Thursday, January 23, 2014

Late Night Addendum: Additional Pictures and Info on D.C. Area Snowfall and Cold Weather; Excerpt of Jonathan Chait Column

Updated 8:15AM 1/24/2014 with new info: See below.

The view from my apartment kitchen window on a cold and clear winter morning after the snow had ended, Washington, D.C., 8:17AM January 22, 2014.

This is the view looking to the west / northwest along New Hampshire Avenue and at the nearby buildings (Brittany Condominium), Camden-Roosevelt, Augustana Lutheran Church, and the 2112 New Hampshire Avenue condo).

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I was not planning to update this blog tonight but I brought the computer home and I wanted to post a few more pictures of the snowfall event yesterday (Wednesday). While I took the first three pictures (looking out my kitchen window, which I now cannot open because it seems to have frozen shut), some of the others below (so noted) are taken from this Capital Weather Gang (CWG) entry (with link embedded): A good, old-fashioned D.C. snowstorm! (PHOTOS). They were taken by Kevin Ambrose and Ian Livingston, both CWG writers and professional photographers.

The view from my apartment looking to the southwest down New Hampshire Avenue and the intersection of 16th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., on the same cold and clear morning after the previous day's snow, Washington, D.C., 8:17AM January 22, 2014.

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Oh, yes, I had to correct the KBWI snowfall total in my previous entry to 5.1 inches.

UPDATED: The Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) map showing final snow totals, updated 10:20AM January 22, 2014.

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While KDCA came in characteristically low (3.8 inches), nevertheless this was NOT a typical D.C. bust. Rather, snowfall amounts were widespread in the immediate area between 4 and 8 inches (KIAD was even higher at 8.5 inches) including in the District proper. I include downtown D.C., as well as my neighborhood, which is technically Shaw and on the edge of Dupont Circle, both of which are part of what is properly known as "midtown" D.C., except few people are even aware of the term and it rarely gets used. In short, it wasn't one of those usual situations where almost all the snow melted as soon as it touched the ground in my neighborhood.

Immediate D.C. snow total map for January 21, 2014 snow event as seen in this CWG entry.

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Overall, snow totals varied widely across parts of the Eastern U.S. from North Carolina to Massachusetts ranging from 0.5 inch in Raleigh, N.C., to 18.0 inches in Hanover, Mass., and widespread in New Jersey 10 to 12 inches.

Snowy ground outside my apartment building, 2000 block New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, D.C., 9:31AM January 22, 2014.

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As for tonight is a bitterly cold one under partly cloudy skies and with snow on the ground even here. The wind has slackened, though. Of course, here in my little apartment, it's quite pleasant with my old radiator hissing away and keeping it warm. (My kitchen window, though, has locked up owing to it being somehow frozen shut.)

Air temps today never made 20F at any of the regional climate stations and there were record low max temps at all three. Indeed, quoting from this CWG entry (which I edited slightly for clarity):

"High temperatures set records today for the coldest they've ever been on the date. All local airports set new marks. A high of 19F at Reagan National bested 21F last set in 1961, a high of 15F at Dulles beat 20F last set in 1970, and BWI (also) came in with 15F which undercut 19F [set] in 1961."

I looked up the Sterling LWX climate numbers here and these numbers match the daily climo summaries. Lows Wednesday morning were 9F at KDCA and 4F at both KBWI and KIAD. None of these were record lows (i.e., record low minimums). The daily record lows here in the depths of winter are extremely hard to break.

Snowy morning in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall with a lady walking by under an umbrella, January 21, 2014: Picture by Ian Livingston as posted in above-linked CWG entry.

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For January 22nd, the record lows were 1F at KDCA in 1893 (i.e., a pre-KDCA D.C. record) and a bone-chilling -7F at KBWI and a hard-to-believe -18F at KIAD set in 1984. Indeed, that 1/22/1984 record low at KIAD is an all-time extreme low for that climate station in its records stretching back to about 1960. As for the D.C. and Baltimore weather records, they go back to 1871, though in different locations.

Another view of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on a snowy day, January 21, 2014: Picture by Ian Livingston, as posted in above-linked CWG entry.

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As for the 1984 KIAD record, I'm finding it hard to believe that KIAD hit -18F while KDCA had to have been no lower than +2F, since no record was set. (It is given as a January extreme event, but the February one is -14F, and no other month can come close to those two for cold -- I don't even need to look that up, but you can do it here if you like.)

Anyway, tonight's lows may get down into the high single digits (except at KDCA, which will probably bottom out around 11F or 12F).

