Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wee Hours Weather Update / January Summary -OR- A Second Interim Entry

Updated 930AM EST 2/1/2013: see below

The Sterling (LWX) NWS county warning area (CWA) map of advisories as of 2:55PM EST January 31, 2013. It shows flood warnings along rivers following two days of heavy rainfall.

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Just a quick update ... before the midnight hour when January rolls over to February.

My plan is to post a Friday night musical interlude tomorrow night and then at least two of the three New Jersey trip themed entries over the weekend.

I tried to go to the gym tonight but I was simply too tired -- exhausted. I had a good gym workout on both Monday and Wednesday nights. I'm also chagrined, I think, that I put on 2 pounds from my minimum of 162 pounds in the previous week or so.

However, there is a chance this is actually muscle mass gain instead of just fat or other internal doings.

In any event, I went to Larry's Lounge and met Kristof and John L. for a bit.

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We had a deluge of rain yesterday with 1 to 3 inches or rain area-wide. Officially, Washington Dulles Int'l Airport climate station (KIAD) had the most followed by Baltimore / Washington International Thurgood Marshall Int'l Airport climate station (KBWI) and then Reagan Washington National Airport climate station (KDCA) brought up the rear with just under half the KIAD amount -- but it was still over 1 inch.

Nevertheless, KDCA still ends the month (and since it is January, year-to-date) below normal.

Here are the stats in descending order (with total / departure / normal):

KIAD
Two-day total: 2.32" (including daily record of 2.00" on the 30th)
Month/Year-to-date: 3.70" +1.02" (2.68")

KBWI
Two-day total: 1.95"
Month/Year-to-date: 3.64" +0.59" (3.05")

KDCA
Two-day total: 1.14"
Month/Year-to-date: 2.53" -0.28" (2.81")

As for temperatures, it has been a roller coaster month of warmth, cold, and warmth. It reached 69F on Tuesday and 72F on Wednesday at KDCA. The numbers were 66F/70F at KBWI and 70F/72F at KIAD. But tonight is back to blustery cold with temps near freezing and wind chills.

Also, somehow, there is snow in the forecast - maybe a 1/2" in the wee hours to dawn and then another chance of light snow on Saturday night into Sunday. (It involves a clipper system that is going to swing through in the wee hours.)
 

Updated 930AM EST 2/1/2013: For snowfall we have the following through stats for January 2013 and the season so far (it's pretty much what you expect):

KDCA
Month: 0.9" -4.7" (5.6")
Season: 1.1" -7.3" (8.4")
 
KBWI
Month: 2.9" -3.9" (6.8")
Season: 4.3" -5.9" (10.2")
 
KIAD
Month: 1.8" -5.5" (7.3")
Season: 4.0" -7.3" (11.3")
 
(Updated 930AM EST 2/1/2013:) For the full month of January, KDCA ends up +4.3F above normal at 40.3F. For KBWI it is +4.0F at 36.9F, and for KIAD, it is +4.2F at 37.4F. All these numbers are with respect to the 1981 - 2010 average.

OK, that's all for now.

Oh, yes, I had a lot of strange hits on my blog today from the Warshington, D.C., area with the focus on You-Know-Who. Not sure what that's about.

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Oh, yes, check out how many comments this article (over 50,000 as I post this) about the Applebee's waitress in the St. Louis area, Chelsea Welch, fired for posting online a picture of the receipt containing a nasty comment about tipping only 10% because that's what she gives God.

The comment was written by Pastor Alois Bell of the World Deliverance Ministries Church (whatever bogus operation that is) and when she discovered this, she complained, thus getting Welch fired.

In general, I rarely read the comments left by the endless parade of paranoid, dumb, ideologically rightwing Americans in their underwear with access to a computer but occasionally it is worthwhile. 

Oh, and Applebee's, you suck, you corporate wussy.

--Regulus

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Exit Zero: Home from New Jersey, Back Inside the D.C. Bubble -OR- Unplanned Interim Entry

Turning off the Garden State Parkway at Exit 0 (yes, Exit 0) at the 0 mile marker and heading to the Cape May - Lewes ferry terminal on the New Jersey said, Cape May, N.J., 1:07PM January 28, 2013.

