Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jukebox Saturday Night for January 31st, 2015: The Elton John & Kiki Dee, WHAM!, and Mid-Winter Night Clarity Edition

"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee from their single release (1976)

This video features them singing together in a recording studio having fun doing it. It's a nice video.

Yes, we've all seen the Elton John - RuPaul remake from 1993, but in case you haven't ...


"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by WHAM! from the duo's Make It Big album (1984)

I should have known I was gay when this song came out in 1984 and I was so fixated on the song, its lyrics, and the video. Not to mention Andrew Ridgeley. For the lyrics, I had to listen to the song over and over -- this was before Google and the internets.

I was never sure if the "CHOOSE LIFE" shirt that George Michael wears so prominently is actually an anti-abortion message or not. Oh, and he and Ridgeley wears those little hot pants shorts.

"You take the gray skies out of my way / You make the Sun shine brighter than Doris Day! / Turned a bright spark into a flame / My beats per minute never been the same! 'Cause you're my lady, I'm your fool / It makes me crazy when you act so cruel / Come on baby, let's not fight / We'll go dancing, everything will be all right!"


And let's end with this one ...

"Clarity" by Zedd ft. Foxes from the album of same name (2012)

Foxes sings the lyrics to this song. She is a British singer / songwriter. Her real name is Louisa Rose Allen and she is all of 25 years old.

The key refrain is:

"If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? / If our love's insanity, why are you my clarity?"


OK, that's all for now. My plan is to post the New Jersey trip pictures tomorrow given that my overriding goal for the day is to avoid any and all exposure to the American Shitter-Bowl event. Thus, I should be home tomorrow evening and posting that entry (unless I meet a bad end tonight -- see previous entry re. my plans for tonight).


Saturday Evening Post for January 31, 2015: Moonlight and No Snow

**This entry was posted January 31, 2015.**

Dazzling mid-afternoon winter sunlight seen from 15th and W Streets looking down New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 3:12PM January 31, 2015.


As a brief Saturday night update ...

Last night, got too drunk, of course. I went to Larry's Lounge and then to No. 9 (where Gary kindly drove me), and then I ended up back at Larry's Lounge talking to Jamie and Howie.

Today, I went to the gym and had a good three-part workout including 6.5 mile jog over 66 minutes on the treadmill, an hour of light-to-moderate weightlifting, and a 20 minute swim. Oh, and there was NO music playing for much of the time -- a blessed relief from that "SHREDZ" workout mix industrial House garbage. It was thusly if only because one personal trainer in particular was not working.

My plan for tonight, moonlight permitting, is to take my bicycle on the Metro down to King Street on the blue line (from Foggy Bottom) and go to John Strongbow's Tavern for a bit of dinner and two glasses of wine and then to bike back into D.C. on the Mount Vernon Trail.

To clarify, it is a moonlit night with a waxing gibbous Moon riding high in the winter sky, so the trail should be visible in the moonlight.

I'll bike back into D.C. and go to No. 9.

I told my mom via text I was doing this and she thinks it is a profoundly bad idea and that I should alert people to where I am. I guess this is the alert. She also said I should have ID on me, to which I replied that perhaps I won't go if she thinks I'm going to be murdered. She said that was no laughing matter.

Now if it clouds up -- as the cirrus shield moves in from the forecasted big disappointment of a weather system due for late tomorrow into Monday -- then I will nix this idea. The whole point is to do it in the moonlight of a cold winter's night.

Close-up of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Ohio River Valley of the NWS 48 hour forecasted surface weather map valid 12Z (7AM EST) February 2, 2015.


As for that system, it is an odd one in that it features a low pressure system now forming near Denver -- yes, Denver, Colorado -- forecasted to follow a mostly due easterly path all the way to the East Coast (with only a slight bend toward the northeast), and to intensify as it does so. That just seems a bit odd. The storm intensifies even more once it is over the Gulf Stream, but that's no surprise.

And it's ANOTHER snowstorm for Boston (6 to 10 inches). No surprise there, either.

NWS advisories for the United States valid 0100UTC February 1, 2015 (8PM EST January 31, 2015).


As for the Baltimore/Washington area, all the snow is well north of here and we just get mix (esp. given the timing of the low's passage) to rain with the precip. ending before any colder air can filter in behind the front. We really got screwed on this one. But we always d. Of note, the GFS MOS number for snow at KDCA went from "8" to "0" between two runs as the low track shifted 150 miles farther north. That track has stayed fairly consistent on all the subsequent GFS and NAM runs.

