Friday, March 6, 2015

A Late Season Snowy Day in Washington, D.C.: A Photo-Essay Recap and Regional Overview

Snowy boughs of the evergreen trees that grow along L'Enfant Promenade by DOE with the Washington Monument poking up in the clear-sky distance, Washington, D.C., 1:18PM March 6, 2015.


This entry features pictures taken on my snowy walkabout yesterday here in Washington, D.C., specifically, within the general confines of that part of the "D.C. Bubble" in which I live, as well as two today and one my mom sent me (discussed below). Gary and I took a walk that was more of a bar-hopping excursion.

It started at lunch at Trio and ended in a boozy haze at the downstairs bar at Floriana where I talked to Jamie before heading home probably around 10PM. I woke up at 12:30AM-ish -- amazed and happy that I still had the whole night in front of me to sleep. This is discussed in moire detail below in the context of the images.

Snowy day outside my Hampton Courts apartment building in the 2000 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 11:57AM March 5, 2015.


Except for the lead one, the photos in here are presented as I and (in two cases) Gary took them. For more general snowy pictures, see this Capital Weather Gang entry (link embedded): D.C. photographers capture the mood of late winter snowstorm (Photos).

There are lots of nice pictures in that entry.

1900 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW on a snowy day, Washington, D.C., 12:00PM March 5, 2015.


Before I continue with this thematic entry, though, I do want to note that my stepfather, Ray, had a stent procedure today at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to clear badly blocked blood vessels. It took a bit longer than anticipated (I was getting worried and about to call my mom), but he is fine now and back home. I was in text touch with my mom all day. She sent me two pictures of Ray -- before and after surgery -- along with a view from a waiting room window. I won't post the pictures of Ray but the window view is posted here:

The view from the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., 12:01PM March 6, 2015. This is one of the pictures that my mom sent me while at the hospital today for Ray's procedure.

In the distance is the Francis Scott Key Bridge and those giant harbor (gantry?) crane towers you see in shipyards.


Poor Ray. He's in such crappy health. Much of this is a legacy of being in Vietnam all those years ago. As for my dad, though he is 7 years older than Ray at 74, his physical health is quite fine. His mental health is another issue.

The fountain at Dupont Circle on a snowy day, Washington, D.C., 12:14PM March 5, 2015.

There was a stupid local news truck and a dazzlingly bright klieg light (or whatever those things are called) set up outside the Starbucks on the outer edge of the circle. I now know why: The media folks were awaiting the "news" of a flash-mob good-natured but intense snowball fight at Dupont Circle, which apparently occurred later on. Thankfully, I missed that. That's how D.C. Millennials entertain themselves when it snows in Washington.


Returning to the theme of this entry ...

We had a late season snowfall yesterday in the D.C. area and around the mid-Atlantic region from Virginia to parts of eastern Massachusetts. Snowfall totals broadly ranged from 6 to 10 inches with the usual spots (southern Maryland and south of D.C. in Virginia) into getting lesser amounts and the other usual spots (north and west of the District into central and upper Montgomery County, Howard County, Carroll County, and into the Blue Ridge and Alleghenies) getting more. National Airport (KDCA) came in way low, of course, but its way low was not as way low as it could have been with 4.8 inches.

Another view of Dupont Circle on a snowy day, Washington, D.C., 12:19PM March 5, 2015.

I had walked to the Bank of America ATM to get some money.


Regardless, enough snow fell at KDCA and earlier this winter at BWI Airport (KBWI) and Dulles Int'l Airport (KIAD) that all three are now in surplus for the full season even if no more measurable snowfall occurs. Both KBWI and KIAD had daily record snowfalls of 6.2 inches and 9.5 inches, respectively -- and in the case of Dulles, it shattered its old record by 8.5 inches.

The event totals at the regional airport weather / climate stations as well as seasonal totals and departures from normal are given below. It is doubtful there will be much more snow, in particular in the District, in which case the totals so far are also the seasonal totals.

The Cairo in the 1600 block of Q Street NW, Washington, D.C., 12:50PM March 5, 2015.

The Cairo is the reason why Washington, D.C., has such stringent height restrictions on its buildings. The rationale and legal basis changed from the initial reason but it was this building's completion in 1894 that prompted the original local ordinance for fire safety reasons in 1899 that was latter codified into a Federal law for aesthetic reasons.


Actually, at this point, I'm ready for spring to arrive. This evening is a mostly clear, cold one with temps. already around 25F. There were record daily lows this morning at KIAD (9F) and KBWI (10F).

