Sunday, December 21, 2014

POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2014, 1:39 PM
Storm clouds and snow blowing off Lake Erie. Help from Pa. crews on the case. (Lindsay DeDario / Reuters)

As we mentioned Thursday, it could take awhile to verify the prodigious snow totals in western New York.

But we are ready to buy into the 74-inch total reported in Lancaster, Erie County: It was submitted by a National Weather Service employee.

Incredibly, that wasn't the highest amount on the list. That distinction belonged to Cowlesville, Wyoming County, 88 inches. However, that one was atttributed to an amateur radio operator.

POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2014, 1:13 PM
It wasn't 4.6 feet, but 4.6 inches fell in a Thanksgiving storm in Philly 25 years ago. (DEREK GEE / Buffalo News)

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of one of the region’s biggest early-season snowfalls on record.

On Nov. 22, 1989, snow began falling around 8 p.m. and continued until right around daybreak of Thanksgiving.

The temperature was around 30 when it started and slipped back into the mid-20s, so what fell stuck, even though this was happening a month before the solstice.

POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2014, 11:20 AM
A tourist in Death Valley; no, the rest of the world hasn't been that warm. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

If you’ve been tracking the state of the world’s climate, you have every right to be confused.

Not a storm or an extreme event goes by without someone indicting it as evidence that the planet is – or is not –baking in a  giant rotisserie.

Here we’ll stick with the available clinical evidence.

POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2014, 4:59 PM
A man walks along a snow-covered street on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

As though shot from fire hoses, heavy snows continue to plaster narrow corridors of the New York lakes region with unreal accumulations.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for additional “multiple feet of snow” in areas to the northeast Lakes Erie and Ontario – as strong winds from the southwest continue to howl over the unfrozen waters.

That includes some of the areas that already have reported 5 feet of snow. For perspective, that would be close to what fell here all of last winter, the second-snowiest on record in Philly.

POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2014, 12:49 PM
(Photo courtesy of L.L. Bean)

We're not in the habit of scanning the L.L. Bean catalogs, but a more-sophisticated colleague, Joe Gambardello,  alerted us to L.L. Bean's latest wrinkle in winter marketing.

The legendary Maine clothing retailer is promoting what it calls a "vortex proof" winter coat, further evidence that a once-obscure  phenomenon known only to geeks in the meteorological subculture has emerged as a national player.

We've heard of waterproof, bulletproof, even pet-proof, but this is a new one on us.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 11:14 AM

The atmosphere behaves like a fluid, and that helps explain why being outside today feels very much like a cold shower.

Tomorrow, likely to be the coldest Nov. 19 officially in Philadelphia in 140 years of recordkeeping, will be a repeat.

The temperature will flirt with the overnight low record, 20, but we’re more taken but what it will be like when people are awake – it will struggle to get past freezing. The record-low maximum for the date is 35.

POSTED: Monday, November 17, 2014, 3:55 PM
A little early for icicles, but an impressive November freeze is imminent. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)

As John Bolaris posted Monday morning, a very big chill is on the way after the rain stops, and for this time of year, it might reach historic proportions.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a low of 20 for Wednesday morning at Philadelphia International Airport, which would tie the record.

But we are more impressed with just how cold the rest of the day is going to be.

POSTED: Friday, November 14, 2014, 12:22 PM
Lamar Lancaster is bundled up as he pumps gas at a Wawa in Paulsboro. (CLEM MURRAY / File photo)

Chances of any snow in Green Bay Sunday afternoon are slight, but at kickoff wind-chills are forecast to be around 18 with winds gusting near 20 m.p.h.

Philadelphia, meet your next air mass.

By the time the core of the cold slides eastward, the trip will have a modifying effect, but relative to normal, it actually will be colder around here early next week than it is in Green Bay on Sunday.

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

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