I love Flickr. Here at We Love DC, we all love Flickr. Without your contributions to our pool, the site would be a lot less colorful. But one of my favorite things about Flickr is The Commons, where museums of the world post selections of their historic photography collections. It can be fun sometimes to spend an hour or two lost in a long-ago world, made all the more enlightening because so many of those photos show scenes of our very city: Washington. As we recover from last week’s snowstorm and as we’re currently dealing with another mess of a weather pattern, it seems like the right time to take a look back at how Washingtonians of the past dealt with winter.
We’ve seen fire, and we’ve seen rain. We’ve also seen earthquakes, heat waves, blizzards, floods, and, of course, thundersnow. The DC region has seen more than its fair share of crazy weather this year, leading many people to say that this is the most extreme year of weather on record for DC. But in a town where the summer always feels like the most humid ever, and the winter always seems like the most miserable ever, has this year really been out of the ordinary?
You don’t need an outstanding glossary of weather terms to understand “hot” (but if you need one for other things, check out Don’s awesome post from yesterday). Moving my car at 6:30 this morning, I started sweating, and then I started wondering: exactly what are we looking at in terms of record breaking weather months here in June? Here’s a few facts and notes about the record heat, thanks to Capital Climate and Capital Weather Gang:
In the month of June, we’ve seen two daily records fall for highest max temperature, including a triple-digit reading on June 24. Also worth considering regarding the hot summer nights: three of the 28 measured days also registered new records for the highest minimum temperature.
Yesterday was the 17th day of 90+ degree temperatures in the month of June, tying records co-shared by 1943 and 1994. Considering Weather.com is reporting at 7:57 a.m. that it is 83 out downtown, there is no way we stay below 90 today and 2010 should earn outright number one for the record.
While yesterday’s storm helped lower the humidity a little, the heat may still be sticking around until we can get some more cold air moving through. It may be dryer this weekend thanks to that, but early forecasts show that you’ll get plenty of warmth to accompany your fireworks and cookouts.
Drink fluids, wear sunscreen, and stay cool, Washington.
While neither team is at the top of their divisions, both come packed with longtime crowd favorites like Nick Markakis, B-Rob, Zimmer-sapien and Christian Guz-sapien, who are sure to make the game competitive and entertaining.
What I’m really looking forward to is Screech and the Bird strolling around the stadium and taunting each other Phillie Phanatic style. Obviously, sans taser. I’m assuming both birds will join the Presidents in the 4th inning race, where of course some antics will ensue between the two avians to prevent Teddy from winning. Alas poor Teddy, I wanted him to win.
We’ve got a major Coastal Flood Warning today, with the tidal Potomac swelling to 3-4 ft above flood level, and 5-10 ft around Georgetown. Be safe and cautious if you live or work near the Potomac River or the C&O Canal, and don’t try to drive through flood water. The National Harbour boardwalk and parts of the driveway to K Street are inundated, and as has already been mentioned, a broken C&O Canal lock may cause additional flooding in Lower Georgetown. Parts of the The Mount Vernon Bike Trail are underwater, and of course Old Town Alexandria is getting swamped as well.
We’re one week away from springing forward, three weeks away from cherry blossoms, the temperature is above 50 and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some flowers poking up from the ground. I think that it’s almost safe to call it: spring has arrived. What’s more is that mild temperatures will prevail for the rest of the week. It looks like the sun will give way to rain in the coming days, but hopefully that will melt the brown snow in my yard. Even if winter rears its ugly head once more (God forbid) I’m still going to enjoy what we’ve got going. So, I’m off to lunch outside, suckas.
Rising high above the streets of DC, seen here with a height on par with the Capitol Building, is Mount St. Fenty. The monument, in which is carved the sorrow of all District residents, was erected in the early part of 2010 by the District’s Department of Transportation on the orders of the Mayor. While the initial monument was created as part of what should have been the art installation equivalent of a flash mob, on orders of the Mayor, the monument would stand for months to come as testament to the powers of the mother nature.
The ad-hoc architectural construction of Mount St. Fenty is a bold statement in contravention to traditional artforms, favoring chaos and confusion over structure and focus. The confusing form has been the topic of much discussion over the past few days, and the Mayor himself has expressed incredulity at its reception. If the avant garde nature of Mount St. Fenty is its most obvious feature, the Kafkaesque drama that it carries with it as undercurrent is its most long-lasting. The neighborhoods are rife with frustration as the Mount is causing all manner of parking difficulty throughout the city, leaving residents with flat tires, flared tempers and a sharp increase in the alcoholism rate.
Plans to move the monument at this time are quite sketchy, as the Mayor has said that the weather will have to do the job itself, and that city funds are stretched to the limit to move the monument to its final location. The delay, though, will prove to be a campaign issue for the Mayor in this fall’s primaries. Well, should anyone decide to run against Mayor Fenty.