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I am back home in my D.C. Bubble world and reality after my New Jersey weekend visit to attend (with my parents*) my great Aunt Babe's 100th birthday party and to visit my friends Chris C. and Jon K., the former of whom I had not seen in 30 years.

*To clarify, I went to New Jersey with my mom and stepfather (Ray) and my dad came up separately from Florida. Ray did not go to the actual birthday event.

Yours truly at the Cape May - Lewes Ferry terminal on the New Jersey side waiting for the wintertime 2:30PM ferry to Delaware, 3:31PM January 28, 2013.

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My dad headed back to Florida today (I'm unsure where he reached by nightfall and looked for a motel but probably into North Carolina) while the three of us returned via the Garden State Parkway, a wintertime crossing on the Cape May - Lewes ferry, and a drive across the Delmarva and the Bay Bridge into Maryland. I was dropped off at the New Carrollton Metro around 730PM (well after it got dark) and went straight to the gym (my National Capital YMCA) (fortunately, I was able to get a large locker for my travel duffle bag). I was able to meet Tony tonight (my personal trainer) and then came home. I walked up 17th Street through the D.C. gay mafia's territory and to the Safeway and thence home.

Having experienced what I did this weekend -- including reconnecting (even if momentarily) with so much extended family I've not seen in years-to-decades -- their crummy little D.C. world, and what they are and represent seem much less important.

Yours truly (and my mom -- that's her coat) briefly outside on the deck of the MV Cape Henlopen ferry during a wintertime crossing of Delaware Bay, 3:14PM January 28, 2013.

The Cape Henlopen ferry is among the smallest ones in the fleet of five ferries that make up the Cape May - Lewes Ferry fleet. As we were boarding, we saw that all five ferries -- the entire fleet -- were lined up along the Jersey side.

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Anyway, this entry is just to note the following: (1) I still fully intend to post the three specific entries related to my New Jersey visit in the next week or so; but (2) I will probably not get the first one posted until at least Thursday night and possibly over the weekend (when I will try to post at least two of the three).

The giant spaceship-like Cherry Hill watertower as seen along the New Jersey Turnpike, 12:57PM January 26, 2013. That is probably the same watertower from the early 1980s that I recall but with its most recent coat of paint.

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Concerning the second point above, I am still waiting to get some other pictures that I did not take. And I am not even taking the computer home from work** tomorrow and possibly not on Wednesday either. Thus, my next update may not be until Thursday night and possibly not until my Friday night musical interlude entry.

Thus, please don't expect any entries for the next few days.

**Yes, I return to work tomorrow (or technically, later today). I think everything is OK with no surprises.

Before ending, though, I would like to post the following picture:

I had intended to post this one in my Friday night entry but DD (or DPD -- I think that's how I shall refer to him on this blog) didn't send it to me until Saturday evening. By way of explanation, it is a picture of me on a (briefly) snowy evening around 5:30PM on January 25, 2013. DPD took the picture as we were walking across the National Mall after work. We work by L'Enfant Plaza and once in a while do this walk.

This Jan. 25th snowfall "officially" dropped 0.4" at Reagan National Airport climate station (KDCA), adding to the 0.4" that fell the previous day. This brought the seasonal total to an underwhelming 1.0 inch exactly.


Looking ahead, the weather is forecasted to get much warmer (highs around 65F on Wednesday) with locally heavy rain showers and possibly out-of-season thunderstorms into Thursday. Thereafter, it will get seasonably cold again with highs around 36F on Friday and Saturday.

OK, that's all for now until my trio of New Jersey visit themed entries.

--Regulus

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Aunt Babe's First Century and My 100th Percentile New Jersey Weekend (Prequel Entry)

The park along Van Court Avenue in Long Branch, N.J., 2:38PM, January26, 2013.

This park -- located less than 1,500 feet from the house at 368 Kirby Avenue where I lived as a young child in the 1970s -- is an extension of Takanassee Lake Park. It looked rather different with all the swings and jungle gym / monkey bars stuff gone.

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So I made it to New Jersey for my great Aunt Babe's 100th birthday party, and I also saw both my childhood friends Chris C. and Jonathan. This entry is just an overview, and the pictures in it are just a preview of the larger set I intend to post in a few upcoming entries.

Arriving in New Jersey ... On the New Jersey Turnpike and just off the Delaware Memorial Bridge, 12:28PM, January 26, 2013. I was in the car with my mom and Ray (who was driving).

Ray was here this weekend with us but did not go to the 100th birthday party. 

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This entry is coming to you from New Jersey, specifically, West Long Branch in the Holiday Inn Express* in the small "business center" on a quiet Sunday night. I am returning to D.C. tomorrow.

*This is the same hotel I stayed back in September 2008 for a few days when my dad came up here for his 50th high school reunion.

The mansion at 392 Kirby Avenue, Long Branch, N.J., 2:39PM January 26, 2013.

This old mansion -- somewhat renovated from a badly dilapidated state in the 1970s -- is located maybe 500 feet from the house in which I grew up (368 Kirby Avenue). Indeed, the property for it used to comprise what became Kirby Avenue and the houses on it at some point in the early 1950s. Back in the 1970s, I knew a boy named Edward who lived there. (As for the 368 Kirby Avenue house, I did not like the paint job it had since the last time I saw it 4+ years ago, but that's a topic for my subsequent entry.)

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I came up here with my parents, who came separately, to go to the 100th birthday party of my great Aunt Babe that was held today at Branches in West Long Branch, N.J.

Aunt Babe arrives at Branches for her 100th birthday party, West Long Branch, N.J., 12:43PM January 27, 2013.

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Aunt Babe refers to Leonilda Frances "Babe" Christopher (nee Acerra), the younger sister of my late paternal grandmother and one of the last four surviving Acerra children of the original clan of 16 (all four of whom were at today's event).

The other three are last of the brothers that made up the all-brothers baseball team that is the subject of the book Brothers at Bat.

The 100 year old birthday girl, my Aunt Babe, is the seated guest of honor while her three younger brothers including (left to right) Uncle Freddie, Uncle Eddie, and Uncle "Bubby" (Richard) at Branches, West Long Branch, N.J., 2:54PM, January 27, 2013.

(That other lady on the left is my great Aunt Tessie. She is the widow of one of the other Acerra boys who died some years ago.)

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It was a wonderful event that brought together people I've not seen in decades including great aunts, great uncles, and second and third (and fourth?) cousins with approx. 130 in attendance.

There was a nice write up about Aunt Babe's 100th birthday in today's print Asbury Park Press. The online version is available here ("Acerra family member now a centenarian"). The picture at left is from that article.

I knew the part about her actual name of Leonilda, but I didn't know the actual birth date part (Jan. 24th rather than Jan. 26th). It appears that her birth did not get registered until January 26th.

Mary Lynn and Betty Ann -- Aunt Babe's two daughters -- speak before the assembled guests before a 20-minute photo montage of their mom at Branches, West Long Branch, N.J., 2:18PM, January 27, 2013.

(Babe's husband, Uncle "Christie," died back in 1977. I actually remember his funeral. I was 7 at the time and it was my first one.)

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I have about 60 pictures I took that I'd like to post plus additional ones that others took both at the Harbor Grill in Atlantic Highlands last night where I met Chris (his sister owns the place) and at today's main 100th birthday party event. There may also be a few more tomorrow as we are returning to D.C. via the Cape May - Lewes ferry and Eastern Shore route.

Yours truly on the beach in Sea Bright, N.J., 4:55PM January 27, 2013.

The ocean was extremely calm. Behind in in the far distance -- about 25 to 30 miles as the crow flies -- is New York City with the skyline of Manhattan clearly visible on a clear day such as this. I have had more dreams in my life of that skyline or some variation of it -- and trying to reach it, including actually flying --  than any other dream.

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Whatever the number, it is going to take me at least two entries and maybe three to post all of them. I will try to get the first entry posted in the next day or two.I think I will post the first day's pictures in a single entry, then the birthday party ones in a second entry, and finally those that I took with Jonathan in Sea Bright** this evening plus any from tomorrow in a third / final entry.

Parking lot, Sea Bright, N.J., 4:49PM January 27, 2013

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**There was extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy but it wasn't anywhere near the total devastation that I had assumed. Massive quantities of sand have been piled onto the beaches in places (removed from the boro's streets?).

