Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Archive: August, 2010

POSTED: Friday, August 20, 2010, 5:13 PM

It is no longer a question of whether this will be Philadelphia's hottest summer; it's just a matter of degrees.

Through yesterday, the official average temperature at Philadelphia International Airport since June 1 stood at 80.1.

Since record-keeping began in 1874, the reigning warm king for the June 1-Aug. 31 meteorological summer is 1995, which finished at 78.6.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 3:58 PM

Bill Gray, the Colorado State University legend who was among the first to try his hand at long-range hurricane forecasting, once remarked that he had had a bell in his office that he would always ring on Aug. 20.

Why? In the Atlantic Basin tropical-storm season, that typically was the date "when things really get going," Gray said.

Gray and colleague Philip Klotzbach were among those who predicted that this would be a monster season, with the total way-above average numbers of tropical storms, those with winds of 39 m.p.h. or better, and hurricanes, with winds of at least 74 m.p.h.

POSTED: Monday, August 16, 2010, 4:39 PM

Without so much as the hoisting of a heat advisory, today rather quietly has turned out be on the most-oppressive of the summer.

The official temperature at Philadelphia International Airport has reached 92, making this the 43rd day of the year with 90-plus temperatures. That's 10 short of the record.

What is more impressive than the temperature, however, is the dewpoint, which is a measure of the absolute water-vapor content of the air.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 11:22 AM

To paraphrase songwriter John Sebastian, this season it's a pity that the days have been like the nights in the summer, in the city.

The overnight today didn't get below 79, and through the first 71 days of the meteorological summer that began June 1, the daily "lows" are an all-time high, averaging 70.9.

Barring a change that so far hasn't shown up in the extended outlooks, the daily minimums are going to torch another record.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 4:00 PM

June and July constituted the second-warmest such period in Philadelphia since recordkeeping began in 1874, and the latest power numbers indicate how widespread this summer's heat has been.

Power use in June and July was up 16 percent over last year in the 13 states in the PJM Interconnection, and set all-time records in both months.

Granted, people are using more electricity these days when air-conditioning is all but ubiquitous, but still that's impressive.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 10:06 AM

Upon returning from vacation we were surprised to find that some of the lawns appeared to be making hay.Also, the first mowing episode revealed no serious wood obstacles on the ground, a sure sign of the absence of tree-wrecking storms.  

Rain has become mighty scarce around here. Since July 22, a mere four-hundreths of an inch has been measured at Philadelphia International Airport.

During that period, only three days have been classified as cloudy. It's no wonder the grass is turning brown and the first brittle leaves are littering the landscape.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 9:49 AM

This is certain to become the 41st day of the year in which the official Philadelphia temperature hits 90 or better, and the record for 90-plus days, 53, is no longer out of reach.

Also, barring late-month surges of cool air from the Hudson Bay area, the summer of 2010 is going to be the hottest ever for the June 1-Aug. 31 period.

One aspect of the summer that evidently has kept it from being an urban-mortality disaster is the fact that the heat has been broken up from time to time, and that's about to happen again.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 4, 2010, 11:40 AM

Despite all those scary forecasts, so far only three name-worthy tropical storms have formed this hurricane season, and that may be overstating the career of Colin.

Still, in their update released this morning, the Colorado State University forecasters are sticking with their call for a hyper-active season.

In June, the forecasters, Bill Gray and Philip Klotzbach, called for 18 named storms -- those with winds of at least 39 m.p.h. -- in the Atlantic Basin. This morning, they announced they're sticking with 18. The average is about 10.

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

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
Also on
Stay Connected