Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Distracted Entry I Promised Not to Post (But Did So Anyway): Rainy Los Angeles; Dry D.C.; and the Washington Consensus, Still Trumped

A gloomy day downpour along a Los Angeles area freeway with an unintentionally (albeit only temporarily) ironic sign warning of severe drought in a picture taken on September 15, 2015. Source image here.

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OK, I know I promised in my previous entry that I wouldn't let events -- including weather ones -- distract me from my intended catching up on the backlog of planned entries. However, here is a brief distraction ...


Video: When It Rains In L.A.

The above YouTube video was posted on BuzzFeed.com in response to a rainy day in L.A. I came across it in this Capital Weather Gang entry.

The opening in some busy office features a young lady petting her little lap dog that is half hidden in her purse while googling the term "organic dog food" (ha ha). The funniest part is the young black woman and white guy trying to figure out how to work an umbrella:


"I don't know how to use this thing! Is there an ON button or something??"

"Open it! OPEN IT!!"

It ends with a minor earthquake that two co-workers just laugh off.

To be clear, on Tuesday (Sept. 15th), the remnant tropical moisture from what had been Hurricane Linda -- not to be confused with the 1997 powerful Hurricane Linda that reached category 5 status and at once point was forecasted to come ashore in Southern California as a bona fide tropical storm but in the end, did not do so -- brought highly beneficial rains to the Los Angeles basin, albeit not without flash flooding and accompanying problems.*

NWS Los Angeles (VTX) radar in base mode reflectivity, 7:27AM PDT September 15, 2015.

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Rainfall totals ranging from 1/4 inch to 2-1/2 inches that fell across Los Angeles County weren't just daily records in a number of spots, but were in some instances among the heaviest September 24-hour totals. This CWG entry has an overview of the preliminary totals and puts them in context.

NWS Santa Ana Mountains (SOX) radar in base mode reflectivity, 7:30AM PDT September 15, 2015.

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*In addition to flash flooding and mudslides, a noteworthy problem was flooding of the Los Angeles River that inundated the various homeless encampments that line it and a number of emergency rescues that were required by swift-water rescue teams.

A downpour at a freeway overpass in downtown Los Angeles in the unusually gloomy and wet dawn of September 15, 2015.

It looks like something right out of Blade Runner.

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The Los Angeles River in an unusual near flood stage threatens to inundate the meager possessions of a homeless person near downtown Los Angeles, September 15, 2015.

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Two noteworthy totals were KLAX at 2.39" and KCQT (that's the downtown USC campus NWS recording spot) had 1.80" of rain on Sept. 15th. KLGB (Long Beach Airport) had 0.93" and KBUR (Bob Hope Airport) had 1.04", both also daily records. The 2.39" was the second wettest 24-hour period ever in the month of September.

A swift-water rescue team helps a stranded man along the banks of the Los Angeles River near downtown L.A. following flooding rains, September 15, 2015.

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California is suffering through an epic multi-year drought, but the powerful warm ENSO event now underway as well as the warm phase PDO seem to be combining to bring tropical moisture ashore in Southern California from the remnants of tropical cyclones in the eastern Pacific. This happened two months ago with the remnants of Hurricane Delores, although the San Diego area had more in that event than the L.A. area.

The Pacific Southwest sector of the NWS national composite radar mosaic at 1418UTC (7:18AM PDT) September 15, 2015 showing the remnant rainfall from what had been Hurricane Linda over Southern California.

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Of note, the Atlantic basin, the tropical season is, in a word, DEAD. The tropical cyclone activity has been very low and what has existed has displayed odd behavior, such as tropical systems dissipating as they APPROACHED the Lesser Antilles (Hurricane Danny and Tropical Storm Erika) and one (Hurricane Fred) actually hitting the Cape Verde Islands. Such an event had previously only happened once in the modern weather record-keeping era back in 1892.

As for the L.A. rains, the irony is that both KLAX and KCQT and significantly above the monthly totals for three of the four main climate stations in the immediate Baltimore / Washington area where excessively dry conditions have prevailed since late July and have intensified this month into a borderline drought in places. Consider the following:

September 2014 observed versus normal through the 16th for three L.A. area climate stations versus four Baltimore/Washington area stations (all amounts in inches):

KCQT: 2.39 / 0.07 (+2.32)
KLAX: 1.81 / 0.06 (+1.75)
KLGB: 0.95 / 0.05 (+0.90)

KDCA: 0.27 / 1.88 (-1.61)
KIAD: 0.31 / 2.03 (-1.72)
KBWI: 0.47 / 2.04 (-1.57)
KDMH: 1.66 / 2.08 (-0.42)

As I mentioned, the weather in this area is just shitty with wall-to-wall cloudless sunshine and daytime warmth with highs around 85F (though the nights have been fine so far). A massive ridge has been anchored over the Eastern U.S. -- and extension, I presume, of a late season Bermuda-Azores high.

