Archive: June, 2011
The atmospheric magnificence we are experiencing is due to expire Saturday, but the impending blast of heat isn't looking as ferocious as it was in the week.
The National Weather Service had hoisted a notice saying it might have to issue a heat advisory during the Saturday-Tuesday period.
Today, however, the heat and humidity have been turned down subtly, at least in the forecasts.
Arlene has made landfall along Mexico's central Gulf Coast, packing peak winds of 65 m.p.h., shy of hurricane status.
Around 8 p.m. our time yesterday, Arlene was declared the first named Atlantic tropical storm of the season, with top winds of 40 m.p.h., just above the naming threshold, 39 m.p.h.
It was forecast to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain, with up to 15 inches in the mountains, and is expected to come apart in the central Mexican mountains sometime tomorrow.
Climate is a slowly moving target, and that's why every 30 years the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publishes a new set of "normals" for U.S. measuring stations.
"Normal" is an imprecise term that can generate confusion, so we'll leave aside its weaknesses and look at the numbers.
Across the country, the new normal temperatures based on analysis of the 1981-2010 data will be 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they were in the previous 30-year period.
So far June has been quite warm, with temperatures averaging over 3 degrees above normal, and this will go down as one of the toastier Junes in the period of record.
Yet in terms of extreme heat, it's been no great shake 'n' bake, and it appears that the month will end with five 90-plus days, which is just about average for a June.
In fact, the month is due to end quite nicely with a few days of seasonal temperatures and comfortable humidities.
It hasn't qualified as a heat wave, but the last few days have been indisputably heat-wave uncomfortable with the air swollen with water vapor.
That's going to continue this afternoon before a front finally nudges through tonight. But some fireworks are likely before that happens.
The Storm Prediction Center, in Norman, Okla., has placed the entire region under a "slight risk" of severe weather, with the primary threat being strong winds.
As if Friday afternoons weren't bad enough in summer, at least parts of the region are getting hammered with rush-hour thunderstorms.
A severe-thunderstorm watch is in effect for the entire region until 8 p.m., and warning is in effect until 6:15 p.m. for parts of central and northern New Jersey.
At last check nasty looking storms were building along the Main Line and just to the north of the Trenton area. Here is the latest radar image.
Longwood's 1,000-plus acres are known internationally for their spectacular flowering plants and foliage.
Now it's about to become part of a nationwide climate laboratory.
At an event this evening, Longwood is launching a pilot partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study how climate change is affecting plant life.
An impressive-looking thunderstorm is ripping through central and northern Montgomery County and is expected to affect most of Bucks County as it heads toward the Delaware River.
A second strong storm is hitting portions of Burlington and Ocean Counties. Here is the radar image from Intellicast.com.
Severe-thunderstorm warnings are in effect until 4 p.m. in both areas, which are expecting winds up to 60 m.p.h.