Archive: May, 2012
You'll soon be seeing a very different National Weather Service homepage, and the government is solicting your comments on the changes.
Also, we belatedly note another major change at the weather service's Mount Holly office.
Officially, today's U.S. Drought Monitor has the region colored in the "abnormally dry" zone, but we suspect those yellow days are numbered.
A potent front will approach tomorrow packing strong winds and potentially heavy rains, with 1 to 2 inches possible on the first night of June, and perhaps a few splashes more on Saturday.
The National Weather Service says severe storms are possible in South Jersey and Delaware and in Philadelphia and Delaware County.
While it did not qualify technically as a "heat wave," the warm spell that ended last night was worthy of the summer Dog Days.
But as uncomfortable as it was, it could end up being just what the doctor ordered if those long-enduring heat waves do show up later on.
Some heat-wave impact experts, such as Laurence Kalkstein, the former University of Delaware professor who developed Philadelphia's heralded heat-warning system, believe that an early hot spell can help inoculate the vulnerable population against later attacks.
Officially, this isn't likely to become the season's first heat wave; it just feels that way.
At Philadelphia International Airport it didn't get below 74 this morning, and if that stands as the low temperature for the day; the old record-high minimum for May 29 is 72.
The caveat is that a strong thunderstorms could drop the temperature in a hurry, said Walter Drag, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, and they will be prowling the area late this afternoon and this evening.
On a day with tropical-style humidity, a powerful thunderstorm is pounding parts of South Jersey.
It appears the ferocity is focused on Burlington County, and the National Weather Service says that up to 3 inches of rain have fallen in the Medford Lakes area.
A flood warning is in effect for that area.
As everything else, the tropical-storm season is off to an early start, but that may be about as meaningful to the rest of the season as the snows of Halloween were to winter.
That was the message this morning from the National Oceanic and Atmopsheric Administration, which released its annual hurricane outlook for the Atlantic Basin.
Concurring with outlooks released by Colorado State University, Accu-Weather Inc., and WSI Corp., NOAA sees a near normal season in the basin, which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
Those potent thunderstorms have pulled away, and before this heat surge is over, we may be rooting for encores.
We've mentioned the high dew points expected during the weekend, and how they are going to push head indices into the July-like 90s.
But the nights also are going to be heat-wave uncomfortable with overnight lows having a hard time breaking 70.
The storm cluster that hammered Burlington County has crossed the river, and right now appears to be going to town on Bucks County.
It has left quite a calling-card in Philly. Between 2 and 3 p.m., 0.87 inches of rain was measured at Philadelphia International Airport.
A wind gust of 43 m.p.h. also was reported at the airport.