Monday, February 8, 2016

Here Comes the Sun

All that well-polished snow is going to vanish -- eventually.

Here Comes the Sun


The afternoon temperatures today were a few degrees higher than anticipated, and that may have something to do with the strengthening February sun.

Removing that dense mass of snow and ice that has taken on that polished and buffed look is going to be a major project, but the sun is up to it.

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it is the biggest in terms of solar gain.

A total of 36 percent of its energy gain from the winter to summer solistices occurs from Feb. 1 to March 1, according to the newly tweaked calculations by Drexel University's Fred House, a solar radiation expert.

The sun should flex its growing muscles tomorrow as the temperature climbs into the upper 30s and more blacktop and dirt resurfaces.

That weekend storm is looking like not much; maybe an inch of snow turning to rain Friday, and Sunday and Monday should be excellent melting days.

In the meantime beware of the epidemic of so-called "black ice," which more appropriately should be called invisible ice.

Water oozes out of the snowpack during the day, then refreezes on paved surfaces at night. Your tires do not appreciate it, and be careful out there walking.

Cold is due to return next week, along with storm rumors.

Inquirer Weather Columnist
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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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Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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