Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Lightly glazed

Lightly glazed

Happily the overnight temps weren’t so low as to keep this kind of spectacle in place for this morning. This car was parked near mine when I left work around 7:30 last night and the photo doesn’t really do justice to the krispy kreme look all the vehicles had. It was an real flashback for me to my visit up here for a conference in the late 90s, when a severe ice storm left my rental car so encased in ice that I had to kick the door repeatedly to get it so it could open.

And yes, if you’re wondering, when the car is that frozen, so is the ground underneath it… which makes for some real entertainment when someone is on one foot repeatedly kicking an immovable object. Or at least my friend thought so – my ass was less convinced.

The Roads in DC: Epic Fail

I wanted to go to class tonight. I did. We were talking about a book that I had strong opinions about, that I spent a lot of time thinking about. However, the 7-mile drive from home to the Virginia Tech campus was not to be. I knew I was in trouble when the intersection of Route 7 and my street was backed up and not moving. I gave it my all, but when after 80 minutes in the car I wasn’t a mile from home, I gave up and turned around.


The roads are downright awful out there tonight. Parts of the Beltway are closed. Several major interchanges are closed due to horrific ice, there are 20 car pileups and there’s an ice storm warming until tomorrow morning at 7, it’s just pretty freakin’ awful out there.

I know you’ve probably got awful stories, please relay them in the comments.

Find your booties

Capital Weather passes on this bit of information: you’re going to get wet. Very.

It’s hard to imagine as I look out the window into a sunny and nice day, but projections indicate we’re going to get a metric ass-ton of rain dumped on us in the next 24 hours. Estimates are in the 1 inch and up range. Happily the expectation is we’ll follow it up with some sunny and above-average temps for the weekend. So run through your Netflix queue tonight and tomorrow and plan for some out-of-doors activities on Saturday.

The Noon News: Because Sometimes, Sleeping In is the Right Choice

Virginia House Repeals Driver Fees

The Virginia House of Delegates voted 95-2 yesterday to repeal Virginia’s Bad Driver Fees. Smart, boys, smart. Get on it, Virginia Senate!

Supreme Court to Hear Gun Ban Oral Arguments on 18 March

Mark your calendars, in about 8 weeks, the Supreme Court will hear the Oral Arguments in D.C. vs. Heller. It’ll be good to hear Nina Totenberg’s dulcet tones tell us exactly what happens during this particular case.

Students Get in Fight on Metro, Put it on YouTube

Gotta love it when breaking news like this happens on YouTube. How dumb do you really have to be to post a video of your friends beating up a kid on the Metro and not expect to get caught? Really?

Angry Phone Call Takes on New Life

Yeah, this one’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s worth a look. A local student called an administrator at home and asked why school hadn’t been cancelled due to inclement weather. The administrator’s wife responded. It wasn’t pretty. Then the response got posted to the web. Then it got really, really ugly.

The cause of big flakes

The always excellent Capital Weather gang has a neat post up about what causes big flakes. I might have made the connection if I’d ever thought about it, but they spell it out: as neat looking as they are, large snowflakes are actually a bad sign if you’re a snow lover. They’re caused by above-freezing temps as the flakes fall, causing them to clump along the way.

Thus all the huge snowflakes yesterday, therefor the tremendous slush-fest it resulted in.

West Nile Season is Just Around the Corner

Remember all the hoopla about West Nile Virus and how I scared the bejeezus out of you with all the dangers associated with it and then gave you hope because of all the ways you learn about and prevent it (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)?

I, too, thought WNV was a thing of the past, or at least at bay over the winter, but I just learned I was wrong. The Falls Church web site talks about what we can do now to prevent WNV in the spring and summer. Quite honestly, this is the first reasonable or sensible argument I have heard for raking leaves.

