Tag: weather

Baltimore Temperatures Drop From 100’s

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Big news everyone: we can all stop praying to the sun gods for forgiveness. After 11 straight days of 100-degree temperatures it looks like the heat is finally settling down to the comparatively cool 90’s. It’s about time, too – I was almost running out of red heifers and sackcloth.

This temperature drop comes with news of the 13th Marylander dying from our recent heat wave. I’m not always one for numerology but hey, lucky number thirteen anybody?

I guess the 90’s aren’t usually what you’d think of as “gentle” but they’ll sure feel good after the last week and a half. I noticed the streets began to do that thing where they rippled when you see down them too far in the distance, the way things usually only look on the other side of a fire.

 

 

At the Safeway, Post-Derecho

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I work at the Safeway on North Charles, and when I walked into the store yesterday I felt like I was stepping onto the set of Zombieland. Remember the part where they’re in the grocery store? It was like that but minus the zombies – the lights were flickering, the shelves eerily empty, people wandered around in dazed confusion, there was a faint dead smell in the air. It turns out we’d been hit by the second-best thing to a zombie apocalypse – a total power outage.

The blocks around Safeway lost power after the hurricane-esque blast of weather we got Friday night, which left hundreds of thousands of Marylanders in the dark and heat. I was stupid enough to be on a bike around 10:30 that night and narrowly missed getting hit by about four branches. There was some extensive property damage, but the biggest concern for many of us has been the lack of power. I was just talking to a woman who lives in a nursing home who told me they lost a woman who had been on an oxygen pump when her building lost power.

I usually work behind a table with the computers, but I spent my day wandering through Safeway’s back rooms with a flashlight and trash bag, throwing away anything that needed temperature control: milk, juice, eggs, the entire deli, the whole produce section, tons of ice cream cakes and frozen pizza. My manager told me we lost well over $100,000 from the storm, and we’ll keep losing money until power comes back. BGE is saying that should happen by Thursday or Friday, but the damage was so extensive and unexpected it could well take longer.

It was sort of a frightening experience, seeing how totally useless people are without electricity, how subject to nature. I’m just hoping the A.C.’s back on when I get in today.

 

Charles Village After the Storm

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When my family and  I drove back to Baltimore Saturday night after being away for less than 36 hours, the only clue we had that a storm had hit was a series of downed branches reaching into the shoulder on I-83. Nothing was out of the ordinary at our apartment. It was only later that night that we heard of the million or so without power in Virginia and the hundreds of thousands without power in Maryland.

The next morning I walked with my son up St. Paul Street and saw this wrecked tree, which is slightly more spectacular in real life.

Watch Out for the Heat Today, Baltimore!

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Heatwave, the band.

Seriously, everybody watch out for this crazy heat today. Every weather service I’ve been consulting (read: obsessively rechecking waiting for the numbers to magically recede) has predicted a different high temperature, but they all agree it’ll be somewhere around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And WICKED HUMID. Same for tomorrow. And the low temperatures aren’t going to break 80 degrees!

Chesapeake Bay Brings Home a D+ and a List of Excuses

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Did you know the Chesapeake Bay’s health is assigned a letter grade? Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Maryland, who gave the bay a C- in 2010, settled on a grade of D+ for 2011.

What kind of a grade is D+ anyway? Sort of a mixed message if you ask me. Who assigns D plusses?

To see how rare the grade is I googled “d+” — half the results for the first two pages were about this news story, which confirms my hypothesis. How’s that for scientific? (By the way, in case you have no point of reference for this letter grade, think of it like this: the Chesapeake is exactly as unhealthy as Montana is corrupt.)

And what’s the bay’s excuse for this poor showing? The weather. Classic! It’s the same old Ubu ate my homework and the teacher doesn’t like me excuse, except this one is The “dry, hot summer spurred algae blooms and increased the size of the [my] oxygen-starved ‘dead zone.'”

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