Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Friday, September 19, 2014, 11:40 AM

How autumn became known as “fall” remains unclear, but it is a wonderfully succinct definition of the season that will begin, astronomically at least, on Monday.

This is the season when the colorful foliage filters the oblique sunlight like so much stained glass, but it is also the time when things do, indeed, fall. And one of those things most definitely is darkness, something an old friend and colleague mentioned this morning.

Today, the time between sunrise and sunset is a 2 minutes and 36 second shorter than yesterday’s, the biggest single loss of daylight of the year.

POSTED: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 4:10 PM

This year has a decent shot at becoming No. 1 in records dating to 1880, based on U.S. data.

Last month was the warmest August on record worldwide – temperatures were 1.35 degrees above the 20th Century average of 60.1 Fahrenheit – according to the National Climatic Data Center. (The NCDC margin of error = plus or minus 0.22 degrees.)

Thus, the first eight months of 2014 moved into third place among all December-August periods over the past 135 years, by the NCDC’s count.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 12:24 PM

For East Coast residents and property owners, admiring Hurricane Edouard's fearful symmetry might be akin to sitting near a cozy fire with a cup of hot chocolate while a winter storm rages outside.

Yesterday Edouard became the most-powerful hurricane of the season, a Category 3 with winds reaching 115 m.p.h.

While Odile, a Pacific storm, is threatening parts of the Southwest with torrential rains, Edoaurd is spinning almost it the center of the North Atlantic, hundreds of miles from any land masses.

Edouard was a concern for shipping interests, obviously, and not a good day to be fish out that way.
POSTED: Friday, September 12, 2014, 5:09 PM

Rain, but not much, is in the offing for tomorrow, and of late we’ve noticed a pattern of actual rain not measuring up to promises.

As the National Weather Service observed in its afternoon discussion, "our forecasts have been too wet" this week. So far this week, officially at Philadelphia International Airport not a drop has fallen.

During the last 30 days, just over an inch and a half of rain has been measured throughout Philadelphia, according to the National Weather Service, or about 38 percent of normal.

POSTED: Friday, September 12, 2014, 10:10 AM

The preseason consensus was that the 2014 hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin would be a relatively quiet one, and so far this one has been all but silent.

A swirling mass in the far eastern Atlantic earned the name "Edouard" last night with peak winds of 40 m.p.h., barely qualifying for the naming threshold of 39 m.p.h. winds.

It thus became only the fifth tropical storm of the season in the Basin, which includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 3:27 PM

Marc Abrams, a Penn State professor and forest ecologist, has been watching the leaves change colors for 28 years, and in the early going this year he has noticed a change of another sort.

“We often times get some early color,” he said, “and there seems to be more this year.”

We’ve noticed sporadic media reports of early color changing, and already we’ve seen some dramatic color in New England.

POSTED: Thursday, August 21, 2014, 4:54 PM

While not a scientific phrase, “Dog Days” generally refer to the period from early July to mid-August that coincides with the warmest times of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

That also happens to be the period in which Sirius, “the dog star,” rises in conjunction with the sun.

We are told that some ancient types believed that the added heat of Sirius contributed to making conditions more oppressive. (Siriusly?)

POSTED: Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 11:40 AM

That team from Las Vegas that has rolled over opponents might be in for something a bit different tonight – and we’re not talking about Mo’ne and the Taney Dragons.

Meteorologists are calling for thunderstorms, with up to three-quarters of an inch of rain in Williamsport. That’s more rain than Las Vegas typically experiences during an entire summer.

The National Weather Service has a 73 percent likelihood of rain at 7, with probabilities not dropping much during the next few hours.

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.

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