2017 March 30

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Conventional wisdom suggests that the Hilltowns of Albany County have seen a population growth in recent decades.

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Indeed, you sometimes see new houses going up.

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And there certainly has been some growth since the boom of suburbanization — which followed 20 years latere after the abandonment of farms in 1920s and 1930s.

Albany County Hilltowns Population, 1790-2010

But generally the area has remained fairly rural.

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Albany County Population Density

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Good evening! Partly cloudy and 48 degrees in City of Albany. There is a north breeze at 6 mph. The skies will clear Sunday around 4 am. But in the meantime a snow storm for the last day of March. A couple of inches of snow and ice going into April. 

Heading home now. I expect to be home in time to catch the Newshour and walk down to the library. It wouldn’t be a half bad evening if we had less clouds. 

The sun will set at 7:19 pm with dusk around 7:48 pm, which is one minute and 9 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 45 degrees. There will be a north-northeast breeze at 6 mph.

Tonight will have a chance of rain between 8pm and 2am, then rain and snow likely. Cloudy, with a low of 33 degrees at 6am. One degree above normal. North wind around 6 mph becoming light and variable. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected. In 2016, it got down to 49 degrees with periods of rain. The record low of 12 occurred back in 1923.

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 23% illuminated. The moon will set around 11:33 pm. The First Quarter Moon is on Monday night with a chance of showers expected. The Full “Pink” Moon is on Tuesday, April 11th. The sun will rise at 6:38 am with the first light at 6:10 am, which is one minute and 44 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 11 hours and 17 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 53 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will rain and snow before 10am, then rain, snow, and sleet between 10am and 11am, then rain and sleet after 11am. High of 34 degrees at 2pm. 14 degrees below normal. Southeast wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. A year ago, we had rain and a high of 71 degrees. The record high of 89 was set in 1998. 14.6 inches of snow fell back in 1997.

April Fools Day looks like a joke. Saturday, snow, possibly mixed with rain, mainly before 4pm. High near 34. North wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. Yuck.  Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 48. Typical average high for the weekend is 52 degrees.

In four weeks on April 27 the sun will be setting at 7:51 pm, which is 31 minutes and 55 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had fog and temperatures between 58 and 34 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 63 and 41 degrees. The record high of 91 degrees was set back in 1962.

Looking ahead, Start of June is in 9 weeks. I can’t wait for the warmer weather. 

While this will shock no one, as we head into the month of April, the weather generally gets nicer in the Albany area. Record breaking lows rise up to the teens then to the thirties later on, and we are now beyond the below zero weather at this point. Average temperatures are now in the 50s, rising to the 60s by mid-month. Warm days that reach the 90 degree mark are not unheard of in April. Dusk by the first week of April, becomes around 8 PM then later as each day progresses. I should be able to go to the park after work, starting in April, which is great.

Albany, NY Temperature Normals and Records

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Week Date Dawn Sun-
rise
Sun-
set
Dusk Day Avg High Avg Low Record Hi Record Low
0 March 30 6:10 am 6:38 am 7:19 pm 7:48 pm 12:41 51 31 86 (1986) 7 (1970)
1 April 6 5:57 am 6:26 am 7:27 pm 7:56 pm 13:01 54 34 82 (1921) 14 (1943)
2 April 13 5:45 am 6:14 am 7:35 pm 8:04 pm 13:20 57 37 87 (1977) 19 (1874)
3 April 20 5:34 am 6:03 am 7:43 pm 8:13 pm 13:39 61 39 93 (1941) 19 (1875)
4 April 27 5:22 am 5:53 am 7:51 pm 8:22 pm 13:58 63 41 91 (1962) 26 (1963)
5 May 4 5:12 am 5:43 am 7:59 pm 8:30 pm 14:15 66 44 91 (1944) 28 (1985)
6 May 11 5:03 am 5:35 am 8:07 pm 8:39 pm 14:31 68 46 90 (1911) 29 (2010)
7 May 18 4:55 am 5:28 am 8:14 pm 8:47 pm 14:45 70 48 94 (1962) 29 (1981)
8 May 25 4:49 am 5:23 am 8:21 pm 8:54 pm 14:57 72 50 94 (1981) 30 (1956)
9 June 1 4:45 am 5:19 am 8:26 pm 9:01 pm 15:07 74 52 94 (1918) 35 (1945)
10 June 8 4:42 am 5:16 am 8:31 pm 9:06 pm 15:14 76 54 93 (2011) 38 (1951)
11 June 15 4:41 am 5:16 am 8:35 pm 9:09 pm 15:18 78 57 96 (1988) 42 (1985)
12 June 22 4:42 am 5:17 am 8:36 pm 9:11 pm 15:19 80 59 95 (1954) 37 (1940)
13 June 29 4:45 am 5:20 am 8:36 pm 9:11 pm 15:16 81 60 96 (1944) 44 (1981)
14 July 6 4:50 am 5:24 am 8:35 pm 9:09 pm 15:10 82 61 97 (1886) 47 (1962)
15 July 13 4:56 am 5:29 am 8:31 pm 9:05 pm 15:01 83 62 96 (1894) 45 (1939)
16 July 20 5:03 am 5:36 am 8:26 pm 8:59 pm 14:50 83 62 97 (1991) 49 (1974)

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Interstate Highways, International Roughness Index

It's pothole season. What states have the roughest Interstate Highways?

The International Roughness Index (IRI) is the roughness index most commonly obtained from measured longitudinal road profiles. It is calculated using a quarter-car vehicle math model, whose response is accumulated to yield a roughness index with units of slope (in/mi, m/km, etc.). Since its introduction in 1986, IRI has become the road roughness index most commonly used worldwide for evaluating and managing road systems. Smooth pavements generally have a IRI score below 94, while extremely rough roads exceed 220 IRI. More about the IRI: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/International_Roughness_Index

Data Source: US DOT, Table HM-47 - Highway Statistics 2015. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2015/hm47.cfm

Everybody Lies, And That’s Not Always A Bad Thing

"One of the frightening conclusions we have is that what separates honest people from not-honest people is not necessarily character, it's opportunity," he said.

These small lies are quite common. When we lie, it's not always a conscious or rational choice. We want to lie and we want to benefit from our lying, but we want to be able to look in the mirror and see ourselves as good, honest people. We might go a little too fast on the highway, or pocket extra change at a gas station, but we're still mostly honest... right?"