Posts Tagged: Weather Reviews
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New York City, August 27, 2014

★★★ It was not hot yet on the way to nine in the morning, over wet, newly washed sidewalks. The air had gotten clearer overnight; the sky was a sharp blue. Cigarette smoke floated in the early light on 81st Street. The heat and haze came on, but with no power to chase people away. A group sat in the shade in the not-really public park with food, a stroller, a little dog in a harness. The tops of the honeylocusts in the sun were a green fluffy line going down the street. The clouds were blurry and discolored, even relatively high in the sky to the north. The warmth stayed [...]

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New York City, August 24, 2014

★★★★★ Sunshine came slamming down, and the shade was near opaque by contrast. Out on the Sheep Meadow bodies were mashed into the grass, and the grass without bodies on it was mashed down by the bodies of days before. The children made for the rocks and the trees beyond, in the farthest corner of the meadow. Walking across the open space in full sun was one of the few ways to feel uncomfortably warm. The big cumulus clouds were visibly moving at first glance, but seemed to slow down under inspection. One of them drifted over the sun, and the silvery deposits in the nearest boulder glimmered instead of shining. [...]

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Bethany Beach, Delaware, August 19, 2014

★★★★ The morning was gray and dripping, even as the information online declared that there was a zero percent chance of rain. Gradually things brightened; the deck dried out. Still there was little beach-bound foot traffic. The seven-year-old went out to blow bubbles in what was now sunshine, exhorting them to fly over the roof of the building closer to the ocean. The sea at high tide was the color of wine bottles and the color of cobalt, deep beautiful tones, and deliciously warm, and much too rough to try swimming in. Letting the breaking sandy foam rush past, waist high and above, was the least alarming way of savoring it. There [...]

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Budapest, August 14, 2014

★★★ Dark, rippling clouds overspread the city. The trees tossed. Then rain streaked the balcony doors and the sun came out. People walked under umbrellas in the sunshine, casting umbrella-shadows on the wet pavement by the square. Then the sun and rain were gone again and it was chilly, surprisingly so. A sport jacket, pulled on at the last minute for appearance and in case of air conditioning, was an unseasonable necessity. In the middle of a panel discussion, inside a covered-over courtyard, rain lashed the roof so violently that faces peered upward at the sound. The noise moderated a bit and then surged back, again and again, like the first [...]

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Budapest, August 11, 2014

★★ The morning was bright on unfamiliarly lemon-yellow taxis and lime-green sharing bikes. A few clouds were now tempering the glare, making it eye-watering. Long bright green shoots curved up out of the darker topiary cylinders of the treetops running down the median. Indoors, in the music center, bodies overwhelmed the judicious European air conditioning. A low-grade sticky sweat, part humidity and part circadian confusion, rose and lingered. At break time, the light had grown clearer, the zenith open blue. Viewed from the roof deck, upthrust skinny poplar tops waved back and forth beside brown brick chimneys, against a stretch of blue and white. The next quarter, what must have been the west, was [...]

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New York City, August 6, 2014

★★★★ After a foreboding moment, blue showed through the gray. It was surprisingly cool early; thin sheets of cloud took the edge off the sun, and little breezes were moving. The sidewalks were well smeared with dog shit, the rain long overdue to make up for accumulated inconsideration. Potted boxwoods awaited planting at the feet of the street trees on Broadway. Down at the river at midday, the coolness persisted. A flight of Canada geese flapped upriver, lower than the elevated roadway, seemingly intent on some distant destination. Then they came back the other way, and back again, less purposeful at every pass. At last they pulled themselves once more into [...]

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Aberdeen, Maryland, to New York City, August 3, 2014

★★★ The cloud light through the trees was deep green, for sleeping in and for sleeping in. A tiger swallowtail flapped and glided back and forth outside the second-floor windows. The goldfinches were the same strong yellow the early fireflies had been the evening before. A female hummingbird sipped at a plastic flower on the feeder, while the male perched on one bare curving stalk amid the swelling wave of trumpet vine. Now and again he flashed the red of his throat. Outdoors was damp, the air full of peeping and piping and trilling. Spiderwebs hung in even the broad gaps between the trees, clinging to the face and neck. The grass [...]

