Thursday, March 5, 2015

POSTED: Monday, March 2, 2015, 3:18 PM
Scene from Sunday, Day No. 15 of snowfall this season. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)

Assuming the forecasts hold, by the end of the workweek Philadelphia will have had measureable snow on more days this season than it did in the record snowy winter of 2009-2010.

Weather-savvy reader Alan Weiss – who keeps a scrupulous database and has never been known to be wrong in these matters -- informs that Sunday marked the 15th day  this season of 0.1 inches or more.

That’s rather astonishing given that Philadelphia’s official snow total stands at a mere 15.4 inches, and let’s say you don’t have to know advanced calculus to figure what that comes out to per snow day.

POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2015, 3:04 PM
Roy Salomon cleans snow off his windshield Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, outside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)

AccuWeather’s seasonal forecast issued in October absolutely nailed the winter of 2014-15 – at least according to AccuWeather.

Granted, it did capture some highlights, but we have reason to believe that nature's secrets remain safe.

We will discuss our issues with some of specific AccuWeather claims momentarily.

POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ice sculpture at Logan Square; weather is perfect for something.

The world weather community keeps track of weather records by calendar day and monthly increments, imposing an order about which nature is utterly indifferent.

February is particularly troublesome in that scheme, given that every four years it has an extra day, which is more likely to be warmer than the other 28 days of the month, for an obvious reason.

By the end of February the sun will have gained more power than in any other month between solstices, even though it happens to be the shortest one.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 2:21 PM
Ice flows at New York harbor; records fell Tuesday at two N.Y. airports. (AP)

In all 40, records were tied or broken in the East on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

In addition to ones in Scranton, Mount Pocono (-15 Fahrenheit), and Allentown, stations reporting new lows included those at Dulles, Kennedy, and LaGuardia Airports; Islip, N.Y.; Newark, N.J.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Hartford; Binghamton, N.Y.; Burlington, Vt. (-19 Fahrenheit); Portland, and Concord, N.H. (-21).

As mentioned, officially the low at Philadelphia International Airport was a relatively balmy 7, but for our money, the tenacity of this February cold is far more impressive than any individual record.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 1:24 PM
Snow blanketing region on Saturday; one restaurant found a way to capitalize. (Jessie Fox /

Over the years restaurant owners have complained to us that a snow forecast – regardless of what actually happens – is poison to their business.

Fred Kellermann, chef-owner of Elements, in Haddon Heights, might have come up with the antidote.

As we and others reported last week, for every inch of snow Kellermann was offering his Saturday-night customers $2 in certificates for return meals.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 10:21 AM
Icing on Delaware, hard evidence of a tenacious late-season cold snap. (Elizabeth Robertson / Staff Photographer)

One of the most-intense late February cold spells on record reached new heights (or depths) this morning.

In all 40, records were tied or broken in the East on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service, including a -21 at Concord, N.H., and -19 at Burlington, Vt.

At Mount Pocono, the thermometer got all the way down to 15 below zero Fahrenheit, smashing the record of 14 below set 101 years ago.

POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2015, 6:17 PM
Jersey damage from Sandy. Experts: East Coast hurricane hits once were more frequent. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)

Compared with the period of offical  records, of hurricane activity along the U.S. East Coast was far friskier in the era of Michelangelo and da Vinci, before the waves of European settlements populated the New World.

That’s the conclusion of a team of researchers who pored through sedimentary evidence from Salt Pond on Cape Cod to reconstruct a hurricane climatology for the last two millennia.

You can read how they went about it here, but to simplify, they pored through layers of sand deposits upon which hurricanes leave distinct signatures.

POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2015, 1:13 PM
Allison Neff of South Philadelphia braves the cold weather on South Broad Street on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. ( STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer )

Daylight-savings time begins March 8, a week from Sunday, when the sun will be setting at 7, and enough light for baseball practice will linger for a good 30 to 45 minutes longer.

Evidently, however, the clock change will do nothing to fast-forward the seasons, as the longer-term outlooks now see below-normal persisting through at least through the first 10 days of March.

Sunday broke a streak of 11 consecutive days of below-normal official temperatures in Philadelphia, thanks to several hours of snow-and-ice melting sunshine.

About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at

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