SO WHAT’S THE EXPLANATION? MOTHER NATURE? GOD?
REPUBLICANS GET SHAGGED IN CONGRESS. NORMAL WEATHER RETURNS TO DC.
Is there a connection between the comedy that is Republican governance now that they control both houses of Congress and DC’s weather? Probably not but then some weird things have been happening lately. Like the Supreme Court’s decision on same sex marriage. Like Kerry and Obama’s Iran deal. Like The Donald’s rise to the top of the Republican Presidential Contender’s list. So I don’t discount the idea that God, maybe only the Christian one perhaps, is pleased and after years of screwed up Washington weather patterns, he’s rewarding us with a return to weather normalcy.
I’ve started swimming again at our local recreation center (the William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center next door to Eastern Market named for one of our former Chief’s of Police) each afternoon. Used to be I arrived at around 3:30 PM a fairly quiet time when I could get a lap lane to myself nearly every day. But now I’ve taken to arriving at between 2:30 and 3:00 PM even though there is some summer youth swim in the roped off shallow end. And, as one would expect, the 200 or so youngsters are noisier than hell. Which is fine.
But why did I change my timing? Well, this year beginning last month and continuing through July, we’ve had afternoon thunderstorms almost every day between 3:00 and 5:00 PM. Now DC’s summer storms, given that afternoon temperatures often brush or top the 90 degree mark, can be exceptionally violent. Some combination of high temps and humidity and wind currents stuck in some swirling configuration between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Or something. I get “flash flood warnings” on my phone every afternoon. Small tornadoes are not uncommon summer occurrence either.
The Aquatic Center closes at the first roll of thunder and won’t reopen until 30 minutes past the last crash of Mother Nature’s water replenishment gift to us in the Washington Metropolitan Area. When this first happened two weeks ago – I’ve been an afternoon swimmer for four years now and this was the first time – I couldn’t figure out why. After all the Olympic sized pool is enclosed in a fairly modern building and although it sports floor to ceiling glass walls on three sides, I doubt that even if the building were to suffer a direct hit any damage would result. Sure, electrical outage maybe. But hey, we have those all the time during the summer. But then it occurred to me that most of the city's public pools are associated with schools and most of them are outdoor pools. So I’m thinking that there is probably a Parks and Recreation Department regulation that requires that pools close down at the first thunder clap with no distinction made for indoor facilities. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.
Now the connection to the checkmated Republican Congress and God? (Mother Nature, if you like). When I first arrived in DC and for a couple of subsequent decades, afternoon thunderstorms during July and August were as common as sweaty tourists from Kansas in shorts and tank tops on the Mall. But somewhere along the line, I want to say in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan but that might be just wishful, evil thinking on my part, the weather patterns changed. Sure, it remained bloody hot and drippingly humid during July and August but we didn’t have what had been the regular as clockwork afternoon thunderstorms. And not only that, we began having weird winters – winters with a total of 2 inches of snow alternated with winters with blizzards that dumped three feet overnight. That’s not how it had been. Plus, it used to be that we could depend on April to be warm and wonderful but no more. Lately we still have frost warnings in April something that one would think, given global warming and all that, would be a thing of the past.
But this year summer has returned to its old DC patterns. We haven’t had to water our garden for over three weeks now. Last year not a day went by during July and August when we weren’t adding to our DC Water and Sewer Administration monthly bill. So I really have no explanation for this sudden shift in climatic patterns here except for the one that I opened this piece with: God and/or Mother Nature (or maybe both) has stopped punishing us DC residents now that the Tea Bagger Republicans in Congress have been shanghaied by the grown-ups like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. I mean you have to know that as the Capital of the Free World, God actually does pay attention to what happens here. Apparently he/she is pleased now and our summer weather has returned to normal after so many years.
Those of us who live in D.C. are hoping that this peace accord lasts. In fact, I’m thinking that if the Democrats win in 2016 we might be in for long, lazy, decade or more of tranquility and harmony.
“When the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will rule the planets and love will steer the stars.”