Archive: May, 2011
As other major forecast outlets, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling for an above-average hurricane season, which begins June 1.
What is different about the government outlook, compared with that of Accu-Weather Inc. and Colorado State University, is the wiggle room.
NOAA sees 12 to 18 named storms, those with winds of 39 m.p.h. or more; with 6 to 10 of those becoming hurricanes, with winds of at least 74 m.p.h., and 3 to 6 of those growing into majors, with winds of 111 m.p.h. or better.
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for along the Bucks-Montgomery County borders.
The warning zone extends from the central part of the counties on down to the Philadelphia border.
No twister has been sighted officially, however, the weather service says it is seeing signs on radar that one might be imbedded in a severe thunderstorm.
The building damage at Northeast Avenue and Red Lion Road was the result of a tornado, with peak winds of 75 m.p.h., according to the National Weather Service.
Weather service meteorologist Joe Miketta, the investigator in the scene, found evidence of rotational winds, just as radar images had suggested.
Officially, it was an EF-0 on the enhanced Fujita scale, said his colleague, Dean Iovino. The weather service said it traveled about 300 feet and cut a damage path of about 100 feet.
As we've been reporting all day on our website, the overwhelming majority of voters are taking an electoral holiday, choosing to take a pass on this primary election day.
People certainly have that right, and can choose to do so for a variety of reasons, including a lack of stimulating races. Voting for municipal supervisor or sheriff doesn't have quite the lure of Kennedy-Nixon or Obama-McCain.
But whereas this has been a cosmically gloomy day, it's hard to indict the weather for what is being called an "abysmal" turnout.
Global temperatures were 1.06 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average, according to the government's National Climate Data Center.
While that was significantly cooler than the April 2010 temperature, and a little lower than 2009's, it still ranked as the seventh-warmest April in the period of record, dating to 1880.
Arctic sea-ice extent was measured at 5.7 percent below average, the fifth-smallest ice extent for any April since the period of observation, which began in 1979.
As noted, the National Weather Service has posted a flood watch for tomorrow, and Accu-Weather's Dave Dombek says it could be raining at almost any time during voting hours.
But if turnout ends up being low, in all probability weather will have had anything to do with it.
Based on experience, in sex-less off-year primaries such as this one, 80 percent or more of the voters opt to pass.
Flood advisories have been posted for central Burlington and western Chester Counties as two separate, almost vertically oriented, clusters of thunderstorms are hammering those areas.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has decided to place the entire region under a flood watch in effect from tomorrow morning through Wednesday night.
It is now calling for up to 4 inches of rain, and amounts at that level certainly would be enough to coax the usual-suspect streams out of their banks.
The weather may feel California-like, but allergy-sufferers probably are well aware that they are living in the vicinity of Penn's Woods.
Tree-pollen counts this morning were "extreme," according to the Asthma Center, with over 2,606 grains detected as passing through a cubic meter of air in Philadelphia during the previous 24 hours.
That's nowhere near a record, but to put that total in some perspective, it was better than 2.5 times higher than the threshold for "extreme."