Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, March 6, 2014, 12:35 PM

Perhaps surprisingly, the “meteorological winter” that ended on Feb. 28 barely made the top 50 in the 140-year period of record for temperature. After two very mild winters, it probably felt colder.

But we maintain that this season – in reality, not yet  over -- remains a strong contender for the worst on record.

Ranking winters is a subjective exercise, given that the data can only suggest what people had to put up with, which is what really matters.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 4:34 PM

Temperatures over the Arctic Ocean between Norway and the North Pole were about 11 degrees above normal in February, according to the NASA satellite data released this afternoon.

Meanwhile, parts of North America, including Philadelphia, where official readings for the month were 3.6 degrees below normal, shivered.

As we’ve said, global warming is not a spectator sport, and month-to-month and inter-annual changes generally have been incremental.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 3:09 PM

As reported, with a low of 2 late Monday night, Atlantic City set a low-temperature record for the date, and for any day in March.

Less than 15 minutes earlier, Wilmington reported a low of 8, also a record for a March 3.

Both those stations have been keeping score since the 19th Century.

POSTED: Monday, March 3, 2014, 11:26 AM

To their immense disappointment, hundreds of thousands of school children are being deprived of educational-enrichment opportunities today because of the weather.

But in some cases, we should point out, because of the forecast.

Snow continues in South Jersey and Delaware, and some places there could wind up with as much as half a foot.

POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 11:03 AM

The 1.1 inches of snow measured officially at Philadelphia International Airport/National Park on Wednesday, nudged the seasonal total to 59.5 inches, within a decent pompadour of 5 feet.

That solidifies this winter’s hold on third place in the 130-year period of record keeping, giving it a decent shot at No. 2, 1995-96, at 65.5 inches.

But  it would take an unprecedented late-winter blitz to catch No. 1, 2009-10, 78.7, those wild storm rumors aside.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 11:35 AM

Once again this morning, snow showed up just in time to bedevil innocent rush-hour motorists.

As we noted in our Sunday story, measuring the severity of the winter is a subjective process, and one thing arguing in this one’s credentials is the timing of storms.

We’ve counted a total of 15 wintry “events,” in which snow and/or ice has been recorded officially at Philadelphia International Airport.

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014, 5:25 PM
On Sunday, we wrote on how this winter compares with recent severe winters, including 2009-10, the snowiest on record; 1995-96, the second snowiest, and 1993-94, the iciest, as far as we know.

Two semi-ancient winters do stand out – 1898-99, now the fourth-snowiest in the 130-year period of record, and 1917-18.

We also would give a nod to 1957-58, 1960-61, 1976-77, and 1977-78, but let’s get to the oldies first.

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014, 11:28 AM

During the weekend an impressive streak of 18 consecutive days of snow cover – defined as an inch or better on the ground -- ended in Philadelphia.

The streak that began officially the morning of Feb. 4 and ended Saturday was the seventh-longest in the period of the snow-depth record, which dates to 1948, according to the National Weather Service.

Of more-immediate interest is that the fading snow-and-ice cover all but eliminates any threat of rapid snowmelt flooding. Also, a lack of snow cover will have a continuing effect on temperatures.

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

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
Also on
Stay Connected