Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Arrives in Washington, D.C. (Updated)

Updated 10:21PM EST 12/15/2010: Well, I ended up serving on the jury of a criminal trial, and it continues tomorrow (Thursday), but I can't say any more than that right now. I will update this blog tomorrow or Saturday (I'm busy Friday with the office holiday party).

Star gazers in the Maranjab desert of Iran peer up at the waning crescent Moon and Venus in the pre-dawn sky watching for the Geminid meteor shower. Source: Dec. 13, 2010 APOD.


This is just a (genuinely) was supposed to be a quick update as I'm supposed to meet Mark D. at Cobalt for an hour or so, and then I have to come home and go straight to bed because tomorrow I have -- damn it -- frickin' jury duty here in D.C.

Now if it like the last time I was swept up by D.C.'s dysfunctional and ridiculous Superior Court system, I sat in a crowded room for about an hour and a half with other prospective jurors and was let go. Nevertheless, I still have to be at the H. Carl Moleturd Moultrie Courthouse at 8AM at Ghettoshittiary Square.

I think the whole system is ridiculous -- sweeping up large numbers of people and then playing some silly mental chess game over who should be disqualified.

And D.C. has the nerve to have justitia omnibus as its motto. Please.

Well, I suppose it's better to serve on one (which I do not expect to have to do, if only because the questionnaire process will disqualify me) than be in front of one.

Small claims court was enough ... twice. (That second visit was more interesting.) And I have a feeling I'll be dragged there again for the unpaid credit card bills.


The Weather: Blustery Cold and D.C. Lake Effect Snow??

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard base mode, 11:09PM, Dec. 13, 2010 showing isolated narrow snow streamer setting up along Potomac River reaching to the D.C. area.


Anyway, I didn't start this entry to write about that. Instead, I wanted to relate about how bitterly cold and gusty windy it has been the past 24 hours here in the D.C. area -- and how a rather unusual snow streamer set up aligned right along the Potomac River stretching from the Potomac Highlands / West Virginia panhandle southeastward across the D.C. area and down to Calvert County on the Chesapeake Bay.

LWX radar image at 11:14PM EST, Dec. 13, 2010.


While flurries were in the forecast, it was only a 20% chance for D.C., rising ridiculously fast in the gridded zones to 40% in Potomac, Md., and points NW.

On the radar, it looked like a Great Lakes or Appalachian Mountains -- Alleghenies and/or Blue Ridge -- snow streamer / snow squall. The images in this entry are JPEGs of the Sterling (LWX) radar.

LWX radar at 12:07AM, Dec. 14, 20120 right about when snow was heaviest in D.C.


In the read world, it actually snowed moderately -- with gusty winds blowing the snow around wildly in the 22F air -- for a brief period. The streamer actually dropped measurable snow EVEN AT National Airport (DCA), the first of the season with 0.2 falling. HOWEVER, that number showed up in a public info statement*, not the daily climate summaries, which instead had the usual TRACE, so I'm not sure.

*I can't link to the statement because the link changes as new statements are issued.

Thus, it was officially unofficially the first recorded snow at DCA. Guess you-know-who was on duty.

View from my 5th floor apt last night as a moderate snow shower dusted New Hampshire Avenue and the parked cars below in the cold air, Washington, D.C., 12:28AM, Dec. 14, 2010.


Another system is forecasted to graze the area as it passes across North Carolina and Virginia on Thursday -- possibly bringing a bit of snow. Thereafter, a significant coastal low could form on Sunday, Dec. 19th. Or not.

The 12UTC GFS run today shows the feature very well, but it is almost certainly likely to vanish in the next run as these things typically do.

Here is the 12UTC GFS for today showing the storm at 120 hours, valid 12Z (7AM EST) Dec. 19, 2010. It shows MSLP, 850mb temps, and 6-hr precip.

Whatever happens, Dec. 19th is the one-year anniversary of the first of the three big snowstorms last winter here in D.C.


OK, that's all for now. I'll refrain from any political diatribes in this entry -- I mean, how many times can one note with awe the massive cave-ins of President Barack Obama.

While my expectations were always low, even I'm surprised at the scale and scope of the collapse of his presidency and all that hopey-changey-we-are-the-ones-we've-been-waiting-for stuff.

Guess it's going to be President Mitt Romney come 2013.


Richard Holbrooke Memory

Oh, yes, upon the passing of America's super-diplomat Richard Holbrooke, I wanted to note my own little story involving him. I actually met Holbrook one night -- circa 1998, I think, though I can't actually recall the year but it was definitely in the late Clinton era 1990s -- at National Airport.

I had gone there to meet that jackass Tim I used to like so much. I recall being there on a warm summer night and I was in shorts and must have looked ridiculous.

I saw him and started talking to him although I think I came across a bit nutty. I was a very different type of person then. I watched him buy something at a concession stand sort of place with a $100 bill.

That's the whole story. I talked to him (haven't a clue about what) for maybe 3 minutes.

I disagree with his view that we should be in Afghanistan until we somehow "fix" it, as he elaborated in an interview with Rachel Maddow earlier this year. After all, this is the same Holbrooke who authored part of the Pentagon Papers. You can read about his life here.

Speaking of things Middle Eastern and diplomatic ...

I found this nice picture of a mosque's turret as the Sun sets over the Persian Gulf. But it accompanied an article explaining that the Iranians get upset when it is called the Arabian Gulf. Undoubtedly, that's why the Navy does it.


OK, I think that's all for now. My next planned update will be in a day or two.



krzysztof said...

The best way not to get picked at a jury selection is to say (slowly, in an old man voice):

If ever I saw a guilty man that's HIM

and point at the judge

Regulus said...

As you know, K., I ended up serving on the trial ... the details of which I am not at liberty to divulge until such time as the trial is over or I've had 3 drinks. Just kidding.

Good seeing you last night.