2017 February

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

Map: G Lake

Map: G Lake

Located off of NY 8, about 2 miles west of Piseco Road, G-Lake Road runs for about 2.5 miles to a parking area. From there it's a 1/3 mile walk/portage to G-Lake, a smaller man-made lake, that somewhat resembles a lower-case 'g' on a warn out typewriter. There are a couple of very rustic roadside campsites on G-Lake Road, along with a handful of campsites around G-Lake. It supposedly has good fishing.

Today is expected to reach 68 degrees in the City of Albany. If so, that will be 31 degrees above the normal high temperature of 37 degrees for February 23rd. That will the tie for the warmest February temperature ever recorded in Albany — 68 degrees on February 22, 1997. February 25, 1976 reached 67 degrees and is the second hottest February day on record.

Oddly enough, we’ve actually had a handful of 70 degree days in January — when the temperature is colder on average. On January 6, 2007 and January 13, 1932 it reached 71 degrees in Albany.

To put that in context, if today was in the dog days of summer — July 13 through the 24th when the average high is 83 degrees — the mercury would reach 114 degrees Fahrenheit.

That said, even the most very hot summer day rarely exceed 10-15 degrees above normal. There just isn’t enough warm air in the atmosphere to ever push the mercury above 100 degrees in Albany. The last time it hit 100 degrees in Albany was September 3, 1953. The hottest it’s ever reached in Albany is 104 degrees on Independence Day 1911.

Albany, NY Temperature Normals and Records (Display Chart Full Screen)

All Employees: Total Nonfarm in New York

December 2016 marked the greatest number of jobs ever recorded in New York State - 9.4 million. It's a significant increase in the number of jobs since the start of this graph going back to 1990 when there were only 8.2 million jobs, and when in the 1990 recession, the job count dipped down to 7.7 million. Our state has been gaining population in the past twenty five years, but we've also creating a lot of new jobs.

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Total Nonfarm in New York [NYNA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NYNA, February 22, 2017.

Good morning! Happy Soon to be Very Warm for February Thursday. Partly sunny with some warm winter haze and 45 degrees in Delmar. There is a south-southeast breeze at 6 mph.

Today weather-wise will be one for the record books. You don’t get many 67 degrees days in Albany during February. The heat is off at home. I have my windows open, airing out my apartment. Good fresh air for sure. I forgot how much road noise there is though.  I am much happier with all the fresh air. I hope soon the nights will be warm enough that I can leave the windows open all night long and enjoy the fresh air.

Today will be partly sunny, with a high of 67 degrees at 3pm. Thirty degrees above normal for this day in February! Maximum dew point of 50 at 3pm. That should help dry up some of the mud, especially with the expected wind. More clouds later. South wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. At least with the snow melting the ground is plenty wet. A year ago, we had snow and a high of 38 degrees. The record high of 62 was set in 1984. I think that record is going down in the history books, I will have to update the records file. 6.9 inches of snow fell back in 1935.

The sun will set at 5:38 pm with dusk around 6:06 pm, which is 1 minute and 16 seconds later than yesterday. Today will have exactly 11 hours of daylight, an increase of 2 minutes and 49 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will have a chance of showers, mainly after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 44 degrees at 6am. 25 degrees above normal. South wind 5 to 9 mph becoming calm in the evening. Definitely good weather for tailgate drinking. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. In 2016, it got down to 32 degrees with periods of rain and snow and thunderstorm. The record low of -11 occurred back in 1894.

I’m definitely thinking more about camping soon, although I don’t think this weekend. I think today I am going to order the low-voltage shut-off relay, so as soon as it gets nice, I can install it. Two weeks from Saturday, the time changes. I don’t know how busy I will be in March but if the snow is gone and the weather is nice, I may get out camping. I miss sitting out by the fire.