The KBWI low beat the previous daily record low of 13F set twice -- and both way back in the pre-airport record in 1901 and even earlier in 1873 (shortly after official record keeping started) when records were kept, I think, at the U.S. Custom House in downtown Baltimore. (The Dulles record, though only back to Jan. 1963, is continuously at the same spot.)

The exterior of venerable old Trio on a snowy day, Washington, D.C., 2:35PM March 5, 2015.

I'm finally used to the new interior redesign of Trio. Fred told me that the previous design -- which I thought dated back to the early 1980s -- actually came about later that that, probably in the mid-to-late 1990s.


As I've mentioned multiple times, National Airport almost never breaks daily record lows because its wholly unrepresentative location south of the District at the edge of the tidal Potomac that gives it a micro-climate probably more akin to that of Williamsburg, Va., is competing with an older and colder record taken in downtown locations (most notably, M and 24th Streets NW) in the late 19th/early 20th Century when it was just colder overall.

A new friend, Fred, after our lunch at Trio standing in the moderate-to-heavy snow then falling at the corner of 17th and Q Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 2:35PM March 5, 2015.

Fred is my neighbor and we go to the same gym (Anthony Bowen YMCA).


Anyway, the airport totals are below. The departures from normal are through today, not yesterday. Departures are measured with respect to the 1981 - 2010 "normal" period used by the National Weather Service.


Event: 4.8 inches / Daily Record surpassing the 4.4 inches in 1888* (a pre-airport record)

*No, this was not from the Blizzard of 1888 -- that occurred between March 11 and 14th and it dropped 6.0 inches in D.C. itself on the 11th.

March total: 4.9 inches
Normal / Departure: 0.5 inches / +4.4 inches

Seasonal total: 18.3 inches
Normal / Departure: 14.6 inches / +3.7 inches

Total seasonal average: 15.4 inches
Seasonal departure: +2.9 inches (assumes no additional measurable snowfall)

Gary in the snow in the 1700 block of P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 2:42PM March 5, 2015.

Moments earlier, we had walked down 17th Street past JR's, where I had a close-in Crow Creature sighting. The Crow Creature was freely tossing birdseed toxic rock salt on the ground to make less slippery the way of weaving, boozy patrons that would later patronize their patronage.


BAD CROW! Get outta that snow!

There were no M-WADE sightings.



Event: 6.2 inches / Daily Record surpassing the 4.0 inches in 1902 (a pre-airport record)

March total: 6.5 inches
Normal / Departure: 0.7 inches / +5.8 inches

Seasonal total: 27.5 inches
Normal / Departure: 18.9 inches / +8.6 inches

Total seasonal average: 20.1 inches
Seasonal departure: +7.4 inches (assumes no additional measurable snowfall

The window in a small, oddly shaped separate closet in the oddly configured men's bathroom at The Mad Hatter on Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 3:15PM March 5, 2015.

This bathroom has a urinal and a stall -- except the stall features a toilet and several additional urinals behind a door the stall door that doesn't lock. What's more, there is another door revealing a small closet-like space with the window visible in this picture. This space is used to store mops and buckets.

Very odd. Of note, I had never been to The Mad Hatter before.



Event: 9.5 inches / Daily Record surpassing the 1.0 inches in 2001

March total: 9.6 inches
Normal / Departure: 0.8 inches / +8.8 inches

Seasonal total: 36.0 inches
Normal / Departure: 19.7 inches / +16.3 inches

Total seasonal average: 22.0 inches
Seasonal departure: +14.0 inches (assumes no additional measurable snowfall)

The Sultan Qaboos Culture Center exterior, L and 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., on a snowy day, 3:40PM March 5, 2015.


Snowfall totals were in the 6 to 9 inch range across New Jersey and the New York City area. Central Park (KNYC) recorded 7.5 inches and LaGuardia Airport (KLGA) had 8.1 inches while JFK Airport (KJFK) had 5.8 inches and Newark Liberty Int'l Airport (KEWR) had 6.7 inches.

Philadelphia Int'l Airport (KPHI) had 7.5 inches. That was not a daily record. For the winter, Philadelphia has had 23.0 inches of snow or +3.1 inches above normal to date. Last year, KPHI at this point had 62.9 inches of snow.

Snowfall summary map or the March 5, 2015 event in the mid-Atlantic region. This map comes from the Mount Holly / Philadelphia NWS website.


Interestingly, there was significant snowfall in southern New England including Rhode Island and onto Cape Code with 8 to 12 inches but the Boston area was basically spared -- and I do mean "spared," given the ghastly snow-blitzed-and-bounded winter that it has had. Boston Logan Int'l Airport (KBOS) only had a trace of snow yesterday. For D.C. to have a significant snowfall and Boston to miss it is really unusual.