OK, my jukebox Saturday night entry is to follow.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Wee Hours Friday Posting with Some (Totally Unrelated) Pictures from My White House Tour Last Month Just Before Christmas

Updated 8:56PM 1/30/2015: See below.

The pictures in this entry were from a White House Christmas tour I took with some friends (one of whom works there) and acquaintances back on Dec. 20th. I was meaning to post the pictures but never did. This is as good an opportunity as any to post them. However, they have nothing to do with the entry itself. Only three of them have captions. The rest are described by their file name.

I took a White House tour back in the mid-1990s (can't recall when) on the same East Wing side / half. I've yet to see the West Wing.


I'm not exactly sure how to update this blog at this late hour when I have such a lengthy entry I really want to post of my New Jersey visit last weekend. I suspect it is going to have to wait until Sunday -- when I will literally have to dedicate 6 to 8 hours to it.

As it is, Sunday is the annual, endlessly annoying American spectacle of the Shitter-Bowl and all the crap that goes along with it -- and this year, compounded by the sense that the New England Patriots and Tom Brady, in particular, just cheat via deflating their footballs. I loathe American football, especially at the professional level.

As a result, I will be avoiding the American Shitter-Bowl like the plague, so I guess that means staying home and avoiding everywhere out, which should enable me to post the aforementioned entry. I'm just not available Sunday.

BTW, Chris H. named that little angel of a dog, Brady, for Tom Brady because he (Chris H) is such an intense Patriots fan. (It's probably a good thing that he and I aren't talking now since he's likely to be bouncing off the walls over the whole "deflate-gate" thing.)

Weather-wise, there is (was) supposed to be what looked like a 4 to 8 inch snow "event" for the Baltimore/Washington area late Sunday into Monday but the 0Z operational runs of the NAM and GFS both track the low overhead and have much of the event taking place in the form of rain. The idea of a changeover back to snow is just not physically very realistic in this particular area. The weather doesn't work that way here.


Oh, yes, the 0Z run has a wonderful "fantasy panel" in the hour 360 / day 15 time frame (almost at the end of its 384 hour / 16 day forecast time period). It is posted above and shows 850mb temps., MSLP, and 12-hr precipitation for 0Z Feb. 14, 2015 for about the eastern half of the U.S. Lower 48 and adjacent regions. To be clear, there isn't the SLIGHTEST chance of this happening, but it's fun to see.


I had a good gym workout tonight but the music situation at the Anthony Bowen YMCA is just out of control, and I really am at my wit's end as to what to do. Short of returning to the National Capital YMCA, which is less convenient and just less nice (except for its much bigger pool), I don't know what to do. Repeated efforts to raise the issue have been ignored including an email to the top manager there. I might just have to contact the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington itself to alert it to this issue.

It basically comes down to one or two personal trainers -- indeed, I think it's just one in particular -- who plays this industrial house music from the "SHREDZ" Workout Mix by some guy named Naveen Kumar. It's just intolerable because it loops endlessly with the same few hours of music, and I'm on the main workout floor for about 2 hours 15 minutes in all. I just don't know what to do. I suppose I could get my own music and ear buds with my Smartphone, which I now have (through work).

I can't recall the name of this band but it was "Ozark" something or other. Behind them is the White House portrait of George Washington. I thought that was the actual Lansdowne portrait by Gilbert Stuart, but instead it is apparently a copy with the original in the National Portrait Gallery (the place that gives the name "Gallery" in Gallery Place - Chinatown Metro stop).


There are two links I would like to post in this entry.

The first one by Jonathan Chait (link embedded): Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say.

It has been causing quite a ruckus among (social) liberals on social media and on college campuses everywhere with paroxysms of rage directed at him. He argues that the stifling ideology of political correctness that has flared again is actually quite illiberal, not to mention that it is producing the usual theatre-of-the-absurd outcomes.

The general view -- best represented by the site under noted D.C. limousine liberal pundit Ezra Klein -- is that there is no such thing as political correctness because, by definition, anyone historically oppressed (read: people of color and especially women of color) could never, ever, ever be in a position be oppressive. In other words, it is a definitionally nonsensical proposition to them.

