Saturday, October 10, 2015

POSTED: Friday, October 2, 2015, 12:42 PM
Waves pound the wall at the inlet in Atlantic City on Friday, Oct 2, 2015. (Amy Rosenberg/Staff)

Recent years have been relatively kind to the barrier-island beaches from Atlantic City to Cape May.  As devastating as Sandy was, it targeted areas from Long Beach Island on north.

The true extent of the damage won’t be known until Tuesday, but unquestionably beaches to the south are going to be taking a significant hit, even though Joaquin evidently is going to ride the Gulf Stream into oblivion.

What's more, the effects of the beach loss could persist into the winter.

POSTED: Saturday, September 26, 2015, 5:09 PM
Pope shows that snow isn't the only thing that can shut down a city. (Reuters/Brian Snyder)

Walking along the blessedly deserted streets of Society Hill Saturday morning we were reminded of the morning of Jan. 8, 1996.

That day Philadelphia and the entire region were in complete shutdown mode, the result of a record 30.7-inch snowfall. Snow had muted and enchanted Center City.

The quiet of Sept. 26, 2015, of course was a different nature, as evidenced by the stray emergency vehicle  and the presence of guards in camouflage.

POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2015, 4:59 PM
Relaxing on the Race Street Pier during one of the warmest Septembers on record. ((AARON WINDHORST/Staff Photographer))

Despite the weekend cool-down that are bringing local temperatures remarkably close to the averages for Vatican City, this month has a shot to be the second-warmest  September in Philly in records dating to 1874.

As of Friday, the average for the month at Philadelphia International Airport stands at 75.1.

Based on the National Weather Service forecasts for the next five days, the final average would come in at  74.3.

POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2015, 5:00 AM
Pope Francis is pictured through the windshield of the popemobile during a rainstorm. The mention of rain has crept into the Sunday forecast during the Pope's trip to Philadelphia. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Neither the Secret Service nor the papal security force have divulged plans to do anything about the weather, but meteorologists are out to prevent any ambush from the elements.

Starting Friday night, the National Weather Service will be staffing the city Emergency Operations Center at Third and Spring Garden around-the-clock, said Gary Szatkowski, chief of the weather services' Mount Holly office.

In addition, Accuweather Inc., the commercial service in State College, will be providing city officials with up-to-the-minute forecast updates, said company executive Casey McGeever.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 4:56 PM
Sunsets are occurring ever earlier; are you getting hungrier? (Tony Wood/Inquirer Staff)

You probably didn’t feel a thing, but at 4:21 a.m. the sun’s energy was beaming its energy equally between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres marking the arrival of the astronomical fall.

We call it the “equinox,” which translates literally to “equal night,” but that’s not quite accurate. On Wednesday daylight beats nighttime by about 8 minutes, and they won’t be equal until the Pope gets here on Saturday.

We have, however, entered the briskest period of daylight loss – 2 minutes and 36 seconds a day – and that is of some consequence to those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “winter blues.”

POSTED: Friday, September 18, 2015, 10:26 AM
European Centre for Medium‑Range Weather Forecast map shows locations and predictions for two storms in the Atlantic on Friday morning. (European Centre for Medium‑Range Weather Forecasts)

The amazingly quiet 2015 tropical-storm season showed some signs of life Friday morning with a potential tropical storm in the far eastern Atlantic, and another threat off the Southeast coast.

Neither one poses any threat to the Philadelphia region for the Sept. 26-27 weekend when, sources indicate, Pope Francis will be in town.

The swirling mass off the coast has an outside chance of becoming a named tropical storm – one with peak winds of at least 39 m.p.h – in the next two days.

POSTED: Thursday, September 17, 2015, 4:45 PM
Sunset last month during warmest August on record worldwide. (CHARLES FOX/Staff Photographer)

If the atmosphere had something on the order of baseball’s “magic number” for clinching the warmest year on record, the countdown would have begun.

In its monthly global temperature, the U.S. climate center reported that last month was the warmest August on record in the database that dates to 1880.

In addition, it said the period from June 1 through Aug. 31 constituted the warmest meteorological summer on record.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 5:00 AM
Pope Francis waves to the faithful on Sunday; will he need a papal umbrella in Philly? (REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)

September weather in Philadelphia can be a splendid experience, mining the best of the retreating summer while tapping those first refreshing air masses from the Hudson Bay.

And, yes, it does have very well-cultivated dark, stormy, and sweaty sides.

The pope’s visit is 10 days away, and for our money it remains way too early to speculate seriously on what the atmosphere will do to celebrate his visit to Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27.

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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