Thursday, July 30, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 12:20 PM
How hot is it? Evidently, hot enough for a heat "warning." ((Bill Uhrich / Reading Eagle))

While the heat indices Wednesday and Thursday might fall short of the standard criteria, the National Weather Service decided this morning to declare an “excessive heat warning” for areas in and around Philadelphia and adjacent South Jersey.

The forecasters’ decision was mildly subjective; “We’re not on auto-pilot,” said Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist in charge of the local weather service office.

It is a step not taken lightly, since it triggers Philadelphia warning-response system, which has won high praise from the Centers for Disease Control.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 4:33 PM
Swann Memorial Fountain should be a popular venue for the next several days. (Ken Thomas / kenthomas.us)

As we’ve written thus far this has been a generally benign summer in the region, with only two short-lived heat waves thus far.

Based on the forecast, this one could end up being the longest of the season, with temperatures forecast to hit 90 or better every day into early next week.

Wednesday would be the worst of it, with temperatures heading into the mid-90s and heat indices in triple figures.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 1:08 PM
Beating the June heat in Pakistan; June was warm worldwide, U.S. says. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

Glenn Schwartz’s essay on climate change prompted such a response that he felt compelled to follow with a post about the comments.

He expressed surprise that so many of the commenters misunderstood what he said or devoted more time commenting on other commenters than on the contents of his article. Welcome to the online world, Glenn.

Right now it looks like this topic is going to be a perennial.

POSTED: Monday, July 20, 2015, 12:24 PM
This man decided to climb up on one of the swans in Logan Square's Swann Fountain and ride its back for a while as he cooled off in the constant spray. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

At lunchtime the official Philadelphia temperature already was pushing 90, and while the afternoon will be oppressively steamy with a high around 95, that will be well short of the record for the date, 99, set in 1930.

But one record, not as celebrated but arguably more significant, almost certainly is toast.

By daybreak the temperature bottomed out at 81 at Philadelphia International Airport, and in all likelihood that will be the low for July 19, 2015.

POSTED: Monday, July 13, 2015, 3:00 PM

At 1 p.m. Monday the National Hurricane Center declared that a disturbance well east of Virginia had become strong enough to earn a name – Claudette.

Its peak winds were around 50 m.p.h., and that evidently is going to be the high point of Claudette’s short-lived career, according to the hurricane center.

Claudette was moving northeast at 15 m.p.h. and heading for cooler waters. It was forecast to dissipate late Monday night.

POSTED: Friday, July 10, 2015, 4:21 PM

The winds that lifted off the roof of an elementary school building in Berks County on Thursday belonged to a tornado, the National Weather Service confirmed Friday.

The twister – an EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale -- packed winds of 105 m.p.h., traveled about three-quarters of a mile and left a damage path 75 yards near Tilden Township. One person was injured.

The weather service said the tornado touched down near stone road, tracked northeastward to the Blue Mountain Elementary School, then into a campground.

POSTED: Thursday, July 9, 2015, 5:15 PM

Nothing is popping just yet, but the government’s Storm Prediction Center, in Norman, Okla., has the entire region under a severe-thunderstorm watch until 11 p.m.

The storm center sees a 30 percent chance that storm winds would reach “severe” criteria – 58 m.p.h. or better. It also listed a 5 percent tornado probability.

It appears that the storms are going to hold off until after the peak commuting period, and that could lessen their intensities since that would be well after the peak heating period.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 2:40 PM
Pedestrian in a New York downpour; did he check his app? (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Those minute-by-minute forecast apps have become hot products in the weather marketplace, promising users exact starting and stopping times for precipitation for any location.

“It’s really been changing the way in which people consume weather,“ said Jon Porter, a meteorologist and vice president at AccuWeather, who helped develop the AccuWeather version.

After acquiring Canadian minute-caster Sky Motion in late 2013, AccuWeather entered the market in a huge way, expanding the service to 13 countries.

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 twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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