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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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??

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

--Regulus

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