Friday, October 28, 2011

Washington Snow in October -OR- "Sock it to D.C.?"

Showery, blustery, gloomy, lovely autumn evening, Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., 6:19PM Oct. 27, 2011.

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In the above picture, a front had pushed through with much colder temperatures following ... and ...

... drum roll ...

... IT MAY ACTUALLY SNOW IN D.C. IN OCTOBER??*

To paraphrase then-candidate Richard Nixon on Rowen & Martin's Laugh-In in Sept. 1968 (with his incredulous and questioning inflection): "Sock it to ME??"

*I'm skeptical.

OK, first thing's first -- there is a VERY early season SNOW EVENT in the forecast for the mid-Atlantic region including portions of the Metro Washington, D.C., and Metro Baltimore areas with accumulating snowfall even in the near-in suburbs and potentially on grassy surfaces within the District itself.

The Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) webpage as of 8PM EDT, Oct. 28, 2011.

Indeed, there is a winter storm warning in effect for all the farther out northern and western suburbs and extending beyond that into the Pennsylvania and West Virginia. There is a winter weather advisory for the immediate northern and western suburbs including Montgomery County, and even for Baltimore City proper but not the District.

It's too early in the winter season and I'm simply not up for writing a big, long, complicated entry (that no one reads) describing the differences in the latest model runs of the NAM, GFS, and ECMWF.

The 18Z 28 Oct 2011 GFS valid at 15Z (11AM EDT) Oct. 29, 2011 showing MSLP, 6-hr precip, and 850mb temp. This shows heavy rain here since the 850mb 0C line is west of here. The 0C line sweeps east of us by 21UTC (5PM EDT) and a period of snow ensues.

The next image is the same model run and parameters as above except 6 hours later at 21Z (5PM EDT).

Anyway, I'll just paraphrase info from the 6:33PM Sterling (LWX) discussion this evening:

The first phase of a "potent and complex storm" will cross the mid-Atlantic region tonight. It will bring mostly light rain and a mix of rain and snow in the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Front. The second phase -- now a series of small-scale vorticity maxima -- will phase together and help to bomb out a coastal low off Cape Hatteras by tomorrow morning. The phasing will help with cold air advection even as the storm generates its own cold air.

Surface weather map forecast valid at 12Z (7AM EDT), Oct. 29, 2011.

Precip. in the D.C. area should be mostly light and liquid until intensification occurs, at which point it will pick up in intensity. The changeover to heavy snow should occur from the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah to the Potomac Highlands and into the outer suburbs.

By mid-afternoon, it may snow in the District and Baltimore proper.

Totals will range from 4 to 8 inches in the mountains to 1 to 2 in the northern and western D.C./Balt suburbs and some slush and light accumulations on grassy surfaces. The storm will pull out by tomorrow evening with gusty, cold conditions.

The NWS snowfall forecast for 8PM 28 Oct - 8PM 29 Oct. 2011 issued at 6:35PM EDT.

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This is about a month out of season (on the early side) and it would mark the first accumulating snowfall in D.C. proper (officially at everyone's favorite, Reagan Washington National Airport) in the month of October since 1979 when 0.3" fell at DCA on Oct. 10th.

In that same event on that same day, 0.3" also fell at BWI Airport and 1.3" fell at Dulles Airport (IAD).

Apparently, that event 32 years ago coincided with Game 1 of the Pirates / Orioles World Series baseball game in Baltimore at the old/long-gone Memorial Stadium.

Also, I believe it rapidly warmed up to around 80F within a few days of that event.

Below are some additional October snowfall numbers for DCA, BWI, and IAD. It is taken adapted from the same LWX discussion. Keep in mind that while the full Washington, D.C., and Baltimore records go back to the late 19th Century (1884 and 1892 for snowfall, respectively), the actual airport locations date back to (I believe) 1941 and 1950. For IAD, it is 1962.

Anyway, here are the numbers -- and, no, the picture below is not a D.C. autumn snow picture. I'm hardly likely to have found one of those. I think it is from near Boulder, Colorado.

