Wednesday, April 1, 2015

POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2015, 11:28 AM
Snow at Elkins Park; higher up you are, more snow you'll get. (Jeff Gammage/Staff)

This has been a classic March snowfall, one of those days when you might see snow on Billy Penn’s hat above City Hall, and nothing on the ground.

When they start coming in, snow totals are going to vary widely, and not just by location – but by elevation.

As often happens in March when temperatures are borderline, the region’s irregular topography is going to be a huge factor in whom gets what.

POSTED: Thursday, March 19, 2015, 11:37 AM
Scene from a turnpike rest stop near Morgantown, where '58 storm left 50 inches. (Temple University Urban Archives)

Spring’s arrival was a huge deal in Darby Borough in 1958, and not just because it came at the end of one of the snowiest winters on record.

Darby High School was heading to the PIAA basketball tournament in Lancaster and had a good shot at making the finals.

Pete McClure, who graduated in 1962, was a 13-year-old freshman, heading to one of five buses that would take him and classmates to the game. HIs bus was to leave at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 5:29 PM
Based on the forecast, we won't be seeing this for awhile.

If we can believe the forecasts, the vernal equinox on Friday will feel a whole lot more like the winter solstice, with snow, perhaps even a few inches in parts of the region.

Spring snows certainly aren’t all that unusual, and snow has been measured in Philadelphia as late as April 24.

But the nor’easter that battered the area with heavy wet snow starting on March 19, 1958, a Wednesday, and continuing into the 21st , the first day of spring, was a hall of famer.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 2:46 PM

A powerful solar storm developed in the earth’s magnetic field shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday, and it could have visible effects tonight in the Philadelphia region.

On a scale of 9, the Space Weather Prediction Center tonight indicated a "Kp Index" of 8 -- that's an estimate of the extent of the aurora -- meaning the northern lights would be visible as far south as Washington.

That's stronger than earlier forecast, and Bob Rutledge, a space-center scientist, said this afteroon that it's "very possible" that the aurora will be visible in the Philadelphia region tonight.

POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2015, 11:49 AM
Polar bear shakes off water; he might find Wildwood to his liking today. (Reuters)

As of late Friday morning, the water temperature off Atlantic City was 37 degrees, and 37.8 at Cape May, according to the National Oceanographic Data Center.

Those readings are several degrees below normal, and anyone at or near the Jersey Shore this afternoon is going to fell the effects.

Dead onshore winds out of the east are likely to hold temperatures around 40, or about 10 degrees lower than they will be in Philly.

POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 6:58 PM
Snow last month in New England; In (AP)

Write blog post here ...

POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 5:55 PM

Understandably the report by the Italian weather website Meteoweb that 100.8 inches of snow had descended upon a town about 130 miles west of Rome last week has received tremendous media attention.

If verified – and the capital “I” isn’t just because the word begins the sentence – this would be a record for a snowfall in a calendar day, besting the wimpy 90.6 inches on Feb. 14, 1927, in Mount Ibuki, Japan.

Meteoweb points out, however, that unlike Japan and the United States, Italy doesn’t have rigorous snow-measuring protocols.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 5:12 PM
Ceremonial start to Iditarod last week; winter warmth in Alaska forced change in route. (Reuters)

On an afternoon on which the temperature cracked 60 for the first time and it felt a whole lot like last Christmas, when it went up to 65, we were reassured that the spring equinox will arrive on schedule a week from Friday.

However, the computer models are suggesting equinox will coincide with a return to winter, or at least the pattern that has dominated the last several weeks.

In its 8- to 14-day outlook posted Wednesday afternoon, the government’s Climate Prediction Center once again has the East in deep blue – as in below-normal temperatures expected -- and Alaska in the red.

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.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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