Their suggestions:

Clean Rain Gutters – Clean out leaves and debris from your gutters frequently. Wet leaves provide nutrients and protection for mosquito larvae.
Recycle Old Tires – Recycle tires or store them where they won’t collect rainwater. For playground use, drill water drainage holes.
Rake Leaves – Leaves left in your yard will decompose and become food for mosquito larvae in the spring.
Fill Holes and Yard Depressions – Those puddles of water in your yard make great mosquito breeding sites!

It’s entirely possible that simply burning the old tires will create enough smoke to get rid of the mosquitoes, but don’t trust me on that. Is anyone reading a good source of information on tire fires and their effects on pesky insects?

And while we are on the subject of annoying critters, I will be happy with my mosquitoes any day, as long as I don’t have to deal with scorpions. Let’s get real for a second – in comparison, mosquitoes don’t seem so bad, do they?

Urban Heat Island Lightens Downtown Snow Accumulation

Hey there, DC! I’ve been away on holiday for a few weeks, out in the Philippines where a December “chill” means temperatures dip below 80°F and where we spent New Year’s Eve scuba diving, but since I got back I’ve been looking forward to some snow, and the weather today has not disappointed.

Local weather radar this morning If you’ve been obsessively watching the precipitation approach on radar like I have, you might have noticed that for a moment, as the snow began to wash over the DC area, an expanse of non-snow persisted over the District itself for a few minutes before the flakes began falling downtown. That’s likely an Urban Heat Island effect in action; the city’s greater propensity for heat-trapping and heat-generation affecting the local impact of passing weather systems. Urban heat has been implicated in increased summer thunderstorm activity, but in the case of today’s snow, it means that we get less accumulation here downtown, as more of it tends to melt as it falls or after hitting the ground.

A strong enough system can still beat the Heat Island effect and turn DC into a winter wonderland; so to today’s snow clouds I say, try harder. Bring it on.

The Morning News: Snow’s Coming

Capital Weather Gang suggests we’ll get one to three inches, followed by rain in the District. Less to the south and east, more to the north and west. Be prepared for a nasty evening rush.

Weekend Platform Repairs to Slow Metro

Metro Center will be getting some heavy duty platform repair this weekend, causing delays of up to 30 minutes, so if you avoid the literal center of the Red, Blue and Orange liens, by all means, do. This weekend is the first of two weekends that WMATA will be fixing platform sag on the red line platforms. Presidents Day Weekend will also suck for transit.

Rhee Promises Change in Schools Facility Plan

DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has promised that changes to her facilities plan will be made, though the extent of these changes is currently unknown. Rhee had announced that she would close 23 schools, but that plan may well change in the near future, in response to feedback from the community.

Hearsay Now Considered News at NBC4

A Lieutenant in the DC Fire Department is alleged to have read an insensitive letter aloud at a DC Firehouse, and is now under investigation. The following quote is all I have to go on, but I suspect it’s regarding a new fireman’s orientation: “He’s a Libra,” the letter said. “Boy George is his favorite singer. He’s originally from Calvert County, but looking for a one-room, two-person apartment in the Dupont Circle area.” I suspect tone is certainly more telling than content at this point.

Driver Fees on Repeal Path

The Virginia Bad Driver Fees are on the long road to repeal, passing a bill out of a Senate subcommittee yesterday. Don’t get excited just yet, there’s a long way to go before a vote.

I ate my lunch outside today…

… and I hope you did too. Enjoy this rare January gift while it lasts, kids, because it’s supposed to start raining tomorrow afternoon, and while Friday is still supposed to be warm, the forecast calls for rain.

So get out and enjoy the (relative) warmth and sunshine this afternoon before it all goes to crap again.

Congratulations to Capital Weather!

This afternoon, Capital Weather announced via Marc Fisher that they’ll be joining the gang in the Post’s blogging arena. Capital Weather will become the Capital Weather Gang and be featured in the Post’s ever-burgeoning stable of blogs as part of the WPNI section of the Paper.

Congratulations to Jason Samenow and his crafty gang of intrepid meteorologists!

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