Updated 4:45 p.m. 8/3/2022: See bottom of entry.
The U.S. Capitol building on a snowy day, January 3, 2022
This was after my time there. Don't worry: Everybody was properly DOUBLE masked OUTSIDE and yowling about FBI-facilitated "insurrections" while crying for more totalitarianism featuring Twitter-based WOKE struggle sessions and forced prepubescent "genderqueer" insanities mixed with unchecked violent crime, city government-encouraged drug-addled homelessness, and urban collapse.
In other words, a typical day in D.C., but with some measurable snow.
Before I dive into this entry, I just want to note that I had for about 7 or 8 years a real connection to the Capital Weather Gang (CWG) "community," if by "community" is understood the online comment section peanut gallery.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out -- and at some point I was "deplatformed" by the 25-year old Postie IT guy who oversees those matters. Ironically, it occurred because I was still so liberal at the time and upset about the whole Russia Collusion hoax and Robert Mueller's inability to find any "there" there.
But on rare occasion, I still correspond with the main weather editor of this very popular Washington Post feature, and he always politely answers me. I like him and respect the diligent work he does in a highly ethical way. (And, yes, I admit, he ended up having the career I really wanted back in the 1990s.)
Having dealt with journalists and reporters back in the period 1995 - 2005 as part of my ultimately failed attempt to be in that professional trade, I know how obnoxious, self-important, insufferable, and brittle-yet-impervious to criticism many of them are.
In the past 10 years with the rise of the WOKE mind virus and its social pathologies among the young Millennials and Gen Z set that have seized legacy media outlets, it's far worse with bizarro world malevolent pathologies.
For these cry-bullies, all criticisms are "hate crimes" even as readily they weaponize their organizations and social media to destroy enemies. (The best example of this is the Post's own Taylor Lorenz.)
Okay, for this entry, I'd like to this person died -- and I'm NOT going to post his name or picture on my blog but you can find it at that funeral home link or in some of the entries linked below.
From the information that I have, he died of a heart attack right on his 73rd birthday and right at his post of four plus decades. He was in the U.S. Air Force from 1968 - 1979 to include a tour in Vietnam. I also believe that had suffered a heart attack about eight years ago.
I know nothing about this person or his personal life -- other than what is in the above-linked obituary. But what I do know is that his forever claim-to-fame is that he was in charge of the National Airport weather observations for about 42 years back to 1979/'80.
I do know he was the looooong running supervisor of a posse, a small bevy, a stable of FAA contractors who perform this 24/7 task. This includes the snow measurements for any and all snowfalls.
Snow totals for the "DMV" region for the 1979 Presidents' Day storm. Nine years old at the time, I was living in New Jersey with my grandparents and dad. As I recall, we got about 15 inches in Long Branch, but it RAPIDLY warmed up into the 55°F range two days later. It was the previous year that featured the legendary snowy and cold winter of 1977-'78 in New Jersey.
Three quick points: 1. Below, I explain why this storm from 43 years ago (!) and its Mid-Atlantic snow totals are so relevant. 2. The federal holiday formally known as "Washington's Birthday." 2. Related to #2, there is no set rule on the possessive apostrophe, so I'm spelling it "Presidents Day" rather than "Presidents' Day."
Why this is relevant is that this person circumstantially appears to be alone responsible for the fact that National Airport -- and, thus, the "official" weather record station for Washington, D.C. -- for 43 years has failed to break the 18.7 inches reported in the Presidents Day Storm of February 18-19, 1979.
This is true DESPITE (1) a half dozen major snowstorms in that time, at least five of which surpassed the 1979 totals at the two other regional major airport weather stations; (2) a significant irregularity in the measurement of the most recent case (2016); and (3) hundreds of unofficial measurements in these storms including nearby ones that call into question the reported amount.
These half dozen major snowstorms that missed the 1979 total at National Airport (but nowhere else) ran the period from 1983 - 2010, as well I personally remember given that I was living in:
* D.C. proper, Feb 2001-Mar 2021 excluding June 2004 - Feb 2005, when I lived in Silver Spring, Md.
* College Park, Md., just outside D.C., Sept 1992- Feb 2001.
* Glen Burnie and other areas of Maryland (St. Mary's City and Rockville), Aug 1982 - Sept 1992 excluding about eight months in all during the years 1988, 1991, and 1992, when I lived in Seattle (Washington), Oxford (England), and New Jersey.
Satellite picture of the Presidents Day Storm on February 19, 1979
I believe this was taken by the old GOES-3. We are now up to GOES-16 ("GOES-East") and GOES-17 ("GOES-West").
Beyond just living in that region, allow me to give my own "credentials": I not only posess a Masters of Science in meteorology, but I have followed "the weather" -- especially major and high-impact events -- very closely for much of my life back to my teenage years.
I have a rather good idea of the entire National Weather Service system including the key players in terms of who forecasts what, who reports what, and a general sense of the ever-metastasizing array of weather models including their "ensembles."
A CSI-enhanced band of very heavy snowfall as captured on the KOKX radar, 6:34 - 10:21 a.m. EST February 12, 2006
Now before I give the snow totals, keep in mind an odd point that the amounts themselves will vary depending for several reasons. First, there is the question of whether the storm somehow lasts into a third day (tapering off to nothing) and if that is counted.
Secondly, there are sometimes mini-events after the main storm involving a minor shortwave rotating through the subsequent trough combined with other weird phenomena ("conditional symmetric instability" or "CSI" -- see looped radar imagr above).
Thirdly, reported "official" amounts in NWS records are sometimes altered long after the fact (sometimes because of the first two issues).
Finally, there is sometimes simply the human factor -- and not even necessarily an "error" -- in creating the tables that involve which amounts are being used to create the totals.
Top 10 days Days 1 - 3 snowfall totals for KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD through 2016
For this entry, I am using the amounts given in the above tables as recorded at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA), BWI Airport (KBWI), and Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD) where the abbreviations represent their ICAO codes rather than the more familiar IATA codes (the difference is a "K" for most major U.S. airport). Click on it for a larger / more legible version.
Having said all that, and using the table directly above, here are the top six snowstorm amounts for Washington, D.C., as measured at National Airport in the period after the 1979 Presidents Day event -- with the earliest in Feb 1983:
Jan 22-23, 2016: 17.8 inches
Feb 05-06, 2010: 17.8 inches
Jan 07-09, 1996: 17.3 inches
Feb 10-11, 1983: 16.6 inches
Dec 18-19, 2009: 16.4 inches
Feb 16-18, 2003: 16.4 inches
So, in a 33 year period (1983-2016), six major snowstorms, none broke that 1979 Presidents Day storm total -- and DESPITE the fact that all six came no less than 2.3 inches under to include an unlikely tie (the 2010 and 2016 storms) that were LESS than 1 inch under:
Specifically, 0.9 inches at 17.8 inches versus 18.7 inches.
And it is true DESPITE the fact that ALL SIX of these storms surpassed the 1979 totals at the two other regional ASOS spots -- KBWI and KIAD -- not to mention at literally scores of unoffical locations, some of which were within a half mile of the KDCA "snowboard".
As an aside: ASOS stands for "Automated Surface Observing System" and is a joint NWS/FAA/DoD effort. ASOS represent the nation's primary surface weather observing network. There are other FAA-specific systems such as the related AWOS (Automated Weather Observing System) and AWSS (Automated Weather Sensor System). ASOS, AWOS, and AWSS form part of the Aviation Surface Weather Observation Network (ASWON). In addition, there is the community network-based CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network). It's seemingly endless.
The above table shows the top 25 snow event total reported amounts for Washington, D.C., as created in January 2020 (and nothing has replaced anything on that list since then). Again, as noted above, there are slight variations in the totals for given "events" for the reasons stated. Regardless, none of this changes the February 1979 storm "officially" remains the third heaviest snowfall event for Washington, D.C., and the heaviest snowfall event at National Airport proper.
National Airport's old A terminal original control tower and its then-rooftop weather station pictured circa 1945
It is at National Airport where, for better or worse, observations go back to June 1945 with "official" observations started two months later in August 1945 (see this entry for background history).
The biggest snowstorm on record is known as the Knickerbocker Storm of Jan 27-28, 1922, when 28.0 inches fell (that total is suspect). It is called that because the very heavy and wet snow of that storm caused a collapse of the old Knickerbocker Theatre in Adams Morgan when the place was filled with Sunday night movie goers -- resulting 98 killed and another 133 injured.
