantic and you got NOTHING? Oh, that, right. Meh....enough with these stupid maps.

NAM 18Z 3/19/2018 snowfall map for the NECONUS valid hour 60 at 6Z March 22, 2018 from Tropical Tidbits.


Use your tools, know the layers, figure it out without them. OR don't. Enjoy the dumpster fire and the arguing. I am thankful many have gotten the message to leave me out of it, and have, and I ask to please continue to do so. I just don't operate in the manner of "did you see the NAM why aren't you forecasting five feet." I'm showing you why. Agree, disagree, fine.

NAM 0Z 3/20/2018 snowfall map for the NECONUS valid hour 54 at 6Z March 22, 2018 from Tropical Tidbits.


However, CrankyWxGuy notes how energetic this system will be -- with convection and the possibility of thundersleet.

College of DuPage NEXLAB simulated radar image valid 11Z March 21, 2018.


I'd like to conclude with a few points:

First, the deterministic European (ECMWF) model has been insistent on a moderate-to-heavy wet snow for this part of the mid-Atlantic including the Baltimore/Washington corridor for days (through multiple runs), and now the GFS and NAM are on board even if details and amounts differ.

Secondly, even taking into account the very late time of the year for snow (season / sun angle) and our area's propensity for would-be snowstorm busts, it is not a good idea to discount the European model when it is being so insistent for a potentially high-impact event in a densely populated area.

This would explain the hoisting by the NWS of a winter storm watch for the entire region.

Having said that, though, Cranky Weather Guy sees this as an underwhelming event all around in terms of snowfall total, and he's usually correct.

UPDATED before posting

Even CrankyWeatherGuy updated his totals but he did it on his Twitter page instead of his Storm Hamster sit:

Cranky Weather Guy's updated snowfall map forecast for March 20 - 22, March 2018.


OK, that's all for now. I would like to post a political themed entry at some point. Right now, though, it's late and I'm home -- after work and a gym visit -- and watching the late night MeTV line up and I'd like to get to sleep soon. I'm well into Cannon at this point -- which is way, way too late.

Tomorrow is a non-gym night but I also have an editing assignment to finish. Weather depending, my next update won't be until Wednesday.

OK, that's all for now.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Jukebox Saturday Night for March 17th, 2018: The Jelly Roll, Jellicle Cats, and Jellyhead Edition

"Jelly Roll Blues" by Jelly Roll Morton by Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers (1926)

This is sometimes called "Original Jelly Roll Blues."

Jelly Roll Morton wrote this piece and had it first published in 1915 (although he may have written it in 1910). It is among the earliest jazz pieces. Originally it was more of a piano type foxtrot. The version above is more in New Orleans jazz style with trumpet, clarinet and trombone. As noted above, it was first performed in 1926 by Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers.

The name on this poster (above) from 1915 references Jelly Roll Morton, who was real name was Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe.

Here is the original 1915 version.


Continuing with our jelly-related theme ...

"Prologue Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" by Andrew Lloyd Webber as performed by the original London cast of the musical "Cats" (1981)

OK, "jellicle" here isn't exactly related to jelly except by sound. This song was released on the album Cats Act One in 1983.

We'll bring it up a bit with another number from Cats ...

"The Cats at the Jellicle Ball" also by Andrew Lloyd Webber from a live performance of "Cats" (date uncertain)

This too was released on an album Cats Act One in 1983.


And we will end with something really Saturday night energetic and upbeat ...

"Jellyhead" by Crush from the duo's album Teenage Kicks (1996)

This is 1990s-style old school dance pop music for which I have a real weak spot.

As a backstory, the Keeper of All Knowledge explains that the duo Crush -- consisting of Jayni Hoy and Donna Air -- had evolved from a British girl band called Byker Grooove that itself was one of the musical group offshoots of the British television series Byker Grove that aired on BBC One from 1989 to 2006 as part of the CBBC (Children's BBC) strand of the BBC.

OK, that's all for now. Please see my previous entry for an update.


Saturday Evening Post for March 17th, 2018: A Non-Consequential Update

**This entry was posted March 17th, 2018.**

St. Augustine Catholic Church, Washington, D.C., 1:40PM March 16, 2018.


Late Saturday night.

I went to the gym earlier today after getting up super late following going out last night. It was the usual routine. I was happy to met Fred at Annie's (marking the only time I ever will go over to the tired awfulness that is the heart of the 17th Street gay ghetto).

I'm home watching the MeTV Super Sci-Fi Saturday night lineup and waiting for the Sunday Sci-Fi Red-Eye lineup that -- were I to stay up that late -- would run through that very strange show Land of the Giants starring Gary Conway at 4AM.

Right now, it is an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, namely, "Patterns of Force" featuring a Nazi-like regime on a world inadvertently set up by a Federation cultural observer named John Gill, one of Captain Kirk's Starfleet Academy professors.

