Here we have a typical mid-March temperature profile for Chicago:
Of course, that's not from mid-March, that's today. It got up to 9.1°C at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters, without a cloud in the sky, and it looks likely to do the same tomorrow. Cassie got a 5 km walk earlier today and I plan to do 7 km tomorrow.
Consequently I won't spend a lot of time banging away at my keyboard this afternoon. Probably not much tomorrow, either.
Just in time for spring, the City of Chicago has just announced the winning names for seven of our beloved snowplows:
- Da Plow
- Holy Plow!
- Jean Baptiste Point du Shovel
- Mrs O'Leary's Plow
- Salter Payton
- Sears Plower
- Sleet Home Chicago
From the Chicago Tribune:
Nearly 7,000 potential names were submitted in 17,000 suggestions from Chicago residents. Initially, the city planned to name six snowplows — one for each snow district — in its fleet of almost 300 baby-blue “Snow Fighting Trucks.” (During a major snowfall in Chicago, a pool of up to 675 motor-truck drivers can be dispatched.) Another was added due to a close vote.
Each of the snowplows will be trackable in real-time on the city’s plow tracker — and the name will be added to the vehicles too.
Since we've gotten less than half of our normal snowfall this year, we haven't seen the plows much. The Climate Prediction Center mid-term forecast doesn't look good for snow, either:
Not that anyone's complaining!
Next year, though, I'll watch out for Da Plow.
Update: Mount Washington, N.H., had some weather last night, too. The weather station there may have recorded the lowest wind chill temperature in US history shortly before 11pm. With sustained 167 km/h winds gusting to 189 km/h and an ambient air temperature of -43°C, the weather station had a wind chill of -76.6°C (-106°F)—colder than the surface of Mars. At this writing the station has a much more moderate wind chill of -61.4°C (-78.6°F). Bundle up.
I finished a couple of big stories for my day job today that let us throw away a whole bunch of code from early 2020. I also spent 40 minutes writing a bug report for the third time because not everyone diligently reads attachments. (That sentence went through several drafts, just so you know.)
While waiting for several builds to complete today, I happened upon these stories:
Finally, a school district food service director ordered more than 11,000 cases of chicken wings worth $1.5m over the last three years, which the State's Attorney says never got to the kids.
And now, since the temperature has risen from this morning's -17°C all the way up to...uh...-11.4°C, I will now walk the adorable creature who keeps nosing me in the arm as I type this.
It got practically tropical this afternoon, at least compared with yesterday:
Cassie and I took advantage of the no-longer-deadly temperatures right at the top point of that curve to take a 40-minute, 4.3 km walk. Tomorrow should stay as warm, at least until the next cold front comes in and pushes temperatures down to -18°C for a few hours Thursday night.
I'm heading off to pub quiz in a few minutes, so I'll read these stories tomorrow morning:
OK, off to empty the dog, refill the dog, and scoot over to Sketchbook Skokie for a shellacking. (Our sports person can't make it tonight.)
It's official. Last month had the lowest percentage of possible sunshine (18%) of any January in history and the second-lowest percentage of any month in history. The month also had more overcast days (18) than all but two of the 1,791 months in the historical record. Only January 1998 (20) and November 1985 (19) had more. (Records go back to October 1871.)
One interesting tidbit: 3 of the 5 least-sunny Januarys happened in the last 6 years.
But as I write this, there isn't a cloud in the sky. (It's -12°C, though.)
I have no idea. But today I managed to get a lot of work done, so I'll have to read these later:
Finally, if you live in Chicago and look straight up and slightly north with binoculars tonight, you might see a little green comet that last passed Earth 50,000 years ago.
I can't describe how much better I feel today after weeks of gloomy, cloudy weather. WGN's Tom Skilling confirms it's not all in my imagination:
It's official—despite today's sun, January 2023 will go down on the books as the cloudiest January since sunshine records were taken starting 129 years ago in 1894. That's the word from Frank Wachowski who reports the month hosted only 18% of its possible sun--eclipsing the 1998 record of 20%!
On the other hand, the temperature outside Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters means Cassie won't get her hour of walks today, and I probably won't get my 10,000 steps:
And yet, one 24-hour period with temperatures skirting -15°C doesn't suck. We're still having a warm winter, all things considered. The December and January temperatures we've experienced put us in the top 20 warmest winters in history.
February, though. February might kick our butts. Except...
The sun finally came out around 3:30 this afternoon, as a high overcast layer slid slowly southeast. Of course, the temperature has fallen to -11°C and will keep sliding to -18°C overnight, but at least the gloom has receded! January will still end as the gloomiest ever, however, with around 18% of possible sunshine all month, plus whatever we get tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I want to come back to these articles later:
Finally, looking back a little farther (about 13 billion years), the James Webb Space Telescope has picked out some of the oldest galaxies in the universe. And they're really weird.
I enjoyed my lunch in the Loop today, but not the walk back to the office:
Sigh. At least the sun sets at 5pm for the first time since November 5th.
If you squint, you can see shadows on the houses down the street from me:
Officially those are "broken clouds," covering 7/8ths of the sky. But the sun is peeking out of that other 1/8th. I'll take it.
Of course, it'll be overcast the rest of the week. I'm really tired of this.