Thursday, July 28, 2016

This Overheated and Stormy July: Hot Weather Recap and Tempestuous Political Portents

Stunning image of a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt as seen from Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., July 25, 2016

This picture taken by Flickr user NM Beintema and reposted in the last of the CWG entries linked below.

Note: This is the reworked weather portion of my planned Monday night entry that I never finished. It is updated to include a bit of info on the weather for Tuesday and Wednesday as well. It also includes some political commentary that is different from the earlier version.

*******


It reached 100F at all three regional airport climate stations on Monday, July 25th -- KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD -- while the Maryland Science Center (KDMH) hit 101F.

The KDCA not only tied the daily record high for July 25th -- set in 1930 in the pre-airport period -- but it was also the first 100F temperature since July 26, 2016 (one day shy of four years to the day).

KDCA weather observations in tabular form from 9AM to 9PM EDT July 25, 2016.

*******

KBWI also tied its daily record set in 2010 and reached 100F for the first time since July 18, 2012 when it topped out at 104F. KIAD surpassed its 98F daily record set in 2010 and reached 100F also for the first time since July 18, 2012 when it reached 101F.

The KDMH data set doesn't yet have a full 30-year "normal" base period -- and hence no daily records to which to compare.

KBWI weather observations in tabular form from 1PM to 9PM EDT July 25, 2016.

*******

The humidity was very high on Monday with dew points mostly in the 70s F. Indeed, the 75F to 78F dew point reading at KDCA combined with the 95F+ heat to create heat indices that reached as high as 113F -- and remained above the excessive heating warning criteria of 110F heat index that exists in the Sterling (LWX) forecast region.

Oh, Great Oracle of the Limpopo Hippo (and thy Little Companion), please share with us thine Divine Prognostications Meteorological and, in this tempestuous time, Political...

******

However, Sterling refused to issue an excessive heat warning and -- what I consider to be a deeply irresponsibly decision -- held to its heat advisory all day, even for the urban centers of D.C. and Baltimore, perhaps on the basis of the idea that "daytime mixing" -- with a gusty breeze -- would lower the dew points below advisory criteria.

The exterior of the Universalist National Memorial Church, Washington, D.C., 2:54PM July 24, 2015.

Is this one of those super-ultra-progressive "All Our Welcome" urban Protestant churches where, in the spirit of all that liberalism, nobody actually attends?

I mean, how can you have a religion if you don't hate at least a few groups??

*******

Or perhaps the excuse was that KBWI and KIAD didn't "officially" reach 110F heat indices -- but the downtown areas certainly did. At this point, the excessive heat warning product for the LWX region is basically useless since Sterling always finds a reason never to use it.

Evening sky above Washington, D.C., as seen from McPherson Square, 7:07PM July 26, 2016.

*******

There are two eternal weather-related verities in the Baltimore/Washington area:

1. National Airport's snow total in a major snowstorm will ALWAYS come in suspiciously -- if not outright bogusly -- low.

2. Sterling (LWX) will do everything to withhold the hot weather forecast products and drop them the nanosecond the criteria isn't met (105F in the case of a heat advisory).

While I have a hunch why the first is the case, I'm baffled why Sterling is so anti-heat products. It'll put up an air quality alert at the drop of a hat.

Anyway, here are two relevant CWG entries:

Washington is the steamiest big city in the nation

Heat records set: D.C., Dulles, and Baltimore all soar to 100 degrees

Later on Monday night, a cluster of thunderstorms formed south of D.C. and really blossomed over Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary's Counties, Md., with a dramatic lightning display visible even here in D.C. off to the south and southeast. I caught a bit of it as I walked home from the gym.


Those storms appeared to be energized by an outflow boundary from a smaller cluster of t-storms over Anne Arundel County that moved south and southwest (I even noticed low clouds moving toward the southwest as I walked home form the gym.)

The lightning display actually was mentioned in this subsequent CWG entry: Photos: Hot summer days fuel dramatic nighttime lightning shows.

A summer sky as seen from U and 15th Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 12:16PM July 27, 2016.

If you're wondering, I worked from home this morning and went into the office early afternoon.

*******

Note there are only two comments in that entry -- one from me and an "LOL" reply from Jason Samenow. (The comment section to a WaHoPo editorial on the "unique threat to American democracy" posed by Donald Trump it is not.)

To be clear, "heat lightning" is actually a thunderstorm in the distance, not the hot air somehow "causing" lightning and nothing else, which is the implication when most folks use that term.


YouTube video of the lightning display over Southern Maryland that is featured in that entry. It is 3-1/2 minutes long and was taken around 1:30AM on July 26th by Tyler Reber from Arlington looking to the southeast with National Airport in the foreground.

*******

The weather remained hot and humid the next two days with KDCA highs of 98F and 97F on Tuesday, July 26th and Wednesday, July 27th, respectively.

For KBWI, the highs were 96F and 95F, respectively and for KIAD, it was 95F and 94F, respectively. KDMH reached 95F both days.

None of those were daily record highs.

Overnight was, of course, too goddamn warm, including lows of 80F and 81F at KDCA as the friggin' excessive heat really isn't dissipating. (The other two spots fell into the 70s Fahrenheit each night.)

I'm not sure if those are daily record high lows since the daily climate summaries don't give that info and you have to just wait until Sterling mentions it in an area forecast discussion.

There is a better chance of showers and thunderstorms the next several days even as temperatures trend gradually downward into the mid-to-upper 80s Fahrenheit by next week (which is above normal for the beginning of August).

OK, that's all for now. Well, no not quite ...

Screenshot of President Obama addressing the Democratic National Convention earlier tonight in Philadelphia.

*******

Unfortunately, the political-themed portion of that entry is going to have to wait -- and by the time I post my next entry (either Friday evening or Saturday evening), the Democratic National Convention will be over. Pres. Obama's speech tonight -- which I watched at home after the gym on YouTube on my computer* -- was just terrific and super-energized the crowd there in Philadelphia (and, hopefully, Democrats in the country).

*Vox.com carried the YouTube live feed. Frickin' online C-SPAN and CNN both demanded viewers "log in" to some bullshit account to view this speech.


Tomorrow night, The Madame herself speaks, and I want to watch it -- probably at No. 9 upstairs, where it will be shown.

As I wrote in my previous entry, if she doesn't get some post-convention bounce out of this -- and one that becomes a sustained lead over Donald "Madman" Trump (R - Dictator Wannabe) -- then things really are hopeless, Pres. Obama's wonderful speech on this topic notwithstanding.

Oh, and I have to mention this truly extraordinary story from early Wednesday ...

Donald Trump's call for the Russian government -- under Vladimir Putin, Trump's pal and the head of the Russian syndicate with whom he and his inner cadre apparently does extensive shady business dealings -- to hack Hillary's emails and find the missing ones is really tantamount to a call for treason.

Above: The cover of the print edition of the New York Daily News for July 28th, 2016. It is a riff on the anti-Hillary chants of "LOCK HER UP!" at the RNC hate-fest and atavistic freak show.

New York Times online headline, July 27, 2016.

*******

So bizarre was the story that it was actually breaking news on the New York Times website on Wednesday (see image directly above) and the Washington Post had its own banner story -- and thousands of comments with the story (see image below).

Here is Jonathan Chait on the matter: Donald Trump Asks Vladimir Putin to Help Him Win.

Washington Post online headline: Donald Trump urges Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails, July 27, 2016.

*******

Donald Trump protestors and supporters square off in Salt Lake City -- yes, Salt Lake City -- on March 18, 2016.

******

But the deranged, white-hot Hillary hatred of some Trumpster Fire supporters and, more generally, the intense fear and loathing that they feel -- in many cases, admittedly, because of failed neoliberal world order policies -- and that the degenerate Republican political-media-entertainment complex actively encourages -- is so great that these "rule of law" types are eagerly supportive of Russia committing cyber-espionage.