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New York City, August 26, 2014

★★★ Haze stained the edge of the sky. The two-year-old decided he wanted a sweatshirt, and had to be talked into settling for putting it in his backpack. The air was thicker and more difficult to breathe than it had been for weeks. By any standard other than the blissfully anomalous one of the preceding weeks, though, conditions were still gentle. The subway platform was not quite stifling, but the blast of air from an incoming train felt refreshing. The air conditioning on the crowded 1 was up to the task, by a narrow margin. On the D, condensation dripped and puddled on a seat. Aboveground was nicer than below. The [...]

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Bethany Beach, Delaware, August 21, 2014

★★★★★ White haze surrounded the sun. The forecast of showers—deferred so many days now—seemed plausible for the first time. The story-time room at the library, into which the children had stumbled, unwitting, was chilly with air conditioning but humid nonetheless. Conditions were more comfortable out in the slatted shade of the library garden, bordered by roses and planted with dark purple foliage. Toward midday, two age-thickened men contemplated their motorcycles. A gigantic insect, near hummingbird size, flew among the branches of a pine. Down at the shore, the air was perfect, the sun cut by clouds passing. The water too was ideal. Big swells dipped to reveal a white ship far off, then [...]

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Bethany Beach, Delaware, August 18, 2014

★★★★ Sun found the splinter or stray cactus spine in a finger, a tiny golden spark for the tweezers (turning to avoid the tweezer-shadows) to surround and snuff. Pine cones lay everywhere; the two-year-old had to be dissuaded from expanding his collection of them to three and beyond. The ocean was rougher than before, with chunks of seaweed in it and a bobbing lump of foam garbage, but out beyond the churn it was still soothing to float in. At the trolley stop in the afternoon, the sun experimented with severity, but was mollified by a cloud. A rabbit sprinted alongside the trolley for a few strides, then veered off. The trolley rolled past trim, [...]

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Budapest, August 13, 2014

★★ The comings and goings of the sun among the clouds made the difference between oppressive and pleasant humidity. A thrumming pump truck cleared out a portable toilet on a narrow lane, and the smell traveled down the lane in advance of it, on otherwise undetectable air currents. The blue in the sky made the turquoise sky of a mural look garish and implausible against it. Out on the broader street, a full white haze filled the view ahead. Up a lane again, in the courtyard of a bistro, there was full shade. A young man, absorbed in his mobile phone over his beer, allowed his cigarette ash to grow [...]

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To Budapest via Frankfurt, August 10, 2014

★★★ The moon gleamed on the wing and made the ocean pale. The disc itself was just out of view; craning the neck would produce a tiny ghost moon, floating refracted in the edge of the window through the edge of the glasses. The German cabin attendants politely declared it time that the shades go down, against the coming of the sun, even though the dinner service was still underway. Sometime later, a glow seeped into the cabin, rosier than the mood lighting. The descent into Frankfurt was between clusters of white puffs below and sheets of gray above. The airport was humid, the thermostat tuned higher than the United [...]

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New York City, August 5, 2014

★★ Another unvaried installment of high-but-not-too-high summer. The sky was a reasonably deep blue. If the morning was short of being hot, the child riding up on the shoulders made up the difference. The river's surface lay in glossy patches, and no relief was stirring from that direction. The Times Square subway platform raised a full sweat to the surface. Downtown, the tilt of the grid made itself apparent, as sun baked the downtown side of the crosstown streets. Again the cumulus clouds migrated into the midday sky. A big one overlaid the sun, and for a while it was not hot. When the sun did return, though, it was piercing. Breezes, [...]

