Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Phil sees La Nina

Groundhog doesn't see shadow; spring imminent.

Phil sees La Nina

On a morning that put Pennsylvania on ice, Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow this morning, nor did any other organism in the state as best as we could determine.

In the folkloric tradition, that means spring is near. As for details about precisely when and where and just how much above-normal temperatures will be over a given area, don't ask.

We can't vouch for the prognosticator's credentials, but one wonders whether the groundhog forecast might work out better than some of those pre-season winter outlooks by the credentialed scientists.

The consensus was that this was to be the winter of La Nina, that mass of cooler than normal surface waters in the tropical Pacific.

After a cool start, La Nina figured to affect upper-air weather patterns across North American in such a way as to bring general warmth to our region in January and February.

We're willing to give February a chance, although another storm is possible this weekend, and the 6-to-10 day outlook sees continued cold.

Otherwise, Philadelphia stands at 37.8 inches of snow and counting, with December-January temperatures running close to 4 degrees below normal.

For a fascinating discussion of what went wrong, see the item below, "'Hurricane' vs. winter."

That's Hurricane, as in Glenn Schwartz, the NBC-10 meteorologist, who offers his perspectives on why the last two winters have been incredible, and what it all may mean for the future.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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
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