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AlaskaETC

January 2015 obs/disco/short range

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While the land may be absorbing less radiant heat due to the snow cover, buildings, equipment, cars, and people are still emitting heat.  Let's not forget that snow doesn't stick to the sides of buildings, so low-angle sunshine is striking those sides and warming them.  In fact, the low-angle sunlight strikes a closer-to-perpindicular angle than it does in the warmer seasons.  There is no amount of wind, or even snow cover, that is going to cancel UHI.  Unless there is an extended mass power outage and the roads are impassable enough to prevent many from driving and it is cloudy for days...... UHI will be present.

The result of an ice storm? :P

12 degrees here...

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I'm not totally sure why this is such a hot button issue here considering UHI is as bad or worse at a number of other locations...EWR, LGA, JFK, BOS, ORD, MDW, etc...I don't read the other forums as much but I have never seen them debate this like we do.  I think they just accept it and move on.  

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0z GFS hinting at a lil Friday clipper love for eastern sections. NAM has got this, again. ;)

 

You mean the 18z GFS run? 00z isn't out for another hour

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The federal part of DC was a swamp before it became a planned city. There are two reasons that there are no tall buildings in DC, one political, one practical. The political one is that there is a dc law or code that won't allow any building to be higher than the Washington monument. The practical reason is there is no bedrock to base tall sky scrapers in DC...if you ever watch a building being built in DC you notice that they have to dig unusually deep to build a foundation...

 

The height limit has nothing to do with the Washington Monument: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Height_of_Buildings_Act_of_1910

 

And I think the deep foundation is just to build the underground parking garages.

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I'm not totally sure why this is such a hot button issue here considering UHI is as bad or worse at a number of other locations...EWR, LGA, JFK, BOS, ORD, MDW, etc...I don't read the other forums as much but I have never seen them debate this like we do. I think they just accept it and move on.

Well we know who starts the temp "debate" in these threads. I agree that the temp UHI issue is beating a dead horse.

As far as top snowstorms, though, DCA is still a source of complaints because it would be like if LGA were to become New York City's official reporting station instead of Central Park (a few of the recent 20" storms would fall well short of 20"). Somehow, although Logan airport comes in low for the top snowstorms, they managed to snag a 27.5" (the most anywhere in Boston) in PD2 and not fall too far behind in 1/05 and 2/13. And Philly's official snow station was moved to a more favorable site recently.

So from DC to Boston, DCA is pretty dismal in terms of ever trying to break into 20"+. But it's internally consistent at least....

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Well we know who starts the temp "debate" in these threads. I agree that the temp UHI issue is beating a dead horse.

As far as top snowstorms, though, DCA is still a source of complaints because it would be like if LGA were to become New York City's official reporting station instead of Central Park (a few of the recent 20" storms would fall well short of 20"). Somehow, although Logan airport comes in low for the top snowstorms, they managed to snag a 27.5" (the most anywhere in Boston) in PD2 and not fall too far behind in 1/05 and 2/13. And Philly's official snow station was moved to a more favorable site recently.

So from DC to Boston, DCA is pretty dismal in terms of ever trying to break into 20"+. But it's internally consistent at least....

Because I would argue that LGA, JFK, BOS, etc. are representative of the temperatures inside NYC and Boston, i.e., they are not statistical outliers from nearby stations in the urban environment.  DCA, however, consistently reads 2 to 3 degrees warmer than stations inside the city that are at similar elevation but more urbanized.  In fact it's consistently is a "hotspot" within a 100 mile radius.

A statistician with no meteorological knowledge, who would look at temperature data from all the stations within 10 miles of DCA as just a series of numbers, would note DCA as a statistical outlier that simple randomness couldn't explain.  In other words, from a statistical perspective, there is something different about that particular site that causes the readings that are anomalously higher than other nearby stations.  Whether it's the siting location, or it's residual jet exhaust, or something else...I don't know.  I'm not arguing the UHI component that is prevalent at many of the Northeast airports, including DCA.  My point is that temperatures at DCA are anomalous relative to their immediate surroundings, more so than any other airport in the country IMO.  I'd be curious to know of other airports with a similar anomalous nature.

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