The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

The A/C seems broken

It got a little warm in Death Valley, Calif., yesterday:

In the midst of a historic heat wave in the West, the mercury in Death Valley, Calif., surged to a searing 54.4°C on Sunday afternoon, possibly setting a world record for the highest temperature ever observed during the month of August.

If the temperature is valid, it would also rank among the top-three highest temperatures ever measured on the planet at any time and may, in fact, be the highest.

Death Valley famously holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth, which is 56.7°C. This record was set on July 10, 1913. However, that measurement is very much in question; an extensive analysis of that record conducted in 2016 by Christopher Burt, an expert on extreme weather data, concluded it was “essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective.”

The National Weather Service has since started a Twitter thread about the record.

Long weekend

After a cool front passed through yesterday, this morning we've got sun, cooler (25°C vs yesterday's 32°C) weather, and a gentle breeze.

My way of saying, see you tomorrow. Or maybe later this evening.

So many things today

I'm taking a day off, so I'm choosing not to read all the articles that have piled up on my desktop:

Finally, a "mania" set Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to Teletubbies footage, and it's horrifying.

How to dine outdoors in Chicago in December

The head of the Illinois Restaurant Association looks to ski towns for inspiration:

Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said the trade group has been having conversations with the city and state about extending street closures and using tents, heaters, blankets and plastic domes to give restaurants more seating capacity as COVID-19 restrictions continue.

“We have about six weeks,” Toia said Wednesday during a virtual speech to the City Club of Chicago. “We need to start thinking outside the box right now. … Because we could be in this for the next six months and we want to be ahead of the curve.”

Outdoor dining has been a saving grace for restaurants with the space for it, and the city has reduced sidewalk fees, streamlined the process for getting an outdoor seating permit and blocked off some streets to allow tables to be set up there.

When the weather no longer cooperates, “we could really be in trouble,” Toia said. He urged local officials to take a page from Toronto, Paris and Colorado ski towns to make outdoor dining feasible into winter.

He's right to worry. Our Covid-19 numbers get just a tiny bit worse every day, though we're still under the line to remain in Phase 4.

Well, blow me down

The National Weather Service has confirmed that Monday's storm spawned 7 tornadoes over Northern Illinois, including one that skipped through the far-North Side neighborhood Rogers Park:

Local news site Block Club Chicago reports:

The tornado saw estimated peak winds of 175 km/h, according to the weather service. It formed at about 4 p.m. Monday and traveled about 5 km, traveling roughly from Touhy Avenue near Lincoln Avenue and traveling eastbound to Lake Michigan.

The storm toppled dozens of large trees along Jarvis, crushing cars and leaving roads impassable well into Tuesday. Street lights and power lines were also downed along Jarvis, with numerous cars totaled and houses damaged from the falling debris.

Damage was spotted along Jarvis Avenue from about Western Avenue to the lakefront, said Ald. Maria Hadden (49th). Multiple trees were downed along a four-block stretch of Jarvis from Paulina Avenue to the lakefront. At least two city blocks were impassable due to fallen debris.

No major injuries have been reported from the storm, Hadden said.

The National Weather Service estimated the path:

They also published a montage of radar images of the derecho at one-hour intervals:

And about a block away from me, this already-dying maple finally gave up the ghost yesterday afternoon, to the detriment of an old Toyota and anyone trying to drive down the street:

Swinging in the breeze

A derecho blasted through Iowa and Illinois yesterday, blasting 120 km/h winds through Chicago and spawning at least one tornado two neighborhoods over from me:

Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, meteorologists said it’s possible a tornado touched down in Rogers Park on the Far North Side, before heading out over Lake Michigan, where the funnel became a waterspout.

The derecho blew in from Iowa, where winds surpassed 100 mph. It swept east across Illinois and into Indiana, with winds of 65 to 115 km/h, with some gusts as high as 145 km/h, the weather service reported, but the Chicago area mostly dodged the direst warnings as no deaths or serious injuries were reported, forecasters said.

The storm continued across Lake Michigan until finally dissipating over eastern Michigan.

In my neighborhood we had lots of tree limbs down but apparently not so much property damage. We have some ailing ash trees nearby that fared particularly poorly:

Sixteen hours later, the weather is delightful, and predicted to stay that way for a couple of days.

As the pipeline builds...

I'm waiting for a build to finish so I can sign off work for the day, so I've queued up a few things to read later:

Looks like the build is done, and all the tests passed. (I love green pipelines.)

Another record

No, not about The Daily Parker (though I'm hoping to keep extending the record I set yesterday). I mean Lake Michigan:

The Lake Michigan-Huron system ended July at 177.5 m MSL, averaging just below that for the month, and setting a monthly-average record for seven consecutive months. The normal (technically, the "chart datum") water level is 176.0 m, and the previous record for July was 5 cm lower.

The US Army Corps of Engineers predicts the lake will drop 5-10 cm by September 1st, which could still keep it above record levels for another month.

Lunchtime reading

It has cooled off slightly from yesterday's scorching 36°C, but the dewpoint hasn't dropped much. So the sauna yesterday has become the sticky summer day today. Fortunately, we invented air conditioning a century or so ago, so I'm not actually melting in my cube.

As I munch on some chicken teriyaki from the take-out place around the corner, I'm also digesting these articles:

Can you believe we're only 99 days from the election? How time flies.

Must be summer

It is hot in Chicago: 34°C that feels like 38°C because of the 22°C dewpoint. Last night the temperature didn't even go below 77°C. I helped a friend move a couple of things into storage this morning and I'm now soaked through. Parker hates it especially because he has two fur coats. (He deposited a significant amount of one of them around the house this week, though.)

I plan to spend the rest of the day inside with my air conditioning.

You know where else it's way too hot? East Antarctica. And that could cause problems for everyone on earth.