Jonathan on the beach and silhouetted on the sunset sky, Sea Bright, N.J., 5:00PM January 27, 2013.

Jon(athan) was my best friend from my 1970s childhood and 1980s teenage summer years spent at the old Tradewinds Beach Club (long gone now). He is also the former drummer in the Monster Magnet rock band.

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I should mention that there are also photos from the event that I would like to get a hold of and post on this blog -- including a few of Aunt Babe and my grandmother on a long-ago trip to Washington, D.C., circa 1935, the two of them standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I had ever seen that picture before in my life.

OK, that's all for now, although I have to post this picture of my parents together ...

The parents of Yours Truly outside Branches, West Long Branch, N.J., 3:39PM January 27, 2013.

Wow. This may be the first picture in the past 20 or 25 years of them together.

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OK, that really is all for now. My next planned update should be in the next few days, and (barring something else major) I intend it to be part 1 of the three-part New Jersey weekend trip series.

--Regulus

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Heading to New Jersey for a 100th Birthday (and a Trip to Way Back When)


Heading to New Jersey this morning for Aunt Babe's 100th birthday party and some other visits of long, long ago places and people from way back when. I'm already running late, of course.

Of note, my dad is going to get there before my mom and I. He is already nearing the D.C. area this morning just passing through en route there.

I probably won't be able to post a new entry on this blog until I return on late Monday, and even then it may only be an interim update.

--Regulus

Friday, January 25, 2013

Treacherous Travel Tales in Winters Now and Then (in lieu of Friday Night Musical Interlude)

The Washington Monument from behind some trees along the north side of the National Mall as seen on a briefly snowy evening as DD and I walked across the Mall after work from L'Enfant Plaza to downtown D.C., 5:30PM, January 25, 2013.

DD went to Metro Center station (he lives in  Rockville) while I walked about two-thirds of the way home until I caught a fortuitously timed S9 (yes, S9) bus at M and 16th Street and took it the rest of the way to the U Street stop.

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This was going to be my Friday night music interlude, except (1) there hasn't been anything specific that I've wanted to post, and (2) I am distracted by my impending trip to New Jersey tomorrow for my great aunt's 100th birthday party (Aunt Babe). I am heading up there tomorrow with my mom (and Ray coming along). My dad is also coming up from Florida (see interesting story below).

Walking across the National Mall looking at the Washington Monument in what was felt like (owing to the approaching clearing) the wintertime snow equivalent of a summer downpour, 5:28PM, January 25, 2013.

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We had a negligible amount of snow late this afternoon into the early evening. Well, OK, maybe I should say we had a dusting to at most 1/2" in the suburbs with closer to the former in the District proper. And I shouldn't say "negligible" because any snowfall in D.C. is hard to get these days. (I don't have the amounts for this event.)

Looking east toward the U.S. Capitol Building lost in the gloomy white fog of an evening snow shower, 5:28PM, January 25, 2013.

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And, of course, in downtown D.C., unless it is a bona fide major snow event (I estimate 6+ inches), everything turns almost immediately to a slushy mess. Then there is all that toxic rock salt and florid green chemical garbage that is thrown down everywhere in order to make the world lawsuit proof for lawyers and corporate oligarchy.

Snowy evening scene in Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C., 5:56PM, January 25, 2013.

I would have taken a pic of the White House but the Inaugural Parade reviewing stand monstrosity is still up as are all these fences and barriers.

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Tonight is a cold and cloudy night but with a sort of "soft city" winter time feel.

Temperature-wise, it has not yet gotten above 25F at National Airport today, so assuming it does not reach 30F, it will be the fourth such day in a row -- the longest stretch since Feb. 5 - 8, 2007.

It is forecasted to start warming up tomorrow reaching at least 32F at KDCA (if it does not, then it would be the longest such stretch of under 32F for highs since Jan 23-28, 2004).

Let me say, though, that I'm glad this wasn't a major snowstorm because my dad is presently driving up from Florida to New Jersey.

He actually made it from his starting point in Flagler Beach, Fla., (around 620AM this morning) through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina to about 10 miles inside Virginia a bit south of Emporia tonight. Thus, he drove about 600 miles.

