Archive: May, 2012
The temperature forecast for the Memorial Day weekend has a decidedly July look, but what impresses us is the outlook for discomfortl.
Dewpoints are expected to reach the upper 60s, and with temperatures in the upper 80s, heat indices will creep toward the middle-90s.
It's a shame that the dewpoint, a measure of the absolute moisture content of the atmosphere, is so poorly understood. It is a handy way to get an instant read on discomfort, as opposed to the "relative humidity" and the heat index.
However chilly the Atlantic may be, the Shore tourism industry somehow baked into our minds years ago that Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer.
This weekend, we won't need much convincing, with July-like humidity and the temperature making a run at 90 on Monday.
After two decades of steaming summers and a long run of abnormally warm months, one could reasonably wonder if the weekend is a foretaste of the next three months.
Alberto, knighted as the season's first tropical storm at 5 p.m. Saturday by the National Hurricane Center, is swirling its way to oblivion.
The 11 a.m. hurricane-center advisory has Alberto barely qualifying for a name, with peak winds of 40 m.p.h., or 1 m.p.h. above the minimum requirement for a tropical storm.
It was off the coast near the Florida-Georgia border and heading due east without so much as a watch or warning in its wake.
We noted in today's Inquirer article that officially the first four months of the year constituted the warmest Jan. 1 through April 30 period on record in Philadelphia.
Yet again we learn that the weather in Philadelphia or any other locality is not necessarily a bellwether of what is happening worldwide.
The most recent world climate report by the National Climate Data Center states that globally those first four months were the coolest such period in four years.
That ridiculously mild winter, and the warm start to spring are having a powerful impact on seasonal fruits.
The strawberries are showing up a week earlier than usual, according to Butch Sparacio, owner of Sparacio Farms in Bridgeton, N.J. Not only that, they are huge and juicy.
"The crop is probably the best it’s been in the history of he farm," he said, and he's been around for 35 years.
During the first 30 days of March, officially 0.52 inches of rain was measured officially at the Philadelphia International Airport.
Already, Philly has picked up more rain this morning than it did in those 30 dry days, including 0.43 between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Pottstown weighed in with 0.48 for the hour.
To use a standard measure of comparison, that would be the equivalent about 5 inches of snow falling in an hour. That's been known to happen, but not in May.
The appearance of the sun today may have been startling, or at least grabbed your attention more than usual.
Through yesterday, every day this month has met the meteorological criterion for "cloudy," defined as the sky being 80 percent or better cloud-covered during daytime.
Here are the daily climate summaries for the month for Philadelphia International Airport.
Temperatures were closer to normal last month in the United States than they were in March, but worldwide April was on the warm side, according to the monthly NASA satellite report.
It was the fourth-warmest April among the 34 in the period of record, said John Christy, scientist at the University of Alabama who is a keeper of the data.
For the month the worldwide temperature was about a half-degree Fahrenheit above normal, or about 0.3 degrees warmer than April 2011.