Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Ringing Out 2015 Edition: A Final National Capital Y Swim, Lost Holiday Time, Dec. Record Warmth, & NYE Plans -OR- To the North Pole, Rockville, and Back With Just Hoodie & Gloves

1300 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 2:45PM, Dec. 31, 2015.


This will be my last entry of 2015.

I don't have much time to write now. Worse, I don't really have any suitable pictures to post. I may just post this entry with almost none.

I teleworked for part of the day today, but I also made it to the YMCA National Capital for its final day.

I took some pictures and I went into the big swimming pool, which I will quite miss. (The YMCA Anthony Bowen has a pool but it is much smaller with no real deep end.) The pool was having a last hurrah with nearly two dozen people in there -- about as crowded as I have ever seen it.

There was a lot of hugging and farewell conversations at this once-formidable downtown gym. I didn't really talk to anyone except that fellow Roosevelt who has run the shoeshine operation at least since I first joined that gym back in July 2001.

I asked him what he is going to do and he said, "I dunno," although subsequently he said he may try to go over to the Anthony Bowen Y. (He told me he first started at the National Capital Y about 17 years ago -- so in the late 1990s.)

All of that warrants a separate entry.

The big swimming pool at the YMCA National Capital on the very last day in the very last hour of its use before the facility is closed and torn down; Washington, D.C., 2:37PM December 31, 2015.


I tried to get a haircut at the Hair Cuttery on Connecticut Avenue but the wait was 35 minutes so I nixed that idea. I'll just have to be poofy-haired a bit longer and use the CHI pomade or gel that I have. I don't always like using it and sometimes just let my hair remain puffed out.

As for work and this holiday season that is now drawing to an end, I realized that I have used 10 hours of vacation leave time this pay period that I could have used as officially-sanctioned "holiday" by working an additional 6 hours (combined on Christmas Eve day and today, New Years Eve day). Furthermore, I'm practically borderline negative again because I use it almost at the rate I accrue it.

I have a bit more sick leave -- nearly a week -- so I guess I could get a nasty flu and spend a week at home.

For the upcoming MLK weekend trip to Buffalo -- itself the delayed Christmas one -- and assuming it still happens, I may dip briefly negative (you can go to -24 hours or 3 full work days on vacation leave). Some vacation.

We wrap up December 2015 as easily the warmest one on record in the Baltimore / Washington area (including at the three main airport climate stations), as well as over a broad swath of the eastern United States. I don't have the official final numbers yet but Sterling (LWX) has been keeping a tally in the area forecast discussions and through yesterday we have the following:

1) 51.2F (DEC 1-30 2015)
2) 46.1F (DEC 1-30 1889)
3) 46.0F (DEC 1-30 2001)

1) 49.0F (DEC 1-30 2015)
2) 46.4F (DEC 1-30 1889)
3) 46.0F (DEC 1-30 1931)

1) 48.6F (DEC 1-30 2015)
2) 43.3F (DEC 1-30 1984)
3) 43.0F (DEC 1-30 1982)

This means that Dec. 2015 so far is the warmest December by 5.1F at KDCA, 2.6F at KBWI, and 5.3F at KIAD. (The only reason KBWI isn't higher is because the BWI Airport period record since 1950 is vying against the downtown Baltimore Custom House period.) In absolute terms, the three airports are running +11.4F, +12.1F, and +12.0F through Dec. 30th.

Globally, 2015 was almost certainly the warmest year on record. (Sorry, George F. Will and Teabaggers everywhere.)

BTW, all the record warmth in the Eastern U.S. around Christmas time -- associated with a massive and destructive storm that really pummeled the middle of the United States with tornadoes, floods, and blizzards that caused scores of fatalities in multiple states -- actually made it into the high Arctic.

Indeed, it appears that the geographic North Pole eclipsed the freezing mark briefly the other day despite the fact that it is the Northern Hemisphere polar night. Here are two CWG entries about it (links embedded):

(This CWG entry as of now has just over 1,400 comments, so that means it is the usual internet garbage rather than the more genteel and staid style of the CWG.)

To be clear, there aren't weather stations at the North Pole or really anywhere near it but this info comes from a combination of satellite and model data that was subsequently confirmed by a weather buoy closest to the pole.

Graphic made by the Washington Post showing the temperature curve in Celsius on Dec. 29th and Dec. 30th by buoy #6400476 closest to the North Pole at the time.*

*These are buoys maintained by the International Arctic Buoy Programme.


OK, I guess that's all for now. I have to leave shortly to meet DD and his family for dinner at Thai Pavilion up in Rockville. Later tonight, I might meet up with Andrea either at a Jake and Matt-hosted party in Ballston or somewhere else in Arlington, or just come back to the 'hood and go to Larry's Lounge.

It's mild enough tonight (forecasted low about 35F) that I really need a sweater or heavy coat -- just what I usually wear. Maybe I'll bring my thermals in my backpack since my legs sometimes get cold.

Talk to you on the other side of the New Year.

Happy New Year 2016!


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