Have you been outside yet? Lovely Wife called me at 10:30 from the Weaver Compound in Arlington to say it was snowing somewhat heavily. We had not yet seen flake number one over in DC where I work. Now it’s a different story, of course. My office closed at noon and I am home, getting ready to dig out the hatch to the underground bunker.
If only Mother Nature would respect the rules. First rule of bad weather: Schedule it for a day other than Friday, because let’s cut to the chase here. No pants + snow = just plain messy.
It’s been snowing a lot lately. The DC Snowpocalypse, or snOMG if you will, was just the start. Even with the three or four storms we’ve had already, Mrs. Nature (she’s the mother) is not done with us yet. With a few more storms already in the forecast, we had to call on our National Weather Service Senior Forecaster Logan Johnson once again. Logan’s WeLoveDC forecast and description of thunder snow was a big hit in December and he’s done it again.
So, Logan…give it to us straight. What does the next few days hold for us?
The Washington Harbour Boardwalk in Georgetown is underwater this morning, as the muddy, debris-strewn Potomac River swells to flood level following Sunday and Monday’s rain. NWS has issued a Coastal Flood Warning for our area. Highest afternoon tides will be around 5:30PM.
The rest of the Harbour is behind a floodwall that they have ready just for these occasions, so those of you who eat at Tony & Joe’s, Agraria, Cabanas, Nick’s Riverside Grill, and Sequioa should be just fine and dry.
After the jump, a video of how fast the river is moving, more photos, and the view from Old Town: Continue reading →
Via the Bolt Bus site, we’re seeing that bus service is drastically affected for tomorrow:
“Due to the approaching winter storm, we have decided to cancel the following services on Saturday, December 19, 2009:
Between New York & Washington all schedules are cancelled.
All service for December 20, 2009 has been cancelled.
Please continue to check our website for information concerning service on December 21, 2009.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you.”
Unless you’ve been hiding for a few days, you know that our beloved city is in for a real winter storm this weekend. And by that I mean REAL. A once every three years or so kind of thing for DC with predictions of over a full foot of snow even inside the beltway. But what makes this storm even more unusual than simply the amount of snow that could fall is the fact that we could experience the meteorlogical phenomenon that is thundersnow. DUN DUN DUN. A thunderstorm with snow? What? Crazy talk? Luckily, we have Logan Johnson, a Senior Meteorologist with the National Weather Service, here to save the day.
“Thundersnow is a rare weather phenomenon, which is basically a thunderstorm that forms in weather that is cold enough for the precipitation to fall in the form of snow instead of rain. Thundersnow is rare because normally thunderstorms need warm and moist air to form. Cold and drier air, like what occurs during the wintertime, is not very conducive to the development of thunderstorms. The two things that are necessary for thundersnow are the presence of unstable air and a force that will push this unstable air upwards. This force of rising air is provided by strong low pressure. The low pressure will push the unstable air upwards, allow for clouds and thunderstorms to form, and provided that the atmosphere is cold enough, it is thundersnow,” writes Logan. His full detailed and exclusive forecast just for WeLoveDC, including a complete explanation, is after the jump.
On your way into work this morning, you might have noticed a giant blue expanse and a shining orb in the place of the gray ceiling that you had grown accustomed to. This is called “clear sky” and it should be the norm for the rest of the week. Warm temperatures and dry air are finally returning to the DC area and it is good to see them back. Unfortunately, we do have some more rain in our forecast, just in time for next weekend. Let’s hope the weatherman is lying.
What? A high in the 60’s? It’s June, for Pete’s sake. I just wish I had a nice cat sweater and a beer and I could stay at home, away from the impending craziness, snow-induced accidents and obvious breakdown of order in the world. It’s too cold to be June. After all, this isn’t a God-foresaken area of the world where you expect misery and suffering. Well, maybe you do in a place like Bethesda, but certainly not here in good old Georgetown.
It’s too cold today. I’m going back to bed. Wake me when the revolution comes or the mothership lands. Whichever comes first.
We’re getting much-needed rain today. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows our region as being in moderate drought conditions, so this rainfall is good news. It’s not a one-shot fix, though – Capitol Weather pointed out at the end of last month that we were a full five inches below normal, something you can’t correct in one hit. While it would be nice to get more dry days to enjoy the warming weather, we really need to be hoping for some more consistent rainfall over the next few months.
Latest statement from NWS has us starting with mostly snow late tonight or early Tuesday morning, transitioning to freezing rain late Tuesday afternoon and evening, then changing to just rain on Wednesday. So things will gradually go from fluffy and picturesque to messy, wet, and slippery. I also estimate a 65% chance of longer grocery lines for milk, bread, and toilet paper.
If you didn’t feel like a combination between a mime and Bob Seger then I don’t suppose you went outside today. Between the weird wintry weather and the harsh wind, I have been convinced to stay indoors until everything thaws and starts to warm up, like until April. Until then I will be hunkered down here in Arlington in the Weaver Estate’s underground bunker with some champagne sparkling wine and my lovely wife. Call me when it’s all over, okay?