Snowy view to the west along K Street NW by McPherson Square, Washington, D.C., 3:47PM March 5, 2015.


For the season, KBOS is at 105.7 inches or +69.9 inches above normal and just 1.9 inches away from tying the all-time snowiest winter season total of 107.6 inches set in 1995-1996. Keep in mind, though, that about 95 inches of that snow fell in a 30-day period between Jan. 25th and Feb. 26th.

Not far away, Providence, R.I. at T.F. Green Airport (KPVD) had 6.3 inches of snow, a daily record. For the season, it is at 73.5 inches or +44.3 inches above normal.

The interior of the Post Pub, Washington, D.C., 4:06PM March 5, 2015.

I thought perhaps a certain bartender would be working but he was not. Gary and I stayed long enough for two whiskey shots before heading back into the snow.

I wonder if any members now and former of The Washington Post Editorial Board -- the font and source of all Neoliberal "Destroy the Working Class" Economics and Neoconservative "War Now!" "self-evident truths" of the Washington Consensus / Beltway courtier class -- have ever been in this bar. Surely some Postie reporters have.


Yours truly in the snow, 1100 block of Vermont Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 4:11PM March 5, 2015.

Gary and I toyed with the idea of stopping at subterranean and very Old School D.C. "boojie" Stan's, but opted to continue on to No. 9. There is no view outside and the drinks are served like at Fox & Hound in that manner of glass full of your liquor of choice and small glass bottle of mixer that you're supposed to add, the result being the first half of the drink is pure liquor (e.g., vodka, gin, rum, or whatever you chose).

Besides, I wanted to be in the snow as long as possible, since the radar trends showed that it would end soon.


Yours truly, with snowy Thomas Circle in the background, Washington, D.C., 4:15PM March 5, 2015.

Gary and I were walking to No. 9, where we had a few more drinks. Fred actually rejoined us, although Gary and I got terribly distracted by the 5PM preliminary climo numbers from Sterling (LWX) that indicated only 1.8 inches of snow at KDCA -- which not only made no sense, but if it stood, it would have resulted in a seasonal total of 15.3 inches of snow or 0.1 inch below normal.

That idea was very irritating to me, all the more so because the individual who oversees the KDCA record-keeping (with a bevy of FAA contractors) seems to get a real thrill out of having KDCA produce such unrepresentative numbers.


A lady with umbrella walking in the snow, 1200 block of 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 4:18PM March 5, 2015.


KDCA later reported 4.8 inches as a daily and event total. Oh, and KBWI appeared to have an equipment malfunction and was reporting only "trace" in the preliminary update and for a time in the "final" figure (which was subsequently revised to 6.2 inches).

Snowy day looking along the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 4:24PM March 5, 2015.

This is near where I lived for an unhappy six months in the Newport West in late 2003 and first half of 2004. God, that was an awful time.


Anyway, Gary and I left Fred there, parted ways, and I walked to Floriana, where I met Jamie. I wasn't planning on doing that but I did and it was quite pleasant, although I don't remember much at that point. I recall the place was crowded and D. the bartender said hello to me.

I actually left for a time -- without my book bag or gloves and hat -- only to turn around and return and get everything (still on the floor under a small table). That would have been bad, esp. as I had my work Smartphone on me as well. (All the pictures in this entry were taken with my flip open phone.)

As I said, I got home probably around 930PM or 10PM.

Another view on the 1400 block of Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 4:25PM March 5, 2015.

This is actually the last image taken yesterday.


It is Friday night but I am quite exhausted. I had a slow day at work, although I had an hour long meeting with the top CEO of our company, or rather, the larger parent company, and there are a slew of writing projects that should be coming my way in the next few weeks. This isn't billable work supporting the Federal client but it is still important for me and my job security.

One down note: The annual 8-month charade of "daylight savings time" begins this weekend -- and accompanied, as ever, by all the usual bullsh!t nonsensical reasons that have nothing to do with anything.

One last, rather nice picture ...

A snow-fringed evergreen tree that grows along the side of L'Enfant Promenade near the entrance to DOE, set on a bright, sunny, blue sky, Washington, D.C., 3:18PM March 5, 2015.


And with that, I conclude this entry. I suspect I will not be mentioned accumulating (or really any) snowfall in D.C. again this season on this blog. Tomorrow, I intend to post a jukebox Saturday night entry after my usual Saturday afternoon gym visit.


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