Thursday, April 30, 2020

Arriving Next on the Atmospheric River Track, An End-of-April Scheduled Rain Train: Capping Off This Month With a Deluge

Constitution Gardens view, Washington, D.C., 3:28 p.m., April 29, 2020

On Wednesday, I walked into my little L'Enfant Plaza office. The weather was about 74°F warm, dew point around 55°F, and a humid-feeling easterly breeze carrying its maritime ocean. My route was a bit more southerly and I intersected the Mall area at the northeastern edge of Constitution Gardens.

Another view of Constitution Gardens, Washington, D.C., 3:28 p.m., April 29, 2020

Seemingly missing was the usual infestation of aggressive, shit-filled-and-dropping Canada geese, although I'm sure they were around by the edge of the pond. God, they're horrid creatures. That makes them perfectly adapted to an human urban American environment.


This is a weather-themed entry because, yes, interesting and noteworthy weather can and still does happen even during a global viral quasi-pandemic (about that, once again, the COVID-19 and political-themed posting is delayed).

NWS 24-hour quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) for the U.S. Lower 48 and adjoining regions (in inches)
valid 0Z 30 April 2020 to 0Z 01 May 2020


The information and images in this entry are taken from both the National Weather Service and the following Capital Weather Gang entry (link embedded): Heavy rain to drench Washington on Thursday, with flooding possible.

NWS 72-hour QPF for the U.S. Lower 48 and adjoining regions valid 0Z 30 April 2020 to 0Z 03 May 2020


A heavy rainfall event is progged for the Eastern Seaboard to include the "DMV" -- Washington, D.C., much of Maryland, and Northern Virginia -- over the next 6 to 18 hours, as reckoned from midnight Eastern time.

Baltimore / Washington NWS ("Sterling" (LWX)) county warning area (CWA) 36-hour rainfall forecast map
through 8 a.m. EDT May 1, 2020


As this CWG entry notes, quoted / adapted:

The setup for heavy rain Thursday features a combination of potent moisture surging north from the Gulf of Mexico and strong dynamics in the upper atmosphere that will promote vigorous and sustained uplift of air.

NECONUS mosaic base reflectivity radar looped
0228 UTC - 0338 UTC 30 April 2020


First, the moisture piece. A narrow conduit or plume of high humidity air, termed an “atmospheric river,” will race north on southerly winds. As shown below, the moisture-sodden winds are part of the broad flow of air drawn into a low-pressure system over the Great Lakes.

NWS high-resolution surface weather map for a portion of the eastern United States valid at 0Z 30 April 2020
(8 p.m. EDT April 29, 2020)


Concerning the upper level dynamics, the jet stream will be surging from the south, curling counterclockwise around a massive low-pressure region ambling across the eastern United States.

SECONUS mosaic base reflectivity radar looped
0228 UTC - 0338 UTC 30 April 2020


The flow configuration at all levels will be from the south, building an impressive corridor of deep tropical moisture. This will be a slow-moving system, which will help rain totals pile up east of the Blue Ridge.

Severe weather is not expected because the surge of air from the south will bring more moisture than low-level warmth this time around, limiting atmospheric destabilization.

NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast looped 06Z 30 April to 06Z 02 May 2020 showing fronts, precipitation type, and likelihood


While embedded convective cells will develop in the plume, with perhaps a rumble of thunder, we do not expect damaging thunderstorms. With low-level winds paralleling the cold front (slowly approaching from the west), this is a classic setup for “training” of rain cells, i.e., a "rain train." This refers to the tendency for cells to repeatedly pass over the same regions, from south to north.

3-km NAM 0Z 30 April 2020 simulated radar and mean sea level pressure (MSLP) for the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. Lower 48 looped between hours 12 and 19


Rainfall amounts for the DMV from the panoply of models (NAM, high-res NAM, HRRR, GFS, European / ECMWF, Canadian, high-res Canadian, and UK Met) range from 1 to 2 inches, although the NWS actually has amounts progged a bit higher in spots such as the Blue Ridge and into northeastern Maryland.

Top 10 wettest Aprils in Washington, D.C., base period 01/01/1871 - 04/27/2020


KDCA is presently up to 5.20" for the month of April (more on that below). As the above chart indicates, if at least 0.77" of rain occurs at National Airport (KDCA) tomorrow, it will push D.C. into at least tied for the 10th wettest April on record. If 1.69 inches fell before May 1st, it would bump up this April to 2nd wettest. (They're very tightly spaced.)

NWS weather advisories for the United States with legend updated 0457 UTC 30 April 2020


The axis of heavy rainfall will shift toward the Atlantic coast with the upper low diving into West Virginia and then over the Virginia/North Carolina boarder on Friday. The result will be cloudy, and daytime cool conditions (55 to 65F range) with a chance of showers.

