Late September weather nastiness usually is associated with hurricanes and tropical-storm remnants.
But post-season heat has been known to happen, and one this year while Pope Francis is here would be especially disruptive, according to Lt. Danielle Wojnicki of the Philadelphia Fire Department.
This came up during the “Safe Schools Summit” at Neumann University, in Aston Township, Delaware County, at which one of the topics was planning for the papal visit, scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27.
Only two months ago parts of New England were layered under record snows.
But in its update posted Thursday morning, the U.S. Drought Mitigation Center now has all of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in its beige “moderate drought” zone.
Most of New Jersey, and all of Vermont and New Hampshire and eastern Pennsylvania, and eastern New York are classified as being either “abnormally dry” or in “moderate drought.”
In its most recent update, the Federal Emergency Management said it has directed $10.6 billion in disaster assistance to Sandy-related damage.
In terms of outright disaster dollars, that made Sandy the second-most expensive “hurricane,” after Katrina.
We put “hurricane” in “quotes” because officially Sandy became a “post-tropical cyclone” right before making landfall in October 2012 near Atlantic City.
Through yesterday, Philadelphia’s official rain total for May was 0.59 inches, and in records dating to 1872, that represented the 14th driest first three weeks of May.
It hasn’t been this dry since the drought year of 1986, when 0.35 was measured at Philadelphia International Airport through May 21.
The U.S. Drought Monitor now has Bucks, Montgomery, and just about all of Chester Counties in the “abnormally dry” zone, with pieces of Delco and Philly thrown in.
Earth’s temperature for the Jan. 1 through April 30 period was the highest for the first four months of any year in recordkeeping dating to 1880, according to the U.S. government.
The combined land-and-sea temperatures were 1.44 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average, with a margin of error of 0.16 degrees, beating out the 1.30 of 2007.
The report was released Thursday by the newly named National Centers for Environmental Information, the erstwhile National Climate Data Center. That will take some getting used to.
Much to the disappointment of backyard gardeners tree-pollen sufferers, Tuesday’s thunderstorm threat has turned into a dud.
Instead, after a morning fog, primary day turned out to be quite pleasant and mostly dry; in short, a nearly perfect day for voting across the state.
Nevertheless, based on our reporting and what official observers are telling us, the turnout figures are likely to be bad, even for an off-year primary.
Officially, a mere 0.03 inches of rain have been measured officially in Philadelphia in the last three weeks. in fact, May has logged only one cloudy day so far.
Such dry runs aren’t all that unusual: We found at least 25 rain-less three-week periods in records dating to 1872, in some cases two in the same year.
But the dryness is gaining some attention among the region’s drought specialists. A drought "watch" is in effect for 27 Pennsylvania counties as nearby as Berks.
For a record ninth straight year, no major hurricane hit the United States last year, and none of any strength invaded the borders of Florida.
Such luck is unlikely to continue, but based on the early outlooks, a 10th year of good fortune isn’t out of the question, the early start notwithstanding.
In its outlook issued Wednesday morning, AccuWeather called for another season of below-average named tropical storms – those with winds of 39 m.p.h. or better – and hurricanes, peak winds of at least 74 m.p.h.