Others cite the standard list of historical perfidies of white men up to and including slavery and genocide (actually, those are the first two things mentioned), which apparently are coded into the DNA of all white American males to commit.

For this reason, white men are not permitted by this crowd to talk on any of these topics unless their view is completely aligned with that of Melissa Harris-Perry (or maybe Al Sharpton) and rage erupts if they do. (Even if you agree, you still can get a blast of verbally violent rage directed at you as happened to me years ago in Rehoboth Beach at a Wall-P summer holiday vacation.)

They are (I am) inherently, fundamentally, existentially, and forever the source of all that is wrong with the world even today, and to say anything contrary to that is to prove the very point.

The more nuanced view is that this PC mindset is working precisely because it makes white men feel uncomfortable, which, ipso facto, shows that this approach is "working" as intended.

Chait also makes the important point that while the conservative right in America has disproportionate political power (via the structure Senate and the current configuration of the House), this liberal-left (as opposed to Socialist left, which is negligible in America) has tremendous ideological power through social media and academia.

Yes, George W. Bush's official White House portrait -- and, yes, I had a slight argument with one of the people in my group about him and his legacy. Actually, this person is a highly argumentative individual and does so in what I consider to be an ugly way, and at this point, I want nothing more to do with him.


UPDATED 8:56PM 1/30/2015:

Chait wrote a great response to his many leftwing critics -- most of whom never address anything he said but simply invent, whole cloth, his "real" views and even quotes that aren't in the article. As for's Amanda Taub, she just rejects that political correctness exists because to her it is a self-negating proposition.

Anyway, here is the response (link embedded): Secret Confessions of the Anti-Anti-P.C. Movement.

Oh, and here is a great interview with him on HuffPost Live in an interview with Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. (Speaking of great, what a great name and great voice.)

Glenn Greenwald should stick to what he does best - bashing the military-industrial-surveillance-terror mongering state. Alex Pareene is just worthless. Lastly, the picture I posted of Chait is taken from the HuffPost Live interview. Chait looks like he has lost about 50 pounds.

End of Update.


The second article is from the WaHoPo, and it is about all the fracking-induced "micro" and not-so-micro earthquakes in Oklahoma due to all the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") of oil and natural gas. Specifically, the resulting billions of gallons of toxic brine that is hydraulically injected each year via 3,300 or so disposal wells into subsurface formations is causing nearly non-stop swarms of earthquakes. They're mostly small but occasionally noticeable and even once-in-a-while large enough to cause damage (including a 5.6 one in Prague, Oklahoma on Nov. 5, 2011).

I took this picture just seconds before a uniformed Secret Service guy barked at me that no pictures were allowed there. However, I'm glad I got this picture: It is the view from the north entrance of the White House looking north across Lafayette Park and up 16th Street. I actually live just a touch over 1 mile north of this spot -- you can actually see to U Street itself. I find this such an odd thought given how different is the reality for those in the White House and for me in my little dusty apartment.


Gov. Mary Fallin has decided to bury the matter for her oil and natural gas cronies by appointing a "commission" to "study" the issue. For her and them, these earthquakes are a good thing because of freedom or something. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing to "study" -- the science behind induced seismicity is well-understood and has been for decades. Only a Know Knowing Teabagger or bought-and-paid-for oil and natural gas extraction industry whore would say otherwise.

As for Gov. Mary Fallin, her main focus is, as ever, on endless executions of mentally ill people -- ideally, black and poor -- using whatever cocktail of drugs her security goons purchased at midnight in the parking lot behind this or Walmart around Oklahoma City and mixed together, Josef Mengele-style, to see what happens. That's how they "roll" in that part of the country.

OK, that's all for now. My next update will likely be on Saturday with a jukebox Saturday night entry.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Brief Recap of the Great Northeast Blizzard of 2015 That Was ... And Wasn't -OR- "WRITTEN IN WIND!! WRITTEN IN WIND!!"

Evening surf on the beach in Long Branch, N.J., 4:29PM January 23, 2015.

This is looking north toward New York City and Long Island, which is just beyond the horizon. Farther north in Sea Bright and on the Sandy Hook peninsula, at night you easily see the lights of Brooklyn and Queens and, day or night, you can observe the lower and midtown Manhattan. Atop the hill in the Atlantic Highlands by the Twin Lights, the view is nothing less than spectacular.

