Saturday, July 4, 2015

POSTED: Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 5:37 PM

For the updated version of this story, click here.

The potent cluster of storms that ripped through the region has left more than 130,000 PECO customers in the dark.

Multiple trees were downed and several fires, possibly started by lightning strikes, broke out across the region. Temperatures reportedly dropped more than 20 degrees between the storm's beginning and end.

Tony Wood @ 5:37 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 12:32 PM
Sheep cross a parched area near New Delhi last month, a warm one worldwide. (Reuters)

Last month was the warmest in records dating to 1880, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information (that’s the erstwhile National Climatic Data Center).

According to the government’s just-updated database – and we remind our readers that this is quite a complicated process – the globally averaged temperature for May was 1.57 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average.

That beat May 2014 by 0.14 degrees; the margin of error is 0.13.

Tony Wood @ 12:32 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, June 19, 2015, 3:13 PM
A vehicle is pointed the wrong direction after high water pushed it into a ditch on the south side of Hardesty Road west of US 177 in Shawnee, Okla. (Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman via AP)

As Glenn Schwartz posted on Thursday, moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill is likely to douse the region during the weekend, when the astronomical summer arrives.

The National Weather Service has posted a flash-flood watch for the entire region from Saturday evening through Sunday evening with the potential for up to 4 inches of rain – that’s about a month’s worth.

As usual, expect rain totals to vary considerably from place to place. Once the weather turns warm and the more-organized storms of winter give way to showery rains, nature’s caprice takes precedence.

Tony Wood @ 3:13 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 5:35 PM
Yes, it was another one of those days; the Philly temperature went past 90 again Tuesday. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)

For the fourth time this year, the official Philadelphia temperature nudged past 90 Tuesday afternoon, reaching 91 at 3:59 p.m.

And, as a graphic accompanying the Sunday Inquirer about the Pope and global warming showed, 90-plus days have been occurring more frequently in recent decades.

The 20th Century average for the numbers of days in which Philadelphia’s official temperature reached at least 90 was 21. Since 1987, that number is 28, about a one-third increase.

Tony Wood @ 5:35 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, June 12, 2015, 7:07 PM
Jordyn Chin, 5, plays in the fountain at Dilworth Park on Friday, June 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

At Philadelphia International Airport the temperature reached 95 at 3:42 p.m. Friday, matching the record for the date set in 1947.

That's the highest reading of the season, and 3 degrees better than Thursday's high.

Should the temperature make it to 90 tomorrow -- and that's not a given -- this would become the season's first heat wave by the government's official criterion.

Tony Wood @ 7:07 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, June 8, 2015, 6:08 PM

The National Weather Service has canceled the tornado watch that was in effect for Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties, but strong storms continue to ripple through the region.

At 9:30 p.m. radar showed heavy rains pressing eastward from a line extending from the Lehigh Valley to central Chester County.

A second area of heavy rain was snaking northeastward from Annapolis toward Philadelphia.

Tony Wood @ 6:08 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 11:45 AM
May ended with great beach weather; also quite a dry month. (ap)

Driven by a toasty spell that began on Memorial Day, last month became the second-warmest May in Philadelphia in records dating to 1874, with an average temperature of 70.1, according to the National Weather Service.

As the rains held off on Sunday afternoon, the temperature shot up to 92 at Philadelphia International Airport.

For the week, temperatures averaged almost 11 degrees above normals, but May 1991, in the clubhouse at 70.8, survived the surge to hold on to first place.

Tony Wood @ 11:45 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 3:56 PM
Despite photo, no cause for panic in Jersey. (Credit: Captain Jim Freda, Beach Manager for Borough of Sea Girt, NJ)

Judging from that picture, this is either one brave lifeguard taking a heroic stand on the shores of Sea Girt or one with highly questionable judgment.

In this case, neither: The photograph, Tweeted out Sunday afternoon by Sea Girt lifeguards, is an illusion created by an alignment of circumstances, as explained by Gary Szatkowski, the head of the National Weather Service local office.

At the time, water temperatures were around 60, while the air temperatures were in the 80s. The warm air condensing over the cold water, he explained in a Tweet, created a fog bank over the surf, Meanwhile, a sea breeze blew away to the overlying clouds, creating the wavy effect.

Tony Wood @ 3:56 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
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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