The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Warm lake + cold air + high winds = ...?

No matter where you find yourself today, at least you're not in Western New York:

The lake-effect snowstorm keeps pounding the Southtowns, with major highways and some roads closed.

A travel ban has been reinstituted for the City of Buffalo from William Street downtown to the Town of Cheektowaga line and everything south, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday the Thruway from Rochester to the Pennsylvania border was closed to commercial traffic, although tractor trailers could be seen on the Thruway in Hamburg this morning. The governor also announced a state of emergency Thursday for the area.

The storm that dumped nearly 2 feet of snow in Hamburg and other parts of the Southtowns overnight will shift slightly north Friday morning, as the lake-effect storm continues to pound Western New York and the Buffalo metro area.

Parts of the Buffalo, N.Y., region have already gotten over 1,200 mm of snow, with another 600 mm expected over the next day or so. And yet, Niagara Falls, just 60 km northwest of the city—but crucially, downwind of Ontario, not Lake Erie—got just 25 mm of snow over the last 48 hours.

What fun.

Poor, neglected dog

Between my actual full-time job and the full-time job I've got this week preparing for King Roger, Cassie hasn't gotten nearly the time outdoors that she wants. The snow, rain, and 2°C we have today didn't help. (She doesn't mind the weather as much as I do.)

Words cannot describe how less disappointed I am that I will have to miss the XPOTUS announcing his third attempt to grift the American People, coming as it does just a few hours after US Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) announced his bid for Senate Minority Leader. Sad dog, sad turtle, sad party.

Now to walk the dog, pack the bag, and head to the Sitzprobe. But man, my sitz already feels probed.

It was going to happen at some point

Tonight's forecast calls for the S-word:

The first real snow of the season could hit as soon as Monday night — and more snowflakes could fall throughout the week.

Chicago’s set to have a snowy, chilly week, with most days seeing temperatures [below freezing], according to the National Weather Service.

Monday will be partly sunny and could warm up to 5°C, according to the National Weather Service. There’s a 50 percent chance for snow overnight, mostly after 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Snow is expected to fall throughout Tuesday morning, with it turning into a mix of snow and rain after noon, according to the National Weather Service. Ultimately, there could be less than 12 mm of snow accumulating. The day could see a high temperature of 4°C. The snow and rain could continue overnight, as well.

It happens every year, usually right around mid-November, so we knew it would come eventually. But we can still complain about it.

Between a demo and a 5-point feature

I'm running all 538 unit tests in my real job's application right now after updating all the NuGet packages. This is why I like automated testing: if one of the updated packages broke anything, tests will fail, and I can fix the affected code. (So far they've all passed.)

This comes after a major demo this morning, and a new feature that will consume the rest of the sprint, which ends next Monday. Oh, and I have two opera rehearsals this week. Plus I have to vote tomorrow, which could take 15 minutes or two hours.

So it's not likely I'll have time to read all of these:

Regardless, I'm setting an alarm for just past 4am to see the total lunar eclipse tonight. NOAA predicts 17% sky cover, so I should get a good view of it. Unless I go back to sleep.

Final packing weekend plus amazing weather and some bad news

I have only two rooms left to pack before my move on Monday: the master bedroom (which will take me about 30 minutes and the movers about the same), and the kitchen (which will take me most of today). I also had to reserve some time later this afternoon to grab a pint with a friend at Empirical Brewery, because (a) the weather could not look better and (b) they close permanently tomorrow night.

Let's move on from the demise of the second brewery three blocks from my new house in the period between me buying the house and moving it, because clearly I angered the Beer Gods and have yet to figure out how to make amends. Instead, what about this weather? And the leaves?

Family portrait takers, tour guides and social media influencers are running out of time to photograph the final days of the best season of fall colors in northern Illinois in years, experts say.

The Chicago area may have the best colors of the entire state, as other parts continue to struggle with dry conditions.

“The weather’s setting up really well and we’ve had some rains recently,” Johnson said. “The best color is going to come when you have bright, sunny days and cool nights and we’re getting a good amount of that now.”

Recently, Illinois has had consecutive years of subpar fall colors tied to a 2012 drought that ravaged the Midwest and continues to wreak havoc on trees.

Unfortunately, the long-range forecast looks a bit gloomier:

Regardless of when the snow starts stacking up, Chicagoans should gear up for a good number of storms this year, according to the annual winter outlook released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While there’s no strong indication of what sort of temperatures Chicago will see this winter, the report does predict the city will see a wetter-than-average season.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean more snow, it could be more rain, more of that yucky mixed precipitation and snow,” Borchardt said. “But usually in these kinds of patterns we typically see more storms than normal.”

Even if the city gets a lot of storms this year, it would take a truly hefty amount of snow to break Chicago’s all-time snowiest winter record. The current champion is the winter of 1978-79, when 2,278 mm fell. For comparison, last winter it snowed 833 mm.