Above: The Monday morning, January 29, 1922, edition of the Washington Star. Below: An expansive view of the theatre roof collapse a few days after the event. My understanding is that it warmed up rapidly after the snowstorm.
This is in the Adams Morgan section of D.C. by 18th Street and Columbia Road NW. One hundred years later, it's an expensive but fly ride thupin', hip hop beats ("ALL I WANNA DO IS ZOOM-A-ZOOM-ZOOM-ZOOM / AND A POOM-POOM, JUST SHAKE YA RUMP") bumpin', drug dealin', and just dangerous neighborhood.
Populated with shrieking schizophrenically homeless, run-amok street criminals, out-and-proud soy boys, and purple-and-teal-haired, genderqueer Communist WOKESTERS working in bike shops, the air is suffocating with the stench of pot and urine while sidewalks are smeared in human feces. Libs love that. Oh, but lots of outdoor and universal indoor Covid Karen mask wearing.
Again, typical Washington, D.C., (or any ultraviolet "Blue" American city) in 2022.
The second biggest snowfall occurred between Feb 11-13, 1899 when 20.5 inches fell and was part of the brutally cold winter of 1898-99.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
The salient point is that those two snowstorm totals were measured at different locations in D.C. proper rather than in what is technically in Arlington, Va., at very snow-unfriendly frickin' National Airport with its sea level elevation and position beside a nearly mile wide, nasty-mucky tidal river rather than, say, at the Naval Observatory or the National Arboretum.
And the measured totals were not "authenticated" by a man seemingly hellbent on ensuring one snowstorm never break a certain record.
Above: An aerial view of the actual National Airport ASOS spot that is known by its ICAO code KDCA rather than the more common IATA code DCA. (That difference of the letter "K" is the case for nearly every major airport in the U.S. that also has an ASOS and thus serves as a NWS weather observation spot.)
To clarify, that's NOT where the KDCA snow measurements are taken. Those are taken near the pet relief area outside the old Terminal A building.
Snow-blitzed view along Connecticut Ave south of Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., 3:22 p.m. January 23, 2016
This blog has existed for three of the six storms listed above. You can read about them if you go back to that period. I'll just link to this entry from Jan 24, 2016 (where the above and below pics were featured).
The most egregious snowstorm mal-measurement happened in the Jan 22-23, 2016, snowstorm that was dubbed "Snowzilla" by the Capital Weather Gang.
Snow-buried sidewalk, 1700 block T Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:40 p.m. January 23, 2016
That's when the "official" ruler used to measure snowfall at KDCA -- again, by the pet relief area of the old terminal A building -- "went missing" for several hours during a burst of heavy snowfall that easily dropped 2 to 4 inches (as I well remember). This ensured the 1979 event would not be surpassed for what has now been another 6 winters and counting.
The image above shows snowfall totals for both KBWI and KDCA as well as other locations. Not only was there an 11.4 inch difference between those two spots --with the KBWI total of 29.2 inches a new all-time record.
There was also a 1.6 inch difference RIGHT AT National Airport itself -- 19.4 inches observed by a trained spotter versus the 17.8 inch figure that the person who just died decided was "official" -- even with an obviously improper measurement.
The CWG wrote about this at the time.
By that point, it was obvious it was deliberate. I wrote about this at the time and afterward. Needless to say, the LWX vapid dolts weren't going to do any quality checking.
The individual was well aware of the deep chagrin his questionable numbers were causing. But he didn't a given a damn.
Instead, he boasted a "fuck you" attitude in a pre-CWG Post article written 13 years prior in Feb 2003. (That article gives the Feb 2003 KDCA total as 16.2 rather than 16.4 inches.)
Above: The KDCA ASOS as seen on takeoff from National Airport. I cannot determine in searching my blog if I took this pic for found it online. The low-quality image is similar to those of the cameras on the flip open phones I had for, like, 20 years until last October.
Above: A closeup of the KDCA ASOS.
Oh, and above is the actual KDCA rain gauge -- a device known as the All-Weather Precipitation Accumulation Gauge or AWPAG, as pictured on June 6, 2017. I image the same one is still there.