The Battlestar Galactica episode at midnight is "Gun on Ice Planet Zero: Part 1." Last week Lost in Space was not on because of the jump to daylight savings time. As for Kolchak: The Night Stalker, it was suitably bizarre.

I'm making dinner as I write this and I need to put the laundry away. For tomorrow, I'm planning on just trying to take advantage of my Sunday free day to the fullest. Maybe I'll do something like I did last Sunday -- walking over to Georgetown to Martin's Tavern and then back, stopping at Trade and / or No. 9.

Dusk as seen from 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 7:07PM March 13, 2018.


For next week, I would like to post -- finally and seven months after the fact -- my August 2017 eclipse trip pictures. However, there is a chance of YET ANOTHER winter storm that again totally misses D.C. (and on the first day of spring, no less). I doubt there will be any snow but hopefully we can get some decent rainfall. While we remain in a cold and active pattern, we somehow we also remain in a long-term drought with actual precipitation amounts the for the past few storms very low in the D.C. area.

Another view at dusk, 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 7:07PM March 13, 2018.


Anyway, my point is that if the weather warrants one of more entries, I might hold off on posting the eclipse trip pictures since that entry is quite lengthy and I would like to keep it as the lead entry for several days.

Row houses 2000 block 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 1:41PM March 16, 2018.


For now, I'd like to post some political commentary about the latest Trump travesties and atrocities against all that is good and decent -- and enabled by a morally hollowed out and reprobate GOP that is led by the nose by a rightwing media/entertainment agitprop machine that keeps the downwardly mobile, ethno-nationalistically panicked white working class in a state of fear, loathing, and hysteria.

But I don't have time for that right now.

Wakefield Court building, Washington, D.C., 1:41PM March 16, 2018.


OK, a Jukebox Saturday Night entry to follow shortly (as I've already composed it). My next planned entry will be late Monday.


Friday, March 16, 2018

BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature for March 16th, 2018: Sunday Midday Brunch With Ma Wide Spot and Pa Walrus

Scene setter: BIG Y'EYEMAH (a.k.a., The BIG YO-YO'MY'MAH), Loseturd Q. McNebbish, plus eight feral cats and a mangy dog in a ramshackle trailer at the edge of Pleasant Vista and Aroma Trailer Homes on the east side of Trump "Believe Me" Village, itself on the south side of New GOP'rusalem City.

Additional scene center: The BIG Y'EYEMAH's parents -- "Ma" Wide Spot and "Pa" Walrus Lickums -- are over for after-church Sunday brunch.

Ma Wide Spot [surveying the filth and clutter of the trailer]: Wwwwwhhhhyyyy is this trailer such a mess??

BIG Y'EYEMAH: There is just so much to keep up and I can't really get around much. And Loseturd is working four jobs these days, so he's pretty booked most of the time.

Ma Wide Spot: Wwwwwwhhhhhere are you working again?

Loseturd Q. McNebbish: I work at McDonald's, Walmart, the Dollar Store, and the Valero gas station down the road. But not to worry because the TRUMP TAX CUTS should really help us make ends meet this year.

Pa Walrus [making low walrus grunting and gurgling noises]: Uuuuuhhhh, that's riiiighttt. Did I mention that in 1981 I read an article in the Washington Post and it was liberal? It had a box around it on the front page.

BIG Y'EYEMAH [in her Hoveround brings paper plates ladled with globes of macaroni-and-cheese mixed with low grade ground chuck from-a-bag heated in a microwave to a rickety table around which are three folding chairs and a space for her extra wide wheelchair]: Lunch is served.

Pa Walrus [making low walrus grunting and gurgling noises]: I brought some Beaujolais wine. Loseturd, Wide-spot, you'll both have some, yes? How 'bout you BIG Y'EYEMAH?

BIG Y'EYEMAH [breaking wind]: Coke, please.

Pa Walrus [shaking manifold of jowls, rasping for breath, gurgling]: OK. Did I mention that once in 1986, I had to answer a Congressional inquiry? Yeah.

Ma Wide Spot: Well, where I grew up, my town was just a wide spot in the road.

Loseturd Q. McNebbish: Gee, I didn't realize how hard you two had it. I think I'll go out and get a fifth job.

BIG Y'EYEMAH [to Loseturd]: Do you really think you need that glass of wine? Are you forgetting how you came to The Lord (TM) when we got engaged?

Loseturd [looking sad and forlorn]: You're right, BIG Y'EYEMAH. [Turning to Ma Wide Spot]: She's right. When I married this little lady, I made a vow to The Lord (TM) that I would stay sober.

Ma Wide Spot: Besides, Y'EYEM tells me she enough bought dessert for everyone.

BIG Y'EYEMAH [back at the stove while breaking wind more forcefully and fiddling with the stove knobs]: Oh, bother. I think there's another gas leak in the stove. I smell gas --

Loseturd Q. McNebbish: Not to worry, my betrothed. I'll check it --


The End.