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New York City, July 31, 2014

★★★★ Destabilized, opening the gates for the fall from paradise. Dark gray filled the sky to the west, while the sun fought through clouds in the east. Humidity was up; the air conditioning on again. People were engrossed in their devices. A few raindrops fell along the way to the office. Then the sun rallied: light traced the old painted scrollwork on the fire escapes and the new shiny ridges on the air-conditioner cages. It shone through the primaries of a pigeon banking over Grand Street. A damp wind rippled the stained rainbow umbrellas of the fruit vendors. The afternoon air had a thick and stuffy note, compared to the distilled perfection [...]

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New York City, August 25, 2014

★★★★ An orange flash of sunrise came off a building to the west and through a crack in the blinds. The morning was cool still but humid. The uptown train came to a stop with a wash of heat across the platform, raising a sweat. On the ride downtown, a couple carried matching beach chairs. Every line of mortar was distinct in the upper-story brickwork. By midday, up on the roof, the sun was hot. It was pleasant to let it pin the body down in a chair, to feel the black plastic hot but not hot enough to hurt through a shirt. One eye had to stay squinted shut for a while, [...]

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Bethany Beach, Delaware, August 20, 2014

★★★★ The little patch of ocean view lay in bands of color: clear pale blue sky, deep blue water, green grass, yellow sand. The pockets of the second swim trunks harbored old sand and old cash, washed and dried at least a year before. The low-tide waves were not choppy or obviously threatening, but they came in heavy and variable; out past the sandy churning, amid the calmer swells, a bigger one would suddenly rear up at face-smacking height. The water tasted more bitter than usual. Hours later, despite a rinse off, sand grains were still turning up in the creases of the eyelids. A tan dust on the rental car's windshield scattered [...]

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Bethany Beach, Delaware, August 17, 2014

★★★★ Blue gaps opened in the cloud cover. The little glimpse of ocean off through the pines was gray. The sun burned through on the way to the farmer's market, making the walk back bright and hot enough for the children to complain about. Out on the beach, the waves spread cool air as they broke. Now the water was the green of good olives, and where it broke it was the green that appears now in late-rmodel cars. The swells were gentle, though people still swarmed the water with their artificial floating planks, sub-surfboards, as if some excitement might happen. A wind roared over wet ears on the way back up [...]

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Budapest, August 12, 2014

★★★★★ Breeze lifted the stars of the EU and Lithuania's triple stripe on the face of some building, but failed to quite unfurl the folded and misaligned parts of the horse and knight of the Lithuanian presidential banner. A green apple lay on the sidewalk, fallen from an overladen tree. Water plashed quietly in a fountain set with an obelisk, beside the basilica. The office windows were tall and wide open, letting the fresh air blow through, past drooping tree branches. Bells tolled, wheels rattled on the paving stones. The ferris wheel out on the square by the hotel played an English language audio guid to the previous city in which it had [...]

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New York City, August 7, 2014

★★★★★ The air was not so much blowing as loose all around. The river was deep blue under a clear sky, the sun sharp and bright. Misplaced priorities and tactical errors kept the afternoon's beauty as a thing half-noticed out the windows, till the commuting hour arrived, the perfection of it sharpening the regrets and then immediately putting them away in the drawer. A man stripped off his shirt and changed into a t-shirt as he walked down Lafayette, barely breaking stride. The countdown clock for the uptown 1 was making false claims, and when the train pulled in it was a lobster tank of compacted frustration and resentment. Impossible [...]

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New York City, August 4, 2014

★★★ Already, as the clock rounded nine, it was fiercely bright and humid. In the shade, the people waiting in their cars for the street sweeper still favored opening the windows over running the air conditioning, by a noticeable margin. The heat stayed; cumulus clouds appeared here and there. Tennis-ball-colored items coincided, glaring in the light, on the corner outside the Apple Store: a lace top, the trim on a motorcycle, striping on a pair of baggy athletic shorts. The mirrored face of the apartment tower captured a startling pileup of clouds off in the east. There would be no violent release of heat, though, no turn in the plot—just the [...]