But before that happens, we have a reprieve. Here's the St Boniface Cemetery a couple of hours ago:

Spring, at least in some places

Canada has put the Prairie Provinces on a winter storm warning as "the worst blizzard in decades" descends upon Saskatchewan and Manitoba:

A winter storm watch is in effect for southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan, with snowfall accumulations of 30 to 50 centimetres expected mid-week, along with northerly wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour, said Environment Canada on Monday.

“Do not plan to travel — this storm has the potential to be the worst blizzard in decades,” the agency warns.

The storm is expected to start Tuesday night, as a Colorado low pressure system moving toward Minnesota will bring a “heavy swath of snow” from southeastern Saskatchewan through most of southern Manitoba.

Snow will start to fall early in the evening near the U.S. border and move north overnight. Blowing snow and high winds will cause zero visibility and whiteout conditions, making driving treacherous.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

And finally, prosecutors in Texas have declined to pursue charges against a 26-year-old woman arrested last week for infanticide after self-inducing an abortion. Welcome to the new 19th Century, at least in the religious South.

Goodbye, winter

The temperature already hit 11°C at O'Hare today, melting the last bits of snow covering roads and sidewalks, and letting me wear regular shoes and a lighter coat for the first time in a couple of weeks. Spring officially starts tomorrow, and I'm ready for it.

I don't know the temperature in Kyiv, though, because they stopped sending weather reports after 5pm Saturday. I do know that the city still has water and electricity, because my friend keeps posting to Facebook. And I know from Julia Ioffe's reporting that Putin is losing, badly:

What’s key is that, for the third day in a row, the Russian army hasn’t been able to take a single regional capital or a single city. The Russians thought they would be greeted as liberators, but no one is greeting them. And the most important thing is that we all understand that they don’t have a chance. There is a clear understanding that they’ll never be able to capture the cities. They just won’t get in, because every brick and every piece of asphalt will fight them. There are 25,000 weapons in Kyiv alone and all these people will defend their city, they will all repel the invader. Because the Russians don’t have a chance. They haven’t been able to secure any territory. It’s incredible. The biggest army on the continent that has such power, and yet they haven’t taken a single city.

in the last three days, something very important happened. First of all, no one is scared anymore. At first, everyone was very scared. But then we all understood that there was no way out. We’re on our own land, we have to fight and we will fight. Now, people are still scared but there’s a sense that something shifted. I can’t imagine people laying down their arms. It’s impossible. People won’t lay down their arms. 

That’s why we’re seeing Putin start to break. The image of this great leader, he can do anything he wants in Moscow, he can get his way by breaking anyone over his leg like a twig—but not here. Here, you can go take a hike, bro. It’s not going to happen here. Everyone is telling you to fuck off. It’s become cool here. Our streets are now covered with billboards that say, “Russian ship, go fuck yourself.” Our railroad company wrote to the Russians, “Russian train, go fuck yourself.” Now everyone has told him to fuck off: all the countries of the European Union, who have closed their air space to him. Now we know that the Putin that we all thought was omnipotent, this image that he created and that his government media propagated, no longer exists. Now we all see that he’s a pathetic person who, despite having a massive army, couldn’t conquer anything.

There is no Putin. He made himself up and imposed himself on a huge nation that is now in total shock that this midget turned out to be a midget, rather than a king.

Yes, but the Russian Army still controls a lot of Ukraine. Stay tuned.

Ah, spring

Winter officially has another week and a half to run, but we got a real taste of spring in all its ridiculousness this week:

Yesterday the temperature got up to 13°C at O'Hare, up from the -10°C we had Monday morning. It's heading down to -11°C overnight, then up to 7°C on Sunday. (Just wait until I post the graph for the entire week.)

Welcome to Chicago in spring.

Elsewhere:

  • Republicans in New York and Illinois have a moan about the redistricting processes in those states that will result in heavily-skewed Democratic legislatures and House delegations, even while acknowledging that we've agreed to put down our gun when they put down theirs.
  • The pillowmonger we all know and love, who rails on about unauthorized, disease-carrying immigrants to our country, got all pissy with Canada when they kicked him out for being an unauthorized, disease-carrying immigrant.
  • The pillowmonger's friend the XPOTUS had a no good, very bad, rotten week that he totally deserved.
  • Voters roundly ejected the president and vice president (plus another divisive member) of the San Francisco School Board that the Editor in Chief of Mother Jones says was for incompetence, not politics.
  • Alaska Airlines has a new subscription deal for California that could become more common with other carriers if it takes off.

Finally, if you're in Chicago and want to hear a free Apollo Chorus concert tonight, leave a note in the comments. We perform at Harris Theater at 8pm.