GFS 12Z 04/29/2020 300-mb heights (in dekameters) and wind (in knots) valid 18Z 4/30/2020 as prettied up by


Tonight's updated Sterling (LWX) area forecast discussion indicates that as a warm front crosses the DMV ahead of a highly north-south elongated cold front while the meridional elongation of the upper level low will cause upper level winds to back from the southwest to due southerly, resulting in a tropical plume of moisture with PWAT values reaching 1 to 1.5 inches and surface dew points around 60F. Southerly winds could gust in the 30 to 40 mph range early Thursday.

Precipitable water (PWAT) values for the northeastern quadrant of the Lower 48 as forecasted by the GFS 06Z 20 April 2020 valid 2 p.m. EDT April 30, 2020, as prettied up by Pivotal Weather.


General flood watches are in effect across much of the DMV and into Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southern New York, as well as the lower Tidewater area.

Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) advisories updated 12:55 a.m. EDT April 30, 2020


Of note, much of the PHI CWA -- as shown in the map image directly below -- have both a wind advisory and a flood watch in effect with the exception being the Jersey shore counties (Monmouth, Ocean, coastal Burlington, Atlantic, and Cape May but you can't tell that fact on the map since the main map can only show one color.

Philadelphia - Mount Holly NWS (PHI) CWA advisories updated 12:55 a.m. EDT April 30, 2020

In order to tell if there is more than one hazard product in effect, you have to click on the point grid forecast since on the map, only the higher priority hazard color shows up. There are 129 products on the NWS Hazards List. In this case, a wind advisory (ranked #90) supersedes a flood watch (ranks #108).


On Friday-Saturday, a coastal low will take over with upper level energy from the west reinforcing the system and giving the DMV a chance of wraparound moisture before things dry out by Sunday with a warming trend early next week.

For the record, the current monthly (April 1st - 29th), spring seasonal (March 1st - April 29th), and year-to-date (Jan 1st - April 29th) precipitation totals along with departures from the 1981 - 2010 base period averages are given below for the usual set of regional NWS ASOS climate stations including the three main airports.

April 1-29: 5.20" or +2.24" (2.96")
Season: 7.51" or +1.07" (6.44")
Year: 13.51" or +1.64" (11.87")

April 1-29: 4.28" or +1.19" (3.09")
Season: 7.33" or +0.34" (6.99")
Year: 13.42" or +0.48" (12.94")

April 1-29: 4.18" or +0.82" (3.36")
Season: 6.17" or -0.57" (6.74")
Year: 12.74" or +0.58" (12.16")

April 1-29: 4.54" or +1.42" (3.12")
Season: 7.60" or +0.62" (6.98")
Year: 13.53" or +1.03" (12.50")

KDMH's first first full year period begins in 1999.

April 1-29: 3.75" or +0.19" (3.56")
Season: 5.78" or N/A
Year: 9.35" or N/A

Note: The 2020 season-to-date and year-to-date averages and departures given on the LWX climate webpage are incorrect / incomplete.

OK, that concludes this entry, nor am I posting a second entry tonight.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Multi-Topical, Stream-of-Consciousness Update With More Topically Unrelated, Hopefully Pretty This-April-In-Washington Pics -OR- Fran-the-Wonderful Nanny and a 50-Year Old Fat Fanny

Hot pink roses on a rosebush growing up a row house exterior façade along N Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:57 p.m., April 25, 2020

The outdoor pictures in this entry are -- as in other entries this month -- taken outside on my various about-D.C. walks this lovely April, chiefly in Georgetown, Cathedral Heights, and Glover Park on the weekends, or down on the National Mall on my weekday afternoon treks into the office -- all during this deeply unsettling time of COVID-19. 

Another view of the up-the-façade hot pink rosebush

To be clear, the pics are not specifically topically related to the entry but are intended to be pretty and break up the text. I'm not captioning most of them, but the file names contain place/time location, so if you like any of them, just download those images.


Home tonight in my small comfortable apartment watching my oft-mentioned comfort old television shows on the trio of digital channels of Antenna, Cozi, and MeTV, depending on the time, program, and episode (since I've more or less seen all of these shows over the course of my life).

This entry a multi-topical, sometimes stream-of-consciousness update rather than the COVID-19-related posting I've been wanting to post.

A flower growing along Woodland Drive NW,
Washington, D.C., 3:25 p.m., April 25, 2020

This might be a Parrot Tulip, but I'm not sure.


About that, I had intended to post a COVID-19-and-Trump-catastrophe entry last night, but I ended up having too much to drink -- a mix of Tito's vodka, Simply Smoothie brand orange/mango juice, and Poland Spring sparking lemon lime (fizzy) water.

