Sunday, January 3, 2021

2020 Summary Precip and Temperature Stats for KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD Interspersed with Some Rainy New Year's Day Old Town Alexandria Pics

Gloomy, rainy Union Street view with its holiday season decorative outdoor lights, Old Town Alexandria, Va.,
4:55 p.m., January 1, 2021

The pictures in this entry -- excluding the obvious ones -- were taken on New Year's Day as I trekked from my apartment here in D.C. down to Old Town Alexandria in the cold, gloomy, soaking rainy late afternoon / early evening.

Gloomy, rainy afternoon, New Hampshire Ave / Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C., 3:51 p.m., January 1, 2021

I rode the awful Metro from Foggy Bottom to King Street station and walked thence to the marina area. However, instead of going to O'Connell's, as I had planned, I went to Union Street Public House.


The rainy, chilly weather kept most of the Branch COvidian paranoiacs inside, so it was nice not having to avoid them and their face diapers. Truth to tell, though, I actually had my mask on outside because in the cold rain, it was worthwhile just for that.


The reason I went to Union Street Pubilc House is because I figured, correctly, that the windows in the bar area would provide for a cozy, subduedly-lit evocative, rainy evening.

Indoor dining hasn't been shut down again (yet) in NoVa, but it's just a matter of time as the Covid hysterical theatre runs on endlessly.


Anyway, most of the pictures in this entry were taken either on my walk along Prince Street in Old Town or in the Union Street Public House. For that reason, except for the two top ones, I have not captioned them. However, the file names contain location and time information.


*******

Third day of 2021. January 3rd, that is. And the first Sunday of the New Year.

It's another gloomy gray, overcast, chilly day with rain in the forecast (just like happened on New Year's Day). The air temp is around 40°F. Rainfall amounts of 0.25" to 0.5" are possible, which is less than the 0.8" to 1" that fell on Friday into the wee hours of Saturday.

About Friday (New Year's Day), the rainfall totals were as follows: KDCA: 0.81 inches; KBWI: 1.03 inches (0.01" of this was on Saturday); KNAK: 0.79 inches; and KIAD: 0.83 inches. Yes, a wet start.

There may have been a touch of sleet, but there is no indication of a "trace" of snow in the daiy reports of the three airport stations.

In case you don't know them, the four-letter ICAO station identifiers (not to be confused with the similar looking three-letter IATA identifiers for the airport locations) are defined below.

*******

This entry contains an overview of 2020's precipitation totals and temperatures. In brief, it was another very wet year with above normal temps. So, basically, it was the "new normal."

What's odd is the double unrelated coincidences in these totals. I refer to the fact of how close the weather (ASOS) stations at National Airport (KDCA) and BWI Airport (KBWI) were in their annual totals -- a scant 0.04" apart -- and how close the ASOS stations at Dulles Airport (KIAD) and Annapolis Naval Academy (KNAK) were in their totals -- an equally scant 0.05" apart.

It's odd for several reasons.

First of all, KDCA and KBWI in a typical year are multiple inches apart (I don't have an average, but certainly in the six inch range).

Secondly, KIAD and KNAK are not only no where near each other, but also in somewhat different climate settings. Dulles is on the piedmont practically into the Potomac highlands while KNAK is as lowland tidal Chesapeake Bay aras as you can get.


If anything two should be similar, it is KBWI and KNAK since they are only 16 miles apart in northern Anne Arundel County with no terrain / topography or climate differences. Yet for 2020, are almost exactly 8 inches apart (7.97") or a good two months' worth difference.

The differences between those two stations are based not just on the summer months when convective precipitation falls but even in the winter and spring when the more stratiform-based precip (rainfall) means the totals should be more uniform.

But it's possible it's just pure chance.

Oh, yes, the Maryland Science Center ASOS (KDMH) remains offline, as it has been since, I believe, April 3rd, with no sign of it coming back online due to some open-ended, probably super-delayed construction project at Rash Field.

