Friday, May 10, 2019

Late Night Sketches With Carol & Lucille Plus Update On/Overview Of the Ongoing and 12-Month Record Wet Weather Across the U.S.

Partially flooded intersection of 3rd St and Pennsylvania Ave NW near the U.S. Capitol building, Washington, D.C., May 3, 2019; photo by Flickr user Angela N.

Angela N is one of the regular contributors to the Capital Weather Gang's photo pool.


U.S. Capitol dome at dusk seen through silhouetted trees along Pennsylvania Ave SE; photo taken by Flickr user Jim Havard, May 7, 2019.

Jim Havard is another CWG photo pool regular contributor. This image of his was featured in this recent CWG entry.

The rest of the photo images in this entry were taken by my low-quality flip-open cellphone camera.


Anyway …

Home tonight from work and the gym -- and thus safely inside rather than out spending too much money at this or that bar/restaurant. On Tuesday, I went to Off the Record in the Hay-Adams hotel and last night, I went to the Watergate Hotel rooftop bar Top of the Gate and then Circa DC in Foggy Bottom. Naturally, I way overspent. I get paid tomorrow but I also need to pay my rent with this paycheck.

The Pollinator Garden of the Smithsonian just off the National Mall, Washington, D.C., 1:44 p.m. May 9, 2019

For reason that are too long to go into now, I got off at Archives - Navy Memorial station and walked across the National Mall to L'Enfant Plaza to my office. It was a warm, thickly humid, bright, variably cloudy day -- temps around 76F and dew point about 65F. (See bottom of entry for weather update.)

Oh, there are so many goddamn tourists …

… worst of all, the endless hoards of MAGA cap-wearing Red State adolescents either on group tours or with their slovenly-dressed, overweight parents donned in their own Trump-supporting regalia as befits the GOP's base of marks, dupes, cogs, cannon fodder, and all-around-system tools they are and that their children are forever becoming.

Returning to the present, right now, I'm watching Perry Mason ("The Case of the Drowsy Mosquito").

The Smithsonian Carousel on the National Mall, Washington, D.C., 1:48 p.m. May 9, 2019


Of note, the Carol Burnett Show episode shown at 11 p.m. -- another one from the 1968 season -- guest starred Lucille Ball (who was Carol Burnett's good friend), actor Eddie Albert, and jazz singer Nancy Wilson.

Lucille Ball died 30 years ago on April 26, 1989 at the age of 77 -- and, in a sad coincidence, on Carol Burnett's 56th birthday. Eddie Albert, who in addition to being a famous actor was a decorated World War II Navy veteran of the Battle of Tarawa, died in May 2005 at age 99. Nancy Wilson passed away this past December at age 81.

I could not find a YouTube version of it, but I took a series of pictures with my flip-open cellphone's (low-quality) camera and they are included in this entry.

The episode featured the long-running recurring skit called "As the Stomach Turns" (a riff on "As the World Turns") that was a hilarious parody of a soap opera that ran for years -- well into the much more familiar 1970s seasons of the show that were subsequently rechristened in reruns as Carol Burnett & Friends.

This episode, too, was very funny, especially with (quoting the Wikipedia link above) the stereotypical aspects of production values in American soaps. But it takes an unexpected turn when guest Nancy Wilson shows up and there is frequent use of the word "Negro": For instance, she is welcomed as the only Negro in the fictitious town of Canoga Falls where the soap is set.

Indeed, the amount of riposting about her race and white people -- including with Eddie Albert -- is quite startling to hear given our almost stifling political correctness culture of the early 21st Century.

Also, at one point, Nancy Wilson's character (I can't recall her name) mentions she is a widow, to which Carol Burnett declares that she is a "black widow" -- and the audience found that quite funny.

According to MeTV, it initially aired Nov 4, 1968 -- which, I discovered, was a Monday and thus the day before the presidential election that brought Richard Nixon to power and fundamentally reset the trajectory of American politics and its economic system for the worst.

And now, just over 50 years later, we are in the cartoonish Trump era -- but I have no idea where that puts us along that trajectory. Only time will tell that. (The country's overall cultural arc, though, continued the shift toward tolerance, but that topic gets tricky.)

Also, according to that site, there was a full Moon that night.

I should also note that Nov 4, 1968 was my late paternal grandmother's 60th birthday, and it was 12 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day before I was born. Thus, it was about 3 to 3-1/2 months before I even existed.

About Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball, I found the interview above from seven years ago in which Carol Burnett talks about Lucille Ball's style of producing a show and running Desilu after she and Desi Arnaz divorced.

