Tuesday, April 21, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 3:38 PM
Wood, after termites have chowed down. (ap)

The snows and ice are gone, but the lingering cold has left a legacy in the ground, where termites like to spend their winters.

Thanks to the cold, they have been slow to awaken, but they very likely will be making up for any lost time, and then some, according to Bennett Jordan, entomologist with the National Pest Management Association.

“They are starting to get back into spring behavior,” he said.

Tony Wood @ 3:38 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 2:32 PM
Atlantic City Boardwalk on Easter Sunday, 1915.

We will stop short of saying the weather forecast that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer the morning of April 3, 1915, nailed it.

“Unsettled,” it read, “probably rain.”

What followed was one of the most-incredible 12-hour sieges on record in Philadelphia, 19 inches of snow in 12 hours, according the Philadelphia Area Weather Book, by NBC10’s Glenn Schwartz and Penn State’s Jon Nese.

Tony Wood @ 2:32 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 6:03 PM
Oklahoma scene from last week's severe tornado outbreak. (ap)

We noted last week that with an outbreak in Tornado Alley on March 25 ended what was a record run, and that is correct.

To recap: Until this year, March 23 was the record for the latest appearance of a first tornado in the month notorious for its violent clashes of contrasting air masses.

In the back of the A-section of Tuesday’s Inquirer, The Weather Channel also took note of that outbreak, in which eight tornados were reported, saying they were “the first tornadoes of the season.”

Tony Wood @ 6:03 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 5:32 PM
Blossom sighting -- in Tokyo, anyway. Our turn will come. (Reuters)

The persistence of below-normal temperatures since the end of January has been amazing, if not irritating, but the government did say Tuesday it sees signs that the seasons actually will change.

With the month in its final hours, the February-March period is going to finish with an average temperature barely above freezing in Philadelphia, at 32.8, about 7 degrees below normal.

In the 142 years of recordkeeping, this will become the sixth-coldest such period, and the coldest since 1978, No. 5 on the list.

Tony Wood @ 5:32 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, March 27, 2015, 11:42 AM
Dr. David Dvorin, the region's pollen-counter, at work; season a slow starter, but it's coming.. (DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer)

Spring-deprivation has had at least one benevolent side effect: It has deferred the annual tree-pollen season and its related irritations to the allergic.

No one has quite figured out how to predict how severe a given season will be, but like spring, summer, fall, and winter, we know that it’s coming even if we don’t know that it will bring.

Like the winter of 2014-15, itself, this one has been a late-starter, and we have been treated to a prolonged bud season with the trees swollen with the subtle colors of the incipient spring.

Tony Wood @ 11:42 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, March 27, 2015, 11:03 AM
Tornado damage in Oklahoma: Better never than late. (AP)

That tornado outbreak in the heart of Tornado Alley Wednesday finally put an end to what was a record run.

Until this year, March 23 was the record for the latest appearance of a first tornado in the month notorious for its violent clashes of contrasting air masses.

In all, eight tornados were reported, including an EF2 that touched down in Osage County, Okla., packing winds of up to 135 m.p.h., and cutting a path 800 yards wide and traveling 9 miles, according to the National Weather Service in Tulsa.

Tony Wood @ 11:03 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 6:32 PM
Snowy scene from last March, which was about as cold as this one. (Colin Kerrigan / Philly.com)

Only 16 times in 142 years has the official temperature in Philadelphia failed to above 40 on a March 24. Yet it happened Tuesday (high, 40, or 16 degrees below normal), and on March 24, 2014 (high, 36).

Last March finished 4.6 degrees below normal in Philly; this March is on a similar pace, sitting at minus-4.2 through Tuesday.

That's not all the Marches have in common.

Tony Wood @ 6:32 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 1:20 PM
Thankfully, not a single one of these has been sighted in the United States this year. (Tano Pecoraro / Associated Press)

For the first time since reliable recordkeeping began back in 1950, not a single tornado has been reported in March in that world tornado capitol, the United States of America.

The previous longest wait for  March tornado occurred in 1969, when a sighting wasn’t confirmed until March 23, according to Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center, in Norman, Okla.

The atmosphere almost certainly will get friskier, and soon, and thunderstorms are possible around here on Thursday.

Tony Wood @ 1:20 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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