Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Here Comes the Rain - Part 2

It is official. Britain has had the wettest summer since 1912 according to the Meteorological Office. This follows one of the wettest springs on record. Is this evidence of climate change or simply natural variation in the weather?

To try answering this question, data from a weather station near Glasgow has been analysed . The first part of this article presented annual rainfall records and concluded that there has been only a slight increase in annual rainfall over the past decade compared with a baseline of 1961 to 1990 but that there had been a marked increase in variability. Also of interest is whether rainfall patterns have changed throughout the year, from month to month and between the seasons which is the subject of this post.

In order to provide some context, June 2012 was the wettest recorded June in 54 years with 130mm of rainfall which is almost double(196%) the average rainfall for the month and July is the fourth wettest with 75% more than average. Apart from this year, the five wettest Junes were followed by an average or below average July and likewise the five wettest Julies were preceded with a dry or average June. Data for August 2012 has yet to be published.

Over the fifty three complete years of data examined, there are wide variations in rainfall for each month as demonstrated by the monthly mean, maximum and minimum values plotted below. In some months the minimum values are almost zero while the maximum values may be almost three times the minimum.

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What are those Expensive Displays for?

The digital display at East Falls Church.

I've gotten several emails about the flat-screen displays being installed at the station managers' kiosks around the system.

The only reference to them on the Metro website was this, which says there will be 75 of them installed but has no explanation about what they'll display.

I emailed Metro chief spokesman Dan Stessel, and his response was:

Here's a sample of the emails I've gotten.

From Robin:
For the past month there has been a flat-screen TV or display installed at College Park.

My first beef with them is that they cover up the clocks, but that's not really a big deal.

What I'm really wondering is what they are going to display that couldn't be displayed on a dry erase board like they have in London.

I also don't think they're in a very good place to attract attention. If they're going to put these in, but them where the PIDs are near the fare gates so people can see them as they swipe in.

Furthermore, why can't Metro just have the already overpaid station managers stand outside their booth and warn passengers of any delays?

I think these displays are a total waste of money and were dreamed up by someone who never once rode Metro in their life.
From Stacy:
I've noticed this summer that all the clocks in Metro stations (at least the ones I've been at, mostly on the Green Line) have been covered up with what look like flat-screen TVs or computer monitors. But the screens aren't on.

Having clocks in the station is really useful. If a train isn't coming for a while and the fare is about to change, I like waiting to go through the fare gates. Not everyone has cell phone or watches. I wouldn't mind if the screens covered the clocks if they actually displayed something (and, ideally, showed the time) but right now there are just expensive screens serving no purpose.
Other items:
What if Metro put riders first? (WaPo)