Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Winter in Washington, D.C., By Night -OR- January Under the Rainy Umbrella Sky

The view looking south along 13th Street near Metro Center, downtown Washington, D.C., 6:54PM January 12, 2014.

It was a Sunday night and so things were on the semi-deserted side. I was taking an approximately 1 hour bike ride (described below).

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This is not the entry I intended to write. The pictures are just a jumble of my low-quality cellphone camera ones from the past several days.

This is an entry that I started on Saturday but ran out of time as it got too unwieldy. As for the current entry, I just don't know what to write. I wanted to have a political-themed one with a number of excerpts / links of pieces by my usual quartet of writers -- Krugman, Chait, Barro, and Pareene -- plus an interview in Salon.com with Alan Lightman following publication of his most recent book The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew.

Two other pictures from my Sunday evening bike ride ...

The nighttime view of the nearby illuminated U.S. Capitol dome (west side), Washington, D.C., 7:06PM January 12, 2014.

This was part of my bike ride route. I figure that route was about 7 miles in all.

I rode from my apt., to Nellie's (where I stopped for a bit), then down Vermont Ave. to Logan Circle, all the way down 13th St. to Pennsylvania Ave. to near the U.S. Capitol (around 2nd Street), then west down the south side of the National Mall (on Jefferson Drive and the pedestrian / biker pathway on the south side of the Reflecting Pool) to the Lincoln Memorial along the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway along the Potomac River to the Watergate and back up to Dupont Circle (detouring around Washington Circle owing to massive construction along a part of New Hampshire Avenue) and over to Larry's Lounge -- and then back to Dupont Circle because I forgot to go to the ATM and finally back to Larry's Lounge, and then later, home.

The illuminated Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., 7:24PM January 12, 2014.

This was taken just 18 minutes after the one directly above, so that gives you a sense of how long it takes to bike (at a non-maniac speed) between the U.S. Capitol and Lincoln Memorial with little pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

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However, I didn't have time on Saturday and I doubt I have time this late Monday night / soon to be Tuesday. In fact, I'm not going to do so -- there's just not enough time and it's not like anyone ever reads these links I post.

The exterior of the Anthony Bowen YMCA in the 1300 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:42PM January 14, 2014.

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I will say that in both instances, Saturday and now, I just returned from the gym and had a decent workout -- the usual trio of jogging, weight-lifting (using the machines), and the pool. And in both cases, it was a mild night, though on Saturday it followed a rather rainy day with 1.2 to 1.4 inches of precipitation at the regional climate stations (KDCA, KBWI, KIAD, KDMH, and KCHO). Tonight, there is rain on the way, although with lighter amounts (1/4" or so).

The interior of Eatonville restaurant, Washington, D.C., 11:10PM January 11, 2014.

On Saturday night, I opted to go to Eatonville, which is located quite near where I live, rather than to Old Ebbitt Grill. As I mentioned in my "jukebox Saturday night" entry, I'm not a big fan of Cajun / Creole food but I've found a few "a la carte" items that put together are quite good. I refer to the house salad with grilled chicken added and sides of broccoli and Cajun fries. And the Voodoo Rum Punch is awesome. I followed it with two glasses of white wine and a cup of coffee. The atmosphere there is also good -- at once festive but still pleasant. I think Zora Neale Hurston would be pleased.

It all worked out well for me. And I do like the fact in these situations that I'm the indeterminate aged small white guy (looking like a leprechaun, I guess) seated at the bar in a D.C. place with a large D.C. / Prince George's County black bourgeoisie clientele.

The bar at Eatonville (after it had mostly emptied out), Washington, D.C., 11:10PM January 11, 2014.

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I was going to write tonight about the possibility of some light or even moderate snow Wednesday as it gets colder as well, but the 0Z operational GFS just came out and it was flippin' bust (although the NAM was not, it gave the immediate D.C. area a few inches of snow). The GFS has trended a bit snowier in the previous three runs, but now it's back to crap. To be clear, we were always talking about small amounts with the SREF ensembles showing nothing to 2-1/2 inches.

Instead, I'll just post some more pictures -- the next two taken Friday night.

Rainy night in downtown Washington, D.C., as seen at the intersection of 12th and E Streets NW, 6:47PM January 10, 2014.

This picture was taken on Friday night as Gary and I were going to my company's post-Christmas holiday party, although it was really more of a brief awards event held at the Ronald Reagan Building. I met some of my co-workers at nearby Elephant & Castle on Pennsylvania Avenue. Gary found a great spot to park his vehicle.

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Outside Elephant & Castle on a rainy night along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 7:09PM January 10, 2014.

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Regional 2013 Precipitation Tallies


Speaking of precipitation, I never posted the final 2013 precipitation totals. These are based on the numbers on the daily climatological summaries on the Sterling LWX site, although in the case of KDCA, I double-checked it with the monthly summaries because Matt Rogers made a slight (0.04") error in this CWG entry on the yearly totals (although it doesn't change any of his tables / rankings). The normal values are the 1971 - 2010 base period except for KDMH, which doesn't have a 30-year base period yet. Its "normal" only goes back to the mid-1980s (unsure of date).

KDCA:
44.24" +4.50" (39.74")
2012 total: 32.45"

KBWI:
42.93" +1.05" (41.88")
2012 total: 37.42"

KIAD:
45.34" +3.80" (41.54")
2012 total: 35.62"

KDMH:
42.02" +1.13" (40.89")
2012 total: 39.65"

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A couple other pictures (and a cartoon) ...

I took this one of a restaurant whose name I still don't know. I was walking south along 14th Street to Number 9 from Eatonville.It's located at the corner of S and 14th Streets NW, Washington, D.C. It was midnight on the button Saturday and I was walking to Number 9 from Eatonville. Later I went to Nellie's.

The 14th Street corridor between downtown and U Street is nothing short of a boomtown these days -- the influx of money and construction is astonishing.

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Cold Wave Review

Finally, as for the recent cold wave, KDCA actually did not set any record lows on the 7th -- either for minimum temps. or low maximum temps. This raises the point that the cold wave was simply not on par with the Arctic outbreaks in decades gone by. The only noteworthy thing is that it happened -- because it happens to rarely now. Anyway, the temps. on Jan. 7th were:


KDCA
High 21F
Low 6F
Neither were daily records.

KBWI
High 16F (new low max)
Low 3F (rec low min)


KIAD
High 18F (new low max)
Low 1F (new low min)

The cold wave is long since over. However, it looks like it might turn more seasonably cold after the recent run of approximately 55F to 60F mild weather.

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The top most dome in the top-floor Rotunda Room of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, D.C., 7:37PM January 10, 2014. This is where our event was held. There was one heckuva view along Pennsylvania Avenue, although the glass doors to the little balcony were locked.

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OK, that's all for now. I have after-work plans tomorrow. The earliest update I will post is late Wednesday or even Thursday night. In short, I may not have a lot of entries this week.

--Regulus

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