Oh, yes, it was wintertime, so no need to follow that quirky New Jersey feature of having to pay to go on the beach (except in the Wildwoods).


For the umptity-umpteenth time, I'm sorry for the lack of the planned entries on this blog and instead just a series of disjointed "updates" and ultimately "reactionary" posts to this or that major event that captures my attention, in this case, the big New England blizzard.

To be clear, I am not a content-generating machine, in particular because I do this for "enjoyment" on my own time. It is also, to quote what my father once shrieked at me concerning a written journal I kept, obsessively, slavishly for decades through tens of thousands of pages: "WRITTEN IN WIND!! WRITTEN IN WIND!!"


As for that blizzard and its wind  ...

Charlie Grover plows a path through the deep snow that feel in New Bedford, Mass., January 27, 2015. New Bedford picked up at least 21 inches of snow.


I'm not going to post a big, huge entry about it except to note the blizzard that struck parts of New England and Long Island that resulted in final snowfall amounts in the 20 to 36 inch range and winds to 70+MPH, which produced battering waves and shoreline flooding. Here is a New York Times article about the blizzard.

Flooded streets in Scituate, Mass., during the blizzard, January 27, 2015.


As everyone by now knows, despite the dire forecasts and all the massive preparations, the blizzard just grazed the New York City area and basically missing the Philly area. Here in the D.C. / Baltimore area, it was actually not the usual total and complete bust as light amounts fell due to a convergence zone that set up. Two-day totals in our area ranged from a coating to 4.5 inches in Germantown, Md. At the three regional airport climate stations, the totals were: KDCA: 0.6 inches; KBWI: 1.0 inches; and KIAD: 1.9 inches.

Kind of an amazing and awesome picture of battering ocean waves during the raging blizzard at Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, January 27, 2015.


I might update this entry when I have more time to include some official climate station and other totals. For the time being, here are a series of images from the Philadelphia / Mount Holly NWS website showing the snowfall totals from Boston to Washington ...

Storm and 24 hour snow totals received in the previous 24 hours through 4:08PM January 27, 2015 for eastern and central Massachusetts including the Boston area.

Logan Int'l Airport (KBOS) had 24.4 inches through midnight but that might not be a final total yet.

Updated 11:42PM 1/29/2015: Final storm total at KBOS was 24.6 inches.


Storm and 24 hour snow totals received in the previous 24 hours through 4:08PM January 27, 2015 for the New York City Metropolitan area including parts of New Jersey and Long Island.

Central Park (KNYC) itself officially recorded 9.8 inches for the storm. Newark Airport had 6.5 inches; JFK Airport had 10.7 inches; and LaGuardia Airport had 11.0 inches.


Storm and 24 hour snow totals received in the previous 24 hours through 4:08PM January 27, 2015 for the Philadelphia Metropolitan area including southern New Jersey.

Philadelphia Int'l Airport (KPHI) had only 1.2 inches of snow.


Storm and 24 hour snow totals received in the previous 24 hours through 4:08PM January 27, 2015 for the Baltimore / Washington region including central Maryland and northern Virginia.


There has been this time around an even bigger "why was the forecast wrong?" and what to do about it for future events. I should note that the GFS was more accurate than the Euro (ECMWF) and the always-problematic NAM. Of note, Gary Szatkowski, the meteorologist-in-charge of the Philadelphia / Mt. Holly NWS Forecast Office, even apologized profusely via a series of tweets for being so wrong.

NWS meteorologist Gary Szatkowski's apologetic tweets for the botched forecast in the Philadelphia area, where up to 14 inches of snow was forecasted but only 1 to 4 inches fell.


OK, that's all for now. I need to get to work.

Oh, yes, at this point, I need 6 to 8 hours to compose the entry featuring all the pictures from my New Jersey trip last weekend for the funeral for my great Aunt Babe. That is probably not going to happen until this weekend.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Late January 2015 Northeast Blizzard-Themed Entry That I Didn't Intend to Post

**Updated 7:08AM 1/27/2015: See below.**

Image by Todd Heisler in this Jan. 26, 2015 online New York Times article. I'm unsure of location or date, although I assume it was taken on Jan. 26th, 2015.


I think I'm just going to skip any entry tonight except for this weather event-themed one that I swore that I wouldn't write.

