Archive: April, 2012
In today's Inquirer we quoted Scott Guiser at the Penn State Agricultural Extension in Bucks County as saying he's seen nothing like the warmth and dryness of this year.
That was more than an observation. As noted, this has been the warmest start to a year on record in Philly.
In terms of precipitation, the 5.59 inches measured at Philadelphia International Airport constitutes the second-driest first 15 weeks of the year on record.
We mentioned in today's Inquirer article that the first 15 weeks of 2012 have constituted the warmest such period on record.
For all our fellow obsessives, we based this on temperatures for the first 106 days of the calendar year. That would be Jan. 1 through April 16 in most years; through April 15 this year and in the other leap years.
Philadelphia's official temperature recordkeeping for the period begins with 1874, and 2012 finished No. 1 with warmth to spare, at 45.2 degrees.
In today's Inquirer we published an article about what role sunspots may have had in the sinking of the Titantic.
As NASA's Rodney Viereck said no reasonable scientist would blame the sinking on sunspots -- violent solar storms that actually subtly increase solar output.
The well-documented sunspot lull around the time of the sinking -- and the records date all the way to Galieo, 300 years before the Titanic -- might explain the abundance of raw material, the polar ice.
In its weekly update, the U.S. Drought Monitor is showing some form of drought covering two-thirds of the region from West Virginia to Maine.
By comparison, last year at this time that description applied to only 0.3 percent of that region.
We all know about the season's paltry snow totals, but the rain totals are starting to play one downmanship with the snow's.
Irene, blamed for 49 deaths and historic flooding, has entered he hurricane hall of fame.
The National Hurricane Center announced today that it was retiring the name "Irene," a distinction reserved only for elite tropical storms -- the likes of Andrew, Hugo, and Katrina.
Tropical-storm names are recycled every six years, unless the hurricane center decides to retire them.
Roy Halladay or Josh Johnson need less help from nature than most mortals, but tonight they'll get it anyway.
Temperatures at game time will be falling into the 40s, and a stiff 15 m.p.h. wind will be howling in from centerfield.
What's more, the air will be quite dry, thus absent any buoyancy that could be provided by water vapor.
A prod from loyal reader Steve Lapin, along with the releases yesterday of the Colorado State University's long-range hurricane outlook and Accu-Weather's first 25-day forecast, prompted us to take one last look at the 2011-12 winter forecasts for Philadelphia.
The wreckage is evident.
Even in its "updated" Dec. 1 outlook, Accu-Weather was calling for "a brutal winter for the U.S." For people in the snow-removal business, it certainly was just that.
The winter was about as brutal to most of the long-range forecasters as it was to anyone trying to make a living off of snow.
"I don't think anyone is going to argue with that," said Henry Margusity, a meteorologist with Accu-Weather Inc., in State College.
Nevertheless, evidently Accu-Weather was not discouraged. "This year was a big learning curve for us," said Margusity