Below are the year-to-date totals and departures based upon the 1981 - 2010 thirty-year average (which, by the way, is due for its decennial update later this year with the new average period being 1991 - 2020).

KDCA: 57.34" +17.60" (39.74")
KBWI: 57.38" +15.50" (41.88")
KIAD: 49.46" + 7.92" (41.54")
KNAK: 49.41"

Like KDMH, KNAK doesn't have a full thirty-year data set and thus "normal" values with departures. Both stations are less than 30 years old. Unlike KDMH, though, KNAK doesn't even appear to have a partial record available.

The KDCA and KBWI amounts rank as the 7th and 6th wettest years, respectively, for their full historical record back to January 1871 to include the pre-airport record periods (prior to August 1945 and June 1950, respectively). KIAD records begin, haltingly, in January 1960 and aren't really steady until January 1964.

Recall that 2018 was far-and-away the wettest year for all three airport stations with 66.28" at KDCA; 71.82" at KBWI; and at KIAD. What's more, there were places in central and northern Maryland that received 80 to 90 inches. That's phenomenal for this climate. While 2019 wasn't nearly as wet, it was still above normal. And as indicated, 2020 was well above normal.

In terms of temperatures, my quick calculation of the average of each of the 12-month temperature departures indicates it was +2.44°F at KDCA and +3.69°F at KBWI. (Again, that's just my calculation. Sterling or NCDC iteslf might figure things differently.) Sterling has yet to update its information here and here.

The current annual average temperature for KDCA is 58.2°F and for KBWI is 55.1°F. Although I didn't calculate the 12-month average for KIAD, its current annual average is 55.3°F.

Remember that all of these numbers will soon be updated to the 1991 - 2020 period.

The real story was how ridiculously warm was last winter (DJF) with full climo winter departures of +4.6°F at 42.8°F for KDCA and +5.6°F at 40.7°F for KBWI. Remember that those are full 90-day averages, or rather, with the 2020 leap day, 91-day averages encompassing all 2,184 hours.

Reviewing the above-linked temperture records tables (and unless I missed something), that ranks as the 7th warmest at both KDCA and KBWI (with KBWI tying the 2012 winter). However, if you consider just the airport period -- starting in June 1950 -- with its significantly winter nighttime colder non-urbanized location, then it tied with 2012 warmest winter on record.


It's my sense that we've reached a point where the typical winter soil temperature almost never freezes and the year-round soil moisture is significantly wetter than it was in, say, the mid-20th Century. The result is an ongoing alteration to the flora / plant ecology of our region. That could be a contributory reason to why a number of oak trees have died / are dying in that it could be enhancing a blight of some sort.


As for snow, well, it's not even worth talking about it. Basically, it doesn't snow anymore here in D.C. proper save for weak and meek touches of sleet that are gone almost as soon as it falls.

Oh, an on a personal note, I just can't stand our Baltimore-Washington NWSFO, i.e., "Sterling" (LWX). Maybe I'm wrong, but in observing them from a distance for 25 years, I am convinced that have an insufferably entitled, smugly self-satisfied, never-gonna-fucking-retire Baby Boomer-style mindset.


OK, that's all for now. Once again, I'll try to post one of my lineup of political-themed entries later tonight or this upcoming week. As I've indicated, I have several such entries in draft -- they frickin' take forever to compose -- as well as the big Three's Company-focused entry that I intend to keep as the lead entry for about a week once I post it.


For day, I'm going to once again go down to Old Town to one of the three places I usually go. Remember that here in Madam Mayor McCheese Bowser's D.C., the Covid-1984 hysteria is such that you can't go anywhere inside. And the fundamentalist WOKE cult that infects the city makes it practically unlivable here.


OK, my next planned entry will be later tonight or tomorrow. But just keep in mind what a royally time-consuming pain in the ass it is to create these entries on a blog that almost ZERO people read.

--Regulus

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