Concerning that last point, honestly, I have been keeping an eye on the major nor'easter all day that is forecasted to bring 2 to 3 feet of snow with blowing and drifting and coastal flooding to parts of New England and Long Island and 18 to 24 inches in the New York City area and along parts of the Jersey shore. Here is a comprehensive post with updates from the Capital Weather Gang.

NWS advisories for the northeastern quadrant of the U.S., 11:58PM EST Jan. 26, 2015 with color-coded legend.


The story of the impending blizzard has been major news headlines all day including the for-profit information / entertainment complex hysterical. Here is a more matter-of-fact but informative New York Times article. All sorts of cancellations, disruptions, and preparations including travel bans have already occurred including the entire State of Connecticut and New York City.

Above: A hysterical Huffington Post compendium of news stories as of 4:19PM EST Jan. 26, 2015.


To be honest, at this point, I'm not quite seeing how areas around Trenton or into the Philadelphia area get the higher end of the 10 to 16 inches of snow that is still forecasted. These higher end totals seem a stretch. Of course, I could be wrong -- nature will do what it will do, and radar trends alone in these rapidly changing circumstances are not always definitive.

3-hour surface pressure changes from the 2Z Jan 27, 2015 Rapid Update Cycle (RUC). The pressure legend is shown at the bottom and includes the range.


The coastal low itself is undergoing the forecasted explosive cyclogenesis off the Delmarva coast as a shortwave rounded the base of the now negatively-tilted trough. The rapidly deepening low is spiraling slowly toward the north-northeast. The above RUC pressure change image shows this.

The Fort Dix (DIX) NWS radar in enhanced base reflectivity mode at 11:18PM EST January 26, 2015.

That's one helluva snow squall located just off the coast of Monmouth and Ocean Counties -- including right near where I was this past weekend.


There is a band of intense snowfall just off the Jersey shore slowly moving westward while much of Long Island and Connecticut, Rhode Island, and southeastern Massachusetts are in their usual howling blizzard mode. I write this despite declarations of how "historic" is this storm notwithstanding -- I've read this book and seen this movie more than once.

The Upton, N.Y. (OKX) NWS radar in enhanced base reflectivity mode at 11:18PM EST January 26, 2015.


Oddly enough, a convergence band set up well to the west of the "bombing" low with light to occasionally moderate snow bands from central Pennsylvania south into central Maryland and down the axis of the Chesapeake Bay and including the Metro Baltimore and Metro Washington. The result has been roughly 1 to 2 inches so far with here including about 1 inch here in D.C. proper. This convergence band will slowly vanish as the low pulls away and the snow will dissipate.

Our own always-depressing Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in enhanced base mode reflectivity mode at 11:17PM EST January 26, 2015 -- except it actually had more "returns" on it for a longer period than I anticipated for this "event." To be clear, all this means is 1 to 3 inches of snow instead of nothing.


I should point out that the 0Z NAM and 0Z GFS runs that just came out really have a tight precipitation gradient across New Jersey with much lighter amounts in Trenton and Philadelphia than was shown in some earlier runs. However, the MOS guidance can correct for certain things, and I've not looked at that. As for coastal New England, it's one of your standard whoppers of a sort that have happened there so many times.

Updated 7:08AM 1/27/2015:

It seems quite clear at this point that the forecasted blizzard failed to materialize for quite a few places in New Jersey and even New York City proper where fantastic amounts of snow were predicted -- in the 24 to 36+ inch range -- as recently as yesterday morning, and then in the 18 to 24 inch range in the immediate run-up.

Northeastern CONUS composite radar mosaic at 1118UTC (5:18AM EST) January 27, 2015.


Snowfall amounts in the NYC area have ranged mostly in the 4 to 8 inch range with 10 inches in the Jamaica section of Queens, at least through 1AM. Higher amounts fell on parts of Long Island. The highest I can find is 14.7 inches at Islip Airport as of 3AM.

Storm and 24-hour snowfall totals and general amounts received in the 12 hours ending 5:45AM January 27, 2015 for the extended New York City metropolitan area. This is taken from the NWS PHI website.


The blizzard warnings for the immediate NYC area were cancelled around 530AM.

In New Jersey, while parts of Monmouth County near the coast has 6 to 8 inches (again, through the middle of the night), amounts were in the 3 to 6 inches in the northeastern corner of the state and under 2 inches in the southern part of the state. It looks as though the Philadelphia area and parts of southern New Jersey really missed out on the heavy (and in some cases, almost any) snowfall.

