Monday, August 7, 2017

This Eclipsed August: Recapping a Rainy Monday Glumday and Partly Crummy Sunday Funday

1219 35th Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 4:21PM August 6, 2017.

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Monday evening.

Today featured distinctly (and welcomingly) un-August-like weather in the form of bouts of moderate-to-heavy rainfall and all-day overcast skies. High temps did not rise above 74F in the immediate D.C. and Baltimore areas. (OK, KNAK, the U.S. Naval Academy reached 75F.)

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar-estimated precipitation between 7:39AM and 5:12PM EDT August 7, 2017.

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Rainfall totals around the Metro D.C. and Baltimore areas varied from as little as a third of an inch to 2+ inches, although parts of the Delmarva recorded over 4 inches of rain (and flash flood warnings). There was also violent thunderstorms around Salisbury with what looks like at least one tornado that caused some damage (but no reported casualties).

Some radar imagery from earlier today:

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in enhanced composite mode at 10:57AM EDT August 7, 2017.

Note: I cannot embed the enhanced version looped radar images -- only the standard ones (both base reflectivity and composite) since the standard ones are just animated gifs while the enhanced version requires Adobe Flash Player.

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Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in enhanced base mode reflectivity at 11:02AM EDT August 7, 2017.

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Composite radar mosaic for the northeastern quadrant of the Lower 48 looped 1328 - 1438UTC August 7, 2017.

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Official rainfall totals for Aug. 7th through 5PM at the four regional climate stations were as follows:

KDCA: 1.46"
KBWI: 0.63"
KIAD: 0.77"
KDMH: 0.53"

Other station totals:

KCHO: 1.05"
KNAK: 1.80"

All these numbers are based upon adding the hourly observation totals rather than any climate daily summary reports (although KNAK does not have such daily summaries).

High resolution surface weather map from the NWS/NCEP/WPC valid 18Z August 7, 2017.

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Today's weather resulted from a quasi-stationary frontal boundary draped across southern Maryland and central Virginia back into Tennessee with waves of low pressure riding along it and rainfall enhanced by isentropic upglide. The main low is over the Delmarva and pushing slowly eastward.

Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) weather advisories (with legend)
updated 12:19PM EDT August 7, 2017.

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Mount Holly / Philadelphia (PHI) county warning area (CWA) weather advisories (with legend)
updated 4:51PM EDT August 7, 2017.

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As a follow-up ...

...the July rainfall total at KDCA was 9.15" -- or 5.42" above normal and the 7th wettest July on record back to 1871 along with the third wettest specifically at National Airport (where official records have been kept since 1945) and the wettest since 1969 when 9.44" fell.

The 8.80" at KIAD was the wettest July on record there but the records only go back to 1960 and are intermittent until January 1964.

KBWI had 7.11", which ranked 19th wettest in the record period back to 1871. KDMH does not yet have a 30-year data set (it's at 18 years).

Here is a CWG entry about July's numbers.

Longest dry spells for Seattle, Washington including rank, run length, and ending date through August 6, 2017.

The records are currently measured at Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport climate station (KSEA).

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By the way, Seattle has now gone officially 51 days with no measurable rainfall as measured at KSEA -- tying the previous record that ended on Aug. 26, 1951 (see image above).

The current dry spell is likely to continue for at least another week. Conditions have been bone dry and very hot in the Pacific Northwest with multiple days of 100F+ weather in Portland.

Last season's massive snowpack has helped limit any fires although numerous wildfires in British Columbia have created days of hazy/smoky skies in Seattle and Portland (and, ironically, occasionally helped to hold down the temperature a couple of degrees).

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The Great American Eclipse Approaches (Update)


I quite like the rain but I really hope it isn't wet or even cloudy two weeks from today when I'm in South Carolina to see the total solar eclipse. Of note, there is a full Moon tonight -- the Sturgeon Moon -- and now the Moon begins its waning phase until it is new, which the total solar eclipse occurs on Aug. 21st.

There is actually a partial lunar eclipse tonight visible in parts of Africa and Eurasia. That makes sense, when you think about it.

The CWG's Aug 21, 2017 solar eclipse cloud forecast for the United States, issued 8/7/2017.

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The CWG is beginning a feature of forecasting weather conditions on August 21st. At this point, we are within the 15-day domain of the operational GFS but confidence is still very low. Here is today's edition. The above image is taken from that entry.

