Thursday, April 11, 2019

Middle-of-the-Week Combination Political and Weather/Climate Posting -OR- Trump-World Immigration Inhumanity, Isobaric Intensity, & Incredibly Vanishing Arctic Sea Ice

Just-past-peak Yoshino cherry blossoms at Scott Circle, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2019; Photograph by Joe Flood, whose excellent photography sometimes appears on the Capital Weather Gang site.

To be clear, pictures I took and posted in this blog are so crappy that I decided I needed a better lead image. I really need to get a smartphone. Finally.

Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., 1:45 p.m. April 7, 2019

I took this picture and the other two below on Sunday during a walk down to the Potomac and over to Georgetown, where I stopped at Tony & Joe's outdoor bar.

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OK, I actually partially composed and intended to post this entry on Tuesday, but I simply could not finish it … And then on Wednesday, I wanted to post about the incredible black hole imaging announcement.

New Hampshire Ave NW at Washington Circle, Washington, D.C., 2:02 p.m. April 7, 2019

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That being the case, this entry is being posted just after midnight on Thursday with the content updated just a little bit to reflect that fact.

Washington Harbour, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 2:34 p.m. April 7, 2019

I took this picture because there is the most adorable bulldog in it -- but you can't really see him because my flip open cellphone camera quality is so crappy quality. "Winston" (the dog's name, I learned) is just poking his head up along the left side of the boat docked at the Washington Harbour of Georgetown.

Here is Winston (and, yes, I know the picture sucks):

I was able to chat a bit with the lady seated at the back of the boat -- mostly to find out how the dog relieves himself when they're boating.

Just FYI, these are the kind of people who almost certainly own their boat and, more to the point, have real McLean or Potomac money -- not like the boozy clowns who rent a mega-yacht for a couple of hours birthed along the Georgetown waterfront on a Sunday afternoon.

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Me late at night last week in my apartment.

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So, to reiterate what I wrote in my Saturday entry, I've so much work-related stuff to do -- and that I need to complete this month -- that blogging in the way that I typically do (with sprawling entries that take hours to compose) is literally a harmful distraction.

Ditto, I want to post more on my San Francisco trip pictures. However, for tonight -- a none gym night -- once I get home, I'm going to do some additional work stuff while watching the MeTV lineup.

It's not that I don't want to post things -- to include, of course, lots of political commentary about All Things Horrible Trump and GOP Related, which for this week involve Trump's ongoing DHS purge that is more dark comedy than Stalinist, to include his firing of the now-former-and-never-to-be-missed DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen while his Milleresque racist immigration fixations surge to the front of his diseased mind.

At this point. DHS is totally leaderless to include the Secret Service, FEMA, and the depraved ICE -- with just gobs of "acting" personnel, something Trump personally likes.

So far, Lindsey Graham (R - Gay) hasn't gotten the vapors for a hot second while the Zen-like amoral Mitch McConnell continues to eject Federalist Society JUDGES, JUDGES, JUDGES out of every orifice and sees value in keeping Trump. That being the case, here is some commentary:

Greg Sargent: For Trump, the cruelty is the point. But it's actually worse than that.


Excerpt:

I fully expect Kirstjen Nielsen, who was deposed Sunday as Secretary of Homeland Security, to find some reasonably lucrative spot to land within this country's amnesia-industrial complex -- a nice think-tank gig, perhaps, or a fat book contract followed by a redemption tour in which she will explain that, yes, mistakes were made in regards to treating toddlers like lifers in stir.

At the level of politics and government from which Nielsen has just been tossed, very little is permanent. Just to name one example, the Never Trump movement among conservatives always has room for one more.

Torturers and their enablers have found comfortable couches in offices and Green Rooms across the land. Nielsen, after all, just ordered that children merely be tormented and their families destroyed. So, I'm not exactly concerned that Nielsen may one day sell me an apple from a steam grate on D Street.


My own view is that stiletto heels, a bad blonde dye job, and being rightwing rhymes-with-witch in the manner of an aging CPAC sorority girl can only take you so far when your top boss is a syphilitic megalomaniac and solipsistic sociopath.

Chait and his little crew at the Intelligencer had this little conflab on the ongoing DHS purge and its relationship to the Trump immigration mess hat included the following exchange:

Benjamin Hart: Regardless of the political wisdom, immigration enforcement seems to be a genuine obsession for Trump, to a degree I did not expect. You’d think he might lie and say the wall’s being built, declare that he has made it harder to come here both legally and illegally, focus on the booming economy, and call it a day. But no.

Eric Levitz: Yeah. Trump might be a nihilist in most respects, but he does seem to feel a deep, heartfelt disgust at the thought of non-rich brown people entering the U.S.

Also, since I love his political analysis, I'd like to note this Jonathan Chait piece: Bernie Sanders's Love of the Filibuster Is His Craziest Position

This piece hits on a lot of the design problems that I find so vexing about the United States political system that result in a massive Republican and rural state structural advantage in the context of Sanders' insistence that the Senate filibuster is a good thing.

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Weather and Climate update

The weather has been too warm and humid the past two days around here with highs as follows for Monday and Tuesday:

KDCA 84F / 81F
KBWI 84F / 80F
KIAD 82F / 79F

Given the realty of the steadily deteriorating (to the point of urban death) condition of Baltimore, I'm not included to give the info from the KDMH ASOS, but if you're interested, it's 84F and 81F, respectively.

