Sunday, August 2, 2015

Leaf blower

Winds gusting past 40 m.p.h., a sign of changing times.

Leaf blower

0 comments

Thunderstorm gusts ripped through the region during the early morning hours, and the atmosphere got a second wind this afternoon.

Gusts of 41 m.p.h. were reported at the official automated station at Philadelphia International Airport at 2 and 3 p.m., and 40, at 4 p.m.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 8 p.m., but the National Weather Service expects the gusts to calm down after dark. The gust reading was down to 37 at 5 p.m.

The winds rushed in behind a cool front that crossed the region this morning, its arrival announced by considerable fanfare. 

The thunderstorm damage occurred between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., with over 30,000 power outages reported, as mentioned in Peter Mucha's online story.A 54 m.p.h. gust was measured in Trenton, with roofs ripped off the Trenton airport buildings and some planes flipped over, according to a weather service report.

This is the time of year when winds pick up around here after a summer lull. Based on weather-service data, on average wind speeds jump 17 percent from August through November -- from 8 m.p.h. to 9.4.

The average winds reach a peak in March, at 10.9 m.p.h., and then begin the slow descent to August. But the real difference between a March and November wind is a few billion leaves.

Incidentally, we once attempted to calculate the number of leaves on the region's trees. We were informed that we were crazy, but using data from the U.S. Forest Service, we came up with a rough estimate of five billion leaves on six million trees in Philadelphia and its four Pennsylvania neighbors.

We will not stand by the precision, but you probably get the idea. On a day with winds like this, five billion may seem conservative.

The August average speed is  

Inquirer Weather Columnist
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
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.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter