Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.

POSTED: Monday, August 18, 2014, 4:35 PM

El Nino appeared to be all but a sure thing a few months back, and while above-normal warming still is likely over a large area of the tropical Pacific, it is no sure thing.

Today’s weekly update from the Climate Prediction Center sees a 65 percent likelihood of El Nino during the fall and winter, down from 80 percent two weeks ago.

If it does happen, be “weak” or “low moderate,” said Anthony Barnston, scientist at the International Research Institute, affiliated with Columbia University.

POSTED: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 10:24 AM

A colleague asks if this summer is setting some kind of record for the lack of 90-plus days in Philadelphia.

Actually, no. Coming into August, the high temperature at Philadelphia International Airport had hit 90 on 15 days, reasonably close to the normal of 17.

As for overall temperature, the average since June 1 is ever-so-slightly below normal, similar to last summer’s.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 6:37 PM

The 13.21 inches of rain measured officially in Islip, N.Y., today was a record for an Aug. 13.

Yet, as Dave Domek, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. pointed out, the total at Montauk, Long Island, was a mere 0.15.

The drive from Islip to Montauk is about the same as the distance from Philly to Atlantic City.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 12:21 PM

The Storm Prediction Center has the region in the “slight risk” zone for severe weather – defined as storms with 58 m.p.h. winds – and up to 2.75 inches of rain is in the National Weather Service forecast today and tonight.

Yet not so much as a flood watch has been posted, and the morning weather service discussion doesn’t even include a “hydrology” section.

Once again, the region evidently is going to escape major flooding during a significant rain event.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 11:15 AM

Computer models and the scientists who consult them still favor the development of  El Nino, the widespread anomalous warming of waters in the tropical Pacific.

Monday’s update from the Climate Prediction Center listed an 80 percent likelihood of El Nino during the fall and winter.

But so far the behavior of sea-surface temperatures out that way has been puzzling, and readings in a key El Nino region actually were slightly below normal.

POSTED: Monday, August 4, 2014, 5:53 PM

The announcement that a “code orange” alert for ozone has been issued for Philadelphia and neighboring counties reinforced to us just how benign this summer has been.

This marks only the third time this season that such an advisory has been issued. By comparison, 27 such advisories were issued in 2010, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Ozone is a product of sun and heat, and, very simply, we just haven’t had much of the latter.

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
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected