Saturday, January 23, 2016

"Snowzilla" Update - A Memorable but (So Far) Not Unprecedented D.C. Snowstorm and a Happy Birthday to My Dad

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

View from my Hampton Courts apartment overlooking 16th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., during "Snowzilla" snowstorm, 10:03AM January 23, 2016.

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It's 11AM as I write this and it continues to snow. While there have been bursts of heavy, wind-driven snow, I am not sure this qualifies as a blizzard. However, blizzard warnings remain in effect and the storm has not fully cranked up yet nor started to pull away.

Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) advisories as of 10:51AM January 23, 2016.

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Here is a Capital Weather Gang entry being updated during the storm:

Blizzard warning updates: Thundersnow and near-blizzard conditions as white stuff piles well past one foot by Dan Stillman. (Note that the blog post title on this has changed a few times. I'm not going to update it. The link works, though.)

Oh, and here is a nice entry by Kevin Ambrose and Wes Junker featuring pictures from the top snowstorms in Washington, D.C.:Where Snowzilla fits into D.C.'s top 10 snowstorms.

Apparently there was thunder and lightning heard in Rockville and Grosvenor early this morning, as both LP and DD related to me.

My mom and some friends (Andrea and DD) have sent me pictures that I am including in this entry.

Another view from my apartment looking down on parked snowbound cars, 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 10:03AM January 23, 2016.

Yes, the cars park on a diagonal on this part of New Hampshire Ave. I recall cars parked that way on Henry Street in South Amboy, N.J., where my maternal grandmother used to live -- and as a young child, it always confused me.

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Bands of moderate to heavy snow are forming south and east of D.C. and moving to the northwest as the low really starts to wind up. The radar presentation shows this well.

The NWS composite radar mosaic loop for the northeastern U.S., 1218 to 1328UTC January 23, 2016.

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So far, snow totals are in excess of 12" area-wide and in the range of 14 to 18 inches. According to a snow total statement from Sterling (LWX) updated at 10AM, as of 7AM this morning, National Airport itself (KDCA) has managed to pick up 14.0 inches and BWI Airport (KBWI) 12.4 inches while Dulles Airport (KIAD) had 15.2 inches.

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped from 938AM to 1020AM Jan. 23, 2016.

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Six hours earlier ...

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped from 438AM to 520AM Jan. 23, 2016.

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The White House weather station had 12.2 inches as of 5AM and the U.S. Capitol 15 inches as of 750AM.

There is the usual spread between the Blue Ridge / Allegheny Front and the coastal plain west of the Chesapeake: 18 to 24 inches versus 8 to 15 inches with some overlap.

Left: Andrea measured 17.5 inches at her house in the Michigan Park section of D.C. on Emerson Street this morning at 750AM.

The snow should continue through early evening until the coastal low pulls away. I would estimate perhaps an additional 6 to 8 inches will fall.*

*Except at KDCA, where the snow total will probably manage to go DOWN.

From the 4:02AM Sterling (LWX) area forecast discussion (interspersed with two pics that DD sent me from Rockville and one from the Washington Post):

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...LAND AND BUOY OBS INDICATE 988 MB LOW OFF OF THE NC/VA BORDER CLOSER TO THE GFS FCST POSITION. DEEP CLOSED LOW IS LOCATED OVER THE TRI-STATE AREA OF ERN KY/SRN WV/SW VA BASED ON WATER VAPOR IMAGERY AND SPECIAL 06Z UPPER AIR PLOTS FROM REGIONAL SITES. MID-LEVEL DRY SLOT IS PIVOTING NWD ACROSS THE TIDEWATER AREA ABOUT TO MOVE INTO SRN MD.

My friend DD's yard in Rockville, Md., earlier this morning during the big snowstorm. That is one of his two young children playing in the snow.

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LATEST GFS APPEARS TO HAVE BETTER INITIALIZATION THAN ECMWF WITH ALL FEATURES...SFC POSITION...CLOSED UPPER LOW AND MID-LEVEL DRY SLOT. BASED ON THIS SOLUTION...DRY SLOT WILL WORK INTO KING GEORGE ...SRN MD AND STAYING JUST SOUTH AND EAST OF THE CAPITAL BELTWAY AND I-95 CORRIDOR. IN THIS AREA SOME SNOW AND SLEET MIX HAS BEEN OBSERVED BASED ON SPOTTER REPORTS AND LOW VALUES OF DUAL-POL CORRELATION COEFFICIENT. THIS IS ONLY GOING TO BE SHORT-LIVED AS COLDER AIR STARTS MOVING IN ALOFT AFTER 12Z PER LOWERING 850-700 MB THICKNESSES AS INDICATED BY ALL GUIDANCE.

DD's yard in Rockville, Md., as seen during the snowstorm earlier today.

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HEAVY SNOW AND NEAR OR WHITEOUT CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE IN THE COMMA HEAD REGION AND DEFORMATION BAND IN THE AREA BETWEEN INTERSTATES 81 AND 95 AND NORTH OF I-66. IN THIS AREA...NESDIS MERGED SNOWFALL RATE PRODUCT CURRENTLY SHOWS SNOWFALL RATES OF 1-2 INCHES PER HOUR.

Deep snow in the wee hours of January 23, 2016 on a residential street somewhere here in Washington, D.C.

I got this picture off the Washington Post website. The street was not identified.

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BOTH GFS AND ECMWF SHOW AN ADDITIONAL FOOT AND HALF OF SNOW THROUGH 06Z SUN BRINGING STORM TOTALS IN THE 25-30 INCH RANGE IN THAT AREA. STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH MIDNIGHT TONIGHT CREATING CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WITH BLIZZARD CONDITIONS IN THE BLIZZARD WARNING AREA.

SFC AND UPPER LOW WILL BEGIN TO MOVE OUT TO SEA TONIGHT WITH SNOW EXPECTED TO END AROUND MIDNIGHT SAT NIGHT.

View this morning from my mom and Ray's little place in Millersville, Md., January 23, 2016.

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As for last night, well, I'm not sure how it went ...

It started out with my neighbor-friend Fred and I walking to Trade. We headed down 16th Street, meeting Gary at T Street. Trade was fine and we had a fun time. Then we went to Floriana, where things start to get fuzzy. Then I went to Larry's Lounge, and there things just sort of ended in a blur.

I somehow lost Gary -- either there or in the snow -- but he never came home with me as planned.

Except for the blizzard part, the usual ...

Gary and I last night Two young ladies in Washington, D.C.'s legendary "Knickerbocker Snowstorm" of Jan. 1922 when 28.0 inches of heavy, wet snow fell.*

*Not measured at National Airport, which did not then exist.

The storm is so called because the weight of the snow collapsed the roof of the old Knickerbocker Theatre in Adams Morgan during a crowded movie show, killing 98 people.

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1631 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., last night 5:46PM Jan. 22 2016 as the snow was starting to accumulate.

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For some reason this morning, I have that joke from Wanda Sykes stuck in my head where she incredulously mocks those Activia yogurt commercials back in 2012. The only part I am remembering is "CUZ JAMIE LEE CURTIS CAN'T TAKE A SHIT!"

OK, I'm going to try to get my day started.

Oh, yes, today is my dad's 75th birthday. He's down in Flagler Beach, Florida, so no snow for him.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad holding me as a 1-year old baby outside Middlebrook Apartments in Ocean Township, N.J., January 1971.

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My dad and I with our bull mastiff dog "Borky" in our house in Long Branch, N.J., circa 1977

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And now I really will get my day started, although it mostly will entail walking in the snow, getting lunch, and drinking.

--Regulus

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