So far, the skies have been clear for the first three days of May, and the forecast indicates two more are coming.
The blossoms are holding on tenaciously and magnificently, the lawns look lush and luxuriant, and the wildflowers have sprouted everywhere.
To what do we owe such good fortune? Actually, this is more like the way it's supposed to be.
All but one of the 13 warmest years worldwide have occurred in the 21st Century, according to the National Climate Data Center, the lone exception being 1998.
The U.N. World Meteorological Organization's rankings are similar. The WMO announced yesterday that 2012 was the ninth-warmest year in its data set, which goes back to 1850. The climate center has it at No. 10, in data that starts with 1880.
In the first quarter of 2013, world temperatures were 1.04 degrees Fahrenehit above the 20th Century average, 57, almost precisely what the anomaly was for all of 2012, according to the climate center.
It isn't often around here that the early-May foliage has a chance to show off against the background of a deep-blue wintry sky, and we would take this from now to the autumnal equinox if we had our druthers.
Experience suggests that like the blossoms, this will be transitory, and the onset of those 90-plus days in the haze is inevitable.
But Accu-Weather, the private service in State College, is saying that the heat during summer of 2013 won't be as intense as that of recent summers.
Back on April 27, 1967, 0.1 inches of snow was measured at Philadelphia International Airport, settting a record for the latest measurable snowfall ever in the city.
With the temperature at 64 at 1 p.m. at the airport on a positively splended late-April afternoon, we are prepared to go out on a limb and say that the 1967 standard has withstood any challenge from the winter of 2012-13.
We'll go out on that limb further and declare that the official total for the season has come in at 8.3 inches and that this marks the fifth time in the period of record dating to the winter of 1887-88 that snowfall totals have finished under 10 inches in back-to-back season.
From Cape Hatteras to Maine, Atlantic sea-surface temperatures along the coast warmed dramatically last year, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Admiinistiration.
The agency's Northeast Fisheries Science Center computed a late-summer peak temperature of 57.2 degrees for the Midatlantic-coastal region, known as the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem.
That represented the highest such reading in the period of recordkeeping, dating to 1854, NOAA said.
We know from experience that weather can be taxing, and for decades, to various degrees U.S. taxpayers have been paying the bills for weather mayhem, accepting them as a cost of doing business with the atmosphere.
Yet we haven’t quite seen the likes of what’s going on in Maryland, where a so-called “rain tax” has set off a storms of protests. For example, see this essay by developer and commentator Blair Lee.
Starting July 1, several Maryland counties will be assessing fees under the state’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. Here is the state's fact sheet on the program.
As reported, the government says that a hiring freeze imposed last month isn't enough: It will have to find ways to cut more costs at the National Weather Service.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said that it might have to furlough all 12,000-plus NOAA employees, including those who work for the weather service, for four days between July 1 and Sept. 30 -- just in time for hurricane season.
The furloughs wouldn't be haphazard, according to NOAA spokesperson Ciaran Clayton, who stated:: "We are working to ensure that furloughs would be managed managed carefully to insure that adequate coverage is maintained be staggered."
Given the recent performances, we are wary of putting much stake in any seasonal outlook, but as a public service on a gray day we offer a somewhat positive forecast, or at least a cooler one.
The summer of 2013 won't be as punishing as the previous three, according to the outlook released this morning by Weather Services Inc., a forecasting service in Massachusetts.
With generous spring rains expected from the Plains eastward, drought conditions should be pushed westward, according to WSI meteorologist Todd Crawford.
At last look on radar, that strong line of storms marching across Pennsylvania still appeared to be a few hours away, although the skies are looking more ominous.
It's possible that the Phillies will be able to get tonight's game with the St. Louis Cardinals under way, but if you're going to Citizens Bank Park, take a poncho, a book, and a lightning rod if you have one handy.
A tornado watch remains in effect until 11 p.m. in Chester County, and the Storm Prediction Center has the rest of the region in the "slight risk" zone for severe weather.
Between July 1 and Sept. 30 -- coinciding with the peak of the hurricane season -- all National Weather Service forecasters and all other employees could be forced to take four days off without pay.
That warning came down late yesterday via email from Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA's interm director.
She said that the hiring freeze imposed on March 27 by the National Oceanic and Atmopsheric Administration wasn't enough to counter the pain of sequestration, and that the furloughs would be NOAA-wide.