Storm and 24-hour snowfall totals and general amounts received in the 12 hours ending 5:45AM January 27, 2015 for southern New Jersey, the Philadelphia area, and northern Delaware.


The Mount Holly / Philadelphia CWA weather advisories as of 5:59AM EST January 27, 2015.


Oddly enough, the Baltimore/Washington corridor and west into northern Virginia had as much as parts of New Jersey owing to the convergence band that persisted all night. Amounts ranged from 1 to 3 inches with a few higher spots including reports of 4.5 inches in Germantown, Md., and 4 inches in Fairfax, Co.

Metro D.C. area snowfall totals from the Sterling LWX website updated just before 6AM January 27, 2015 (although some of the totals on this map are older than that).


It seems as though the low former a bit farther east than forecasted, while our area had the aforementioned convergence zone to concentrate light but persistence snow during the night.

The view from my 5th floor Hampton Courts apartment looking onto the lightly snow-covered world below in the 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 7:02AM January 27, 2015.


So, at the very least I can say the following: Even if the D.C. area only had 1 to 3 inches of snow, it did not bust as badly as other areas in a forecasted major snow event. Live by the models, die by the models.

End of update.


To clarify on D.C. area totals, KDCA itself will, of course, come in with its usual shit-nothing total. Through 4PM, the three regional airport totals were: KDCA: Trace: KBWI: 0.6 inches; KIAD: 0.1 inches. These should bump up into the 1 to 2 inch range by midnight.

Updated Jan. 26, 2015 totals:
KDCA: 0.5 inches
KBWI: 1.0 inches
KIAD: 1.7 inches

I'll post the final totals for these three spots when the event is over.

Just for historical reference, the Weather Channel -- with its hype-and-hysteria-minded winter storm naming convention -- has dubbed this storm "Juno," although not many folks are calling it that, least of all the National Weather Service.

As for what New York City might get, below is a list of the current top 10 biggest snowstorms as measured at the Central Park climate station, which has an unbroken record back to 1869 (which is even earlier than the general 1871 establishment of weather records by the U.S. Government and years earlier than most of the original set of climate stations started recording snow). The legendary blizzard of March 1888 "officially" ranks "only" 3rd at 21.0 inches, although its effects were disastrous and much more fell in other areas.

Top 10 individual snowfalls as measured at Central Park, New York City.


Note that five of the top 10 biggest snowstorms in NYC have been since 2000.

About that fact, there is a really good analysis by Nate Silver of the 538 site that analyzes major snowfalls at Central Park. Nate concludes that the frequency of these blockbuster events in the past 15 years is probably a signal of climate change. Here is the piece (link embedded): Big Blizzards Have Become More Common In New York.

I wish he had used the NWS's 30 year average updated every 10 years, but he did not. Still, it is an excellent piece. Two of the resulting charts that Nate made are posted directly below ...

The long-term snow total at Central Park measured in 5-year increments. This shows no trend.


Long-term average number of days with greater than a trace (i.e., 0.05") of snow at Central Park, NYC, as measured in 5 year increments. This shows a distinct downward trend.


It really isn't possible to do such a long-term analysis in our immediate Baltimore / Washington area stretching all the way back to the start of official snow-keeping records, specifically, 1883 in Baltimore and 1888 in Washington, D.C. because the KBWI and KDCA airport climate stations have been in existence only since 1950 and 1945-ish, respectively, with the earlier locations likely having noticeably different snowfall patterns. At the very least, the correction factors that would have to be applied would render the analysis problematic.

Also, as for KDCA, it just sucks as a spot representative of anything except itself, and, if anything, its "blockbuster" events are more or less non-existent simply because it is too warm. As for Dulles Airport, it is too far out to be representative. The best you could do is a 65-year analysis on the KBWI spot, which is quite representative for "suburban Maryland."

All that aside, I just want this frickin' storm to pass so that the meteorologist in me can go back into dull weather period hibernation and I can post my New Jersey weekend entry. To be clear, I do not intend to post any entry about the snow totals / aftermath unless something really exceptional / newsworthy happens.

New York City on a snowy day, Jan. 26, 2015.


As a micro-update I went to the gym again tonight for an OK three-part workout. I will be skipping tomorrow night and going either Wednesday or Thursday night (and not the other, nor Friday, but certainly on Saturday).

