Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: April, 2012

POSTED: Monday, April 23, 2012, 4:38 PM

Despite the widespread soaking rains, the April precipitation total for Philadelphia still is slightly below normal, and significantly down for the year.

The dryness has been widespread, and it has had one positive benefit for Pennsylvania's farmers. Plantings of crops such as corn, oats, and potatoes are way ahead of schedule.

In issuing its weekly update this afternoon, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 86 percent of the oat crop had been planted as of last week, compared with the average of 43, and just 5 percent last year.

POSTED: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9:56 PM

The front sweeping through the area evidently has picked up speed and power and has set off strong thunderstorms in parts of the region.

Wilmington is reporting winds from the northwest gusting to 34 m.p.h. An hour earlier, they were a gentle 9 m.p.h. out of the south.

At last look, the convection was ripping through Bucks County on its way to Jersey. Here is the latest radar image.

POSTED: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 4:35 PM

It is now all but certain that drought talk will be scare next week.

The National Weather Service has posted a flood watch for Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania neighboring counties, along with much of central and north Jersey.

Nature gave us a bonus day today, and while showers are expected tonight, it appears thtat the important rainfall won't get under way until midmorning tomorrow as a coastal storm affects the region.

POSTED: Friday, April 20, 2012, 3:53 PM

Although still sprinkled with uncertainty, the updated rain forecasts have added some juice, and the region could see a general 2 to 3 inches before it all comes to an end on Monday.

To put that into some perspective, only 5.59 inches has fallen in the 111 days since Jan. 1, and half that much of that could fall in just the next three days.

It wouldn't take deluge to make this the biggest rainstorm of the year. As Peter Mucha's online story noted, just over an inch fell officially at Philadelphia International Airport on Feb. 29, with a similar total back on Jan. 11-12.

POSTED: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 10:56 AM

The generally warm weather that has settled over the nation for months evidently has been a premature wake-up call for some of the world's less-loved species.

“For the Philadelphia area, we have seen more swarming termites, more stinging insects, more mosquitoes, ants, and midges," said Phil Pierce, an entomologist and technical service manager with Western Pest Services, which does business in he Midatlantic and New England.

The most-common complaint among consumers and peers in the business has been the abundance of termite swarms, said Pierce.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 12:30 PM

When the bosses proposed cutting the jobs of 122 technicians responsible for the sophisticated equipment at National Weather Service offices around the country, it's safe to say that some government meteorologists didn't think that was such a hot idea.

'We're putting people's lives at risk," David A. Solano, a hydrologist at the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center in State College, said in an article we published last month.  

At the time, Congressman Chaka Fattah went on record as saying it wouldn't happen.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 11:45 AM

Looking at the Schuylkill this morning at Norristown gave life to the concept of rock bottom, testimony to the exraordinary dryness that spread throughout the Midatlantic and Northeast.

The U.S. Geological Survey has the flow at 677 cubic feet per second, or about 22 percent of the median level. The water is so low that rocky have emerged in the river bed.

Chester County has declared a ban on open burning, as has Lancaster County, according to the William Penn Forestry District.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 11:05 AM

We were rather astounded to find this morning that nature had painted our car a bright green.

Thus we were not surprised when we saw today's tree-pollen counts. They were off the charts. If you have tree-pollen allergies, this has not been the best of times. You could well be sneezing your head off.

The Asthma Center count today came in at 2772.9. To put that in perpsective, the "extreme" level is 1,000, and the counts have been above that threshold each reporting day in the last two weeks.

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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