Thursday, February 4, 2016

An Entry of No Particular Note -OR- Gloria in Excelsis Foggy Deo

The National Cathedral's towers appear to rise above a ground-hugging fog bank as seen across the Potomac River from an office window in Arlington's Rosslyn section on a gray, rainy day, 3:30PM February 3, 2016.

The fog bank was located somewhere in Georgetown, Burleith, or farther up Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. Directly across the river is the Georgetown University campus. This picture was taken by my co-worker Pete. The main tower of the Cathedra is called the Gloria in Excelsis and it contains the carillon and free-swinging bells on two different levels.

The towers still have scaffolding on their tops as part of the very slow reconstruction following damage due to the August 2011 earthquake.

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(I was unable to post this entry until this morning. Also, I don't have a lot of pictures for it.)

Well, I wanted to post a full entry tonight but it is already quarter after twelve (as in midnight) as I start this one -- and I'm quite tired. I had a long day at work and then a tiring, multi-part workout at the gym tonight. I came home by 1045PM and made dinner and now I'm doing two loads of laundry (well, two wash an three dry).

Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., in a picture taken last year on Aug. 19, 2015.

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I don't have to get up that early tomorrow because I am teleworking in the morning. This is because I am meeting my mom for lunch at our favorite restaurant -- Thunder Grill -- at Union Station. She is taking a MARC into D.C. from Anne Arundel County for a couple of hours.

Another office view from Rosslyn looking at the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., on a rainy day, 12:56PM February 3, 2016.

I took this picture with my flip-open cellphone's low-resolution, low-quality camera.

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Speaking of work and my new commute to my new office location in Rosslyn, this morning I walked to Farragut West instead of Foggy Bottom and it was 1 minute shorter (27 minutes). However, returning tonight, I realized that I overshot by two blocks where I should have gone -- all the way to 19th Street (partly because I had intended initially to walk to Foggy Bottom via New Hampshire Ave).

Rosslyn skyline as seen across the Potomac River with the Arlington Memorial Bridge in the foreground as seen on a sunny summer day.

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In fact, I can just walk directly down 17th Street -- right through the heart of the aging Gay Mafia's tiresome, old-school fiefdom (also known as the Crow-Duck Dynasty) that is hardly what it once -- to Farragut Square and enter the station on the east side. This probably is more like 25 minutes.

Anyway, long story short, it took me 39 minutes to get to work today rather than 40 minutes (again, there was no Metro delay).

As for next week, I'm supposed to be onsite at DOE HQ each of the five days -- and there no later than 915AM -- so my commute will briefly revert back to the U Street / Cardozo to L'Enfant Plaza in the morning.

Interior bar of the Post Pub, Washington, D.C., 7:59PM February 2, 2016.

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Last night, I departed work and stopped at the Post Pub -- a place I have gone with variable frequency over the last 20 years stretching back to the 1990s when I still lived in College Park (i.e., pre-February 2001). I actually had a nice dinner at the bar and then headed over to Trade where I texted and actually subsequently met Mark. I made it home by about 11PM and pretty much went right to bed.

Turning to the weather, it was quite rainy day as wave of low pressure rode along a vigorous frontal boundary approached the Eastern Seaboard although precipitation totals were a bit lower than the heavy rainfall suggested.

Two Sterling (LWX) radar images from earlier today with captions:

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar, standard base mode reflectivity, looped 1:03PM to 1:45PM EST Feb. 3, 2016.

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Sterling (LWX) NWS radar, standard composite mode, looped 2:04PM to 2:46PM EST Feb. 3, 2016.

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Tonight it is densely foggy and the remaining snow is melting like crazy -- even visibly sublimating into the fog, as I witnessed some old, dirty snow piles doing. It must be a real sight out in the areas where the snow cover remained.

The mid-winter cold water of the Potomac River -- unseen from this vantage point in a Rosslyn office building -- combined with the warmer, moisture-laden air to create an ethereal white fog, 3:30PM January 3, 2016.

The fog is visible through the bare trees.

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Interestingly, as I saw from Rosslyn office today, there was a thick, ghostly white fog along the Potomac as the warm, moist air interacted with the cold river water. My officemate took a picture of that -- posted directly above -- as well as the lead image to this entry of the towers of the National Cathedral -- including the main Gloria in Excelsis tower -- sticking up ABOVE a localized fog bank located over D.C. somewhere between the Cathedral grounds and our Rosslyn vantage point.

Rainfall totals for Feb. 3rd were as follows (and the rainfall was all-inclusive in the calendar day):

KDCA: 0.50 inches
KIAD: 0.76 inches
KBWI: 0.57 inches
KDMH: 0.54 inches

The rainfall has ended now and it is instead very foggy with some drizzle and quite mild around the area.

The rainfall and melting snow have caused numerous tributaries of the Potomac River such as the Cacapon, Opequon, and Monocacy (I love those names)and even upriver parts of the Potomac itself to rise to flood stage with flood warnings in effect. Here in D.C. and downriver in flood-prone Alexandria, it should avoid reaching actual flood stage.

The Sterling (LWX) CWA weather advisories as of 1:29AM February 4, 2016.

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Temperatures reached the mid-50s Fahrenheit (57F at KDCA, 54F at KIAD, and 56F at KBWI), all well below the daily record highs at any of the three airport climate stations. However, it is presently still quite warm in the fog and drizzle with temperatures still 55F at KDCA, 56F at KBWI, and 54F at KIAD at the midnight hour.

A very foggy night as seen from the intersection of New Hampshire Ave and V Street NW, Washington, D.C., 10:45PM February 3, 2016.

I was walking back from the gym.

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The cold front is moving only slowly toward the Eastern Seaboard as the upper low remains well back to the west. Furthermore, additional waves of low pressure are forecasted to develop along it tomorrow as it tries to clear the region. There is even a surface coastal low progged to form somewhere along the Outer Banks or Virginia Capes -- and it will be close call to see how near the precipitation shield gets to the D.C. area before the upper level low swings through and pushes it all out into the Atlantic.

High resolution NWS surface map, northeastern quadrant of the U.S., 3Z February 4, 2016.

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The air behind the front, especially tomorrow (Thursday) night into Friday morning would be cold enough for snow the Baltimore/Washington region but right now, the D.C. zone itself has only mostly cloudy skies.

Next week, it is forecasted to be rather cold and there are a few chances of snow showers but the initial idea of a major coastal low in the Monday - Tuesday time frame -- subject of this CWG entry by Wes Junker -- affecting our area appears now to have crapped out.

Avalanche ...

This image accompanies the David Roberts column that is linked below. It is a very appropriate image for the article. That mountain looks like it is in the Himalayas but I'm not sure. I suppose it could be the Canadian Rockies.

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There were some political columns and political commentary that I wanted to post but it just doesn't seem likely at this hour. I could just post the links ...

... including to pieces Andrew O'Hehir, Jonathan Chait, Paul Krugman, and this must-read one by David Roberts of Vox.com about what awaits Bernie Sanders if he is indeed the Democratic nominee.

(To be clear, I still don't think that will happen. I don't think the Democratic Party in the aggregate is that politically clueless.)

However, it's so late and even trying to post just the links is problematic, since it requires discussion (and thus more pictures to break up the text, whether or not they are topically related).

(I may return to the Vox.com one and just repost it outright since I think the topic is so important.)

That being the case, I'm just going to sign off now and go to bed. Tomorrow night is a non-gym night, so my next update might not be until Friday evening, although I'll try to post one before then.

--Regulus

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