Oh, yes, walking back from the gym, while crossing 15th Street at New Hampshire Ave, there was a lull in the traffic, and in the silent snowfall, I could hear a just-under-two-mile distant train whistle carried by the northeast breeze and focused by the large apartment building facing W Street and Meridian Hill Park. It reminded me of being in Long Branch, N.J., where you hear the New Jersey Transit train whistles all the time.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Back from a Winter Weekend on the Jersey Shore in My Snowless, Worthless Washington World

A wall and rocky outcropping along the beach in part of Long Branch, N.J., 3:15PM January 24, 2015.

Quite a few spots on the Jersey shore -- especially in Monmouth County, less so on the barrier islands to the south -- really have this vaguely post-apocalyptic, fortress-like appearance. You just get used to it if you grow up in New Jersey, and in fact, it's what a beach is "supposed" to look like, even though doing this to the coastline results in an ecologically dreadful coastal geomorphology. Part of this has to do, I think, with how property can be privately owned in New Jersey on the beach up to the mean high-tide mark.


Seawall, jetty*, and Atlantic surf, Long Branch, N.J., 3:10PM January 24, 2015.

*More properly speaking, this isn't a jetty but a groin, which stabilizes a beach. A jetty is a usually much structure (of various materials including rock) used to stabilize an inlet.


I'm back "home" in Washington, D.C., from my weekend in Long Branch, N.J., to say goodbye to and also to celebrate the life of a very special lady at a funeral and repast where I went with my mom and Ray even though this is on my dad's side of the family and my mom hasn't been married into that family since 1974. To be clear, dad is down in Florida and didn't go.

I have lots of photographs from my trek up and gadding about there but not, necessarily, from the funeral services.

Yours truly with one of the two sphinxes that grace the steps leading up to historic Wilson Hall ("Shadow Lawn") at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J., 2:14PM January 24, 2015.

This sphinx faces to the east, the other to the west. I think this east-facing one has had that broken nose since I the early 1970s (I vaguely recall it back then). There is also picture of me as a 5-year old sitting on the west-facing one.

Here's the west-facing sphinx with yours truly. His nose isn't broken.

When I lived in Long Branch the school was called "Monmouth College." It apparently became a "university" in 1995. As for Wilson Hall, it was featured in the 1982 movie Annie. Also, Norwood Avenue is the boundary of the City of Long Branch and the Borough of West Long Branch. The university is in West Long Branch.


I intend to post the pictures along with other content -- both that describes the events and from the obituary and a front-page Asbury Park Press article that appeared in yesterday's print edition. (I already linked to it in my previous entry.)

However, I'm not going to even discuss anything in this entry lest my foul and dyspeptic mood mar the sanctity of that event.

368 Kirby Ave, Long Branch, N.J., 2:21PM Jan. 24, 2015.

This is the house my grandparents owned and live in from about 1957 to January 1981. I was there intermittently as a baby and young child and then lived there from March 1977 through January 1981, ages 7 to 11.

The person(s) who own it now ruined it with that ugly beige paint job (which was done sometime between early Sept. 2008 and late Jan. 2013). Oddly enough, the three evergreen (Yew) bushes visible in the image were all there when I lived there -- in fact, they are all older than I am. The lamp on the side of the driveway is also the original, as is the front entrance door with a glass "T" (which you probably cannot see in this picture's resolution) that stood for, yes, "Todaro".

The big Norway maple in the front yard is long gone. However, the Norway maple on the left edge of the picture (larger tree) was planted by my grandmother with her late son and my uncle and namesake, Richard, before he died in 1963.

What was once a garage is now an enclosed part of the house.

Another view of 368 Kirby Ave, Long Branch, N.J., taken at 2:23 PM January 24, 2015.

Goodbye, my old home.

As a bit of address trivia, the "368" is actually part of a numbering system that runs all the way from Ocean Avenue about a mile and a half away -- except these are long blocks and the numbers continue across intersecting streets from X01 to X99. I figured that out on this trip.


OK, I wrote "home" above in quotes because Washington, D.C., is the worst place on Planet Earth both meteorologically and spiritually. Furthermore, EVERYTHING that has happened to me in and around since I came to the immediate area on that inauspicious day over 22 years ago has been varying degrees rotten. Imbibing the culture of the District of Columbia is little more than a of slow-drip spiritual death, a nihilistic suicide, if you will. As for me, not speaking hyperbolically, ALL my friendships and relationships here have been varying degrees mistakes, failures, disasters, and catastrophes.

