Friday, November 7, 2014

On Pacific Typhoons, the Polar Vortex, and Early Night Fall Biking Concerns -OR- Good Morning

Lovely fall day as seen from the intersection of T and 15th Street looking south, Washington, D.C., 10:11AM November 7, 2014.

The pictures in this entry include those I took while biking to work today from my 16th and U Street area between  Shaw / Dupont neighborhood to Elephant L'Enfant Plaza.

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Friday night.

I'm not sure what to do tonight.

On the one hand, the whole city is an option. On the other hand, it never really works out like that and I pretty much just do the same things over and over -- same places, same routines, same everything. In addition, it is rather cold night with temps. dropping down toward freezing** and breezy following a frontal passage.

**Once again, though, I doubt KDCA itself will officially reach the 32F / 0C mark, much less go below it; so far, the lowest it has been at KDCA this season is 44F on Oct. 5th and Nov. 3rd). For KBWI, Oct. 5th remains the coldest this season so far at 36F, though tonight should eclipse that. For KIAD, it has had at least three lows of 33F this season.

The weather is forecasted to be mostly sunny and cool this weekend with no real rain in the offing. (We had about 1/2 inch area-wide the other day.) 

Next week is forecasted to get quite cold (for this time of year) as a large trough develops over central and the eastern U.S. in response to a high latitude ridge over western North America extending well up into the Canadian Arctic.
 
The 0Z 06Nov2014 European ensemble showing 5-day mean 500-hPa geopotential heights and anomalies over North America for the period Nov. 9 - Nov. 14, 2014 in an image prettied up by WeatherBell.com.

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That ridge, in turn, the response to an extremely powerful Bering Sea low (possibly challenging all-time record low air pressures there) resulting from the "bombogenesis" of erstwhile Super-Typhoon Nuri into an unusually deep extratropical cyclone.

The 0Z 06Nov2014 European ensemble showing 5-day mean 800-hPa temperature anomalies (in Celsius) over North America for the period Nov. 9 - Nov. 14, 2014 in an image prettied up by WeatherBell.com.

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Yes, there are the obligatory references to the polar vortex already including this painfully hysterically headlined one from AccuWeather. (I cannot even read these commercial weather outfits.)

Now it is possible that this is the start of a cold winter pattern for eastern and central North America that may or may not bring substantial snowfall to the mid-Atlantic.

A forecast from Mike Masco of WMAR ABC2 in Baltimore for snowfall winters in the southern mid-Atlantic region for this upcoming winter.

Mr. Masco needs to hatch out a little "0" (isonif??) around the District of Columbia centered on National Airport.

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As mentioned, I bike to work today and it was lovely as a fall day with a gusty northwesterly breeze and rapidly moving puffy cumulus and stratocumulus clouds tearing across the sky as cold advection took over and temps dropped through the afternoon to reach 50F by 5PM and into the 45F range by 630PM when I left work.

The Willard InterGalacticContinental Hotel as seen from 15th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 10:25AM November 7, 2014.

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However, biking home is always a risky proposition at rush-hour, especially when it is already dark. I was going to just "stay out" after work rather than come home. However, I really wanted to drop off the computer and to have dinner at home rather than needlessly spending too much money.

The view of the Smithsonian castle along Independence Avenue (near my destination) with one of those annoying open-topped tourist buses passing by, Washington, D.C., 10:32AM November 7, 2014.

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As for biking, if anything happened to me -- as in getting hit and seriously injured (if I were killed, well, then the issue is moot) -- I would be in real trouble. I have no meaningful family to take care of me and would end up in one of some public convalescent and/or nursing home.

The minimum-wage-earning, high school-graduate staff would talk at me and the night nurse would bat me around -- smacks and whacks -- and I would be helpless there in a soiled diaper. Oh, and half starved.

But at least the GOP would be there to take way the $120 per month Medicaid paid for food. Something about "freedom."

Meanwhile, the person who struck me would likely be some annoying mother of three children who lives in Wheaton and everyone would praise her for her "courage" in "dealing with this unfortunate tragedy" and how are her children providing her the "strength to heal in the love of Christ."

To be clear, as a gay man now nearly 45 with no family, no wealth, and no real standing in this world, I don't matter for diddlysquat. That's just the way it is.

And God, such as He is taught at Your Nearest GOP Mega-Church, Inc. (R - Tax Free), would sit up there on His cloud smiling sweetly and burbling the usual "Yea, verily, Yea, verily."

Oh, yes, while I was biking home, I very nearly got caught up in one of those street security theatre shows that the uniformed Secret Service does (especially, I have noticed), around this time of year (when the number of annoying tourists is at a minimum).

I refer to when the officers (sometimes working in tandem with regular MPD) shut down everything for minutes at a time everything within 5 blocks of the White House just because they can. Everyone has to stand there like an idiot for no reason. It happens much too frequently to be anything but a standing drill.

I got caught up in one of the blockages at I and 15th Streets, but instead of waiting, I just biked down the sidewalk and crossed farther away from the intersection only to return on to the 15th Street bike lane. Yes, this clearly violated the "spirit" of his instructions for everyone to stop, and I was worried that might provoke the young officer but he didn't really seem to notice me.


As a concluding thought on biking, it's much better if I just bike to work and then home midweek when I don't go to the gym and instead stop at No. 9 or some such place.

OK, that's all for now. I intend to go to the gym tomorrow and then post a jukebox Saturday night entry tomorrow night.

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I'm going out now to meet Gary at Larry's Lounge, and then I guess I'll go to No. 9. Of note, I am actually biking (my bicycle is actually locked outside of the building to a street sign, unless it has been stolen ... [checking out window] no, it's actually still there.

View from my 5th floor Hampton Courts apartment looking to the southwest over the intersection of 16th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 9:59AM November 7, 2014. In the foreground is the Balfour while way in the distance are the towers of Rosslyn.

If I can borrow a line from the poet Maya Angelou: Good Morning.

--Regulus

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