Putting it all together, I simply don't believe these major snowstorm KDCA snowfall numbers, and I strongly suspect that this individual -- for whatever reasons and consciously or not -- was rigging the measurements so that the 1979 total would not be surpassed.
Anyway, he died on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, right on his 73rd birthday from, I was told, a heart attack. It's possible he died right at his airport observation post (I don't know all the details).
The friend of mine who told me this knew him professionally / quasi-professionally to include 15+ years participation in the D.C. area Verizon weather line and sundry email based weather prediction contests.
As for me, I never participated in any of that.
What's more -- and unlike the vindictive and dumb local D.C. TV weather lady known as The Palkacabra, pictured at left in her WTTG lair of 45 years, this man never knew me and our paths never crossed. That's just as well.
But he was very much part of that D.C. Federal Government leviathan that NEVER goes away until they die of old age and are carted out in a hearse. And they just get worse with each passing decade.
This includes, of course, Lord Father Fauci, a megalomaniacal control freak aptly described in the tweet by Dr. Sai Medi (see below) as "an unaccountable, out-of-touch, technocratically maximalist octogenarian who is convinced he knows what is best for everyone" and whose position in power "ensures we will never stray from the yellow brick road to hell."
But it also includes no end of aging Baby Boomer types in their 60s and 70s who have occupied key positions throughout the monstrous federal bureaucratic and larger Military / Industrial / Surveillance / Corporate / Big Media / Foundation-funded NGO Hydra.
Possessing a deeply illiberal technocratic bent and totalitarian predilection, it is a dystopian system-in-the-making that, let's face it, despises you (eat bug paste, drink poop water, use candles for light) as much as it loves, is delighted with, and celebrates itself.
The Gates / Bezos / Schwab - WEF Great Reset crowd are quite open about their twin goals of dramatic population reduction and a high-tech neo-feudal society.
In it, you will eat bug paste, drink poop water, use candles for light, have no access to energy, and will be kept in check by the Cultural Marxist twin and secular religions of race-and-identity-based "Social Justice" and Climate Change Apocalypticism, all while "owing nothing and being happy."
And the masculine component nature of the human race will be systematically removed through mass-scale forced transgenderism psychopathy that has gripped every Western major institution and system since anything masculine is a danger to this Huxleyan reality..
Speaking of Church of the Branch Covidians Pope Fauci and the Deep State's Regime, I see that Puppet in Chief is "on the rebound" ...
Yes, doubly vaxxed and doubly boosted with the "miracle mRNA shots," nasty Old Uncle Joe is on the Paxlovid Rebound. It happens so rarely -- except for ALL the time.
But if you state that -- or any basic biological fact -- the Bubble Children of Twitter deplatform you for "hateful conduct." And if you "misgender," well, that's a federal hate crime.
Anyway, I've gotten way off topic, so let's get back to the guy who died and the matter at hand ...
Here's my bottom line: Based on the info in the 2003 Washington Post article linked above (written by the insufferable prick John Kelly), this individual started his unusual gig back in 1980.
Fast forward to today, this means he personally controlled the climate data for TWO FULL 30-year climatological record periods for Washington, D.C., to include the 1981 - 2010 and current 1991 - 2020 sets. And to me, that's just a really bad way to do things.
Well, he's passed on now to whatever meta-reality. He can measure the snowfall and rig the totals in Heaven for God.
Rest in peace. And I'll leave it at that. And I'm signing off for now.
UPDATED 4:45 p.m. 8/3/2022:
The CWG has this guest piece written by a man who was a 40+ year friend of the weather observer discussed in this entry. I personally have met the writer of this CWG piece up to a dozen times over a ~20-year period. Also a Vietnam Vet and lifelong D.C. area resident, he is a long-time collaborator, fellow weather enthusiast, and friend to my friend. According to this article, the weather observer started his job on Sept 1, 1979 -- meaning he worked at National Airport for just shy of 43 years.
End of Update.
Moonrise framed by some coconut palms as seen in Lummus Park, Miami Beach, Fla., 10:10 p.m., July 14, 2022
I was going to try to post an entry tomorrow (Sunday), but this one has taken so long that my planned next one will not be until later in the upcoming week.