Welcome to the Imperial Capital City of Oz. 

If D.C. is Oz, then its stupid Capital Beltway and radiating "state thoroughfares" are a sort of Yellow Brick Road to no where while 17th Street leads you the gayborhood Munchkin Gay Mafia Quarter with its Mayor and little inner sanctum.


OK, clearly, I'm a foul mood and not even a just-concluded semi-decent gym workout has brightened my outlook. As for the wherefore and why, well, that brings me to the nitty-gritty of this entry: There will be NO further discussion after this entry on this blog of the impending "historic," "epic," and/or "paralyzing blizzard" that is set to affect the very part of New Jersey where I just was and points north and east across the New York City metropolitan area and into New England.

The NWS advisories for the northeastern continental U.S. at 7:42PM EST January 25, 2015. The color-coded legend is not included but the florid orange-red color represents blizzard warnings. The magenta - hot pink are winter storm warnings. The bluish-purple are worthless winter weather advisories. The deeper blue are winter storm watches. The deep purple offshore are storm warnings, a step up from gale warnings.


This is because the system -- starting out as an Alberta clipper that transfers its energy to a coastal low that undergoes explosive cyclogenesis -- gives frickin', flippin' Metro D.C. the USUAL and FOREVER screw-over with "maybe an inch" of (actual) slushy shit.

All the Usual Suspects will be happy: Fred Hiatt's Washington Consensus crowd and their oligarchical overclass pay-masters (not to mention their special legal needs one, Benji Wittes). the Wall-P robotic money vacuum, and the Sterling LWX crew and their pet SHE-Dragon, the Palka-cabra creature.

The SHE-Dragon herself, the Sue Palka-Cabra creature, in her domestic abode.


True, there is some stupid "winter weather advisory" in effect while the counties right along the west side of useless and polluted Chesapeake Bay (Anne Arundel, Calvert, and St. Mary's) have a winter storm watch in case the low is closer to the coast than forecasted. (The result of that set up is that Charles County actually has no weather advisories in effect.)

The Sterling (LWX) NWS webpage county warning area (CWA) advisories as of 8:15PM EST January 25, 2015.


As for New Jersey around Long Branch, well, once again, it's the "usual" monster, in this case, 24 to 36 inches of snow. New York City could get up to 38 inches of snow and 3 feet as well on Long Island with white out blizzard conditions.

Updated 8:47AM 1/26/2015

I would like to be clear where I got the 38 inch figure for New York City. It comes from adding up the higher amounts for each period in the NWS's grid-point forecast for Manhattan from late last night.

Click on image for larger version and add the shown totals. The range is 25 to 38 inches of snow.


A snowfall forecast map from the New York NWS Forecast Office (Upton, New York) valid through 7AM EST Jan. 28, 2015. There are widespread totals of 24 to 36 inches.

Finally, here is a New York Times article discussing the possibility of the snowstorm being among the biggest New York City has received.

End of Update.


To be clear, I'm not even sure I would want that much snow. It is very disruptive and becomes a gloppy, impossible-to-navigate mess when it starts to melt. However, I'm just sick and tired of this shitty game that I've played multiple times over the years -- at least twice (see here and here) on this impending scale in just over the past 4 years -- and I refuse to play it again.

Thus, I am going into self-imposed weather information black-out mode for the next 48 to 72 hours. Nobody frickin' ask me ANYTHING about the weather. And NO texts from a certain person. I've already told him that -- FULL STOP.

The Mount Holly / Philadelphia (PHI) NWS CWA advisories as of 8:15PM EST January 25, 2015.


SO if and unless anything unexpected happens here -- and it NEVER NEVER NEVER does in the present climate regime, at least on Jason Samenow's and his Capital Weather Gang's wintertime "BOOM" side -- this is the last I will mention anything of the impending non-event here no matter the outcome in New Jersey, New York, and into New England.

Oh, and in case I didn't mention it, I hates Warshingtun, D.C. It's not my home. It never was and never will be.

OK, that's all for now. As for that other entry, I just don't know how long it will take me to compose, but I'll try, though it could be days, weeks, or never. No, actually, I will make an effort to post those pictures.