Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hoosier Daddy? Why, Donald Trump -OR- A Lightning-Laced Journey Into the Whirlwind; More Omega and Greenland Blockages

An incredible cloud-to-ground lightning bolt captured by photographer Jennifer Casey near the Navy Memorial Bridge in Annapolis, Md., during the severe thunderstorms on Tuesday night, May 2, 2016.

This image was posted on Ms. Casey's Facebook site and reposted in the CWG entry linked below.


So first things first: Donald Trump scored a knockout win over the repellent Ted Cruz in the Indiana Republican primary on Tuesday night, crushing Cruz and the hapless John Kasich -- both of whom subsequently dropped out.

Indiana 2016 Republican Primary results; source online New York Times.


As the above image of the tally shows, Trump won with 53.3% or 587,706 votes to Cruz's 36.7% or 404,327 votes while Kasich brought up the rear with 7.5% or 82,786 votes. "Other" won 2.5% or 27,856 votes.

Indiana 2015 Republican Primary results by county; source online New York Times. The actual website has an interactive map showing individual county results.


Cruz won only in five of Indiana's 92 counties (see above image). He won zero delegates in the winner-take-all race the GOP set up. The hateful, reptilian-like demagogue subsequently dropped out of the race. Later on Wednesday, Kasich suspended his campaign.

Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz in Indianapolis announcing he is ending his presidential campaign following his crushing loss in the Indiana Republican primary, May 3, 2016.

SEE YA. I'm sure you'll be back in 2020, worse than ever.

Sean Illing put it well why no one should feel the remotest bit of sympathy of the widely hated and hateful Cruz.

Republican presidential candidate delegate count as of May 4, 2016 according to AP. This includes all the candidates who have dropped out.


This means that -- barring something catastrophic for him -- Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee at a non-contested convention. Trump is just 184 delegates (by the AP count) away from the magic 1,237 number -- and the California and New Jersey primaries on June 7th combined will put him over the top.

Indiana 2016 Democratic Primary results; source online New York Times.


On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders tallied up another problematic low-population, homogenous state win, defeating Hillary Clinton 52.7% versus 47.3% (331,707 votes to 297,150 votes). However, this doesn't at all change the dynamic of the race whereby she has basically won thanks to her other victories and her superdelegates, not to mention the frequent proportional delegate allotment of the Democratic primaries. (In the case of Indiana, she still won an estimated 38 delegates to Sanders' 44 delegates.)

Indiana 2015 Democratic Primary results by county; source online New York Times. The actual website has an interactive map showing individual county results.

There was an exact tie in one rural county -- Union County (205 to 205).


This means it will be a Trump - Clinton race -- plus any third, fourth, or fifth party candidates that want to jump into this melee -- and it will be a uniquely ugly and vituperative campaign. Oh, and I'm already calling it that Donald Trump will invoke the sexual organs of his main opponent on more than one occasion (and outright). He can't help himself.

Democratic presidential candidate delegate count for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as of May 4, 2016 according to AP.


Now I realize that I was very clear in this entry that I wanted Donald Trump to be the Republican presidential nominee, and I stand by my reasoning. However, I also am fully aware that one must be careful for what one wishes lest one actually get it -- and all the unintended consequences that flow from it.

Thus, I may regret having wished for The Donald to be the Republican nominee, but I'll deal with that if and when it happens. For now, polls, on balance, give Hillary an easy lead -- and the electoral college map also looks very good for her.

What the Electoral College results would look like if (1) the 2012 election results held and (2) based on current polls in states where the outcome would be different (i.e., where Hillary would win). Source: The Upshot, New York Times.


This situation also sets up a weird dynamic in which more than a few Republicans end up voting for the hated Hillary while on the liberal-left Democratic side -- embodied in the crowd -- their implacable Hillary hatred runs up against their horror at the prospect of a Trump presidency.

Whatever in the worl are the goodly H.A. Goodmans of the world to do??


There was no end of breathless media / pundit commentary today on Trump's victory and what it all means. I'm not going to get into that now except to post links to a few worthwhile reads on various facets of this topic:

Thomas Edsall: The Great Trump Reshuffle.

Donald Trump supporters in Williamson, W.Va.,. protesting Hillary Clinton's visit there on May 2, 2016.


To sum it all up by borrowing the awesome title of the great Yevgenia Ginzburg's powerful book, its a Journey Into the Whirlwind ...

OK, enough of that.

A rosebush along 16th St near K St NW, Washington, D.C., 8:07PM May 3, 2016.


Turning to the weather ...

It is an absolutely delightful night (for me) with a soft, low overcast; a northeasterly (maritime) breeze that is occasionally gusty; spotty drizzle; and temperatures around 52F.


