Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 12:21 PM

The Storm Prediction Center has the region in the “slight risk” zone for severe weather – defined as storms with 58 m.p.h. winds – and up to 2.75 inches of rain is in the National Weather Service forecast today and tonight.

Yet not so much as a flood watch has been posted, and the morning weather service discussion doesn’t even include a “hydrology” section.

Once again, the region evidently is going to escape major flooding during a significant rain event.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 11:15 AM

Computer models and the scientists who consult them still favor the development of  El Nino, the widespread anomalous warming of waters in the tropical Pacific.

Monday’s update from the Climate Prediction Center listed an 80 percent likelihood of El Nino during the fall and winter.

But so far the behavior of sea-surface temperatures out that way has been puzzling, and readings in a key El Nino region actually were slightly below normal.

POSTED: Monday, August 4, 2014, 5:53 PM

The announcement that a “code orange” alert for ozone has been issued for Philadelphia and neighboring counties reinforced to us just how benign this summer has been.

This marks only the third time this season that such an advisory has been issued. By comparison, 27 such advisories were issued in 2010, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Ozone is a product of sun and heat, and, very simply, we just haven’t had much of the latter.

POSTED: Friday, August 1, 2014, 12:35 PM

We have seen various analyses of weather-related deaths, and the one published this week by the Centers for Disease Control surprised us.

Far and away, the No. 1 killer is extreme cold, according to the National Health Statistics Reports study, out-ranking heat by about a 2-to-1 ratio.

The five-year study, encompassing the 2006-10 period, took a somewhat different approach from other analyses we’ve seen.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 5:26 PM

We’ve seen so many alarmist stories about global warming that we were delighted to see a refreshingly dispassionate report on the prosaic side of sea-level rise.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study focused on “nuisance” flooding, what the National Weather Service calls “minor” flooding – water sloshing onto roads, into yards, or perhaps into homes that aren’t elevated.

Sea levels generally have been rising for centuries, the result of melting glaciers and thermal expansion of the oceans. (The Dutch can tell you all about it.)

POSTED: Monday, July 28, 2014, 12:06 PM

North Carolina, particularly North Topsail beach on the extreme southeast coast, became a hurricane punching bag in the 1990s.

One of those storms, Bertha, in July 1996, the first of four significant hurricanes to make landfall in the’90s, was blamed for 12 deaths and putting a damper – and then some – on the tourism business.

By the time it got up this way, passing through New Jersey, it had weakened to a tropical storm and was not particularly destructive.

POSTED: Monday, July 21, 2014, 5:01 PM

Lasting only three days each, the two “heat waves” this season in Philadelphia barely met the government’s technical definition of three consecutive days with an official high of 90 or better.

A puff of heat is due to return the next couple of days, but this one isn’t even going to clear the minimum threshold for a heat wave.

But for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the forecasts call for temperatures stunningly comfortable for late July in Philadelphia, with no serious heat on the horizon.

POSTED: Friday, July 18, 2014, 5:38 PM

If you’ve been to Wildwood recently you probably know that you can burn off a lot of frozen custard by walking from the Boardwalk to the water.

As we’ve noted, the growth of the beach is the aftermath of a 100-year-old engineering project.

From 1908 to 1911, the U.S. government spent $15 million to build mile-long stone jetties to stabilize an inlet between the Wildwoods and Cape May.

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.

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