The Key Bridge Boathouse as seen from the Key Bridge, Washington, D.C., 4:16PM August 6, 2017.

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Changing topics, I don't feel well today and, yes, it is attributable to excess of the usual sort yesterday (Sunday).

While yesterday featured a couple of nice things -- lunch with my mom and two interesting conversations at Martin's Tavern in Georgetown (see below), it was, on balance, another crummy Sunday "fun day" free day for me. My mom and I went to Thunder Grill where we had an atrociously bad server (the bartender, a young, tattooed Hispanic guy).

Steeply-sloping, cobblestoned 35th Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 4:21PM August 6, 2017.

35th Street is the last north-south numbered street in Georgetown heading west and, as you can see, it isn't entirely a regular street.

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He served us once before and was friendly and attentive, and I was even hoping he would be there -- but this time, he seemed to actively avoid us to include making us shout our order to him across the bar. I told him at the end that I wasn't tipping him, although he just kept $1 in change on the $44 tab. I told the manager (who happened to be there) and she was apologetic.

I don't think I'm going to go to Thunder Grill again. I like the idea of the place much more than the actual experience of it. As for the server's behavior, I have a hypothesis about why this happens to me, but I'll relate it in another entry.

A bush growing outside one of the row houses along Prospect Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 4:25PM August 6, 2017.

I dunno -- maybe it's a type of evergreen tree? 

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My mom took a MARC train back to Maryland, and I took the Metro over to Rosslyn and walked over the Key Bridge into Georgetown. I stopped at Martin's Tavern where I had not one but two very interesting conversations at the bar.

The first was with a man who, it turns out, is a Fox News Channel on-air pundit, Ford O'Connell.

O'Connell was an interesting and opinionated guy -- although very engaging and not at all obnoxious. He is obviously wealthy. He told me he inherited two wind turbines that his father had placed on, of all places, Guadeloupe in the French West Indies.

Recall I've been to Guadeloupe twice with my dad -- March 1993 and February 1998, the second time to see the total solar eclipse of Feb. 26, 1998.

O'Connell is also an adjunct lecturer at GWU. He is both an attorney and in energy policy -- having once been at the Heritage Foundation.

Rainy day looking north along the 2000 block of 15th St NW, Washington, D.C., 12:48PM August 7, 2017.

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The next conversation occurred precisely because I didn't know him -- I said I don't watch Fox News Channel to the bartender and that prompted a conversation with the lady next to me. Her name was Sheryl (Cheryl?) and he was visiting from New York, where she lives in or near Sutton Place. She, too, was obviously quite wealthy and knew Trump from her days sending a lot of business to his hotel in Manhattan.

Later, I went to one of my usual spots and it was actively shitty. I walked home with Fred -- detouring to the Safeway. On the way home, I tripped and feel, scraping my knee. When I got home, though, I was able to figure out who was the Fox News Channel on-air pundit. (I thought he said "Connor" was his last name, but it turned out to be O'Connell.)

I also watched a few cute bulldog videos on YouTube before going to bed.

Rainy sidewalk blurry view, 1000 block U Street NW, Washington, D.C., 12:56PM August 7, 2017.

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Tomorrow, I need to get up by 630AM and be in Rockville by 930AM in order to ride with two coworkers to a DOE workshop in Pittsburgh that is being held on Wednesday and through early afternoon Thursday.

Because of this and how I feel, I am planning on being in bed by about 930PM tonight -- 5+ hours earlier than usual for me ... I'm skipping the gym tonight, but it turns out that the my hotel (the Cambria Hotel & Suites in downtown Pittsburgh) has both a fitness center and indoor pool. I intend to utilize both tomorrow as soon as I get there and again on Wednesday after the workshop and before dinner.

Rainy day office view, SW Washington, D.C., 1:57PM August 7, 2017.

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In terms of new entries this week, I'm unsure how many I'll be able to post. It is possible I won't post any until I return late Thursday (or early Friday). However, if I have room Wi-Fi (as I did in Dallas), then I might be able to post an entry or two while there. The only issue is that I am not staying in the hotel where the workshop is being held, so any Wi-Fi might be at cost.

OK, that's all for now. Again, I'm unsure when my next entry will be -- possibly not until this Friday. It depends on circumstances.

--Regulus

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