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Archive: April, 2013

POSTED: Saturday, April 27, 2013, 1:36 PM

Back on April 27, 1967, 0.1 inches of snow was measured at Philadelphia International Airport, settting a record for the latest measurable snowfall ever in the city.

With the temperature at 64 at 1 p.m. at the airport on a positively splended late-April afternoon, we are prepared to go out on a limb and say that the 1967 standard has withstood any challenge from the winter of 2012-13.

We'll go out on that limb further and declare that the official total for the season has come in at 8.3 inches and that this marks the fifth time in the period of record dating to the winter of 1887-88 that snowfall totals have finished under 10 inches in back-to-back season.

POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013, 11:46 AM

From Cape Hatteras to Maine, Atlantic sea-surface temperatures along the coast warmed dramatically last year, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Admiinistiration.

The agency's Northeast Fisheries Science Center computed a late-summer peak temperature of 57.2 degrees for the Midatlantic-coastal region, known as the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem.

That represented the highest such reading in the period of recordkeeping, dating to 1854, NOAA said.

POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013, 11:20 AM

We know from experience that weather can be taxing, and for decades, to various degrees U.S. taxpayers have been paying the bills for weather mayhem, accepting them as a cost of doing business with the atmosphere.

Yet we haven’t quite seen the likes of what’s going on in Maryland, where a so-called “rain tax” has set off a storms of protests. For example, see this essay by developer and commentator Blair Lee.

Starting July 1, several Maryland counties will be assessing fees under the state’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. Here is the state's fact sheet on the program.

POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013, 9:36 AM

As reported, the government says that a hiring freeze imposed last month isn't enough: It will have to find ways to cut more costs at the National Weather Service.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said that it might have to furlough all 12,000-plus NOAA employees, including those who work for the weather service, for four days between July 1 and Sept. 30 -- just in time for hurricane season.

The furloughs wouldn't be haphazard, according to NOAA spokesperson Ciaran Clayton, who stated:: "We are working to ensure that furloughs would be managed managed carefully to insure that adequate coverage is maintained be staggered."

POSTED: Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 11:47 AM

Given the recent performances, we are wary of putting much stake in any seasonal outlook, but as a public service on a gray day we offer a somewhat positive forecast, or at least a cooler one.

The summer of 2013 won't be as punishing as the previous three, according to the outlook released this morning by Weather Services Inc., a forecasting service in Massachusetts.

With generous spring rains expected from the Plains eastward, drought conditions should be pushed westward, according to WSI meteorologist Todd Crawford.

POSTED: Friday, April 19, 2013, 6:12 PM

At last look on radar, that strong line of storms marching across Pennsylvania still appeared to be a few hours away, although the skies are looking more ominous.

It's possible that the Phillies will be able to get tonight's game with the St. Louis Cardinals under way, but if you're going to Citizens Bank Park, take a poncho, a book, and a lightning rod if you have one handy.

A tornado watch remains in effect until 11 p.m. in Chester County, and the Storm Prediction Center has the rest of the region in the "slight risk" zone for severe weather.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 3:19 PM

Between July 1 and Sept. 30 -- coinciding with the peak of the hurricane season -- all National Weather Service forecasters and all other employees could be forced to take four days off without pay.

That warning came down late yesterday via email from Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA's interm director.

She said that the hiring freeze imposed on March 27 by the National Oceanic and Atmopsheric Administration wasn't enough to counter the pain of sequestration, and that the furloughs would be NOAA-wide.

POSTED: Monday, April 15, 2013, 12:21 PM

Sea surface temperatures in much of the tropical Atlantic are averaging 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, and forecasters warn that could spell trouble when the tropical-storm season gets under way,

Meteorologists at WSI Corp., a private service in Massachusetts, and Colorado State University have issued outlooks that look ominously similar.

WSI sees a total of 16 named storms - those with winds of 39 m.p.h. or better -- nine of those become hurricanes, with winds of at least 74 m.p.h., and five of them "major," or with peak winds of 111 m.p.h. or more

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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