Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Greater D.C. Area and Greenlandic Weather Observations and Glenn Greenwald Commentary

An aerial view of a rather ice-free river and surrounding rugged landscape near Qaqortoq in far southern Greenland.


Just a quick update ...

I'm back from the gym tonight where I had a good workout overall - 5.4 mile jog, approx. 1 hour of light to moderate weight-lifting, and 20 to 25 minute swim. Not sure if I'll go tomorrow.

Today was another hottish and very humid day with highs reached 92F at KDCA and dew points about 70F. It reached 90F at KBWI and 89F at KIAD.

The NWS / NCEP / WPC surface forecast map for the Lower 48 valid at hour 24 / 12Z 13 August 2013.


The weather may turn active in the next 12 hours as a warm front pushes northward (if it hasn't already) with a minor disturbance on it followed by a relatively (for this time of year) cold frontal passage. The atmosphere is forecasted to become more unstable overnight into tomorrow (higher CAPE) along with higher precipitable water values. The guidance has up to an inch of rain at KDCA and a bit more around KBWI and into northeastern Maryland.

NWS / NCEP / WPC two day QPF for days 1 and 2 valid 0Z 13 August - 0Z 14 August 2013.


I just hope we get an inch or so of rain, though I'd be happy with a half inch. Thereafter, the weather looks to be sunny and not hot with highs around 80F for the remainder of the week.

Of note, the "mid-summer" period has proven to be unusually humid -- indeed, the second most humid since 1937 when these kinds of records involving dew point were started. Here is what Rick Grow wrote in a Capital Weather Gang entry (including the top 12 highest dew points since 1937 for D.C., primarily at KDCA, where record-keeping began in the early 1940s):

"As we had reported earlier this summer, Washington, D.C. set a record for the longest streak above 80 degrees, running warmer than that mark for 138 hours – or over five and a half days – from July 15 through July 21.

Now let this fact sink in: the period from June 30 through July 23, 2013 (compared to past stretches over these same dates), was the second most humid in recorded history (dating back to 1937).

This is even more impressive considering that the roughly three-week span encompasses the hottest time of year in Washington (with average highs of 88-89 and lows of 70-71)."

Speaking of CWG, I also wanted to note this entry about some issue as to whether a new all-time record high was actually set last month on July 30th in Greenland.

Greenland weather map from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) on July 30, 2013.


In an entry dated August 1, 2013, Jason Samenow wrote the following:

"The Danish Meteorological Institute is reporting that on Tuesday, July 30, the mercury rose to 25.9C (78.6F) at a station in Greenland, the highest temperature measured in the Arctic country since records began in 1958.

The balmy reading was logged at the observing station Maniitsoq / Sugar Loaf, which is on Greenland’s southwest coast, the DMI reports.

It exceeded the 25.5C (77.9F) reading taken at Kangerlussuaq on July 27, 1990, in the same general area. Mantiitsoq is Greenland’s sixth-largest town, with a 2010 population of 2,784."

However, there may have been some issues with the reading. This prompted some climate change denier Teabagger type to go on a tirade demanding that he "retract" the post -- because, naturally, if the reading were wrong by, oh, 0.5F, this "proves" GOP global cooling. You can follow the link above to that site. I don't feel like posting it here. It's a waste of time.

What an idiot discourse we have in this country.

Trend of Greenland melt areas from 1979 - 2007 with 1996, 1998, and 2007 highlighted, source here.

Greenland ice melt extent for 2013 through August 11, 2013 compared to the 1981 - 2010 average, source here (this site is regularly updated).

Now let's be flippin' clear: These really warm temps CAN occur on the periphery of Greenland, esp. on the southwest side, and you can get katabatic winds that sink off the massive icy escarpment. No one is denying that. Nor the fact that it is FAARR colder once you get onto the escarpment where temps. rarely break freezing. That's not the point. The point is that you are seeing warming overall with more extreme events.

But that's not the point in America. The point I am making is the idiocy of our political discourse.

Speaking of idiot discourse, I want to post a link to this Glenn Greenwald column in The Guardian blasting the ancient, dyspeptic, System-worshipping Bob Schieffer for this cartoonish panel discussion on "Face the Nation" this past Sunday to discuss NSA total, unchecked, all-consuming surveillance activities.

It included former NSA Director General Michael Hayden, the creepy Rep. Peter King (R- NY), and Rep. Charles "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D- MD), whose district includes NSA headquarters at Fort Meade. Greenwald discusses the illegal activities that Hayden oversaw at NSA and the massive, systemic conflict of interests that all of these three have vis-à-vis the military - industrial - surveillance complex.

Speaking of these God-awful and unwatchable Sunday talk shows there was a vintage Republican freak show this past Sunday with racists, lunatics, and Birther sideshow clowns making the rounds. But don't worry: The WaHoPo Editorial Board then (e.g., Mallaby and Wittes) and now (e.g., Hiatt and Marcus), not to mention the rest of the Washington Consensus crowd, were all duly impressed by the "Very Serious and trans-partisan" nature of the discourse.

OK, I didn't intend to post a political-themed entry, but there you have it.

Oh, yes, I think I have to go back to the dentist at some point. I think there is still something wrong "up there" behind my left cheek. But I've also decided to change dentists.


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