Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rainy Avenue Evening Pictures; First Nor'easter of the Season and Other Welcome Fall Weather; and Info on Oct. 23rd, 2014 Partial Solar Eclipse

The intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and 12th St. NW, Washington, D.C., on a rainy, gloomy fall evening, 6:19 Oct. 21, 2014.

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This is a generally a weather-themed entry but it includes some pictures I took on Tuesday evening as I rode my bicycle home in the gloomy, cool, rainy, lovely night. I had left my bike at the main DOE bicycle rack on Monday early afternoon (it was a long story that followed on my Sunday night doings) and then rode it home on Tuesday evening.

Another view of Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., on a lovely rainy, gloomy, cool, autumnal evening, 6:19 Oct. 21, 2014.

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I stopped first at Elephant & Castle  (where it was trivia night for D.C. yuppies after work) for a beer and a hot tea and then at No. 9, where Gary and I met had an exchange -- I gave him back his wallet and fleece jacket (again, see this entry) and he gave me a new alarm clock (I have to pay him $20 for it on my next paycheck). (Long story short, the alarm set button on my old alarm clock ceased to function, rendering it pretty much useless.)

Rainy Pennsylvania Avenue looking to the east from near 11th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:23PM Oct. 21, 2014.

I was thinking of the Duran Duran song Ordinary World (redone so wonderfully by Aurora featuring Naimee Coleman ) with its opening lines: "Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue / Thought I heard you talking softly ..." (OK, it was a Tuesday, but still).

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The weather has been absolutely wonderful the past 36 hours -- precisely the kind of autumn weather I love.

First, there was a showery, chilly rain on Tuesday night that morphed somewhat unexpectedly* into a steady rain overnight that lasted well into daylight, finally tapering off by early afternoon. This was from a coastal low that meandered offshore today.
 
*To be clear, it was unexpected at least for me as I had not really been paying attention to the forecast, so I don't know if rainfall amounts were under-predicted.

A rainy evening outside Elephant & Castle along Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C., 6:28PM Oct. 21, 2014.

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Here are the relevant portions of the high-resolution surface weather maps for the U.S. and adjacent areas issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) 12 hours a part.

High-resolution surface weather map for portion of the eastern U.S., valid 12Z (8AM EDT) Oct. 22, 2014.

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High-resolution surface weather map for portion of the eastern U.S., valid 0Z (8PM EDT) Oct. 23 (22nd), 2014.

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Next, skies only gradually and partially cleared even as a gusty northwesterly breeze kicked up and temperatures, which never broke 58F officially for a high in D.C. today (and 55F in Baltimore), remained in the mid-50s Fahrenheit.

Perfect weather. At least for me.

Below are two radar images from earlier on Wednesday. The bands of precipitation were rotating cyclonically from the northeast to the southwest with the overall (net) motion ever-so-slowly to the east.

Dover AFB (DOX) NWS radar in enhanced base reflectivity mode at 11:36AM EDT Oct. 22, 2014.

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Northeastern quadrant Lower 48 composite radar mosaic at 1438UTC (10:38AM EDT) Oct. 22, 2014.

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The breeze kicked up as the low (described somewhat paradoxically in a Sterling LWX discussion earlier on Wednesday as "temporarily stationary") began pulling to the northeast and intensifying along the Gulf Stream en route to coastal New England.

Rainfall totals in the Metro D.C. / Baltimore areas were quite varied with amounts generally in the 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inch range but some totals below that (under 1/2 inch, especially in lower southern Maryland) and much higher (2 to 4 inches just east-northeast of Baltimore over the upper Chesapeake).

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar-estimated storm precipitation totals from 11:00AM Oct. 21, 2014 through 11:14PM Oct. 22, 2014. The legend for amounts is on the side in inches.

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As mentioned, the low is intensifying as it pulls to the northeast, and it is expected to bring the first significant (but hardly unprecedented) nor'easter of the fall/winter season to coastal New England and there are flood watches out across much of Maine. The rain is needed as that area has been in a drought.

Of note, the Weather Channel's unreadable online presence (Weather.com) hyped the event into something cataclysmic ("MILLIONS THREATENED!"), which prompted this denunciatory Capital Weather Gang (CWG) entry from Jason Samenow on Tuesday.

The Gray / Portland NWS Forecast Office (GYX) weather advisories as of 11:15PM Oct. 22, 2014.

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For his part, Dainty Ian was upset and chagrined at the cool, wet, wonderful fall weather here in D.C. However, Dainty Ian still took some of his signature nice photographs and posted on the CWG site, one of which is posted here:

Lovely fall view at the intersection of S Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21, 2014.

This picture was taken by Ian Livingston of the CWG.

