Thursday, June 21, 2012

Too Damn Flippin' Hot Outside -OR- Excessive Early Summer Heat

Fall foliage along the Big Carp River in the Porcupine Mountains of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

It doesn't look like that outside my window right now here in shitty D.C.


I'm in a flippin' horrible mood as I start this entry around 530PM-ish, so I'm not sure how I'm going to get through it.

In fact, I really ought not write it at all as I am really sick of blog posting. But more on that shortly.

Updated 12:10AM 6/21/2012: I am finishing this entry after a nice time at the Post Pub.


For starters, it's flippin' disgustingly hot today ...

... with temps in the upper 90s Fahrenheit and dew points even in their late afternoon mixed out "low" around 62F -- and  sure to spike into the  70s F during the night when the atmosphere settles down.

It reached 99F at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). BWI Marshall Airport reached 100F while Washington Dulles Int'l Airport (IAD) reached "only" 96F (its daily record was 98F in 1988).

The 99F at DCA broke the 98F daily record set in 1923, 1933, and 1988; the 100F at BWI tied the 1923 record. In both cases the 1923 record and the 1933 one for DCA are actually pre-airport records and really ought not count given where that stupid weather / climate station is now located on the airport grounds alongside the Potomac or in a field -- both outside the city).

DCA's automated surface observing system (ASOS) weather station -- aerial view.


BWI's ASOS -- ground north view.


I'm not going to get into a big, lengthy, tortured hot weather discussion -- if you want the stats, look them up yourself on the Sterling / LWX NWS site -- except to say a few things:

Even with yesterday's 98F high at DCA, the first 20 days of June 2012 were actually running -0.7F below normal. The previous two Junes and Julys were beastly hot including a record hot June in 2010 and a record hot July in 2011 at DCA. (I don't feel like looking up the BWI and IAD numbers now.)

This must be why the GOP/Teabagger crowd -- the shocktroops of Koch Brothers / corporate oligarchical overclass "reactionary intrigue" -- shriek so loudly about "global cooling."

Theirs is an amoral upside-down Alice-in-Wonderland bizarro world that only a corporate media whore who is desperate for some fraudulent balance, or a bought-and-paid for corporate whore pundit or bogus intellectual at this-or-that rightwing foundation-funded think tank, could take seriously.

Speaking of global warming, it's the overnight low temps. that are consistently setting new record high minimums, esp. in temperate and sub-Arctic locations and esp. in wintertime.


Secondly, my hunch was correct: The Philadelphia area (part of the Mount Holly / PHI NWS forecast office) uses a different procedure for determining when to issue an excessive heat warning versus a heat advisory in the mid-Atlantic.

Here is a map -- which I've modified slightly to include temperature in Fahrenheit label -- showing the excessive heat warning criteria used by the NWS for parts of the Eastern U.S.

An excessive heat warning occurs when the forecast is for a "heat index of at least 105F for more than 3 hours per day for 2 consecutive days, or heat index more than 115F for any period of time."

Here is a map -- which I've modified slightly to include temperature in Fahrenheit label -- showing the heat advisory criteria used by the NWS for parts of the Eastern U.S.

A heat advisory occurs when the forecast is for "a heat index of at least 105F but less than 115F for less than 3 hours per day, or nighttime lows above 80F for 2 consecutive days."

However -- as shown here in the advisories map updated at 833PM June 20, 2012 -- the Mount Holly NWSFO uses the "Kalkstein procedures" for Philadelphia and its surrounding areas that somehow (unsure how) takes into account the city's susceptibility to urban heat-related deaths. The procedures are named for Prof. Laurence S. Kalkstein of the University of Miami.

I'm not sure why it includes half or all of Burlington and Mercer Counties, N.J., and Bucks County, Pa., but it does.

The Mount Holly area advisories shows up at the edge of the Sterling area map, in particular, a sliver of Chester County, Pa. (circled), such as it appears on the LWX CWA map.

I discovered this in an interesting article here on the local WJLA tv station "blog." (I still don't understand why Bob Ryan, an excellent local TV meteorologist for 35+ years, left channel 4 WRC to go to channel 7 with frickin' Doug Hill.)

As it is, the LWX crew are quite legalistic about when these thresholds are reached: It suspect that it has to be in the shade at the DCA weather station thermometer, which is kind of absurd. The Sterling crew also drop heat advisories -- as they did this afternoon by 6PM (see above map) -- the nanosecond it isn't at threshold levels at whatever dream location they favor.

Given the fatalities caused by heat, esp. among vulnerable populations, I think that's irresponsible. I also think the 105F reading is simply too high even here.

Thirdly, only a deranged person or she-dragon could love this kind of heat.

The good news is that the heat is supposed to break and there is a good chance -- at least for now -- of needed rainfall in the form of thunderstorms by tomorrow night. Right now, everything is capped in the D.C. area.


As for me, I got to work at 10AM (too late) and left early (430PM) -- yes, I owe at least another 90 minutes of work -- and I rode the Metro Green Line to and from L'Enfant Plaza. As a result, I avoided massive commuter throngs -- and any of Metro's now-ubiquitous hot weather "hot cars" in which the a/c has malfunctioned.

OK, that's enough weather.


For the remainder of this entry, I am out of photos for the time being ... I may update the entry with some additional photos ...

My second topic involved this blog. This is my 682nd entry on this blog. I have been posting blog updates regularly for six and a quarter years now (since March 2006), including four and a quarter with this blog (since March 2008).

If you include the 200 or so entries on my now-seldom-updated and hidden Arcturus / Dark Matter blog. Add to that the 430 or so on my old Arcturus blog and 60 or so on my short-lived Procyon blog, and that comes to about 1,370 entries. Even assuming 3 hours per entry -- and it was probably more like 4-1/2 hours per entry on average -- that works out to 4,110 hours or 171 days.

Let's just say 180 days.

That means that of the past 6-1/2 years, a full 1/2 year has been spent blogging or over 7 percent of the time. That's one out of every 13 minutes. For 6-1/2 years. That's ridiculous.

Today saw some unwanted blog visits -- in the form of at least 300 hits from somewhere in Lubbock, Texas (though in fact, with the anonymous electronic sewer that is the internet, who the hell knows where). I finally blocked the counts on my StatCounter. I'm not sure what that was about -- some "denial of servicehorseshit" attack or some nefarious "bot" or Chinese or Russian-borne internet criminal enterprise or viral garbage. Or maybe America's doing it to Iran again.

In short, I hates the internets.

It's a sick, immoral, and fetid invention based upon corporate theft -- or otherwise general scamming -- and driven by the "thrill" of would-be sex that is itself a weird and unfulfilling proxy for a pathetic lost and hopeless search for love. It thus captures the best of the human race. And God.

Anyway, I actually left work early today as I was feeling so fat and just wanted to get home. I'm supposed to meet A. and her husband at the Post Pub this evening. At this point, I think I may finally rejoin the YMCA when I get my next paycheck. (Yes, I live flippin' paycheck to flippin' paycheck. That's the beautiful bullshit libertarian essence of America.)



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