Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 11:09 AM

One of the salient features of the endless winter -- and we now have to use that term elastically --  has been the uncanny ability for snow to fall during peak commuting periods.

By our count, at least 14 rush hours have been impacted directly by falling snow and ice. We don’t know if that is any kind of record, but how often have we had 14 snowfalls, period?

The region is about to experience a change of luck, and with it, at long last, a change of seasons.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 4:49 PM

On the eve of spring’s astronomical arrival, due at 12:57 p.m. EDT tomorrow, the Climate Prediction Center just poured a fresh batch of dark-blue ink across the East in its 6- to 10-day outlook.

That would suggest that March is about to become the third consecutive month of below-normal temperatures in Philadelphia.

And while we are not Rorschach specialists, we interpret all that blue to mean a spring deferred. The “s” word even pops up for next week, but it isn’t “spring.”

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014, 2:14 PM

In addition to taking over second place on the all-time seasonal snow list in Philadelphia, today’s official 4.7 inches  broke the 122-year-old National Weather Service  record for the date by an inch.

Snow this late in the season is quite unusual, but more snow has fallen on a March 18, 5.4 in 1956, and on a March 19, 9.4, in 1958.

It so happened, however, that 3.5 for March 17 in Philadelphia had stood up since 1892.

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014, 10:44 AM

Philadelphia International Airport was long viewed as a a terrible place to measure snow, which is why for official purposes it is measured across the river in National Park, Gloucester County. We noted this in an article

This year, as has happened before, National Park has fared better (or worse) than other places in the region for snow, and this morning was another case in point.

Officially, 4.7inches was reported by the National Park observer, bringing Philadelphia's official total to 67.6 inches, inching past 1995-96, at 65.5, into second place.

POSTED: Friday, March 14, 2014, 4:21 PM

Computer models are having second thoughts about what’s coming Monday, but the National Weather Service still sees the possibility of a significant snowfall from a coastal storm, staring Sunday night.

In posting its first snow map, it sees a general 4 to 6 inches for the region by 8 p.m. Monday, and this almost certainly will undergo several revisions.

In the afternoon forecast, the weather service says it is “not confident” in the accumulation projection, and with good reason.

POSTED: Friday, March 14, 2014, 11:46 AM

Under most circumstances, a forecast that called for a sunshine and a high near 60 on a weekend day in March would be more than welcome.

But this is not the winter to consult “most circumstances.”

 After consecutive days on which Philadelphia’s high reached 65 and 69, the temperature dropped to 21 early Thursday.

POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 5:55 PM

Based on the preliminary daily climate summary, the average wind speed at Philadelphia International Airport today was 25 m.p.h. – not gust, average.

For sustained winds, this was the windiest day in Philadelphia since Oct. 29, 2012, the day that a storm named Sandy arrived.

The peak gust, 48 m.p.h., was the highest since Nov. 1, and Wilmington recorded its highest, 53 m.p.h., since Dec. 21, 2012.

POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 11:57 AM

The atmosphere often is called an “ocean of air,” and last night and early this morning the wind certainly sounded like a storm-agitated ocean during full moon.

Gusts up to 62 m.p.h. were reported in Cape May County, and, officially, a peak wind of 46 m.p.h. was measured at Philadelphia International Airport last night.

That was the strongest gust of the winter, and the highest since Nov. 1.

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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