No, this is not a autumn snow picture -- I'm hardly likely to find one of those. It's near Boulder, Colorado.

Washington, D.C. (DCA)
2.2 inches -- 30-31 Oct 1925
1.5 inches -- 19-20 Oct 1940
0.3 inches -- 10 Oct 1979

Baltimore, Md. (BWI)
2.5 inches -- 30 Oct 1925
1.3 inches -- 19-20 Oct 1940
0.3 inches -- 10 Oct 1979

Dulles Airport (IAD)
0.1 inches 19 Oct 1972
1.3 inches 10 Oct 1979

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Why I Hate the Stock Market

I had planned to write more about my week and to complain about the agony of the past few weeks in having to suffer through this 15 to 20% rise in the frickin' stock market -- that penultimate embodiment of the financialized economy and society that only blows asset bubbles (popping with increasing violence), the instrument of corporate oligarchical intrigue in the late stage American Empire.

I despise the Dow Jones average (the DJIA) and all those indexes as the daily barometers of everything wrong with our Empire. It is morally offensive to every value I hold. (My own little 401-K that I was compelled to start about two months ago is 100% in Treasury bonds and bills, and I don't really care what you think about that.)

It is particularly dreadful to watch as "the market" "soars" on a given day or week -- such as because the GDP number inched up 2.5% in a meaningless way ...

... or the stupid Europeans came up with YET ANOTHER purported solution to the historical and tragic mess that is their euro dream [READ: As aptly described by the Great Paul Krugman, a 21st Century continent-wide version of a Gold Standard, a fiscal straitjacket run by German bankers, made unworkable by asset bubbles and uncontrolled capital flows, and its ruination guaranteed by the ECB and more generally the elite pundit class of "Very Serious People" with their "expansionary austerity" ideology, itself ultimately a global tool of deflationary economics -- as benefits the rentier class].

Ha ha -- Married ... With Children screenshot.

This is because it means a continuation of the American historical agony because it extends the awfulness of our time, if only because the Great American Classless Society Middle becomes duped YET AGAIN by the forces of oligarchical overclass intrigue of the supremacy of the Empire and its ways (even while really just being a tool of it).

Let's put it this way: The nano-second any middle-class office park cubicle drone needs his or her retirement, their stock portfolio will crash to pennies on the dollar as the oligarchical overclass steals it and enslaves them. And it's not just the GOP -- it's the Robert Rubin / DLC wing of the Democratic Party.

God Bless America. And The Washington Post.

The Washington Post. 

The elite rag that waves the Flag-of-Empire and the essence of corporate media amorality, false equivalencies, warmongering, and always-wrong-about-everything editorial nihilism.

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My Week

Other than that, I actually had a decent week. The work function party I attended on Wednesday night at the Hyatt Regency in Capitol Hill was pleasant enough, except I went with some co-workers to the nearby bar My Brothers Place.

The main central hall of Union Station, Washington, D.C., 6:27PM, Oct. 26, 2011. (I went there heading over to the Hyatt Regency.)

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My Brothers Place ... I have a storied history with that place involving, yes, Phil back when we were friends back in the mid-1990s). I should not have gone there. First of all, I was about 18 years older than most of the people there. Secondly, the shot I had was a mistake and I was in agony the next day (I even had to go into work 2 hours late).

The Center Cafe in Union Station at gloomy evening, Washington, D.C., 6:40PM, Oct. 26, 2011.

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I didn't really stay that long, and instead, I took a cab (I'm not sure why) to K and 17th Streets and then walked up 17th Street before going home through the Gay Forbidden Zone. I'm not sure if I saw Mr. Sirius. BTW, I keep picturing him wearing that mask and in those Batman Underoos, or whatever that costume he was wearing in that Metro Weekly pic.

Gloomy fall evening, 1900 block, Washington, D.C., 6:26PM, Oct. 27, 2011.

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OK, I think that's all for now. I am doing my laundry and watching funny reruns of Married ... With Children on TV Land. I will likely go to Larry's Lounge and/or Nellie's later.

G'night, all.

--Regulus

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