Saturday, October 3, 2015

Notes from a Drizzly, Gray Saturday Afternoon: Hurricane Joaquin Beats the Bahamas, Spares U.S. East Coast; S.C. Deluge; D.C. Area Rainfall Totals; and YMCA National Capital to Close

**UPDATED 4:00AM 10/4/2015: See below for more info on the incredible South Carolina rainfall event.**

The kind of day I just like.


Saturday early afternoon.

For starters, we can sound the all-clear on Hurricane Joaquin, as the tropical cyclone is now accelerating to the northeast away from the Bahamas, which were hit hard the past few days, and there will be no direct impact on the East Coast of the U.S.

Having said that, I should note that a cargo ship, the El Faro, with 33 people on board that was caught in the hurricane is missing.

Animated loop of the 12Z* Oct 3, 2015 ECMWF ("Euro") model showing forecasted precipitation through Monday night (i.e., hour 72), Oct. 5, 2015.

*It might be the 0Z Euro but I think it is the 12Z run. I got it from this CWG entry.


However, a tremendous, indeed, historic rainfall event is occurring right now in the Carolinas, especially South Carolina, as a result of the antecedent synoptic pattern that set up that includes a strong tropical moisture feed. It's a bad situation in parts down there including the Charleston area. Rainfall amounts of 10 to 15 inches are ongoing and storm totals could exceed 20 inches in places.

Charleston, S.C. NWS radar (CLX) in enhanced base mode reflectivity, 1:30PM EDT October 3, 2015.


Flooded street scene in Charleston, S.C., Oct. 3, 2015 in an Instagram picture posted by "Jamie_Julep" (see above-linked CWG entry).


UPDATED 4:00AM 10/4/2015

OK, I considered posting this as a new entry -- esp. given the magnitude of what is happening in South Carolina -- but I opted instead to update this entry.

The Columbia, S.C., NWS (CAE) radar loop in standard composite mode from 3:04AM - 3:34AM EDT Oct. 4, 2015.

Columbia Metropolitan Airport (KCAE) is up to 6.36" of rain for the past three days, the bulk of which has fallen since 8PM.


The Charleston, S.C. NWS (CLX) radar in standard base reflectivity mode from 3:03AM - 3:38AM EDT Oct. 4, 2015.

The rainfall totals in South Carolina are simply phenomenal. At this point, Charleston Int'l Airport (KCHS) has had a three-day rainfall total of 14.35".

KCHS weather observation from 8AM EDT Oct. 3, 2015 through 3AM EDT Oct. 4, 2015.

End of Update


For the Baltimore/Washington area, we had a gusty, rainy day yesterday -- as did much of the Eastern Seaboard all the way to southern New England -- but the pattern is relaxing. Nevertheless, it remains drizzly, breezy, and cool with temperatures only about 55F here in D.C. at the noon hour. Winds are from the northeast at 15MPH with gusts to about 20MPH.

Scene in Alexandria, Va., on October 1, 2015 in a Flickr photo by Kathy Swendiman and posted in this CWG entry.


To be clear, this is EXACTLY the kind of weather that I love and I am tempted to nix my usual Saturday afternoon gym routine and take a walk, esp. since tomorrow will not be quite as weather-wise perfect for me.

Event totals through noon today (and by event, I am stretching back to last Wednesday, Sept. 28th:

For the three full calendar days, KDCA had had include 3.39" through midnight last night with another 0.15" so far today or 3.54".

For KBWI, there was 3.27" through that same period plus and another 0.46" today or 3.73". At this point, KBWI is at 41.48" year-to-date or just 0.40" away from its current 30-year annual average of 41.88".

For KIAD, it recorded 2.99" in that same period and another 0.35" today or 3.34" so far.

So amounts are fairly uniform -- and much needed.

Actually, it looks like Gary and I are going to take a walk and I'll -- gasp -- skip the gym today. (I have gone FOUR times since last Saturday, each time the full 3-hour routine of jogging 6+ miles, weightlifting, and swimming, so it's not like I've been a slackard (is that the right spelling for that word?).

Speaking of the gym, there has been a major development that, alas, does not surprise me (link embedded): The YMCA National Capital is to close in late December.

Google street view outside the YMCA National Capital, June 2014.


I am going to post a nice entry about what the YMCA National Capital has meant to me and my relationship with that place over the years (i.e., back in the early 2000s and again after I rejoined it in June 2012 until October 2013 when I switched to the YMCA Anthony Bowen). I'm also going to have to go there a few more times before it closes. I will miss it's big swimming pool. (The Anthony Bowen pool is much smaller.)

If you read the above-linked article, I can tell you that I am among that 25% who switched their membership to the YMCA Anthony Bowen. I guess I wasn't very loyal to the place.

A few other items ...

I might be going camping next weekend with Andrea, Imara, Jake, et al. This would be my second attempt at camping. The first didn't go so well. This is to take place at the Seneca Shadows Camp Ground in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area (NRA) in West Virginia.

Seneca Shadows Campground, Spruce Knob - Seneca Rocks NRA, West Virginia, Aug. 2014.


I'm inclined to go even though camping is so not my "thing" because this is in West Virginia in October -- and if I can't manage to do that, then I'm sort of outdoors useless (which I sort of am). I am not Natan and have never pretended to be.

If I do go, I'll be the oldest person there by at least 10 years and more like 20 years in some instances.

Blurry cellphone picture inside Stan's, Washington, D.C., 9:44PM Oct. 2, 2015.


As for last night, I met Andrea and Imara after work at the Old Bar at Old Ebbitt Grill and later I stopped solo at Stan's.

Stan's is OLD SCHOOL D.C. We're talking 1980s Marion Barry Old School.

Lastly, I'm not sure I'll be posting a jukebox Saturday night entry today as I can't really think of any songs to post. In addition, if I take a walk with Gary, I might not get back in time to do so.

OK, that's all for now. My next update might not be until Monday night.

Peace Out. May the El Faro crew be found safely.

-- Regulus

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