Thursday, July 30, 2015

Storm KOs power, trees, heat.

At the airport, it fell from 97 to 71 from 2 to 3 p.m.

Storm KOs power, trees, heat.


The cooling effect of a thunderstorm is well-known, but today the region felt a dramatic example with the arrival of that fast-moving and destructive storm.

At 2 p.m., the official temperature was 97, the highest reading in Philadelphia since June 10, 2008. That came after one of the warmest nights on record.

Between 2 and 3, however, as the storm approached, the temperature plummeted 26 degrees. In a thunderstorm, the column of rain is quite cool. The water comes from the colder regions of the atmosphere, and the outflow of air from the storm cell can have quite a chilling effect.

This one flashed across the state at 55 m.p.h., and hurricane-force gust of 75 m.p.h. was measured at Philadelphia International Airport.

The extent of the damage isn't fully determined yet, but it is known that at least 100,000 utility customers lost power and that tree damage was widespread.

Chester and Delaware Counties were especially hard-hit, and so were sections of Philadelphia. Several large trees were down near Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies spanked Cleveland in a rain-delayed afternoon game.

Our garden writer, Virginia Smith, reports that the famous 60-foot yellowwood at Bartram's Garden was severely damaged when it was struck by lightning. Bartram's will be closed tomorrow.

Another casualty of the storm was a somewhat esoteric record. Overnight, the temperature at the airport never got below 81.That would have topped the previous record-high minimum for the month of June, which was 80.

Thanks to that thunderstorm, however, the official low for June 23, 2010, will go into the books as a prosaically.

 By morning, it should be considerably more comfortable.




Inquirer Weather Columnist
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: 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 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

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
Also on
letter icon Newsletter