I was having my in-apartment solo happy hour, as it were, while trying to post an entry, except I got too distracted by any number of things I was reading and viewing on the internet. (Maybe I'll continue it after the lockdown and end to social distancing, since it's cheaper and less trouble prone than going out.)

I was doing that even while watching four wonderful episodes of The Nanny (aired on Cozi) to include the terrific self-titled pilot episode "The Nanny" and episode 3, "My Fair Nanny," a hilarious riff on My Fair Lady by George Bernard Shaw.

I really like that show and Fran Drescher is absolutely wonderful.

Fran Drescher is yet another one of these famous actresses that I love to include, in no intentionally specific order, Carol Burnett, Candice Bergen, Dixie Carter, Linda Lavin, Betty White, Bea Arthur, and Mary Tyler Moore.

Then there are all those other lesser well-known actors and actresses in sci-fi movies and shows from the 20th Century.

Anyway, that got me to looking up info about cast members, and I came across an interview of Charles Shaughnessy, in which he recounts that some people thought he was affecting a British accent while Daniel Davis, who played the butler, Niles, was actually English. In point of fact, Davis (who shares my Nov 26th birthday) was born in Arkansas (the town of Gurdon).

Shaughnessy mentions that his own British accent has become more subdued after living in the U.S. for so long -- and now he just sounds as though he has a "Mid-Atlantic" English accent.

That got me to look up about the Mid-Atlantic English or Transatlantic English accent, which turns out to have been an affected accent of movie performers back in the 1930s and 1940s -- and is the reason, at least by this theory, of why they "sound so funny" in those old films. It is a hybrid British / American accent that was never actually a real dialect.

That led me deeper into a typical nighttime internet rabbit hole, specifically, a YouTube one.

Relatively quickly, I came across Canadian political commentator and "vlogger" J.J. (John James) McCullough, who has a prolific YouTube channel dealing with, in his telling, "countries, culture, and Canada."

J.J. McCollough is featured in several major publications to include as a Global Opinions contributing columnist to online Washington Post and National Review. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Appearance-wise, he's sort of a chameleon in his shifting looks -- with various colors and degrees of puffy, wavy bouffant and on-again, off-again 'stache. And like Andrew Sullivan back in the 1990s, he's a flamboyantly gay conservative.

Anyway, J.J. McCullough had this 20-minute video from March 7, 2020...

In the video, McCullough gives a bouncy presentation in which he walks us through a video compendium of different world leaders (presidents and prime ministers) speaking English at different levels of fluency -- as well as certain American, Canadian, and British politicians and other figures (such as Henry Kissinger) speaking other languages to include Spanish and German.

It turns out that some leaders -- to include Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš and, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, both speak fluent English precisely because they lived and/or educated in the U.S. As for Kariņš, he was actually born in the U.S., specifically, in Wilmington, Delaware.

He was born to Latvian parents who fled the old Soviet Union in 1944 via Sweden and then the U.S. His alma mater is Univ of Pennsylvania in Philly. Kariņš, 55, has four children and speaks four languages fluently to include Latvian, English, German, and French.

The most unusual of the English-speaking foreign leaders is Vladimir Putin. As shown between 7:45 and 8:10 of the video, the Russian President speaks English in a soft, disarming, slightly stilted lisp with his lips and mouth moving to over-enunciate. Putin's English sounds nothing like you'd expect from a malevolent, amoral dictator-for-life.

In fact, it sounds so strange that I'm tempted to think the video was a "deep fake," although I found this Fareed Zakaria clip of Putin speaking English in 2013 that was similar, although not quite as lispy-affected.

Of note, the MeTV-aired episode of The Carol Burnett Show tonight guest starred Carol's good friend Lucille Ball and the late George Carlin, who was then 32 years old. This episode (season 3, number 9) first aired on Monday, November 24, 1969 -- two days before I was born on Wednesday, November 26, 1969. That was when the show was on Monday nights.

As a brief update, today was a gray-gloomy, cool, intermittently showery day with temps well below normal -- high of 58°F versus normal daily high of 71°F -- and 0.02" of rainfall. It was actually too gloomy and depressing for me today given the ongoing sprawling COVID-19-related shutdown of so many things.

Yes, typically, I like this sort of weather -- especially heading into the hot and humid months -- but not being able to stop anywhere and with everything as it now is, it wasn't pleasant.

So, I walked part way into the office (getting the Metro at Farragut West station) since it wasn't very enjoyable walking in a rain shower and carrying my bookbag. By contrast, yesterday I walked the full way into the office on my usual route zig-zagging down the grid from 22nd and Q over to the Ellipse and National Mall (to and around the base of the Washington Monument) and thence to L'Enfant Plaza.

