Monday, July 14, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 11:35 AM

Once again this morning, snow showed up just in time to bedevil innocent rush-hour motorists.

As we noted in our Sunday story, measuring the severity of the winter is a subjective process, and one thing arguing in this one’s credentials is the timing of storms.

We’ve counted a total of 15 wintry “events,” in which snow and/or ice has been recorded officially at Philadelphia International Airport.

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014, 5:25 PM
On Sunday, we wrote on how this winter compares with recent severe winters, including 2009-10, the snowiest on record; 1995-96, the second snowiest, and 1993-94, the iciest, as far as we know.

Two semi-ancient winters do stand out – 1898-99, now the fourth-snowiest in the 130-year period of record, and 1917-18.

We also would give a nod to 1957-58, 1960-61, 1976-77, and 1977-78, but let’s get to the oldies first.

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014, 11:28 AM

During the weekend an impressive streak of 18 consecutive days of snow cover – defined as an inch or better on the ground -- ended in Philadelphia.

The streak that began officially the morning of Feb. 4 and ended Saturday was the seventh-longest in the period of the snow-depth record, which dates to 1948, according to the National Weather Service.

Of more-immediate interest is that the fading snow-and-ice cover all but eliminates any threat of rapid snowmelt flooding. Also, a lack of snow cover will have a continuing effect on temperatures.

POSTED: Friday, February 21, 2014, 2:24 PM

The tornado watch is in effect for the entire region until 5 p.m., and a severe-thunderstorm warning has been posted for eastern Burlington County, and parts of Cape May, Ocean, and Atlantic Counties.

The National Weather is saying that about an inch of rain has fallen in a hurry in portions of Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and some minor flooding is anticipated, if it isn't happening already.

On the plus side, all this mayhem is moving quickly and should be off the coast by 5 or 6.

POSTED: Friday, February 21, 2014, 11:46 AM

As of today – and this number almost certainly will grow – the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has spread 157,815 tons of salt in its Philadelphia region.

That’s easily a record, surpassing the winter of 2009-10, the snowiest on record, during which it used 142,768 tons.

In all likelihood, the 2013-14 number is going to keep going up. Snow is in the forecast for next week, and it might come in two different batches.

POSTED: Friday, February 21, 2014, 11:20 AM

The National Weather Service has posted a tornado watch for the entire state of Delaware until 5 p.m.

That’s in addition to the flood watch for the Diamond State and the rest of the region until 10 p.m.

The temperature contrasts are rather astonishing, ranging from 69 at 11 a.m. in Georgetown, Del., to 38 in Doylestown.

POSTED: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 4:43 PM

The National Weather Service has posted a flood watch for Philadelphia, the seven neighboring counties on both sides of the river, and northern Delaware, in effect from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.

Rivers and stream levels are well below flood stage, and the predicted precipitation totals – under a half-inch – aren’t particularly menancing.

However, rapid melting of the snow-and-ice pack  is possible tonight and tomorrow morning, and the bulk of the rain could fall in a hurry, said Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

POSTED: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 11:58 AM

As of 8 a.m. today, the mass of snow-and-ice that is oozing away still was holding more than a month’s worth of precipitation throughout Bucks and Montgomery Counties and part of Chester County.

Given the forecast, some nuisance flooding is all but a certainty on Friday, but despite all that water, and the extensive ice on rivers and streams, it appears that the region is going to dodge anything catastrophic.

The February sun, feeling more of its oats by the day, is likely to squeeze out some more water from the snow-and-ice pack this afternoon.

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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