Archive: February, 2011
Just as the last of the homely, blackened piles of snow were oozing away, a fresh batch of snow is on the way.
A significant snow tonight is all but a certainty, and the National Weather Service has hoisted a winter-storm warning for Philadelphia and Delaware County and South Jersey.
The forecast is basically the same for the Pennsylvania suburban counties -- 2 to 4 inches of snow - but the "warning" criteria out that way is a little stiffer. The Accu-Weather forecast is similar.
At 3:47 p.m., the temperature officially reached 69 at Philadelphia International Airport, matching the record for a Feb. 18 set way back in 1890 and again in 1891.
So much for spring.
The weather around here is about to take another decidedly late-winter turn, and snow remains in play for early next week.
The temperature reached 66 this afternoon at Philadelphia International Airport, the highest reading since way back in Nov. 14 when everyone was expecting a mild winter.
That's just 2 shy of the record for the date set back in 1976 durnig a remarkable February in which the temperature went past 60 in Philly 12 times, hitting 70 once.
Expect another run at tomorrow's record, 69, set in both 1890 and 1891; we don't know if that touched off any global warming discussions.
For the second day in a row, March-type winds are invading the heart of February, along with March-type volatility.
Yesterday afternoon, gusts of 48 m.p.h. were measured at the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Dover airports.
The winds should die down tonight, but the volatility is just getting started.
Globally, last month was among the cooler Januaries of the last 20 years but still ended up as the 17th warmest January in the period of record dating to 1880, according to the National Climate Data Center.
The combined land-sea surface temperature finished 0.68 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average, the center reports.
That places it at No. 14 among Januaries of the last 20 years, which dominate the top spots in the January warming derby.
At 2 p.m. the official temperature nudged past 62 at Philadelphia International Airport, the highest reading since the first day of this mad meteorological winter.
The snow leftovers are taking a radiational pounding, but you probably noticed that some of the more-hideous piles are hanging tough.
After a brief cool-down, the forecasts are calling for even higher temperatures later in the week.
As we mentioned in a Sunday story, the arrival of this long-awaited thaw may be just what your car doesn't need after a rough spell of winter.
The pothole virus is likely to spread this week as temperatures fall back below freezing tonight and zoom toward April levels later in the week.
If it just stayed cold all the time, potholes wouldn't be a problem, but the thawing process is murder on the roadbeds.
It's been quite awhile -- maybe since before last winter -- that the atmosphere has been this quiet, with not so much as a remote storm rumor on the horizon.
It would be premature, to place a white flag over the defeated, darkened snow. If winter has shown any consistency, it has been in its defiance of those would dare predict its behavior.
But a major warm-up is due to start tomorrow, with temperatures at least approaching the 50s on Monday. (This is not good news for motorists, by the way, and we'll be talking more about that later.)