Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 1:35 PM
Warren Avert caught this photo of lightning during a serious storm that ripped through the Philadelphia region Monday night.

A loyal reader recently heard something outrageous from the boss: She won’t take a shower during a thunderstorm lest lightning work its way through the pipes serving her building.

We have not encountered hard data on lightning-related injuries that have occurred in showers, and we know nothing about the plumbing system in question.

However, it is a fact that metal conducts lightning, and metal piping certainly could serve as such a conductor.

POSTED: Monday, July 14, 2014, 1:45 PM

For the last few days the moisture-laden atmosphere has been about as invigorating as a low-grade illness.

That moisture evidently is about to take another, potentially dangerous form.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly has posted a severe-thunderstorm watch for the entire region through 8 p.m. tonight.

POSTED: Friday, July 11, 2014, 10:10 AM
A "super moon" rises above a egret nesting area on the west side of Wichita, Kan., in 2012. A supermoon, is the coincidence of a full moon (or a new moon) with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, or perigee. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Bo Rader, file)

When the moon rises right after sunset Saturday, it will look as though it put on some weight, even though technically it is weightless.

The so-called perigee moon will appear an estimated 14 percent larger than usual, and roughly 30 percent brighter once it gets cooking.

That’s because it will be closer to the Earth than usual. The moon’s orbit is elliptical, somewhat like the Earth’s around the sun.

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
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