Actually, much of the country is quite weather-wise with a notable absence of weather advisories:

NWS weather advisories as of 0319UTC (11:19PM EDT) September 17, 2015.

A few comments on this map ...

The gray-shading over the Baltimore/Washington and Philadelphia areas as well as the Delmarva is actually an air quality alert for Thursday during the day.

Sterling (LWX) NWS county warning area (CWA) advisories as of 1:20AM EDT September 17, 2015.

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There is a flood watch along the Atlantic coast of central and northern Florida and Georgia co-- including where my dad lives near Flagler Beach -- as a result of abundant showers and t-storms. There is actually a quasi-tropical low in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico "trapped" below (south of) the massive East Coast ridge. That ridge has also set up onshore flow along its southern flank, drawing moisture into Florida along the Atlantic coast, hence the rain.

Jacksonville (JAX) NWS CWA advisories, 11:50PM EDT September 16, 2015.

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Melbourne (MLB) NWS CWA advisories as of 11:53PM EDT September 16, 2015.

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That burnt orange color along the coast of Southern California and along the immediate shorelines of the Hawaiian Islands are actually tsunami advisories as a result of a powerful earthquake that occurred just off the coast of Chile on Wednesday evening local time (22:54 UTC). However, no significant tsunamis have occurred or are expected (had this happened, THAT would have been a major news story). Fortunately, the death toll seems minimal so far as well at only five fatalities reported.

Honolulu (HNL) NWS CWA advisories, 7:00PM HST (1:00AM EDT) September 16 (17th), 2015.

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The earthquake's Richter scale magnitude is given as 8.3 by USGS with the center 46 km offshore from Illapel, Chile. Over 1 million people were ordered evacuated along the Chilean coast. Some small tsunami waves were reported.

Back to the weather for our area ...

Looking ahead, there really is nothing on the horizon except some very tentative possibilities that are well within the "fantasy panel" range of the GFS. The 18Z 9/16/2015 operational GFS had 3+ inches of rain for this area between hour 162 and the end of its run at hour 384 based on some coastal low -- possibly "descended" from the above-mentioned weather feature along the Florida coastline.

However, I'm sure the 0Z 9/17/2015 run will have removed it entirely. I haven't checked and don't want to.

The Baltimore & Annapolis (B&A) trail next to the Pascal Senior Center, Glen Burnie, Md., 1:25PM Sept. 16, 2015.

My mom took this nice picture and sent it to me on Wednesday.

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As for the CWG, I find it hard to visit the site given entries such as this one that celebrate ("It's hard to find much fault in this fabulous-looking forecast"**) all this damn sunshine and warmth as the greatest thing, well, ever -- Jesus himself ready to jump down from His Cross and rush into our time and place to celebrate it.

**Oh, I can find fault in it. Easy.

Speaking of Jesus, or rather, the Rock upon which His Church was built, Pope Francis -- an awesome human being -- is coming to D.C. next week as part of a multi-city U.S. visit. I'll have more to say about that, but suffice it to say that the crowds and disruptions are expected to resemble a Presidential Inaugural. OPM is already making plans for teleworking and all that.

This Awesome Pope: Francis. We love you.

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OK, that's enough of that. My apologies for the "distracted" entry.

At least I didn't write anything about tonight's interminable GOP presidential debate hosted by CNN. I was at the gym and saw that it was on for basically 2-1/2 hours, but, thankfully, it was muted and I mostly managed to avoid looking at the particular TV showing it.

I don't know who "won" the debate, but I suspect in this topsy-turvy year, Mark Halperin's "Gang of 500" Beltway conventional wisdom -- featuring the Beatific Vision of Fred "Washington Consensus" Hiatt smiling sweetly from his Above-the-Fray-On-High Professional Centrist perch -- will be all wrong again.

Such as been the joyful benefit to the hitherto relentless Trump juggernaut: The Washington Consensus, tools of the corporate oligarchical overclass, all confused and confounded.

For a second-by-second account of that debate that gets you lost so that you can see the forest for the trees, so to speak, you can always visit the TalkingPointsMemo.com site (I'm not going to try to link to any of the accounts.) I still want Donald Trump to work his egomaniacal wrecking ball magic on the GOP for a while.

Gym-wise, I had a very good three-part workout tonight.

OK, that really is all for now. Unfortunately, my planned entry will have to wait until tomorrow night or Friday. I'm sorry. But at least this entry is interesting, yes?

--Regulus

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