Archive: March, 2012
March has a reputation for being windy, wet and wild. This one? How about wimpy, parched and mild.
Only a last-minute "cool" spell is keeping this from being the warmest on record in Philadelphia.
Based on the forecast, we see an average monthly temperature of 52.3. That would be No. 2 on the 139-year list, ever so close to the 52.5 of 1921.
We were immensely saddened to learn of the death of Ken Reeves, an Accu-Weather icon for close to 30 years.
On Sunday he was killed when he fell off his roof while removing Christmas lights.
Through the years Reeves always was a great interview. He was tremendously smart with a wicked sense of humor. Thus, most of his best comments never saw the light of print.
They haven't been quite as scace as the rains -- at 0.51 inches, rainfall is 16 percent of normal for the month in Philadelphia -- but March winds haven't lived up to their reputations.
As winter retreats in the Northern Hemisphere, and the vanguard of summer invades from the south, radcial temperature contrasts help make March the windiest month of the year.
On average, sustained winds for the month have been around 11 m.p.h., but even with yesterday's rally, the monthly average stood at 8.5 m.p.h., about 75 percent of normal.
March 2012, as we noted in our online story, certainly is setting new standards for strangeness.
It also has a good shot at becoming the warmest in Philadelphia. At any event, what Ray Kruzdlo at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly says looks like a sure thing: It will finish in the top 3.
Through yesterday the monthly average in Philadelphia stood at 52.4, breathing down the neck of the title-holder, 1921, at 52.5.
We've had such a sequence of amazinghly warm days that perhaps we are starting to take it all this straneness for granted.
Based on the period of record, these temperatures are borderline incredible, but we would have to conclude that this siege of fog as it least as extraordinary as the warmth.
As we mentioned in a post yesterday, March is not the fog season. It is the windiest month of the year, and wind ordinarily is the mortal enemy of fog.
This is the ninth consecutive day that fog has appeared in the region, and that would be about as out-of-character for March as those towering Caribbean-like clouds over the region yesterday afternoon.
The peak fog season around here runs from October through February, according to the National Weather Service's long-term records.
Dense fog, defined as a shroud that reduces visibility to a quarter-mile or less, is infrequent in any month.
It has nothing to do with the amazing warmth we've been experiencing, but the days now are noticeably longer than the nights.
Even though "equinox" is derived from the Latin for "equal night," daylight on this first day of spring will last for 12 hours and 10 minutes.
So why isn't this a straight 12-and-12 day/night relationship on the day that the center of the sun beams directly over the middle of the world?
We know of a local restaurant with a brisk outdoor-table business that was all geared up for a big day yesterday.
But those plans were ambushed by a strong sea breeze off the cooler, damp Atlantic, and the official high in Philadelphia was a mere 58, a paltry 4 degrees above normal.
This isn't going to be an ideal day for outdoor dining either, with highs topping about in the mid-60s, about what one would expect around Tax Day on April 15.