This included driving into today's weather system as it transitioned from rain to sleet to snow and ice to just heavy snow by the time he was in southern Virginia. He is safe in a cheap motel somewhere along I-95 tonight near Emporia.

He said driving was very treacherous and he said he saw literally dozens of accidents / vehicles having skidded off the interstate.

It must have turned to all snow near the Virginia - North Caroline line and he said there is about 5" at whatever cheap motel he is staying off I-95. (That being the case, there should have been a winter storm warning in effect in that area, not a winter weather advisory.)

The worst part of the sleet and ice was near Rocky Mount, N.C., a fact that represents an incredible irony in his life for something that happened there with my mom in another ice storm back in 1970 during their brief marriage.

They were flying in his little Cessna airplane down to Florida in the winter and were caught in an ice storm and grounded in Rocky Mount for days. It was a very bad situation and my mother still remembers it vividly, esp. when he decided to take off anyway and had to stick his head out and open airplane window because the main windshield was iced up.

The irony was not lost on either my parent today (I was emailing my mom about his travels even as I spoke to him on the phone a couple times).

I was but 1 year old at the time and in New Jersey with my late paternal grandmother (Aunt Babe's older sister) and grandfather.

Oh, the irony. Indeed, I had a terrible dread that something might happen to him there but that did not happen, thank God Who/Whatever.

As it is, today's winter storm was his first experience with a significant snowstorm in probably 21 years (having left New Jersey in 1992).

I spoke to him a short while ago and he said, "I was panicking, I couldn't find my key. The staff - they're all black here - the lady was helpful. She had the room nice and warm." I didn't quite follow the story.

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Lady with umbrella walking through the Enid Haupt Garden of the Smithsonian on a snowy evening, Washington, D.C., 5:26PM, January 25, 2013. (This is actually the first picture I took on the walk home.)

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OK, that's all for now. I'm going to No. 9 tonight -- meeting Kristof and hopefully with no M. Wade Tipamillyun sightings, although I sort of doubt it. He's not going to give up $600 in tip money to NOT work on two weekend nights.

Here he is collecting a tip. Actually, the explanation behind this amazing predator-captures-unsuspecting prey photo taken in the waters off Port Lockroy on the Antarctic Peninsula in 2009 is found at this link.

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I have to be at Union Station by 1015AM tomorrow. I will try to post a very quick morning update but if not, this shall be my last entry until Monday.

OK, that's all for now.

--Regulus

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Little Bit of Snow -- Take 1 and Take 2; Seeing the World on a Bright Cold Winter's Day

My mom took this picture of the lightly snow covered field behind her trailer park in Millersville, Maryland with the morning Sun rising above a distant row of winter bare trees. This was taken at 8:16AM on January 24, 2013 as she headed to work in Severna Park.

It looks like about 2" fell -- in line with nearby BWI Airport's total.

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OK, I'm going to try to do the near impossible for me in my blogging and post TWO entries tonight -- a weather-themed and a political-themed one -- in short order.

The Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas had a 1 to 2 inch snowfall last night, or rather in the wee hours of this morning although the "official" District of Columbia climate station -- our old favorite, Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA) -- only had 0.4" while Baltimore/Washington Int'l Airport climate station (KBWI) had 2.0" and Washington Dulles Airport (KIAD) had 1.5" of snow.

I guess Mark Richards and his magical snowboard and ruler were working their usual tricks.

The snow was falling lightly but steadily when I went to bed last night.

The 12-hour snowfall map for the Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA). The map is also available here and you can zoom in on specific amounts. However, this link will only remain active for this event for a short period.

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Today's snowfall brings the seasonal totals to a whopping 0.6" at KDCA, 3.4" at KBWI, and 3.7" at KIAD, all of which are well below the 30-year average ( -6.2" , -4.9", and -5.6", respectively).

Another picture my mom took this sunlit morning of the snow covered field with a snow-dusted bush and picnic table at the trailer park in Millersville, Md., 8:15PM, January 24, 2013.

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Another weak clipper system is progged to cross the area tomorrow afternoon into tomorrow night with 1 to 2 inches of additional snowfall. There are no winter weather advisories out in the immediate area, though.