As for the GOP that fans all of this, it's not just SAD! but also very sick.

Another image from that tense standoff in Salt Lake City, March 18, 2016.

*******

I say this based on some of the comments I read on the New York Times site -- which screens all comments before posting them, and then enables them to be filtered as "Times picks", "Reader picks", and "All".

More mayhem and fights between Trump supporters and protestors, this time in San Jose, Calif., date uncertain but presumably in the past few months.

Get ready for a lot more of these kinds of scenes if Trump actually manages to win. But I still just don't see it happening -- or maybe I just can't fathom it happening, but that doesn't mean it can't.

*******

OK, that really is all for now. Next planned update will be either Friday or Saturday evening.

--Regulus

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday Late Morning Interim Update: Still in a High Summer Daze

The leafy entrance to 2019 N Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:13PM July 24, 2016.

*******

Apologies for no entry last night ...

After leaving work -- and it being a non-gym night -- I went to Trade where at 730PM (as planned by text), I called my dad. After a half dozen failed attempts and a text exchange, I finally reached him and we had a 64+ minute phone conversation that was actually quite good. (I was outside in the enclosed deck area during that time.) I wish I had a transcript of it. Thereafter, I called my mom and talked to her for about 24 minutes.

16th Street near T Street NW, Washington, D.C., 2:53PM July 24, 2016.

It was too frickin' hot and sunny.

*******

Thereafter, I went to No. 9, where I stayed and watched among a boisterous crowd Bill Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention, and by the time I walked home, the only thing I could do was go to sleep.

It was quite a speech by the end -- the old Bill Clinton, even if the former President is looking quite old and haggard these days. But he made a great case for Hillary.


Josh Marshall has a good take on it.

If Hillary doesn't get a decent post-convention bounce and manage to pull ahead of a sociopathic, narcissistic lunatic in the form of Donald Trump, then I just don't see how she wins in November.

So my intention is to go to the gym tonight after work and then post the entry I started on Monday night but never completed, although that entry -- discussing the 100F heat on Monday afternoon and the chaotic day 1 of the DNC -- seems a bit dated already.

I'll figure it out. And I hope we get some thunderstorms today but Thursday - Saturday look more promising for that.

--Regulus

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In Lieu of Planned Heavy Dinner Entry, a Late Night Light Snack: Two Big Fig Newtons -OR- Still Universally Massively Attractive

The decorative glass façade on the 900 16th Street Building at, yes, 900 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 11:49PM July 23, 2016.

I was walking last Saturday night to Old Ebbitt for a (very) late dinner and drinks. What used to be at this spot was a hideous "Brutalist" style Third Church of Christ, Scientist that loopy urban liberals fought to "preserve" as being "historic." The Christian Scientist congregation, which wanted a new church, has a presence in this new office building complex.

*******

OK, I started an entry tonight but it's already a bit after 1AM and I really want to go to sleep and get to work at a decent hour tomorrow morning. The entry is a combo weather update (it reached 100F on Monday at the three airport stations) and some political commentary as the Democratic National Convention gets underway.

My plan is to complete the entry after work tomorrow. Tomorrow is a non-gym night.

Bio-Physics Lesson: Fig Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation ...


F[gravitational attraction between two m(asses)] =
                                   G * m(ass1)* m(ass2)
                                        -------------------
                                                   r^2
Physics. The Basic Science. Indeed.

--Regulus

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Jukebox Saturday Night for July 23rd, 2016: The Fool, Fast Trains, & Fun Edition

Let's start out with something really nice ...


"Fool on the Hill" by Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 from album of same name (1968)

"Fool on the Hill" is, of course, a famous Beatles song that appeared the group's 1967 album Magical Mystery Tour. As pointed out in the Wikipedia article, this version by the group Sérgio Mendes and Brasil '66 has a really nice basso nova rhythm with strings accompaniment. It was quite popular in the U.S. when it came out in 1968.