(The topic of the urban death of Baltimore is an important one worthy of attention.)

The trees are in a rapid state of "leafing now" -- and the cycle of those Japanese flowering trees is now up to my personal favorite, the Kwanzan (Kanzan) with the Yoshino past peak. The pollen is sky-high, too, of course. The pattern is also shifting to a more entrenched dry one -- thus, totally opposite of last year's record-setting rainy wetness.

NWS U.S. weather advisories (minus legend showing what's what) updated 2142 UTC 09 April 2019

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Another ginormous low -- dubbed Winter Storm "Wesley" by the Weather Channel but not the NWS -- is bombing out in the middle of the United States with 80F+ warmth in places such as western Kansas today (Tuesday) set to be replaced by howling blizzard conditions with 50+ mph winds and up to 2 feet of snow (plus drifting) by late Wednesday extending into the upper Great Lakes region. Minneapolis could have a full-fledged April blizzard.

NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast looped, as shown, from 0Z 10 April - 0Z 12 April 2019

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This is occurring less than a month after the gigantic March "bomb" storm ("Ulmer" in Weather Channel naming parlance) in the same region of the United States that left widespread persistent flooding in parts of the upper and central Great Plains.

NWS Goodland (CLD) county warning area (CWA) weather advisories updated 4:55 p.m. CDT April 9, 2019

The "highest priority" weather products of those listed are featured in this CWA maps although multiple products can be in effect at once.

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At present, there are red flag warnings across parts of Kansas where there is simultaneously a (higher priority) blizzard warning in effect for Wednesday night into Thursday. This is the case for the areas around St. Francis, Kansas. That kind of weather is not something I would like -- it's kind of awful, actually, that wild whipsawing with a semi-arid base state.

NWS point grid forecast 2 miles ESE St. Francis, Kansas 09 - 11 April 2019

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As with the big March bomb nor'easter, this storm is forecasted to head toward the Great Lakes region with little reaching the U.S. East Coast, although it looks a bit more promising for rain here than it did yesterday. If enough snow falls in parts of South Dakota and Nebraska, it could recharge the extensive flooding situation once the snow quickly melts.

NWS high-resolution surface weather map for a portion of the central U.S. at 0Z 11 April 2019

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As an update to reflect the fact I didn't finish this entry until late Wednesday, that low pressure system is in the process of forming and here is some updated information …

NWS U.S. weather advisories (minus legend) updated 0204 UTC 11 April 2019

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This is the second bomb cyclone to occur in less than 4 weeks over the same spot -- and right smack in the middle of a vast continent, not along a coastal region with favorable baroclinic zone. That being the case, I would like to note the following CWG entries (links embedded):

'Potentially historic' central U.S. storm to deliver blizzard conditions and strong winds through Thursday

Snow is plastering parts of the Plains, which will measure it in feet when the blizzard is done

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NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast looped, as shown, 6Z 11 April through 0Z 13 April 2019

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Taking a step back into the realm of climate and climate change, we have: The Lower 48 has already seen two billion-dollar weather disasters this year, and Alaska is baking.

On that latter point, Alaska had its warmest -- indeed, practically hottest -- March on record.

Global 2-meter temperature anomaly [in Celsius] based upon the GFS versus forecast versus the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) for March 2019.

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Not surprisingly, Arctic sea ice is plummeting into record low territory for April -- and is on track to him a new all-time low by the end of summer. At this rate, there will be open ocean at the geographic North Pole itself by late summer in 10 years or so.

Air flow streamlines Lower 48 CONUS for 10 April 2019

The streamlines show the air flow and the packing of the lines indicate the intensity or, if you will, the air pressure.

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NWS NDFD snowfall forecast [in inches] for the United States Northern Great Plains thru 18Z 12 April 2019 initialized 15Z 10 April 2019

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The Arctic sea ice current total (April 9, 2019) is 13.610 million square kilometers -- well below the previous all-time record low for April 9th of 14.381 million square kilometers and, in fact, is within striking distance of the ALL TIME April lowest (April 30th) of 13.554 million square kilometers.

Arctic sea ice extent for 2019 through April 9th versus the 1981 - 2010 mean (click on image for larger version)

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Just for the record, the current all-time lowest Arctic sea ice extent (in the satellite era) occurred on Sept 17, 2012 at 3.387 million square kilometers. The 1981 - 2010 mean for that day -- also the lowest -- is 6.334 million square kilometers.

Arctic sea ice extent for various years and the 1981 - 2010 mean for the first week of April 2019
(click on image for larger version)

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Source here. (Note: This is an interactive graph and just scroll over different curves to get a pop-up of the totals. Also, there is an "Arctic" and "Antarctic" button. The Antarctic is a totally different creature than the Arctic in these matters.)

Arctic sea ice extent versus the 1981 - 2010 versus 2019 through April 9th and the all-time lowest noted 
(click on image for larger version)

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True, GOP Trump Teabaggers don't grasp why that's a big deal, but it is -- to include screwing up the Arctic atmospheric circulation in the winter time with consequences for the middle latitudes. But I think it's time to end this entry.

That is, I'm going to sign off. My next entry will be either Friday evening or Saturday night, but not before.

--Regulus

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