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September 2016

The Towering Clouds & Beautiful Sunsets During Summer 2016

Sheridan sq sunset

 

I've always had an appreciation for clouds and sunsets.  Five years ago I probably wouldn't have been able to write this post because I didn't have my smartphone with its camera.  Now I'm able to snap photos at a moments notice, enabling me to capture this summer's overabundance of photo-ready thunderheads and stunning sunsets.  And because I live in the West Village I probably notice them more since the low-rise buildings make the sky much more accessible than in Midtown Manhattan.  I hope you enjoy the photo revue that follows ... 

 

 

Sunset in my face
The photo display begins with one of me along the Westside Highway at dusk during Memorial Day weekend.

 

Rays of sun
Rays of the setting sun stream over Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village.

 

Sunset in mckees rocks
I took this photo during a June visit to Pittsburgh to see my mother. These clouds brought to mind those I'd often see over the Atlantic Ocean close to sundown on Fire Island.

 

July 1 2016
Taken on July 1, this photo shows a thundercloud from a storm that struck half an hour earlier. Although it was around 9PM the top of the cloud was catching the rays of sun that was below the horizon.

 

Sun thru slate gray
Early evening sun filtered through a slate gray sky over Sheridan Square.

 

Towering thunderclouds in glen rock
This isn't a cloud formation in New York but it deserves an honorable mention.  I snapped the photo of this breathtaking thunderhead during a weekend visit to south central Pennsylvania in the midst of a late July heat wave.

 

Moonshine
Taken from my kitchen looking east as the full moon was rising.

 

Sunset aug 3
This was the view on 7/28 looking east from the 44th floor of an apartment building on the  Upper West Side. The light pastel coloring was the result of a fire in a warehouse in Long Island City (Queens) an hour earlier.

 

Gathering clouds by grand central
Taken as I was walking to the subway after work on 42nd St. across from across from Grand Central Terminal.

 

Glorious clouds and sun
Looking west from Sheridan Square at around 6PM in mid-August. Seeing it I felt I was in the presence of the Divine.

 

Cloud tower
Early evening on a hot day in mid-August.  These mountainous clouds brought a quick downpour to upper Manhattan, but not to Greenwich Village.

 

Towering
Similar view and thunderclouds as the previous photo but on a different day one month later.

 

10 charles street
The same cloud formation as it moved behind the apartment building at 10 Charles St.

 

Puffy and wispy
Wispy and puffy clouds over the West Village.

 

Sunset christopher pier
Sunset on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, taken on Christopher St. pier, which looks out across the Hudson River.

 

Pastel sundown
This is how the sun's rays from the above sunset reflected on the bank of towering clouds in the east.  Reminds me of rainbow sherbet.

 

Up from subway
I snapped this photo shortly after I came out of the Christopher St. subway station in the early evening. This view is looking east.

 

Orange red sunset
Taken the evening of Sept. 11 as I left the gym on Seventh Ave. South.

 

Sept14 sunset
Taken on Sept. 14 close to the West Side Highway in Chelsea, shortly after a late afternoon thunderstorm. A few hours earlier the temperature was in the low 90s, the last 90-degree day of the year.

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Lga sunset
6PM on Sept. 15, awaiting take-off at LaGuardia Airport.

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Golden sunset
Finally, a golden sunset on Sept. 17 during a visit to my childhood neighborhood in McKees Rocks, PA.

 

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Not All Hurricanes are Katrina - News Media Need to Learn Appropriate Adjectives to Describe Hurricanes

Hurricane-Evacuation-Route-Sign-NHE-9467_300When Hurricane Hermine made landfall along the Florida Panhandle I rolled my eyes when the Huffington Post and Daily Beast described the storm "smashing" into the coast.  As a category 1 hurricane, the verb "smash" was overstating its power just a bit.  But in this day and age of constant hyperbole, the bar for danger has been lowered so much that every dark cloud is reported as being as dangerous as epic hurricanes of the past such as Camille, Hugo or Andrew.  And while the hurricane intensity chart shows the type of mayhem that can result with each category of hurricane, I think it would be helpful to add a column for the news media to provide them with the the appropriate adjectives, as shown below.

 

Hurricane Adjectives

 

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August 2016 Passes August 2015 as Third Hottest

Third place 

 

One year after New York sweated through its third hottest August on record, August 2016 was a wee bit hotter, by 0.2 degrees.  This margin was due to warmer nights (71.8° vs. 71.0°) as the average high of 86.6° was a bit below last year's 86.9°.  And after July 2016 was the wettest in seven years, August reverted to the dryness of the first half of the year as its 1.97" made it the driest August in twenty years.  However, what August and July had in common were cool starts as July 1-4 was 3.6 degrees below average and Aug. 1-4 was 2.8 degrees cooler than average.  Another similarity was five-day heat waves (July 21-25 and Aug. 11-15), making this the first summer since 2002 to have two heat waves that were five days or longer. 

 

Here are  further details about August 2016: 

  • August had seven days in the 90s.  Interestingly, there have been twelve Augusts with ten or more 90-degree days, with all but one of them cooler than August 2016.  Why?  Like July, it was due to an absence of any sustained period of cool air.  The coolest high was 79° (on two dates), and the most below average day was just 3 degrees below average.  (August 2005, the second hottest on record, also had fewer than ten 90-degree days.)  In addition to the seven 90-degree days there were also five days with highs of 88° or 89° (all in the last two weeks).

 

Augusts 10 or More 90 Deg Days

  • Aug. 13, with a high of 96/81, was the hottest day of the year, passing July 23 and its high/low of 96/80.  However, when the heat indexes of each day are compared, the two days weren't close.  Aug. 13 was very humid and the heat index reached an unbearable 110° while July 23 had low humidity, which produced a heat index that was a few degrees below the air temperature.  For five consecutive days (Aug. 10-14) dew points never fell below 70°, and during those days heat indexes remained above 90° until nearly midnight.   
  • The 16-day streak of above average mean temperatures from Aug. 6-21 was the longest streak of the year.  Then two days after it ended a refreshing low of 61° was the "chilliest" reading since 6/18.  (Then unseasonably warm conditions returned for the final week of the month.)
  • A very fascinating thing happened on Aug. 25, when the year's total precipitation matched exactly the amount on that date last year - 26.92" (more than five inches below average).  And this continued for a few more days.
  • This August joined five others that were hot and dry.

 

Hot Dry Augusts

  • In the 12-day period from Aug. 11-22, measurable rain fell on ten of the days - but the amount that fell was a modest 1.90" (by contrast, a similar rainy stretch in the first half of Sept. 1974. saw 7.40" fall).  And much of the rain fell in just a half-hour period on Aug. 20 when 0.82" poured down during lunchtime - this was the same localized afternoon rainstorm that dumped three to five inches of rain on the north shore of Long Island.

 

Dry Rainy Periods

  • Both August 2016 and 2015 were hotter than July.  This was just the sixth time that back-to-back Augusts had this distinction.  And although the difference between August's and July's mean temperatures in 2016 and 2015 was minimal, this was because July of both years was well above average in temperature.

 

Aug Hotter Than July

  • Finally, July and August 2016 became the fifth hottest July-August combination on record, 0.1 degree ahead of July and August of 2015.  And this summer joined fourteen others that had two or more days with 80-degree lows, with one each in July and August.

 

Hottest JulyAug Combos

 

Hot forecast
The typical weather map in August 2016.


 

 

 

   

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