At the time of this 1968 album and the above video, the group Sérgio Mendes and Brasil '66 consisted of Sérgio Mendes (keyboard / band leader), Sebastião Neto (bass), Dom Um Romão (percussion / drums) and Rubens Bassini (percussion), and vocalists Lani Hall (lead vocalist) and Karen Philipp (second vocalist).

The lead vocalist, now Lani Hall Alpert, is still quite active, as her website indicates. She recently wrote a book, Emotional Memoirs & Short Stories.

Watching the YouTube video, she reminds me as a young woman of my friend Wendy.

Left: Lani Hall Alpert. She looks darn good for 70.

Yes, Lani Hall Alpert is married to Herb Alpert -- he of Alpert & the Tijuana Brass fame. He is now 81 years old.

I love the lyrics of this song as well.

Excerpt:

But the fool on the hill / Sees the sun going down / And the eyes in his head / See the world spinning round.

Well on the way / Head in a cloud / The man of a thousand voices / Talking perfectly loud

But nobody ever hears him / Or the sounds he appears to make / And he never seems to notice ...

*******

Next up, another nice piece, slightly more up tempo ...


"Fast Train to Everywhere" by Chris Standring from his album Blue Bolero (2010)

As the description states on the YouTube website (which is part of Chris Standring's channel):

"Taken from Chris Standring's 2010 award winning orchestral jazz album Blue Bolero. This video features Chris travelling to London and Paris, and some very old vintage black & white footage. All aboard...."


*******

Let's end with something Saturday night energetic and upbeat ...

"Lips Are Movin" by Meghan Trainor from her debut album Title (2015)

Everyone always look like they're having such fun in a Meghan Trainor video. Of note, at least two of the backup singers in this video are also in "All About That Bass."

*******

Brief Update ...

Cumulus congestus clouds in the evening sky as seen from near the southeast corner of Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 7:09PM July 23, 2016.

*******

OK, that's all for now. I had a good, full, multi-part gym workout today and I did my laundry. For tonight, it's Floriana grotto bar for a drink and then Old Ebbitt Grill Old Bar, and then the bars Trade and/or No. 9.

The usual.

For tomorrow, I may go to the Francis Swimming Pool over at 24th and N Streets NW (West End) with a gym acquaintance, but I'm not sure -- esp. given how hot, sunny, and crowded it is likely to be there. I've never actually been there (or to any of D.C.'s public swimming pools for D.C. residents).

Of note, it reached 98F at all three airports today (KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD). Tonight is just thickly warm and humid. There were a few widely scattered t-storms including one that grazed BWI Airport and Millersville where my mom lives.

My next entry might not be until late Monday (early Tuesday).

--Regulus

Saturday Notes from the Wonderful Washington City of Oz on an Overheated July Afternoon

**This entry was posted July 23, 2016.**

Right.

*******

Saturday early afternoon.

Having just gotten up after a bad dream-plagued, roiled, frequently interrupted sleep since 4AM, I'm miserable in this life situation, but I'll be going to the gym around 3PM and I'll be there for my full 3-hour multi-part workout.

I hate living in Washington, D.C., and all that accompanies it.

The weather is brutally hot with a current 1PM air temp at KDCA of 95F and a dew point of 73F giving a heat index of 105F. KBWI is at 94F with a 69F dew point or 99F heat index and KIAD is at 93F / 69F with a heat index of 98F. It could reach 100F air temp today.

The Sterling (LWX) NWS forecast office actually finally issued a heat advisory for the entire Baltimore/Washington area.

Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) weather advisories updated 1:58PM July 23, 2016.

*******

Philadelphia / Mt. Holly (PHI) county warning area (CWA) weather advisories updated 1:53PM July 23, 2016.

The Philadelphia / Mt. Holly NWS forecast office is much more lenient with its heat criteria and related hot weather products than is Sterling.

