Archive: July, 2013
In the summer outlooks, no one mentioned the potential for record rains, but evidently the calls for a break from the elite heat of recent summers are going to end up being about right.
After a long and tedious steamy period that took hold on the Fourth of July, and a record run of warm overnights, today will mark the eighth consecutive day of below-normal temperatures in Philadelphia.
That would be the longest such stretch since the one that ended way back on March 30, when the Phillies still had hope.
What impressed us most about the wettest day in Philadelphia in 142 years of recordkeeping was the rapidity with which it all happened.
Of the 8.02 inches of rain measured in the 24-hour period, 7.35 of that fell just between 3 and 7 p.m. That, alone, was a respectable-rainstorm better than the 6.63 inches wrung out from the remnants of Hurricane Floyd, on Sept. 16, 1999.
Floyd, you might recall, was a region-wide disaster, and the airport total that day didn't approach the double-digit totals reported elsewhere.
With its forecast updates, the National Weather Service has issued a "hazardous weather outlook" for the potential of thunderstorm downpours for Thursday.
Naturally, the weather service cautions that this far out, it is impossible to say precisely where any storms would focus their energies.
For now, the Thursday outlook contains the benign wording: "New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch," but it also includes that rather menacing disclaimer, "except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms."
The changes are subtle, but WSI Corp., a private outfit in Massachusetts, is trimming its hurricane outlook numbers.
Citing cooler-than expected sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic, WSI now is calling for eight hurricanes, those with winds of at least 74 m.p.h., with three of those becoming "major," with peak sustained winds of at least 111 m.p.h.
Todd Crawford, WSI's meteorologist, says that an El Nino, an anomalous warming in the tropical Pacific that can have a dampening effect on Atlantic hurricanes, could develop.
The string of calendar days in which the temperature failed to get below 70 degrees officially in Philadelphia finally ended at 30 yesterday.
That topped the reocrd of 26 that was set back in 1876, when the official temperatures were measured downtown. The Philadelphia International Airport station has its own heat-island issues, but such consistent overnight warmth ranks as impressive, not to mention expensive for energy consumers.
The low reading we've seen so far today, 63, would be the lowest temperature in Philly since June 22. We probably all forgot that the meteorological summer got off to a cool start.
Almost 7 inches of rain was reported in Eastampton, Burlington County from yesterday afternoon into this morning, with 6.25 measured at the National Weather Service forecast office in Mount Holly.
On the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware, the amounts weren't as prodigious, but lightning strikes knocked out power to 36,000 PECO customers, according to PECO spokesman Greg Smore.
More trouble is possible from midafternoon into this evening as yet another disturbance crosses the region, setting up the potential for further rounds of heavy rain.
The overnight downpours that poured out over a half-foot of rain on parts of Burlington County also helped Philadelphia set yet another rain record.
Adding what fell during the day, officially 3.05 inches has been measured at Philadelphia International Airport, a record for the date.
Precipitation records for Philadelphia are among the oldest in the nation, dating to 1872, and today's rains broke the mark set in 1887, 2.75 inches.
As we reported on inquirer.com (today's promo code is N38A), today is going to set a daily record for overnight warmth with a low temperature that reads more like a high -- 81.
The record-high minimum for a July 19 is 78. Tony Gigi at the National Weather Service iin Mount Holly would be apt to call this a "cheap record" since in a sense it's low-hanging fruit.
The record for a July 15 is 81; it's 80 on the 16th, and 80 on the 18th. What that suggests to us is that we haven't seen all the weather there is.