Yesterday's weather -- breezy, cool, variably sunny and cloudy, high of about 60°F -- was actually enjoyable, maybe because of the breeze and peeks of sun through the cumulus / stratocumulus clouds above across a vibrant, spring green and flowery landscape.

In addition to the gloomy light rain, the problem with the walk today was that I had to go over to Connecticut Avenue / Dupont Circle, something I find stressful, especially when I need to stop some place such as the CVS.

That's because the number of pan-handing homelessly insane around Dupont Circle and up-and-down Connecticut Avenue is greater than ever. The number of encampments where Q Street passes over Connecticut Avenue continues to grow.

I'm fairly sure the Mayor likes this -- it's what she wants. And in the current situation, they're also significantly more noticeable and upfront insistent, even aggressive, given that so few other people are around.

I will be honest and relate that the reason I went over to Connecticut Ave Wine & Liquor to get a bottle of Tito's vodka, so I'm sure that makes my complaints sound horribly bad, the antipode of WOKE.

Look, in my world, I would have a vast array of social welfare safeguards up to and including appropriate housing (no, not shelters as they presently exist). There would also be psychological and psychiatric fail safes, to avoid the intractable, interwoven problems of homelessness, mental illness, and addiction.

On the other hand, in my world, it would be simply illegal to sleep outside and be homeless. It's dangerous to everyone including themselves; it's filth-and-disease-spreading; it encourages all kinds of crime; it creates endlessly repeating cycles of addiction, mental illness, and more homelessness; and its simply unacceptable for a society as fucking wealthy and a country as powerful as this one.

Again, that's how my world would work, which, again, I know is not woke.

Anyway, I'm actually busy with work. As for going in, as I've previously mentioned, it's just me in that little office that's part of the suite of offices in the building housing the L'Enfant Hilton Hotel -- as I try to finish a series of Grantee financial monitoring reports for one of the agency programs before the April progress report period starts in early May. That whole process eats up two weeks of each month.

After leaving work, I took the Metro to Foggy Bottom and went to the Whole Foods and bought a bunch of stuff. Of note, there was actually toilet paper and paper towels in the store. I still have a bulk supply -- especially since I've started using Kleenex as a decent TP substitution. I haven't been able to find bleach -- the Clorox sort -- at CVS or Safeway. (Maybe Trump's maybe-we-should-all-inject Lysol comment last Thursday caused a run.)

On a related note, I'm wondering if there really is a meat shortage -- per the fear-stoking by Smithfield Foods -- if it will affect Whole Foods given how it sources its beef and pork with all its supposed Animal Welfare Certified local, organic and grass-fed choices. And this is a good time to call attention to this Bill Maher "New Rule" piece from his Real Time show last Friday:

In it, he likens America's fucking meat processing industry to China's wet markets -- and, in similar fashion, responsible for the proliferation of all kinds of ecological and biological travesties to include species-jumping novel coronavirus pandemics.

And, of course, the "ag-gag" rules "banning" any sort of criticisms of these biotoxin slaughterhouses proliferated in all the usual fucking one-party Republican rule Red States where they whack off to "limited government" and all that other libertarian horseshit that's totally belied by everything they do.

Anyway, before finishing up this entry, let me just say that it was such a miserable, dark, empty, depressive sort of external world day that it made me decide that I need to get the hell out of fucking D.C., even if it is to visit my crazy father in Florida in mid-summer. At least he's right by the ocean.

So, to that end, my tentative travel plans for the year are as follows -- and, yes, I realize how sensitive all this is to the COVID-19 situation and resulting shutdowns, lockdowns, and Boomer quarantines...

Late July: Visit crazy father in Flagler Beach and end it with a few days in Daytona Beach proper for an ocean-side stay. I don't imagine the rooms will be all filled.

Sept 19 - 25: Trip to Oceanside, Calif., with Gary (flying between BWI and SAN), as part of a trip to see his mom.

Veterans Day weekend: Visit Chris T. in Atlanta

Christmas Eve / Christmas Day: Trip to Buffalo with Gary (we've done this before.

Alright, I think I'm going to wrap up this entry right now but without a bow.

Oh, yes: The first of my two packages from my first-ever online purchase, from Macy's, arrived.

But I also went to Target on Sunday and bought clothes. So, I now have three of the four pairs of pants; all three of the boxes of boxer briefs -- totaling 14 in all (5 + 5 + 4); and both sets of t-shirts -- totaling 7 (3 + 4) have arrived. I'm still awaiting a last pair of pants.

Pant size is now 36 x 30, which is typically pathetic for a short 50-year old man.

I also need to get a bunch of new socks, but I don't like how low so many of them are. That is -- and perhaps this is an artifact of a 1970s childhood -- I dislike the ankle and lower calf ones.

And with that, I really will end this entry. Given the length of it, I probably won't post another one until Thursday night or Friday.