*******


The number of comments in it reflects, in part, the tiresome and stupid global warming "debate" with all the internet trolls. I posted several comments (Arcturus24), including this comment, which got quite a few likes (10, as I last saw):

I can't wait to be a retired old coot collecting my Social Security and trolling websites for any reference to climate or weather so I can post my tiresome and stupid "global warming is an Al Gore hoax" comments while eating a sardine sandwich on Wonder Bread in my paneled basement rec room in front of my 10 year old computer. Just 20 or so years to go!

The larger debate centers on whether or not any air temperature reading of 130F or higher -- all of which came from 80+ years ago -- are actually reliable.

The way those temperatures were recorded -- mostly at Death Valley -- probably not meet the current NWS and WMO standards for measuring temperatures. The comments were all over the place including arguments between two people -- almost certainly men -- about whether there was a warm bias then and how to account for the move of thermometers in the U.S. from urban locations to airports during the mid-20th Century. (That part of the comment section was, surprisingly, kind of interesting rather than the usual internet comment garbage fire, although it, predictably, devolved into insults.)

Any internet news article or opinion piece comment section.

*******

As for last night ...

I went out last night and had a shitty time overall. I was going to stop at Larry's Lounge and Trap House, but I caught sight of Gasy the Chipmungorilla there and didn't go in. Thankfully, he didn't see me.


He was at the bar and, I presume, on Long Island iced tea number 5 or 6.

Yeah, but you got Gasy!

I stopped at that new place called Brick Lane on 17th Street for a drink. It was fine. Then I went to Floriana, where a wildly-heated political argument about Hillary and emails was raging between two regulars in the downstairs grotto bar -- wholly inappropriate for such a place and, in fact, Chad the chef came out to tell one of them to lower his voice.


Oh, yes, Hillary picked Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) as her running mate, which is probably a good choice. The RNC NaziCon 2016 is, thankfully, over, and our side's turn is next week, but Herr Trumpster is as close to ever as actually becoming president and destroying our country's political institutions outright.


Anyway, things simmered down and we watched one of Dito's periodic airings of Auntie Mame starring Rosalind Russell. I stayed a bit too long and left in a haze, walking back toward my apartment, but then I stopped at the place Exiles on U Street right near where I live. This is formerly The Saloon Stetson's, and the place looks less sleazy, but that's not much of a feat.

I probably embarrassed myself as the 40-something weird little leprechaun-like man that I am and with one more drink and then went home and cooked two pork chops, ate, and went to bed.


I'm past my sell-buy date in this Young and Mean Person's City of Oz.

Now let's get this damn day started.

Apartment view onto 2000 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 2:10PM July 23, 2016.

*******

I intend to post my jukebox Saturday night entry tonight.

--Regulus

Friday, July 22, 2016

Unwanted High Summer Heat Wave Set to Crash Upon Our Region; Hopefully, No Even-Less-Wanted November Trump/GOP Wave Follows

Yours Truly upstairs at Baan Thai, Washington, D.C., last Friday night, July 15, 2016, with Andrea and friends.

Jake took this picture toward the end of the night. That is a small table with a large chandelier-like light fixture hanging directly above it. I think the table is really more to keep people away from the low-hanging fixture.


Note: This was not the entry I intended to post. Rather, I started a political-themed entry with a links to various pieces by the writers I like and respect about the dreadful Republican National Convention hatefest, in particular, the amazingly courageous and quite possibly amazingly foolish but nevertheless certainly gutsy thing that normally-incredibly-awful Sen. Ted Cruz did last night, as well as Trump's bleating, angry, fearmongering speech tonight that -- as Garry Kasparov pointed out in a tweet he sent out a short time ago (see image below) -- Trump's pal, Vladimir Putin, could have given.)


However, I simply did not have enough pictures or time -- given how late it is already -- to complete that entry. I'll try do to so over the weekend.

*******

Home tonight after a less-than-stellar productive day at work but a good, multi-part gym workout tonight including jogging and some decent weightlifting, a core workout, and a swim.

The much-anticipated big heatwave will be upon us across the mid-Atlantic including here in shitty D.C. starting tomorrow and lasting well into next week. It is already going strong across much of the Midwest, Great Plains, and up and down the Mississippi River valley.

