2017 January 13

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

I choose to drive in the right lane on the expressway most of the time.

This is much different then my parents, who always suggested the safest and easiest place to drive on the road is the middle lane on those three lane highways. The right lane has a lot of advantages to the middle lane, including that traffic tends to go slower and drivers are less aggressive in the right lane. But there is another big advantage too – an emergency escape should something happen right in front of your car.

In drivers ed class, they always teach you to plan to have an escape route should something happen immediately in front your vehicle and you lack time to stop. The right lane on most interstates has the shoulder, which in an emergency can be used for stopping should something cut you off or traffic stop right away, and you don’t have time to stop. The shoulder provides a margin of safety that is unavailable in the middle lane, especially if you have cars on both sides of you in the middle lane.

Granted, the right lane isn’t perfect. People are slowing down in the right lane to enter and exit the expressway. Sometimes you have very heavy traffic getting on a ramp, so you best move over to center lane to let traffic on. In the right lane, you have to move over when there is a broke down car or a policeman, which can inconvenient to have to switch lanes. Not to mention, all of the slowest vehicles drive in the right lane, which means you have to move over to center lane to pass.

Driving in the right lane does mean you have to change lanes from time to time and be aware of slow traffic. But the pace is so much more leisurely, and you rarely get traffic on your ass in the slow lane. People just expect you to drive slow. To me, the right lane is the place to be on the highway, whenever traffic allows it.

Well, Happy Weekend! The five day week has come to an conclusion. Dusk is getting later each day. Mostly clear and 29 degrees in City of Albany. Breezy, 16 mph breeze from the northwest. The current wind chill is 17. A bit chilly but a pretty evening. 

Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low of 14 degrees at 5am. Typical for tonight. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming light north after midnight. In 2016, it got down to 12 degrees with periods of snow. The record low of -24 occurred back in 1957.

Waning Gibbous Moon tonight with 88% illuminated. The moon will rise around 5:12 pm. Look to the east, it’s quite beautiful. The Last Quarter Moon is next Thursday with mostly cloudy skies expected. The Full “Snow” Moon is on Saturday, February 11th. The sun will rise at 7:22 am with the first light at 6:51 am, which is 26 seconds earlier then yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 36 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 1 minutes and 36 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be partly sunny, with a high of 27 degrees at 2pm. Three degrees below normal. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Not a terrible day for sure,but a bit chilly. But heck, it’s January. A year ago, we had snow and a high of 31 degrees. The record high of 66 was set in 1932. 9 inches of snow fell back in 1999.

In four weeks on February 10 the sun will be setting at 5:21 pm, which is 35 minutes later then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had snow and temperatures between 37 and 23 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 33 and 16 degrees. The record high of 53 degrees was set back in 1955.

Looking ahead, Inauguration Day is Next Friday, St. Patrick’s Day is in 9 weeks, Good Friday is in 13 weeks, Arbor Day is in 15 weeks, Cinco de Mayo is in 16 weeks and Memorial Day Weekend is in 19 weeks. I can’t wait to be eaten alive by the black flies on Memorial Day Weekend. 

Google County Maps: DEC Region 2

Interactive Google Map consisting of federal, state, local, and non-governmental public lands and parks within the following counties in DEC Region 2: Kings, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Richmond counties. Up to 5 additional counties (for a total of ten) can be added to the map. Data can be downloaded as KML and GPX Tracks and Waypoints for use in Google Earth or handheld GPS units.