The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

A 43% marathon?

As I feared, yesterday my body really did not want to walk a full 42.2 km marathon. In fact, around 14 km, I decided to turn around and get a beer:

I maintained a great pace, though: 8'54" per kilometer (14'24" per mile). But wow, it was exhausting:

I sense a nap in my future...

Bog-standard August

Despite record temperatures in late spring, Illinois had a perfectly average August, which the state climatologist for some reason refers to as "mild:"

May kicked off summer early in Illinois with a very unusual heat wave. Then came a very warm June that had this winter lover wishing for sweater weather. Fortunately, a slightly cooler July was followed by a very mild August.

August average temperatures ranged from the low 70s [F] in northern Illinois to the high 70s in southern Illinois, within 1 degree [Fahrenheit] of normal statewide. The warmest place in the state last month was Bean Ridge in Alexander County with an average August temperature of 25.6°C. The coolest place in the state–other than my house–was Shabbona in DeKalb County with an average August temperature of 20.6°C.

Overall, the preliminary statewide average August temperature was 23.2°C, 0.1°C above the 1991–2020 average and the 58th warmest on record going back to 1895.

I'll take it. August felt just fine to me, and the forecast for this coming weekend looks pretty good, too.

The last post of the summer

Meteorological summer ends in just a few hours here in Chicago. Pity; it's been a decent one (for us; not so much for the Western US). I have a couple of things to read this afternoon while waiting for endless test sessions to complete on my work laptop:

And via Bruce Schneier, a group of local Chicago high schoolers will never give you up and never let you down.

Ribfest not quite recovered

I mentioned that I went to Ribfest Chicago this past weekend. In years past I have reviewed the vendors and posted photos, but I didn't this year. Simply put, the fest hasn't recovered from Covid.

Two things especially disappointed me: first, the festival of ribs had only 5 dedicated rib vendors, not the 15-20 of years past. Wrigley BBQ closed during the pandemic; Fireside, Piggery, Q, and Smoke Daddy didn't bother to come; and Smoque, one of the best rib places in the city, has never bothered because with their Bib Gourmand rating why should they?

Second, all the vendors had serious quality or service issues. For example, from the first time I wrote about Ribfest in 2011, I've put Mrs Murphy's near the top of my list. On Sunday, though, I got a tray of goo from them. They had ladled on so much sauce that I had to scrape most of it away from the three tiny bones they'd given me, but the bones had spent so long under boil that "fall of the bone" became more "disintegrate off the bone." Another vendor had exhausted children of 10 manning the cash registers, and failing in ways you'd expect. (At the best of times 10-year-olds don't multitask well; at a busy food booth they handled each order to completion, including waiting for food, before taking the next order.)

Two vendors had lines a block long on Friday evening. On Sunday afternoon, one of them had no line—because they'd run out of ribs and it would take another 90 minutes for them to cook more. The other one, returning itinerant Austin Texas Lightning, still had a block-long queue, which upon investigation seemed to have more to do with the booth being woefully understaffed than anything else.

I hope next year they do better, or at least have more vendors.

Monday afternoon and the days are shorter

From around now through the middle of October, the days get noticeably shorter, with the sun setting 2 minutes earlier each day around the equinox. Fall is almost here—less than 8 days away, in fact. But that also means cooler weather, lower electricity bills (because of the cooler weather), and lots of rehearsals and performances.

Before any of that happens, though, I'll read these:

Finally, some ace developers at Hyundai secured one model's in-vehicle infotainment system with an encryption key published in a programming example in many online tutorials of how to use that particular kind of encryption.

Amazing late-summer weather

The South's misfortune is Chicago's benefit this week as a hot-air dome over Texas has sent cool Canadian air into the Midwest, giving us in Chicago a perfect 26°C afternoon at O'Hare—with 9°C dewpoint. (It's 25°C at IDTWHQ.) Add to that a sprint review earlier today, and I might have to spend a lot more time outside today.

So I'll just read all this later:

Finally, the leader of the Westminster city council in London really wants to close down the "American" candy stores opening up all up and down Oxford Street.

Plan for Sunday: read, write, nap

However, to get to Sunday, I have to finish a messy update to my work project, rehearse for several hours tomorrow, figure out a marketing plan for a product, and walk Cassie for hours.

I also want to read these things:

And tonight I'm going to watch Neil Gaiman's Sandman on Netflix, which has gotten pretty good reviews.

UK sets all-time heat record

The Met Office has provisionally recorded the UK's first-ever above-40°C (104°F) temperature:

Heathrow's 12:50 BST report to ICAO put the temperature at 39°C, with a heat index of 37.1°C (98.9°F). Meanwhile, the city of Abadan, Iran, has hit 51°C (123.8°F), which I can scarcely imagine.

And yet, the forecast for my trip this week looks perfect: highs in the mid-20s, with possible sprinkles Friday morning.

Hottest day ever in Wales: Met Office

The Met Office has declared that Gogerddan, Wales, has reached 35.3°C (95.5°F), the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country. Meanwhile, the London Broil continues:

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Neil Armstrong, said “The extreme temperatures that we have been forecasting are now beginning to build and it is likely that today we will see values reach into the high 30s, possibly challenging the UK record of 38.7°C set in July 2019.

“Even higher maximum temperatures will develop tomorrow with a 70% chance of somewhere in England exceeding 40°C. A value of this level would exceed the current UK record by 1.3°C or more. This is akin to a marathon runner shaving 20 minutes off of the current record.

“Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important people plan for the heat and consider changing their routines. This level of heat can have adverse health effects.”

This is the first time we have forecast 40°C in the UK. The current record high temperature in the UK is 38.7°C, which was reached at Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July in 2019.

Weather forecast models are run numerous times to help us quantify the likelihood of a particular event occurring and estimate the uncertainty which is always present in weather forecasting to some degree. Some models are now producing a 70% chance of maximum temperatures in excess of 40°C in isolated parts of the UK for the start of next week. Mid, to high, 30s Celsius will be seen more widely with a 95% chance we will exceed the current record.

At this writing, Heathrow and London City both report 36.0°C (96.8°F). They still have more livable weather than the world's hot spot right now: Abadan, Iran, reports 50°C (122°F), but its 6°C dewpoint and 8% humidity make it feel like a much cooler 45.6°C (114.7°F).

I arrive around 22:15 BST Wednesday, when temperatures should be closer to 22°C (74°F), which is still a very warm summer day in London.