The snowfall forecast issued at 9:47PM tonight valid through 7PM EST January 26, 2013.

Yes, this is the snowfall map of death in that any snow event it shows is steadily whittled away to nothing.

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I would like more snow, but in this case, my dad is leaving Flagler Beach, Florida tomorrow morning and starting on his two day trek to New Jersey for Aunt Babe's 100th birthday party on Sunday. He should be in central North Carolina by tomorrow night to stay at a motel somewhere and given that he is 72 years old (as of yesterday) and not used to real winter weather and doing all the driving, I would prefer there not be deep snow or treacherous ice.

As it is, my mom and I (with Ray along) should still get to New Jersey before he does on Saturday.

NWS eastern region advisories updated at 1213AM EST January 25, 2013. Yes, this image was captured after the original timestamp on this entry.

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D.C. Cold Spell in Perspective ...

As for the cold air, it has actually been below freezing at the KDCA climate station since the midnight Jan. 22 reporting hour -- so as of this hour, that is 72 hours, which is quite long by our recent standards. Today it only reached 29F for a high, the third consecutive daytime high below 30F (it was above 30F in the wee hours of the 22nd). This makes it the longest such stretch since Jan 15-17, 2009. However, as of Jan. 23rd, KDCA was STILL running +4.6F above normal for the month.

The CWG had an interesting post on Jan. 22nd that seeks to put this cold outbreak in D.C. in historical perspective.

Highlights ...

Caption: "Days with highs at or below freezing by cold season. The season with the most is 1917-18 with 37. The season with the most at National Airport is 1960-61 with 21. 1997-98 is the only season without any days in this category, and 2011-12 joined two other years with one."

Two notes:

1. The downward trend in number of days with highs below 32F. I think this is more than just an artifact of having the climate station at KDCA. It is also a signal of climate change in the past century (sorry, Teabaggers and rightwing cable / talk radio / media entertainment complex).

2. This description is somewhat at odds with what it states in the CWG entry where it states: "Only one year has featured a day without a high at or below freezing. It occurred in 1974, when the coldest high temperature was a balmy 33 degrees on January 13. Last year wasn’t far behind with only one day reaching 32 degrees."

In terms of extreme cold temperatures, the same CWG post has the following image to make the case: "Though the climate record goes back to the 1800s, since around the time of the station switch to National Airport the coldest of the cold temperatures have seemingly vanished."


Remember that this is a plot of extreme low highs and extreme low lows only -- linking each from year to year. Given the very limited data points in it, I don't think this a particularly useful time series. There doesn't seem to be a specific trend in any of this except maybe on the extreme low lows in the past 30 years.

However, the CWG post makes its larger point by contrasting this set of numbers to those that come before KDCA was the climate station: "For instance, 19 years prior to the switch in 1945 had 'coldest lows' of zero or less. At National Airport, lows have dipped below zero in only three years."

Note: This puts the switch to KDCA in 1945 with 1946 the first full year. I always thought it was 1941, but I've never been sure on that one.

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In terms of extreme cold ...

The lowest high ever in D.C. was +4F on February 10, 1899. But in the KDCA climate period (stretching back to about 1941) was +8F on January 19, 1994. That was also the last time it went below 0F at KDCA, bottoming out at -4F.

The lowest temp ever in the full D.C. record back to 1871 was -15F on February 11, 1899. The lowest temp. ever in the KDCA climate record of -5F on January 17, 1982.

Caption: "Number of streaks (two days in a row or more) of highs freezing or below at National Airport (left axis). In the period shown, the most streaks in a season is five in four separate years. The longest streak (shown on the right axis) was 10 days in 1989-90."

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The remaining two pictures in this entry are of the smog and smoggy fog that has intermittently choked Salt Lake City this winter (as it often does in winter). As one commenter wrote in the Yahoo article, Salt Lake City is our own little version of Beijing with its "crazy bad" winter air.

Smog trapped over Salt Lake City and its basin on a brilliantly sunny winter day as seen from the snow-capped Wasatch Range above the city on January 9, 2013.