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Right now (at the 11PM hour of Oct. 22nd), the low is bringing heavy rainfall to the New York City area and much of northern and central New Jersey (see two radar images directly below). As ever, when we in the D.C. area get a storm, New York City and Boston invariably get it far more. The converse is not true, though. Anyway, here is another CWG entry discussing the developing nor'easter.

The Fort Dix NWS (DIX) radar in enhanced base reflectivity mode at 10:51PM EDT Oct. 22, 2014.

So, yes, we have DIX and DOX radars.

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Northeastern quadrant Lower 48 composite radar mosaic at 0308UTC (11:38PM EDT) Oct. 23 (22nd), 2014.

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Here are the two-day storm totals and updated precipitation totals for the month, fall season (i.e. since Sept. 1st), and year-to-date through Oct. 22nd at the four main area climate stations including the three regional civilian airports, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA), Thurgood Marshall Baltimore/Washington Int'l Airport (KBWI), and Washington Dulles Int'l Airport (KIAD), and also the Maryland Science Center at the Inner Harbor of Baltimore (KDMH). The current 30-year average is 1981 - 2010 except for KDMH, which does not have a climate record back to 1981 and is thus just a partial one. (I think it goes back to about 1987.)

Below are the final numbers through Oct. 22nd (updated at 1:20AM EDT 10/23/2014) issued by NWS LWX. However, the storm totals are based on my adding the 6-hour totals from the hourly observations.

KDCA
Storm total: 1.09"
October: 3.46" +1.05" (2.41")
Season: 4.57" -1.56" (6.13")
Year: 38.24" +5.71" (32.53")

KBWI
Storm total: 1.67"
October: 4.11" +1.73" (2.38")
Season: 7.32" +0.91" (6.41")
Year: 45.59" +11.33" (34.26")

KIAD
Storm total: 0.57"
October: 2.96" +0.67" (2.29")
Season: 3.89" -2.32" (6.21")
Year: 40.10" +5.89" (34.21")

KDMH
Storm total: 1.80"
October: 3.66" +1.37" (2.29")
Season: 6.46" +0.08" (6.38")
Year: 46.07" +12.32" (33.75")

KBWI is above its annual normal of 41.88 inches while KDMH is well above above its partial record annual normal amount of 40.89 inches.**

**I calculated this amount by looking at the monthly summaries for 2013 and cross-checking through the first nine months of 2014.

Finally, KIAD and KDCA are both nearing their annual normal amounts of 41.54 inches and 39.74 inches, respectively.

Looking ahead, the weather is forecasted to be partly to mostly sunny and cool during the day and chilly at night for the rest of the week into the week, highs around 65F and lows around 47F. This is very nice post-nor'easter fall weather.

The NWS point grid forecast with icons and text for Washington, D.C., Oct. 23 - 26, 2014. Click on image for larger version.

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Information on the October 23, 2014 Partial Solar Eclipse in North America

NASA map showing the Oct. 23, 2014 partial solar eclipse along with other information.

There is a partial solar eclipse just before sunset this Thursday visible in eastern parts of North America, most notably in the United States. It will occur earlier for central and western parts of the Lower 48 into Mexico). Here in D.C., about a third of the Sun's disk will be eclipsed by the Moon. However, it might be cloudy. Here is an excerpt of (yet another) CWG topical entry:

"In the Washington, D.C., area, the eclipse starts at 5:52 p.m., and will peak at 6:17 p.m., though the peak will coincide with sunset. At maximum eclipse, Washingtonians will see only about 33 percent partiality and the sun will be very low on the horizon, so you will need a viewing location that is not obscured by hills or trees. The cloud forecast is looking marginal on Thursday evening for D.C. -- definitely a borderline case."

And a more comprehensive EarthSky.com article is here (link embedded): Partial solar eclipse for North America on October 23. It contains a link to the NASA eclipse map I have embedded in this entry above.

Of course, for me the BIG solar eclipse is the one of August 21, 2017 -- the one for which I have been waiting a lifetime (or at least since I was 9 in 1979).

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As a brief update, I had a decent gym workout tonight at the gym. Ordinarily, I would take off Thursday and Friday and go on Saturday. However, given that I am flat broke -- as in $9 to my name until Friday, a reality that Wall-P, a.k.a. Pitty Shil, couldn't fathom in a million down days on the frickin' Dow -- I think it best if I go again tomorrow night as a distraction.

OK, that's all for now. I might try to update this blog tomorrow night.

Oh, yes, one more picture from Tuesday night ...

A nighttime picture of my favorite, spooky and still abandoned Zion Building at 1017 12th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:28PM Oct. 21, 2014.

The building is for sale. I'd buy it myself except that's not going to happen in this lifetime.

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And with that, I shall sign off for now. Again, my next entry will either be tomorrow night or Friday evening.

-- Regulus

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