I say this both as a fan of this kind of weather and dreading the usual hot, humid, hazy, torporific, smelly conditions that usually prevail in D.C. for much of the period between May and September.

There is a transcontinental Omega block pattern in the jet stream -- just like last week, except it has migrated in a retrograde fashion half a Rossby wavelength so that the massive ridge is now over the central United States with deep troughs over the western and eastern U.S.

Lightning bolt over Washington, D.C., May 2, 2016 as captured by Tyler Reber and posted on his CWG photo pool Flickr page and reposted in the CWG entry linked below.


On Monday night, there were severe thunderstorms around the D.C. area including some that dropped tennis ball-sized hail in parts of Montgomery County and down around Woodbridge. A number of photographers captured some spectacular lightning bolt displays that are featured in this CWG entry (link embedded) and a few of which I am including in this entry: D.C.-area photographers document an incredible night of severe storms.

A composite of lightning bolts over Washington, D.C., taken on May 2, 2016 by Nathan Stewart and posted on his CWG photo pool Flickr page and reposted in the CWG entry linked directly above.


Last night, there were a few heavy downpours at evening rush hour. Today, it was just cloudy and intermittently drizzly with temperatures reaching just 60F at KDCA, 62F at KIAD, and only 56F at KBWI while KDMH touched 57F.

Another picture of lightning bolts over Washington, D.C., taken on May 2, 2016 by Flickr user ep_jhu and posted on his CWG photo pool Flickr page and reposted in the CWG entry linked above.

I think this is also a composite image of a few lightning bolts.


The aforementioned Omega block is bringing tremendous heat to parts of the northern American Rockies and into the Canadian prairie provinces.

500-mb geopotential heights over North America as shown by a recent GFS model run and prettied up by

The "omega"-like shape of the jet stream is drawn in the heavy black curve. Source here.


As a result of the hot and antecedent dry conditions, there are significant wild fires -- including a major conflagration in Alberta that prompted the evacuation of the nearly the entire city of Fort McMurray, which is threatened with complete destruction.

The conflagration just outside Fort McMurray, Alberta, May 3, 2016.


Fort McMurray has a population of about 61,400 and a larger municipal area population of nearly 80,000 including tribal communities. Temperatures there are running 30F above normal.

The 12Z May 4, 2016 GFS showing 2-meter temperature anomalies valid at hour 6 / 18Z May 4, 2016 for western Canada, again prettied up for visual display and converted to Fahrenheit by This image is also featured in the above-linked CWG entry.


The forecast for the D.C. area calls for continued cool weather for the next few days and a good chance of rain showers tomorrow evening into Friday afternoon.

Oh, yes, the CWG also had an entry about two recent studies that concluded as the Arctic undergoes rapid warming with a disappearing ice cap in the summer, it is causing changes in the jet stream that are resulting in more year-round blocking highs over Greenland that, in turn, are creating a more favorable wintertime pattern for U.S. East Coast blizzards in New England and the mid-Atlantic.

Schematic of how a Greenland high pressure block results in cold and potentially snowy U.S. East Coast conditions; source is CWG linked directly below.


Top 10 snowstorms for Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston with those since 1990 shown in darker blue-green. Source: CWG entry linked above.


The 1400 block of Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, D.C., at dusk, 8:17PM May 3, 2016.


As a (brief) update, I went to the gym tonight and had a decent multi-part workout. Last night, I met Andrea after work and we went to the Bottom Line on I Street (one of the places I had gone with CH on that Friday night circuit shortly before he left D.C.). It was pleasant this time -- not mobbed and deafening.

The 1400 block of Rhode Island Ave NW looking toward 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 8:17PM May 3, 2016.


Thereafter, I walked to Trade and then had dinner at Bua, which I don't entirely remember (see image below), but I walked the short way home all safe and sound. The images posted in this entry -- it should be clear which ones they are -- were taken while walking.

Yours truly at the bar at Bua, Washington, D.C., 10:04PM May 3, 2016.


Tomorrow night is a non-gym night, and after work, I might be meeting Kristof (which I rarely do these days) at Trade.

Oh, and one more work-related matter: I lost my federal ID badge (probably on the Metro), and it is a pain in the ass as I have to wait five days until I can get a new one on the idea that someone might mail it to DOE. Andrew helped me with the necessary form, though.

Later, I had lunch in the cafeteria where I unexpectedly met Chris H. He works for another agency but sometimes has lunch there. I love talking to him about the absurdity of the 17th Street community.

That new building going up at Rhode Island Ave and 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 8:19PM May 3, 2016.

I've mentioned this building a few times before including a dream it figured into one night (but it's too late for me to find the entries and link to them).


OK, that's all for now. Despite the late hour I am posting this, I need to get up and into work at a decent hour and then I need to be productive in a way that I have not the past several days. My next planned update will either be Friday evening or Saturday night.


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