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A warm up is forecasted in the D.C. area with temperatures at or just above freezing by Saturday, rising into the 40s by Monday, and near 60F by Wednesday followed by colder weather for the start of February. The next weather system around Wednesday should be mostly or all rain.

Another view of the smog over Salt Lake City from the Wasatch Range on January 9, 2013.

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The Utah State Capitol building seen through a blanket of smoggy fog -- like the old London "fog" of the 1950s and '60s -- on January 23, 2013.

Just wonderin' ... What's the proper hybrid Mormon - libertarian response to choking air pollution? At least here the GOP legislature doesn't have to savagely gerrymander is districts and its electoral vote distribution to help the Republican politicians otherwise facing demographic extinction. Utah will be naturally "red" for a long, long time.

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OK, my plans for a second entry tonight need to be nixed as I am posting this entry in completed form at 1:15M. (The original posting was just to have a Jan. 24th time stamp.) As it is, I'm quite exhausted and the past 24 hours were difficult although work itself was OK and I had a good workout at the gym tonight.

I am going to meet my mom on Saturday morning at BWI rail station (taking an Amtrak there from Union Station) rather than going to her place on Friday night. Thus, I also post to plan a Friday night musical interlude entry.

--Regulus

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Too Late at the 1AM Hour for a Proper Blog Entry

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who "dabbles" in law in such a way as to make sure that the forces of corporate fascism and oligarchical plutocracy always have the "correct" Constitutional argument, wears a weird head dress that suggests Mickey Mouse ears at President Barack Obama's Second Inauguration, January 21, 2013.

Tony "Three Fingers" Scalia gave us the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court Coup "decision" in 2000 (Ben Wittes still keeps a copy of it on his WaHoPo "centrist" nightstand) and all the agonies that ensued. In this way, this fat little man has caused incalculable suffering with wasted lives and fortunes in our world in the past 13 years.

Oh, Wall-P, tell us how your circuits get all titillated when you hear Scalia go on and on about "strict constructionism."

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*Sigh*

I started an entry to discuss President Obama's second inauguration and The Speech he made that has folks abuzz -- progressives very pleased and the rightwing political / media / entertainment complex in fits of incoherent rage --  and the Arctic outbreak over the Eastern U.S. including here in D.C., where there is a chance of snow tomorrow night and again Friday.

NWS forecast for Washington, D.C., valid January 23 - 26, 2013. Note the highs are all sub-freezing. This has not happened in quite some time. Also note the snow possibilities this week.

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However, it is already nearly 1AM and I have to go to bed. My work day was OK and I had a good gym workout tonight.

I may not take the computer home tomorrow so any full entry on the planned topics may have to wait until Thursday night.

--Regulus

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Real Warm and a Ceremonial Cold Second Inauguration: Washington, D.C., Comes Alive

Updated 3:10PM 1/21/2013: See below.

President Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to start his second term in the Blue Room of the White House on Sunday, January 20, 2013. His wife, Michelle, and daughters, Malia and Sasha, look on as he takes the oath.

Of note, at this precise moment, I was located no more than 5,000 feet almost due north and in bed in a dusty apartment with a fan and a window a/c turned on.

The main ceremonial event will be the following day (tomorrow, which is also the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal holiday).

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The city is alive with people tonight -- it's mobbed as if it were a Friday night in summer. It is, of course, for tomorrow's fake, er, ceremonial inauguration of President Barack Obama to a second term.

I say this because the President was actually sworn in today by Chief Justice John Roberts at just about Noon today as required by the 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Another image of Chief Justice Roberts swearing in Barack Obama for a second term as his family looks on in the White House Blue Room, January 20, 2013.

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The U.S. Constitution doesn't say a whole lot of specific stuff, but it IS very clear about the January 20th swearing in date. (Prior to the 20th amendment, the swearing in day was March 4th.)

Owing to the quirk of the calendar that today is Sunday, the actual ceremony is tomorrow, January 21, 2013.

The ceremonial oath tomorrow Chief Justice administers tomorrow will be the FOURTH time he has done so with Obama. The first was on January 20, 2009; the second quickly and privately followed because Roberts screwed up the oath; today was the third time; and tomorrow, the fourth time.

Vice President Joseph Biden takes the oath of the vice presidency for a second term as administered by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, January 20, 2013. Biden's sprawling family looks on as he sworn in.