And as I never tire of mentioning, Lucille Ball is why we have the whole Star Trek franchise and universe. It would not have survived without her direct interventions. And I really like Carol Burnett.

OK, I didn't intend to go off on an entry lark like this, but there you have it.


Before I conclude this entry, I would like to have a weather update …

First, some images …

NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast looped, as shown, from 6Z 10 May 2019 - 0Z 12 May 2019


NWS U.S. weather advisories, 0538UTC (1:38 a.m. EDT)
10 May 2019

This does not contain the legend but it's not that hard to guess what's what.


NWS weather map with highlights
valid 8 a.m. EDT May 9 - 8 a.m. EDT May 10, 2019


As suggested by the above images, there is an active pattern at present across the Lower 48 with an elongated frontal boundary stretching from a low over southern Ontario down to the Texas Gulf coast and back west to the Four Corners region. There is a warm front ahead of it that has pushed north of the immediate "DMV" -- D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) for the Lower 48 for days 1 - 3, 0Z 10 May 2019 - 0Z 13 May 2019


NWS Forecast Office Houston/Galveston (HGX) county warning area (CWA) weather advisories
updated 12:16 a.m. CDT May 10, 2019

This includes the legend of weather products -- from highest priority at the top. 


The front along the Texas Gulf coast highly energized with training clusters of drenching, severe thunderstorms moving SW to NE along the Texas coastal plain -- bringing multiple inches of rain to the Greater Houston area (2 to 4 to 6+, depending in the locale) -- and this is on top of a similar deluge the other day.

HGX NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped 11:34 p.m. May 9 - 12:16 a.m. May 10, 2019


Indeed, Houston is seeing YET ANOTHER extreme rainfall event -- and the city and its far-flung low-density, highway-connected, practically no zoning or environmental laws nor flood management, Texas-style sprawl -- are suffering another big flooding episode.

HGX NWS radar in standard composite mode looped
11:26 p.m. May 9 - 12:10 a.m. May 10, 2019

It looks like KIAH picked up about 2-1/2 inches of rain while KHOU recorded about 3.7 inches. 


NWS Forecast Office Las Vegas (VEF) county warning area (CWA) weather advisories updated 10:12 p.m. PDT May 9, 2019

You don't often see a flash flood warning in effect for Death Valley itself. Yes, it happens -- but seldom more than once or twice a year, and sometimes, not even that.


Back over the Desert Southwest, an upper level low with surface reflection is retrograding westward into Southern California and triggering extensive showers and thunderstorms over the interior deserts in San Bernardino County, across Death Valley, and into the Las Vegas area. There are even some showers and t-storms possible in the L.A. and San Diego areas.

Las Vegas (ESX) NWS radar in standard composite mode looped 9:23 p.m. - 10:05 p.m. PDT May 10, 2019

(This is another case where the NWSFO -- VEF -- is not co-located with the radar -- ESX, hence the different letter designations.)


Las Vegas (ESX) NWS radar in standard base reflectivity looped 9:28 p.m. - 10:10 p.m. PDT May 10, 2019

This is an unusually widespread and heavy rainfall for that part of the world -- although it looks like McCarran (KLAS) itself only had about 1/3" of rain tonight.


Of note, and in keeping with the steady march of anthropogenic climate change ("global warming"), the past 12 months have been -- on average -- the wettest ever for the Lower 48 U.S.

As this CWG article notes (link embedded): The United States just had its wettest 12 months on record. It's nearly drought-free, but flooding is rampant:

An average of 36.2 inches has fallen over the Lower 48, the first time it has topped 36 inches over a 12-month period in over 120 years of record-keeping. This amount is more than six inches above average, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Bob Henson, who first reported the record.

To be clear, the 12-month period is defined as May 1 to April 30 of the following calendar year (and thus dividing it up at mid-spring rather than the beginning of winter via a full calendar year).

Here are a pair of images from that article:

Average precipitation for the contiguous United States from the late 19th Century to April 2019 versus the May 1901 - April 2000 (20th Century) base period average (of 29.95 inches).


And here is an Esquire article with pics of the flooding the past several months along the middle and upper Mississippi River and its vast tributary system.

Precipitation difference in inches for the period May 2018 - April 2019 from average for the contiguous U.S. 20th Century base period average.


OK, and with that, I am going to conclude this entry. I'm heading to Glen Burnie later today (Friday) to visit my mom for the Mother's Day weekend. I'll be back on Sunday. I'm unsure if I'll update the blog over the weekend -- and it's unlikely I'll post my usual pair of Saturday night entries this weekend.


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