Looking ahead, there are 14 weeks until Start of June when the sun will be setting at 8:27 pm with dusk at 9:01 pm (Daylight Savings Time). On that day in 2016, we had partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 85 and 57 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 74 degrees. We hit a record high of 94 back in 1918.

Google Maps: State Minimum Wages in 2017

States have the ability to set a minimum wage above the federal $7.25 wage rate. New York's $9.70 minimum wage is one of higher minimum wages in the nation but by no means the highest.

Data Source: https://geofred.stlouisfed.org/map/?th=pubugn&cc=5&rc=false&im=fractile&sb&lng=-98.174&lat=41.046&zm=5&sl&sv&sti=116667&rt=state&at=Not%20Seasonally%20Adjusted,%20Annual,%20Dollars%20per%20Hour&fq=Annual&am=Average&un=lin&dt=2017-01-01

Map: Rome Sand Plains

Map: Rome Sand Plains

Rome Sand Plains is a 15,000-acre (61 km2) pine barrens consisting of a mosaic of sand dunes extending about 50 feet (15 m) above low peat bogs that lie between the dunes. The barrens are covered with mixed northern hardwood forests, meadows, and wetlands. The sand plains are about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the city center of Rome, New York, which is in Oneida County; about 4,000 acres (16 km2) presently lie in conservation preserves. Pine barrens are typical of seacoasts; the Rome Sand Plains is one of only a handful of inland pine barrens remaining in the United States.

E. W. Russell has described the Sand Plains as follows, "The landscape today forms a sharp contrast with the surrounding flat, fertile farmland, which is almost all cleared of trees and planted in crops. Uplands, including some dunes, support forest vegetation of American beech, white oak (Quercus alba), red and sugar maples, white and pitch pine (Pinus strobus and P. rigida), gray birch (Betula populifolia), hemlock, aspen (Populus spp.), American elm, and other northern hardwood species. Some uplands are also characterized as pitch pine heaths, dominated by pitch pines with an understory of blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) and other related (ericaceous) shrubs. Pitch pine is the characteristic tree of the wetlands, along with aspen, gray birch, and red maple, along with an ericaceous shrub layer."

There are several rare species in the Sand Plains, including the purple pitcher plant and a sundew (both of which are carnivorous plants), red-shouldered hawks, martens, and the frosted elfin butterfly, which is a threatened species in New York State.[3] Other species to be found include wild blue lupine (also rare, and the food for the frosted elfin), barrens buckmoth (Hemileuca maia), whippoorwill, pine warbler and pitch pine, normally indigenous to coastal areas.

The Rome Sand Plains were owned privately through about 1980. The sand was mined to make molds and cores for metal casting. An application for a permit to mine sand around 1980 triggered an effort to protect the area. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation began purchasing lands, working with The Nature Conservancy and other organizations. 1,700 acres (690 ha) of the Sand Plains have been purchased by the DEC, and are designated as the Rome Sand Plains Unique Area. The Nature Conservancy holds another 1,000 acres (400 ha). The Izaak Walton League holds about 440 acres (180 ha), Oneida County holds an additional 770 acres (310 ha) as a County Forest, and a few acres are held by the City of Rome. A map showing these holdings was released by the DEC in 2008; the map shows the location of three foot trails maintained by the DEC and one by the Izaak Walton League. A consolidated management plan involving all five preserves, and addressing the entire Sand Plains area, was released in 2006

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_Sand_Plains
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8080.html

NY State vs Federal Minimum Wage

Both the Federal Government and New York State set a minimum wage for workers. Right now the state's minimum wage is $9.70 (upstate) while the federal minimum wage is $7.25. This is the largest discrepancy between federal and state minimum wages, at least since 1968.

Data Sources:

U.S. Department of Labor, Federal Minimum Wage Rate under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act [STTMINWGFG], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/STTMINWGFG, February 22, 2017.

U.S. Department of Labor, State Minimum Wage Rate for New York [STTMINWGNY], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/STTMINWGNY, February 21, 2017.