Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 5:30 PM

Gloomy skies aren’t  for everyone, but if we can believe a recent study, they brighten the romantic prospects for a certain type of male.

In an article in Personality and Individual Differences, a team of European researchers concludes that “Machiavellians” fare better with women on cloudy days than the less-duplicitous competition.

The researchers call it the “Veil of Darkness” hypothesis; they link the term Machiavellian (which gives us pause, by the way) with “immoral, pragmatic, and cynical thinking.”  

POSTED: Friday, June 13, 2014, 1:05 PM

When the sun made an appearance this morning, the light re-animating  the lush foliage reminded us of just how deeply gloomy the last few days have been.

Unfortunately, on a day like this the concept of the atmosphere as an “ocean of air” feels like more than a metaphor.

An additional 2.5 inches of rain is possible this afternoon and tonight in some areas, and thus the National Weather Service has posted a fresh flash-flood watch for the region until 2 a.m.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 5:38 PM

In the 35 years of the satellite-data record, April 1998 remains the warmest on record, relative to averages, with global temperatures 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

That month coincided with the most- intense El Nino – the anomalous warming of thousands of squaqre miles of the tropical Pacific – in the period of record.

According to John Christy at the University of Alabama, keeper of the satellite observations, the temperature data for last month suggests that the April 1998 record could be in trouble.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 11:39 AM

June rainfall is notoriously capricious, and that truth has been more than self-evident in the last week.

On Tuesday, for example, barely a quarter inch was measured at Pottstown and Doylestown at National Weather Service observing sites.

Yet, over 2 inches fell into the Wilmington rain gauge, and over 4 inches was reported in Pitman, Gloucester County, in the 24-hour period ending principal at 7 a.m. this morning.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 6:17 PM

At this time yesterday, downpours were hammering areas to the west of the city, flooding busy roads in the Norristown area.

It is raining out that way again, but as our online item notes, the heavy action has shifted east as capricious convection continues to tap the nearly saturated air.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for parts of South Philadelphia, in the vicinity of Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies are due to slog it out with San Diego Padres this evening, and areas just to the east of the Delaware River.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 4:14 PM

The air may have the feel of vintage Midatlantic midsummer soup, with dewpoints flirting with heat-wave levels.

But so far the temperature hasn’t made it past 85 today at Philadelphia International Airport, and once again 90 appears out of the question.

Philadelphia hasn’t waiting this long for an official 90-degree reading since 2003, when it didn’t happen until June 23.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 3:00 PM
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 1992 file photo, a sailboat sits on a sidewalk at Dinner Key in Miami after it was washed ashore by Hurricane Andrew. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)

The nation’s coasts might be a safer if that first hurricane of the 2014 were to bear the name “Atilla” rather than Andrea, if we can believe a study by a team of researchers that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

We may well be guilty of gender-based resistance, but we were at least as surprised by the attendant media attention as we were by the findings that people are more likely to take a hurricane seriously if it has a male name.

“Although using human names for hurricanes has been thought by meteorologists to enhance the clarity … of storm information,” it stated, “this practice taps into well-developed and widely held gender stereotypes.”

POSTED: Friday, May 30, 2014, 4:08 PM

After four consecutive months of below-normal readings, May temperatures in Philadelphia are averaging slightly above normal.

But the region hasn’t experienced any serious heat yet, and none is in the longer-term outlooks. The government's  latest two-week outlook sees temperatures about where they should be.

The official temperature in Philadelphia peaked at 88 on Tuesday, and that’s as high as it got in May.

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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