Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.

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Friday, June 23, 2021

See that menacing stormcloud on the horizon? That a cue for you to not only seek shelter, but also to rip that wireless phone from your ear: British studies indicate that talking on the phone in inclement weather increases the likelihood and severity of lightning strikes on humans.

I’ve always wondered if there was some sort of connection here. Wireless phones are nothing more than fancied-up radios, after all; if they can pull in transmission frequencies, it stands to reason that they’d attract atmospheric electricity, too. It sounds like an urban myth, but I guess it’s true.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/23/2006 11:48:03 AM
Category: Weather, Tech | Permalink | Feedback

Sunday, June 18, 2021

Finally, we got a sun-shiny weekend day in New York. Only had to wait until mid-June…

So I pounced. I set up the body-length beach chair (actually a cheapy one that’s not likely to last long), tethered my head to my iPod, positioned the paper on my left-hand side, and sat back for the burn.

I stayed out for only two hours, but I really felt like extending the sunworship for another couple of hours. Which, I suppose, makes me a typical sun junkie.

But it’s not like my fading tan didn’t need the replenishment. And I don’t want to arrive in Tampa Bay later this week looking like a ghost. So I’m glad the weather gods cooperated, in the nick of time.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/18/2006 06:56:51 PM
Category: Weather, Florida Livin', New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback

Saturday, June 10, 2021

I see by today’s weather report that the first tropical storm of the season is coming together, and heading toward the Florida Gulf Coast. If it gets its meteorological act together, as expected, it will be named Alberto.

Alberto’s not expected to do much more than dump lots of rain. Which is good, because I just got tickets today for a trip down to Tampa in about two weeks, for my first visit back since moving away at the start of the year. Hopefully, whatever mess the storm brings will be mopped up by then.

It’ll be an extended weekend back in my old stomping grounds, to see old friends and check out how much has changed in Hillsborough and Pinellas.

Why? Well, why not? I’ve been going pretty much non-stop for the last couple of months, so I’m ready for a brief getaway. My present consulting assignment runs out by the end of this month, so while I’m weighing my options after that, it’ll be a good time to kick back a little. And coordination is key: Some friends are also arranging what amounts to some free time, so it all dovetails nicely.

No, I’m not sick of New York already. Quite the opposite, in fact: I’m loving my current situation more and more every day. So this quickie trip is just a convenient decompress into familiar territory. I expect I’ll experience a tinge of homesickness, but it’ll pass as soon as I get on the return flight.

Now watch: With my luck, I’ll be flying straight into the one hurricane that finally nails Tampa Bay.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/10/2021 09:03:56 PM
Category: Weather, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback (4)

Friday, June 02, 2021

I have to ask: Has it never rained in this city before today?

I mean, c’mon. An hour or two of midafternoon Florida-like deluge rain, and the subways get washed out?

From the MTA: Due to weather conditions, E, F and R service is currently suspended in Queens. V service is suspended in both directions. 2 and 3 service has resumed with delays. 4, 5 and 6 service has resumed with delays. There is no 1 service south of Chambers Street.

Yeah, I was stuck on one of those trains, making my usual commute about twice as long as normal. Nothing like sitting in an overstuffed subway car on a Friday evening — the grumpiness was palpable. And the small relief gained from when the car finally — after several fits and starts — arrived at my stop dissipated when faced with the human congestion between platforms, as all the delays and rainy weather led to crowding all around.

Quite the way to close out the week. I had been kicking around a night of clubbing, but the immediate post-work experience took the life out of the notion. Sucks.

Seriously, from what I saw, I can’t believe this relatively brief rainfall would have been enough to disrupt the transit system. If that’s all it takes, it’s a wonder the subway can run during winter.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/02/2021 06:17:21 PM
Category: Weather, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Saturday, May 27, 2021

No need to trudge all the way to some English countryside to see the sunlight sparkle around imposing structures. Starting with this Sunday’s sunset, New York’s manmade street-canyons will provide a Stonehenge-like effect for skywatchers:

A happy coincidence of city planning and a clockwork cosmos is set to play out in technicolor glory on Sunday when the setting sun lines up exactly with Manhattan’s cross streets, creating an ethereal glow down the island’s concrete canyons.

Though the annual event has occurred since buildings north of 14th St. were laid out in a grid pattern beginning in the 19th century, it’s only recently that the stunning visual treat has begun to garner a cult following among latter-day Druids.

To catch the effect, go as far east on the island as you can, and gaze west down any major unobstructed cross street north of 14th (although apparently, the effect is viewable as far away as Long Island City). Might be good photo-op territory; I’ll see what I can do…

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/27/2006 01:59:47 PM
Category: Weather, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback

Wednesday, February 15, 2021

I was fairly unimpressed with this past weekend’s big snowstorm.

And I was justified in dishing out the dis. Because despite the record-breaking snowfall, it turns out that this “blizzard” really wasn’t all that:

Because the track of this storm was relatively far offshore, it did not pack the wallop of wet warm ocean air that northeasters can, so the snow was dry and fluffy. Very, very fluffy. Like a Persian cat in a roomful of hair dryers. Thus it blew right off tree branches rather than snapping them down onto power lines. It practically shoveled itself…

There really was less snow in Elm Park. And it wasn’t just Elm Park. Borough Park, Ozone Park, Parkchester, Park Ridge, Minnewaska State Park, the Vince Lombardi Park & Ride — just about any park other than Central, the record-breaking storm actually broke no record at all.

For according to Geoff Cornish, a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University, the heaviest snow fell in a 15-mile-wide band that passed directly over Midtown Manhattan, the southeastern Bronx and northwestern Queens. Thus La Guardia Airport in Flushing received 9 inches more snow than Kennedy, and nobody in Brooklyn saw even 20 inches, let alone two feet.

And I can concur: The flakes that were falling were pretty light, and while they kept on coming, it didn’t seem like they were limiting visibility that much. Plus, the snow’s melting away awfully fast. It’ll stick around in drifts for weeks, but the layers on the ground could be mostly gone by week’s end. And the roads are completely clear of ice.

If only all nor’easter blizzards were this easy to shrug off.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/15/2006 09:17:29 AM
Category: Weather, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback

Sunday, February 12, 2021

Be careful of what you wish for, I suppose.

I’m seeing plenty of snow today, along with the rest of the Northeast. The Nor’easter that came through last night has dumped an average of a foot of snow through the area. It’s on pace to be the second-heaviest snowfall on record.

Does Roomba make a snowblower?

Actually, from my vantage point, this storm’s really not looking all that terrible. Yes, there’s a lot of white stuff coming down. But the wind doesn’t seem too vicious, aside from brief gusts every 15 minutes. And I’m not seeing any damage being done — no power outages or tree damage. It’d be a challenge to drive anywhere today, but as I’m not planning on going anyplace on this Sunday, I don’t see a problem with staying cocooned indoors.

It’s kind of funny. When the storm tracking began Friday night, I detected a certain dread in the air. People headed to the grocery stores for drinking water and other supplies, events were being cancelled… Could it be? It was very reminiscent of the familiar hurricane pre-panic that I’d gotten so sick of in Tampa Bay, except ratcheted down several notches. I guess you can’t escape weather anxiety no matter where you go.

Anyway, nothing to do but ride this one out. Meanwhile, I’ve got a nice view of the continuing accumulation, with a couple of little ponds icing over. Could be worse.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/12/2021 11:44:54 AM
Category: Weather, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback (5)

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