Saturday, July 30, 2011

Endless Blue -OR- Notes from an Overheated and Mad World (Part 2)

**Updated 10:29PM 6/24/2014: See below.**

A loggerhead turtle swims in the warm, sunlit waters of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

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In Memoriam ...

K's close companion of seven years (R.), who had been sick for a long time suffering from cancer, passed away yesterday at his family's home in rural Michigan, whence he had returned from D.C. last January.

K. has not mentioned this yet on the Hippograms blog, but I want to note it here.

The full hippo pod last Easter in Michigan.

I have to visit K. today.

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OK, I was going to separate what follows into a separate entry but at this point it really wouldn't make much of a difference, so what follows is a standard bitchy Regulus entry in an overheated and crazy time.

I have no idea if this is a real 1930s era picture or not. Probably not.

Our criminally hot summer continues apace in the Washington / Baltimore area and northern South Atlantic (or more commonly, the "southern mid-Atlantic") region.

It reached 104F at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) yesterday (July 29th), a daily record and the hottest day since Aug. 17, 1997, when it hit 105F for the hottest day in 61 years (see below).

It was the third hottest temp on record and among the top 10 hottest days on record including 6 days at 104F, 2 days at 105F, and 2 days at 106F.

But seven (7) of those days including the two days of 106F were pre-DCA records when the official weather station was in D.C. proper (not sure exact location since it varied over time stretching back to 1871 when weather records began, but it has been at National Airport since 1941).

In particular for D.C.:

106F -- July 20, 1930 and August 6, 1918
105F -- August 17, 1997 and July 10, 1936
104F -- July 29, 2011; July 16, 1988; July 9, 1936; July 21, 1926; August 7, 1918; and Sept. 7, 1881.

Sources linked from here (see July and August).

DCA is currently at 93F today and it is the 13th consecutive day of 90F or higher. The longest stretch ever at DCA is 21 days set, I believe, in both 1988 and 1980.

We're probably going to make a run at that record.

Dulles hit 103F (after reaching an all-time-high of 105F last Friday) and BWI climbed to 101F (after reaching 106F last Friday, which was the second hottest ever for Baltimore behind only 107F set July 10, 1936 and the hottest ever at BWI itself). All three airports hit daily record highs yesterday.

The National Weather Service doesn't distinguish between pre-airport and airport periods but I do since it makes a big difference on extremes.

Of note, July 2011 is shaping up on average to be the hottest month in Washington, D.C. ever as measured at DCA -- surpassing the previous record of 83.1F set in July 2010 (last year) and previously in July 1993.

As of yesterday, DCA was running at 84.2F or +4.9F above the 1971-2000 thirty-year average and a full +1.1F above those previous records.

Oh, and yes, we're rapidly entering a flippin' drought as well.

A few thoughts:

1. The Sterling LWX crew are thrilled with this, as are the local TV weather-casters, except maybe for Bob Ryan.

In particular Sue Palka-cabra -- pictured here in her home -- is delighted.

**Updated 10:29PM 6/24/2014: Substantial content removed.**

This is a great image -- my favorite piece is that of Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (lower left corner) holding a wind turbine in Buddha Obama's direction.

Speaking of The Last Word, check out Lawrence O'Donnell's nothing-short-of-magical take-down of Rep. Joe Walsh -- a particularly obnoxious Know Nothing Teabagger House freshman who is also a self-promoting camera hog -- whom he BANNED from his MSNBC show The Last Word.

It turns out Joe Walsh is also a deadbeat dad, in arrears on his child support for three of his five kids to the tune of $117,437. Walsh found time to go on vacations with his girlfriend to Mexico and Italy and to "loan" his own campaign $35,000. Anyway,
O'Donnell "banned" him from his show until the bastard pays up.

Here is Walsh's official Congressional picture.

His silly hair aside, he just looks like a hose bag.

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More generally with my second point, I regret ever coming to D.C. back in 1992 and my life here has been a big and regretful waste. I wish I had somehow figured out to stay in New Jersey by the shore area whence I come.

3. I need to figure out how to move to a cool, wet climate -- I don't care if it is the Pacific Northwest or northern California coast; coastal Maine / New England; on the upper Great Lakes; or even southern New Zealand.

The blue sky -- endless frickin' blue sky on endless hot summer days -- behind / above the Brittany, the building located across the street from my apartment that fronts onto 16th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 1:42PM, July 30, 2011.

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OK, I think that's all for now. My next planned update won't be until early next week.

HUZZAH!


--Regulus

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