Updated 2:40PM 4/17/2011: Additional info on N.C. tornado outbreak. See bottom of entry.
The view from my apartment -- or rather, the view craning out the window after I removed the screen -- looking at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and 16th and U Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 6:34PM, April 16, 2011.
It's a stormy Saturday afternoon as a complex occluding cold frontal system with strong dynamics sweeps across the Eastern United States. Bands and clusters of squally thunderstorms are racing toward the northeast as the frontal system itself moves across the Eastern Seaboard.
The triple point --where the cold and warm fronts meet up and the occlusion process occurs -- was located near White Suphur Springs, W. Va., around 2PM (see above map) and is probably now (6PM-ish) passing within 75 miles of D.C. right about now. The occlusion extends back to the primary low which is near Traverse City, Mich.
As you can see by the set of radar and weather advisory map images below, comparing those from 1030AM this morning (I got up briefly to check the weather and save the images) from those late this afternoon, it turned into quite an active day.
The Sterling LWX radar in enhanced composite mode, 4:24PM EDT, April 16, 2011. Composite mode shows cloud activity as well as what is falling from them.
The Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) map advisories as of 4:25PM EDT April 16, 2011. Quite a colorful map.
Outside -- where I have not been all day as I didn't actually get up until about 4PM -- it is a gusty, showery, mild day with temps around 62F and the occasional rumble of thunder.
Another view from my apartment looking at the same New Hampshire Avenue and 16th and U Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., on a stormy day, 5:38PM, April 16, 2011.
Even the pollen hasn't been agonizingly high this season (so far), thanks to the cool and damp weather of the past few weeks.
Not to fret, though, all you heat and drought-lovers: the Sterling LWX crew and Miss
Chupa Palkacabra herself are working their weather black magic to make it an appalling summer.
Area rainfall totals have been between 1/4 and 1/2 inch so far today it's not a particularly heavy event. I will update the precipitation totals here as of the end of today.
Updated 3:00AM 4/17/2011: Here are the numbers through 11:59PM EDT today with normals in parentheses. We ended up with 0.6 to 1.3 inches of rainfall today -- a decent amount.
Month: 2.00" +0.54" (1.46")
Year: 10.77" -0.13" (10.90")
Month: 2.58" +0.99" (1.59")
Year: 12.92" +0.91" (12.01")
Month: 3.05" +1.39" (1.66")
Year: 12.20" +1.17" (11.03")
Turning from the weather ...
I went to my first doctor appointment in about 8 years -- to a MedStar facility -- and the doctor saw me for a full hour, which was a lot more than I thought I'd get and far longer than the 5 minutes you get at the GWU hospital complex.
The doctor thinks inadequate sleep might be one of the causes for all my recent maladies, in addition to the extreme psychological stress I always seem to be under (whether self-imposed or not).
He suspects my 6 to 7 hours of sleep is quite unrestful and not therapeutic.
My blood pressure was once again a bit elevated (140/90 initially and later 130/90).
I used to have perfectly normal blood pressure.
Blood pressure chart. Click on it for a larger version.
My symptoms are dizzy feelings, waves of quick migraine-like headaches, and heart flutters ... These are not debilitating but the fact that I'm getting all of this when I used to always be so healthy (physically that is, mentally is entirely another topic) is really worrying me.
The sleep issue may also be causing metabolism issues as well, even as I careen through my early 40s.
The doctor gave me two referrals both to Georgetown Hospital -- one for the dermatologist (I want a certain red blotch removed) and the other for the sleep clinic.
I was supposed to go back to the facility today to get some blood drawn but I simply could not get it. It wasn't a set appointment but rather walk-in, so I will go again another day.
Whatever the mind-body interaction -- and in the end, I guess it's really the same thing, since we are just physical beings and not a "spirit" poured into some vulgar corporeal "bag" of carbon, water, oxygen, and whatnot -- no matter what we would like to believe.
What do the Teabaggers think about this issue?
Well, anyway, I don't even feel that well right now as I think my blood pressure is elevated again. I hope I don't have to go on medication for that but I may at some point ...
Last night, I went to Nellie's with Kristof, Gary and Wendy.
It was quite nice, although the place was mobbed. We had our picture taken by that ubiquitous Metro Weekly photographer. But he was kind enough to show us the results -- and to take a second one after I came out looking like the usual constipated leprechaun in the first one. If the picture does appear in MW, hopefully it will be that second, better one.
On the walk back home toward 16th Street, Kristof, Wendy and I stopped at the old Polly's Cafe, now called Desperados. I had never been there before but I had a friend once (Paul) who used to love it there, and now I see why.
Yesterday, I actually had to go back to the dentist because my temporary crown fell out while I was flossing.
No, not that kind of crown.
I didn't even realize it had come out until I felt a gap back there in my mouth. Fortunately, the tooth didn't go down the drain.
I had the temp put in on March 28th. My permanent crown arrived about a week ago, but I can't have it put in until I can afford to pay the remaining $271.75 I owe. That is, my dentist is holding the permanent crown hostage, so to speak, but he (or rather his assistant) was kind enough to put the temp back in for free.
I can pay the remaining amount on my next paycheck, which arrives April 25th. If my FSA card ever arrives with the $360 on it, I can go before then, but I'm not counting on this.
Also yesterday, I sent in my taxes to the IRS and to the D.C. OTR, although I think the actual due date this year is April 18th.
I mailed them from the downtown 20th Street station near Farragut West, which is also near my dentist.
I took an extra long lunch break, or rather I took 90 minutes of leave time.
In all for 2010, I owed $232.69 to the IRS and $34 to D.C. as a result of that damn 1099 work last year, but that was nothing like what I owed in 2009 ($1250 and $171, respectively, on a far lower income ($15,000 versus $43,000).
Too bad I don't earn a massive tip-inflated income as a beautiful gay local celebrity bartender. It must be great to be that guy.
OK, I think that's all for now. I haven't yet made it outside -- I didn't actually get up until 4PM this afternoon. I may go back to Nellie's or to Larry's Lounge tonight.
This is actually the weekend of the annual Earth Day festivities on the National Mall. I may go down there tomorrow (the weather is supposed to be sunny) to check it out, if I can get up on time.
My next planned update will be Monday or Tuesday.
A rather powerful line of thunderstorms -- with tornado warnings and a general tornado watch until 9PM -- is moving across the area (in particular Montgomery and Frederick Counties, Md.) ahead of the actual cold front.
Rather dramatic looking Sterling (LWX) radar standard composite mode, 7:19PM EDT, April 16, 2011, showing this line of thunderstorms.
OK, that really is all for now. I need to get showered / dressed / ready. LP and I are going to dinner tonight -- I want to go to Martin's in Georgetown -- and then either to Nellie's or Larry's Lounge.
UPDATED 2:40PM 4/17/2011:
The same weather system caused an outbreak of tornadoes across North Carolina, killing at least 22 people. This is the deadliest tornado outbreak in North Carolina since March 1984. In all this weather system claimed over three dozen lives across the U.S.
Full story here and here.