2017 January 04

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Albany, NY
Alfred E. Smith Building
Delmar, NY
Harvey Mountain State Forest
New York State Capitol
Saving Money
Spruce Mountain Fire Tower

January 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Massive Solar Farm Planned For Selkirk.

The 2002 750 MW Bethlehem Energy Center which replaced the 1952 Albany Stream Station in Glenmont sits on 83 acres of previously industrial land along the river.

A clean burning natural gas and fuel oil plant, it operates 24-7. It produces 94% less SO2, 90% less NOx and 36% less CO2 compared to Albany Steam Station.


In contrast, this industrial solar project will be placed on 42-acres farm land and generate a theoretical 8 MW peak when its particularly sunny out. Most of the time it will produce much less then 8 MW peak output.

Assuming solar worked 24-7, they would need nearly 4,000 acres of land to produce as much nameplate power as the Bethlehem Energy Center produces.

Large solar farms are a taxpayer-funded scam. While roof-top solar helps offset energy use, and is quite desirable source of clean renewable energy, large solar farms should be disallowed and prohibited by law as just another form of sprawl.

The evening grind is back on this evening. Traffic is grinding along and light snow is falling. My gawd have potholes gotten bad lately everywhere. I don’t know how people people with those low profile tires still have wheels something reassembling round. Light snow and 36 degrees in the City of Albany. Breezy, 18 mph breeze from the west with gusts up to 28 mph. 

Hungry because I forgot my lunch at home this morning. I’m fine though, a bit somewhat grumpy because I had a decent breakfast. So be it. Almost home and then I can have dinner soon. Plus then I will have lunch for tomorrow. 

Tonight will have a chance of snow showers, mainly before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 20 degrees at 6am. Five degrees above normal. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected. In 2016, it got down to 2 degrees under mostly clear skies. The record low of -24 occurred back in 1904.

First Quarter Moon tonight with 46% illuminated. The moon will set around 1:08 am. It’s right overhead and quite pretty as snow falls down on the land. 

In four weeks on February 1 the sun will be setting at 5:09 pm, which is 33 minutes later then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had rain and temperatures between 54 and 35 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 32 and 15 degrees. The record high of 65 degrees was set back in 1989.

Google Maps: Sporting License Retailers – Heatmap

One question I had was it possible to make a Google Map into a heat map? It turns out it can be done with good results, although I think I need to tweak the settings so that the lines for the heat map aren't so course looking. But it's a good case in study. To make the heatmap in QGIS I created a raster heat map using the Heatmap plugin, converted the raster to a vector (vectorized), then stylized the vector then exported it as a KML using the MMQGIS plugin. This is something I want to explore more in the future.

The weather is going to cool down quite a bit over the next day but for the second week of January we are looking at temperatures around normal or slightly above normal.

The weekend will be sunny but with the breeze will feel pretty chilly.

Not a lot of snow in the forecast but some lake effect bands could blow far enough east to impact the Albany area.

Notice how much later the sunset will be by next week.

Weather Summary
This Afternoon. Chance of Rain/Snow and 42 degrees , 4:36 sunset.
Tonight. Chance of Snow and Breezy and 21 degrees , 7:24 sunrise.
Thursday. Chance of Snow and 32 degrees , 4:36 sunset.
Thursday Night. Chance of Snow Showers and 19 degrees , 7:24 sunrise.
Friday. Partly Sunny and 30 degrees , 4:37 sunset.
Friday Night. Partly Cloudy and 13 degrees , 7:24 sunrise.
Saturday. Mostly Sunny and 26 degrees , 4:38 sunset.
Saturday Night. Mostly Cloudy and 11 degrees , 7:24 sunrise.
Sunday. Partly Sunny and 24 degrees , 4:39 sunset.
Sunday Night. Partly Cloudy and 5 degrees , 7:24 sunrise.
Monday. Mostly Sunny and 22 degrees , 4:41 sunset.
Monday Night. Mostly Cloudy and 15 degrees , 7:23 sunrise.
Tuesday. Mostly Cloudy and 32 degrees , 4:42 sunset.

We are up to 37 degrees this morning as we head up to 44 later on. Some fog in the city, the Normans Kill is really roaring along. Kind of a damp winter morning out there. There is a crow dancing around on the top of a snow plow at Albany Nursery. Must be something good like garbage or a dead animal around to eat. 

The sun will set at 4:36 pm with dusk around 5:07 pm, which is 57 seconds later than yesterday. It’s noticeably brighter at the bus stop in the evening, although that might have to do more with them fixing the street lights then longer days. Today will have 9 hours and 10 minutes of daylight, an increase of exactly one minute over yesterday.

Tonight will be scattered snow showers, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 20 degrees at 6am. Five degrees above normal. Breezy, with a west wind 17 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. In 2016, it got down to 2 degrees under mostly clear skies. The record low of -24 occurred back in 1904.

For those already tired of winter, there are 8 weeks until March 1st when the sun will be setting at 5:46 pm with dusk at 6:14 pm. On that day in 2016, we had rain and temperatures between 38 and 21 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 39 degrees. We hit a record high of 61 back in 1991.

Somehow after hiking Spruce Mountain or in the chaos over camping at East Branch, I managed to lose my headphones. I found another pair but they are not as comfortable as they are missing some of the padding. If I had known they were missing, I would have picked up another pair at Walmart yesterday. I generally just buy the most basic pair as I’m constantly breaking them as I use them a lot. 

New vacuum cleaner was working really well until it stopped working and was blowing dust everywhere. I almost disassembled all the easy parts before I found the blockage. I was vacuuming under the dresser and accidentally sucked in a 12 gauge shotgun shell which proceeded to plug up the pipe really well with dust bunnies and dirt. I’ve emptied out the tank three or four times nearly full of dirt and dust. Everything though carpet and dust wise is becoming cleaner in my apartment. It looks a lot nicer. I think the next step is to start moving furniture and start vacuuming under there. Might also try to polish up the tops of the desks and tables too. 

Neutered male dogs get excited and start looking for people’s legs when they hear what day it is… Happy Hump Day. It’s the first one of 2017, a fairly mild but cloudy one with temperatures around 37 degrees here in Delmar. Calm wind. 

Some rain showers are possible this morning. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high of 44 degrees at 2pm. 13 degrees above normal. Light southwest wind becoming west 11 to 16 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected. A year ago, we had snow and a high of 32 degrees. The record high of 64 was set in 1950. 8.8 inches of snow fell back in 2003.

Tomorrow is going to be much colder with the high only around 31 degrees. Fairly seasonable,  but still not cold enough to appreciate the warmth of your dog humping your leg. But a lot more sun. The mercury will continue to drop throughout the weekend. It is January.