Dryness, also near record

In today's Inquirer we quoted Scott Guiser at the Penn State Agricultural Extension in Bucks County as saying he's seen nothing like the warmth and dryness of this year.

That was more than an observation. As noted, this has been the warmest start to a year on record in Philly.

In terms of precipitation, the 5.59 inches measured at Philadelphia International Airport constitutes the second-driest first 15 weeks of the year on record.

The official precipitation records date to 1872, pre-dating even the temperature data. The non-raining champ remains 1992, at 5.43, followed by 1969, 5.59; 1985, 6.29, and 1946, 6.58.

But 1992 year wasn't especially warm during the first 15 weeks. The only reasonable comparison with 2012 would be with 2002, which was No. 4 on the warmth list, and No. 9 for precipitation.

Given that this year is No. 1 for temperature and No. 2 for dryness, we would say with some certainty that Scott Guiser is not hallucinating.