Sunday, November 29, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, August 6, 2015, 12:12 PM
Galveston pier after Tropical Storm Bill made Texas landfall in June; otherwise, rather quiet. (Reuters)

With warmer-than-usual waters brewing in the tropical Pacific, and cooler waters in the tropical Atlantic, the hurricane season is looking like a quiet one.

In updating its outlook Thursday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that chances are 90 percent that hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, will be below normal.

That’s the highest confidence level in the 18 years NOAA has been doing this.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 11:50 AM
Children at Camden's Adventure Aquarium seeking relief from heat last week. ( ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)

Today is to be the seventh consecutive day that high temperatures at Philadelphia International Airport will reach at least 90.

That's an impressive stretch, and we of the local media have been calling this a “heat wave.”

But we can’t remember a more-benign one, akin to a gentle overnight snowfall on a late March weekend that disappears when the sun comes up. So is this truly a heat wave?

POSTED: Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 11:37 AM
Wreckage from June storm outbreak in Glen Mills; strong storms possible today. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

The chances are remote, but the government’s Storm Prediction Center has placed most of Delaware and a substantial hunk of South Jersey in the “slight risk” category for tornadoes this afternoon.

The storm center, in Norman, Okla., says the atmosphere “will support damaging straight-line winds and possibly large hail."

Along a front boundary, it says, the atmosphere will be juiced up and charged with energy.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 12:20 PM
How hot is it? Evidently, hot enough for a heat "warning." ((Bill Uhrich / Reading Eagle))

While the heat indices Wednesday and Thursday might fall short of the standard criteria, the National Weather Service decided this morning to declare an “excessive heat warning” for areas in and around Philadelphia and adjacent South Jersey.

The forecasters’ decision was mildly subjective; “We’re not on auto-pilot,” said Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist in charge of the local weather service office.

It is a step not taken lightly, since it triggers Philadelphia warning-response system, which has won high praise from the Centers for Disease Control.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 4:33 PM
Swann Memorial Fountain should be a popular venue for the next several days. (Ken Thomas /

As we’ve written thus far this has been a generally benign summer in the region, with only two short-lived heat waves thus far.

Based on the forecast, this one could end up being the longest of the season, with temperatures forecast to hit 90 or better every day into early next week.

Wednesday would be the worst of it, with temperatures heading into the mid-90s and heat indices in triple figures.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 1:08 PM
Beating the June heat in Pakistan; June was warm worldwide, U.S. says. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

Glenn Schwartz’s essay on climate change prompted such a response that he felt compelled to follow with a post about the comments.

He expressed surprise that so many of the commenters misunderstood what he said or devoted more time commenting on other commenters than on the contents of his article. Welcome to the online world, Glenn.

Right now it looks like this topic is going to be a perennial.

POSTED: Monday, July 20, 2015, 12:24 PM
This man decided to climb up on one of the swans in Logan Square's Swann Fountain and ride its back for a while as he cooled off in the constant spray. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

At lunchtime the official Philadelphia temperature already was pushing 90, and while the afternoon will be oppressively steamy with a high around 95, that will be well short of the record for the date, 99, set in 1930.

But one record, not as celebrated but arguably more significant, almost certainly is toast.

By daybreak the temperature bottomed out at 81 at Philadelphia International Airport, and in all likelihood that will be the low for July 19, 2015.

POSTED: Monday, July 13, 2015, 3:00 PM

At 1 p.m. Monday the National Hurricane Center declared that a disturbance well east of Virginia had become strong enough to earn a name – Claudette.

Its peak winds were around 50 m.p.h., and that evidently is going to be the high point of Claudette’s short-lived career, according to the hurricane center.

Claudette was moving northeast at 15 m.p.h. and heading for cooler waters. It was forecast to dissipate late Monday night.

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.

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