Thursday, October 10, 2019

Falling Through This October: Weather-Related Posting This Autumnal Night From Somewhere on Planet Earth and Beneath Its Lovely Moon


Fall night with what looks like a full Moon through vibrantly colored trees. I don't know where this picture was taken but I really like it. (The picture appears to be on Pinterest, and I refuse to navigate that site on its terms.)

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This entry is a weather-themed one focused, mostly but not entirely, on the tiny sliver of Planet Earth where I live …

The weather sucks.

Well, actually, taken in isolation, the weather is quite lovely …


… After highs in the lower 70s with an east/northeasterly breeze coming from its maritime (ocean) source, the night is downright delightful with midnight temperatures around 59F, dew points about 48F, and a refreshing northeasterly breeze (10 to 15 mph).

Specifically, it reached 73F at KDCA, 71F at KBWI, and 72F at KIAD. To be clear, each of these high temperatures is exactly 2F above the daily normal highs -- but just having temps that are about normal is noteworthy in this globally warming / warmed time when it's always frickin' 10F to 15F+ above normal.

There are also stratocumulus clouds drifting in from the east -- moving softly across the night sky and (earlier) creating a gauzy veil on the waxing gibbous Moon low in the southwestern sky.

Left: I found this picture online as the closest to what I am talking about (not as gibbous, though).

However, we are locked into a short-term drought situation (i.e., less than 6 months) that started in mid-July and with less than 1 inch of rain in the past two months (and virtually none in the last six weeks).

NWS high-resolution surface weather map analysis for a portion of the eastern U.S., 0000UTC 10 Oct 2019

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Yes, this sometimes happens in the autumn, but it is still fucking annoying -- especially when there is a stalled ocean storm (sort of a hybrid tropical/extratropical system) centered about 350 miles east of New Jersey.

NCEP/WPC 3-day quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) for the Lower 48 U.S. and adjoining regions valid
0Z 10 Oct 2019 to 0Z 13 Oct 2019

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This system is bringing a "firehose" of tropical region-teleconnected moisture and resulting rainfall to southern and eastern New England with rainfall totals of 8 to 10 inches possible on Cape Cod:

Precipitable water (in inches) from the GFS 06Z 09 Oct 2019 looped hourly through hour 78 for a large portion of North America

Note: This image comes from the CWG entry linked below. What's more, the model output has been prettied up by one of the commercial forecasting outfits since NCEP's GFS and NAM outputs do not look like this.

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Total precipitation (in inches) for New England as forecasted by the GFS 12Z 09 Oct 2019 model run through hour 92 (ending 8Z 13 Oct 2019)

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The system is not moving because it is blocked by a high to the northeast of it over the Canadian Maritime provinces. What's more, the overall hemispheric pattern is sort of blocked and "stuck" -- as is often the case these days.

NWS/WPC NDFD surface weather map with precipitation by type and likelihood looped 6Z 10 Oct to 0Z 12 Oct 2019

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NWS weather advisories in effect for the United States as of 0438UTC (12:38 a.m. EDT) 10 Oct 2019

This image doesn't include the legend but those hot pink colors are winter storm warmings across much of the Dakota, Montana, and eastern Wyoming. The dark slate blue colors in the central Great Plains are freeze warnings. The dark violet color off the mid-Atlantic and southern New England are storm warnings. Meanwhile, as usual, California has all manner of red flag warnings in effect as shown by those deep pink colors.

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About that, the weather pattern is quite active across the western United States with an early season blizzard shaping up for parts of the northern Rockies and northern Great Plains. Again per the Capital Weather Gang (link embedded): 'Potentially historic October winter storm' targets northern Rockies, Plains.

Some spots could see 2+ feet of snow, which is a lot for October, especially on the High Plains.

Anyway, about the aforementioned stalled coastal low …

… It is forecasted to remain stalled through Saturday -- even retrograding a bit to the southwest -- while it undergoes occasional bouts of intensification that are probably diurnally and Gulf Stream driven in some combination thereof. The high-resolution NAM shows showery precipitation crossing New Jersey and even making it to the Chesapeake Bay, but nothing here in the immediate D.C. area.

Above: 3-km NAM 0Z 10 Oct 2019 radar simulation image for part of the eastern U.S. valid at hour 24 / 0Z 11 Oct 2019

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The Mt Holly (PHI) area forecast discussion for tonight notes:

The main focus in the long term period continues to be the low pressure system that will be anchored offshore of the Mid Atlantic region through the end of the week. This low will pinwheel offshore of New Jersey and Delaware through Friday, shifting a little each day, but not significantly until Saturday as a cold front approaches the area.

With the low being offshore of the area, and strengthening at times, winds will be gusty across the area, reaching 25-35 mph, with coastal areas possibly reaching 35-40 mph at times Thursday through Friday. There may also be enough moisture and lift across the area for some periods of light rain showers to affect the area, especially the northeastern half of New Jersey.

Above: 3-km NAM 0Z 10 Oct 2019 10-meter wind gusts in knots for a portion of the eastern U.S. valid hour 24 / 0Z 11 Oct 2019. This snippet doesn't include the legend but each shading represents an increase of 10 knots starting at 10 knots per hour in lightest blue shading.

The cloud cutoff today was basically at the Chesapeake Bay.

ECMWF 12Z 09 Oct 2019 6-hour QPF in inches by type, mean sea level pressure (MSLP) in hectopascals (hPa), and 1000mb-500mb thicknesses (in dekameters (dam)) valid through hour 108 for a portion of North America

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A cold front associated with the big system in the Rockies (dubbed "Aubrey" by the Weather Channel) will approach the Eastern Seaboard by Saturday, but all the dynamics will shear out into the Great Lakes and New England, so just diddlysquat here.

2-meter temperatures every three hours through hour 84 from the ECMWF ("Euro") model 12Z 09 Oct 2019 run for North America

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As for September, it was more of the globally warmed and warming usual crap: September ties for second-warmest on record for Lower 48.

And while we're on this topic of anthropogenic climate change and destruction of Earth's biosphere, the Amazon and the Indonesian rainforests are burning like crazy, worse than ever.

Why? It's the usual story of too many goddamn people, poverty, greed, violence, and just too much fucking bad all around. In the case of Brazil, it's with active encouragement of a government under a depraved Trump-like figure.

Left: A scene out of a Philip K. Dick novel in Jambi on Sumatra last month as flames and smoke from raging jungle fires created a red-orange suffocating toxic miasma.

But I'll leave this boundless topic for another entry.


As a brief update, after work, I made it to the gym tonight -- the first time this week -- and I'm home now watching the late night MeTV shows: The Carol Burnett Show and Perry Mason ("The Case of the Haunted Husband"). The Perry Mason episode features another scene of a rainy night in Los Angeles -- a lot more than the place ever actually gets. Unless it was wetter back in the mid-20th Century there. (The rain has a plot device role in the episode, too.)


Of note, I heard that Carol Burnett, now 86 and still going strong, will be returning to television comedy in a new series (on ABC), although the show doesn't seem to have an announced name yet. This makes me happy.

OK, that's all for now. My next entry will likely be on Friday night.

--Regulus

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