NWS weather advisories updated 0429UTC (12:29AM EDT) July 22, 2016.

This image does not include the legend but the color-coded weather products in effect in the middle of the U.S. include heat advisories and excessive heat warnings.

*******

Temps are forecasted to reach about 98F for highs in the D.C. area on Sunday and Monday with elevated dew points (70F or better at times), but some of the models have it even hotter -- surpassing 100F even at KDCA. At least there is a chance for thunderstorms.

NWS high temperature forecast (in Fahrenheit) for Saturday, July 23, 2016 for much of the eastern United States in a map prettied up by WeatherBell.com.

This image and the one directly below come from this CWG entry.

*******

As usual, Sterling (LWX) -- with its hyper-legalistic focus on achieving the criteria established within its county warning area (CWA)* of 105F to 109F heat index for a heat advisory and 110F+ for an excessive heat warning, except it never states where exactly or over how large a geographic area nor for how long those thresholds must be met -- refuses to issue any excessive heat products unless it absolutely has to do so. It certainly won't issue any "watches" ahead of time.

The 0Z European model showing 2-meter dew point temperatures (in Fahrenheit) for the Mid-Atlantic region centered on the Baltimore/Washington area, valid at hour 102 / 0Z July 26, 2016 (Monday evening), in a picture prettied up by WeatherBell.com.

Those are widespread dew points of 74F to 78F across the D.C./Baltimore areas, which if combined with forecasted heat in the upper 90s Fahrenheit would translate into heat indices of 105F or greater.  

*******

*My understanding is that different NWS forecast offices can use their own criteria for excessive heat products in their respective CWAs. It is clear that Mount Holly / Philadelphia (PHI) has a significantly lower threshold given how frequently it issues excessive heat warnings. At present, as the image below shows, much of its CWA is under an excessive heat watch including stretching right through most of Maryland's Queen Anne's County on the Eastern Shore while there is nothing on the western shore in Sterling's CWA.

The Mount Holly / Philadelphia (PHI) NWS forecast office webpage showing county warning area (CWA) weather advisories updated at 11:00PM EDT July 21, 2016.

*******

At least there will be a chance of t-storms on most days here.

OK, that's all for now.

A lovely sunset at Fort Smallwood Park, Pasadena, Md., July 18, 2016 in a photo by Flickr user The Bay Photos and reposted in this CWG entry.

This park -- to which I've been only once or twice in the 35 years my mom and Ray have lived in northern Anne Arundel County, and certainly not in the last 20 years -- is located where the Patapsco River sort of merges into the Chesapeake Bay.

*******

For tomorrow, I need to have a productive work day. Thank God it is also payday as I'm flat broke.

I don't have any specific after work plans, so I might just come home before going out later, although I wouldn't mind doing the Cuba Libre happy hour with Andrea (we didn't do it last week but instead a larger group of us met at Baan Thai -- see lead image to this entry). I love Cuba Libre's cool, airy, darkness on hot summer days.

Saturday is a planned gym-and-chores day followed by Old Ebbitt Grill Old Bar on Saturday night, although I intend to post a jukebox Saturday night entry. In fact, that might be my next entry since I'm probably not going to post anything after work tomorrow (Friday).


Oh, yes, I should have noted a numerical oddity in my previous entry: It wasn't just entry #1,969 -- corresponding to the year I was born -- but it occurred on July 21st, and July 21, 1969 was the day the Apollo 11 astronauts walked on the Moon, becoming the first human beings to do so.

OK, that's all for now. My next entry might not be until Saturday evening / night.

Updated 8:33PM 7/22/2016

OK, I just realized that I actually posted that previous entry on July 20th, not July 21st, negating the above observation.

To be clear, I hit "publish" just before midnight -- 11:56PM EDT on July 20th -- but then put it right back into draft, and I but didn't complete and "re-publish" it until around 12:30AM EDT on July 21st in order to have a July 20th publication date.

Not sure why that was important.

End of Update and of Entry.

--Regulus