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Anyway, the city is quite crowded and everyone is likely to be out quite tonight since tomorrow is concurrently TWO Federal holidays -- the quadrennial Inaugural one and Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Of course, all the famed Inaugural balls are tomorrow night.

Of course, it is all a lot smaller scale and far fewer people than in 2009 when it was just crazy.

Above: A map of all things 57th Inaugural related for downtown Washington and the National Mall as provided by The WaHoPo online. Click on map for larger version.

Of note, I live about twice as far from the center axis of the Mall to the top of the map (K Street). That's 10 blocks. I'm another 10 blocks north by U and 16th Streets NW.

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Needless to say, I don't participate in ANY of this and indeed, I probably won't go down to the National Mall tomorrow. It's not like you can even get close to anything. The Washington Monument was about as close as my friends and I got in 2009.


My point, though, was to say that the entire military / industrial / endless "War on Terrorism" / media / entertainment complex is in full tilt-a-whirl bore centered on this the Imperial Capital city, early 3rd Christian Millennium.

I just happen to live here. Yes, I have the day off tomorrow.


Downtown, there are throngs of people out of town, barricades galore, heavy police and National Guard presence, media all over the place, sirens and motorcades, and strange red-white-and-blue flashing lights in the sky (unmanned drones spying on everything that moves). Around my Dupont Circle / U Street area, it's just lots of people and those big tourists buses. It was packed in the 17th Street Safeway earlier tonight as if right after work.

Weatherwise, I am not sure if the weather at noon today (January 20th) or the weather at noon tomorrow (January 21st) counts as the "official" weather for the presidential inauguration.

As it is, I did a screen capture of the table of weather observations at Reagan Washington National Airport climate station (KDCA) for several hours today including the noon hour.

You can see that it was 57F with "a few clouds" for the noon observation hour. If this counts as the "official" weather one (instead of the one tomorrow for the ceremonial event), then it is the warmest ever -- surpassing Reagan's 55F in on Tuesday, January 20, 1981. However, I am fairly sure whoever reckons these things won't count today's temperature but rather the one tomorrow at Noon at the ceremonial event.

Updated 3:10PM 1/21/2013: It was 40F at the noon hour at KDCA at the ceremonial second swearing in. The really cold blast of air is holding off until tonight into tomorrow. As such, it is probably more accurate to refer to this as the "Cool Second Inauguration."

Here is a graphic showing the weather on various inauguration days from FDR's second in 1937 to Obama's first in 2009. (FDR's second inaugural was the first to occur on January 20th.) This graphic comes from the CWG site in an entry about past Inauguruation Day weather.

Interestingly, Ronald Reagan had BOTH the warmest and the coldest inaugurals in this period (55F in 1981 and 7F in 1985). (The temp. at National Airport, or prior to 1941, at 24th and M Streets NW, at noon is what counts.). The 1985 event was actually moved indoors to the Capitol rotunda.

As for the weather, it is on the cusp of getting dramatically colder. It reached 62F or an official high at Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA) today but highs are forecasted to be be widespread subfreezing by Tuesday and last until Saturday with lows in the teens.

Weather forecast for KDCA for 20 - 24 January 2013 from the NWS.

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This will be the longest and deepest cold wave in at least two years. There is a chance of snow showers and maybe even some snow squalls in D.C. tomorrow as the actual Arctic front blasts through the immediate D.C. area around 6PM.


However, as expected, that infernal experimental snowfall map was updated again and shows zilch for D.C.  This is precisely what I discussed here. This is the update at 8:43PM EST tonight and shows the forecasted totals, such as they are, through 7AM January 22, 2013.

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Lastly ...

I went to the gym tonight and through a combination of cardio, weightlifting, and swimming (which I did not do tonight), my weight is down to 162.5 pounds or 21 pounds below when I started in mid-June (almost seven months ago to the day). And I've shifted about 25 pounds out of fat.

Yay, me.

And with that, I shall end this entry. I am going to Larry's Lounge right now to meet Gary and Kristof. 

I may post another entry one tomorrow depending on how the day goes. I still want to talk about the Aaron Swartz case.

--Regulus