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Updated 8:15AM 1/24/2014

The CWG had an entry yesterday (Jan. 23rd) noting that the morning low at KIAD (Dulles Airport) was -2F, the coldest temp. since 2/6/1996, but that it was not a daily record low, the latter being -4F on 1/23/1978.

I posted a comment noting (as I did in this entry) that the 1/22/1984 all-time record low at KIAD of -18F and how it differed from KDCA by at least 20F, since the latter could not have dropped below 2F that morning based on the fact that the daily record low was -1F set way back on 1/22/1893 (that is, a pre-KDCA D.C. record and in the generally colder late 19th Century).

Another commenter ("CaradhrasAiguo"), who apparently has the KDCA daily temp. data set for that time, replied that the 1/22/1984 overnight low there was in fact 3F, meaning a temp. difference between the two stations that morning of 21F.

This person further noted that on 1/28/1987, KDCA hit a record low of -17F (its second coldest temp. ever, which the Sterling KIAD climate extremes page in fact shows), while the KDCA low was 7F (not a daily record low, that being -2F in 1935), or a 24F difference, which this individual states was the greatest temperature difference ever between the two.

Finally, this person noted that the high temp. later on 1/28/1987 was 35F, for a whopping diurnal range of 52F. That must have been a strange weather day (and, I imagine, the air very dry).

End of update.

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One of the military guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Arlington National Cemetery on a snowy morning, January 21, 2014: Picture by Kevin Ambrose, as posted in above-linked CWG entry.

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As for me, tonight after work, I went to the Anthony Bowen YMCA gym tonight -- the third night in a row -- and had more or less a full workout including the approx. 5-1/2 miles of treadmill jogging, weight-lifting (though that was a bit light), and half hour of swimming. I'm quite beat. Furthermore, I have a low-grade cold, and indeed, I would not have gone to the gym except I am not going now for upwards of five days because of the upcoming trip with Gary to Buffalo and Niagara Falls (yes, in the depths of a frigid, snowy winter).

I may go to the National Capital YMCA tomorrow (Thursday) night to swim in the big swimming pool, but I'm not sure about that. Regardless, I intend to stop by D-I-K and have dinner there.

A view of the U.S. Capitol Building and the Capitol Reflecting Pool in front of it on a soft, snowy night, January 21, 2014: Picture by Ian Livingston, as posted in above-linked CWG entry.

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I'm now home watching TV and have just finished dinner -- plain pork chops (heated in the stove) with just some olive oil, steamed rice, and steamed broccoli and carrots. Quite good.

As I write this (12:20AM), I'm watching an old rerun of Perry Mason on Me-TV.

It is the episode "The Case of Constant Doyle" and it stars the late, great Bette Davis as an attorney. In fact, it's a wonderful episode precisely because there is so little of Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) himself (he's supposed to be in the hospital and you don't see much of him) and instead it is an extended, virtuoso performance by Ms. Davis. The woman was awesome.

At 12:30AM is an episode of The Golden Girls on Hallmark -- the pilot episode. It follows the second of that dreadful show-ending two parter where Dorothy marries Blanche's relative.

Before I sign off, I want to call attention to this outstanding Jonathan Chait Daily Intelligencer blog entry (link embedded): I Have Seen the Future of the Republican Party, and It Is George W. Bush.


It features this important graphic from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing the debt-to-GDP ratio of the U.S. from 1949 through the present with the 2010 and 2013 CBO projections that captures the sharply falling Federal budget deficit due, in significant measure, to the downward bending of the medical inflation cost curve. But the Republican Radicals in Congress and the (as the great Paul Krugman says) "professional centrists" and "deficit scolds" in D.C. cannot acknowledge this reality because it runs counter to their goal of gutting the last of the welfare state (Social Security and Medicare) for their corporate oligarchical overclass masters.


The Chait piece concludes:

"If and when Republicans regain the White House, profligacy holds the key to their ideological salvation. Liberating themselves from austerity will allow them to back away from their brutal campaign of confiscating food stamps, Pell grants, and low-income tax credits, and still hand out tax cuts for the 1 percent. Tax cuts for one and all! That, after all, was the Bush formula: small elements of programmatic reform for low-income workers, stapled onto the agenda of The Wall Street Journal editorial page, all costs deferred.

A Republican Party that reprises the Bush era was a grim and unfathomable prospect in 2008, and is not exactly palatable now. But in the wake of the party's thrall to Ayn Rand and Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, a return to Bushism sounds almost comforting."

Ha ha

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OK, that's all for now. I may try to update this blog before I leave for Buffalo on Friday. If I do not and if I cannot post any entries while there, I may not have another blog entry until late Monday night or Tuesday next week (Jan. 27th or 28th).

--Regulus

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