Archive: August, 2011
The final numbers won't be in until after midnight, but the summer of 2011 appears to be the fifth-warmest in Philadelphia's 138-year period of record, with an average temperature of 78.
Tha'ts based on the preliminary math by Mark DeLisi, the climatologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
DeLisi also notes that nine of the 10 warmest summers have occurred since 1991, and he is certain that's more than coincidence.
Just returned from vacation, we still are doing double-takes at the August rainfall totals, and we are almost equally surprised to see that parts of the region are still in a drought advisory on the current drought map.
The final rainfall totals for August are stunning. Philadelphia's 19.3 inches make it the soggiest month in 138 years of records.
It beat the old record, set in September 1999 - remember Floyd? --by better than half a foot.
The 2011 tropical-storm season is off to a brisk start, with Emily, the season's fifth named storm, due to have a close encounter with the Florida coast this weekend.
Usually, the fifth one doesn't show up until Aug. 31.
It is now all but certain that this will be an above-normal season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today.
This morning broke dismally with drizzle and leftover drizzle, but it's been awhile since gloom was so welcomed.
Officially, the 1.62 inches measured at Philadelphia International Airport represented the heaviest rain since April 16. Heavier dowpours had fallen elsewhere, but spring and summer rains are notoriously capricious.
It appears that another substantial rain is on the horizon for the weekend, but it may be too late to stave off a drought watch in Pennsylvania.
Loyal readers have been aware that July would enter the books as the warmest month in 138 years of recordkeeping in Philadelphia.
Now, it's official. The National Weather Service posted the numbers this afternoon, and just as we had estimated, the July average came in at 82.4, beating 1994 by 0.3 degrees.
Not only was that the warmest July ever, it was the warmest month. That makes sense, since solar heating usually peaks in July.
Strong thunderstorms are roaring through parts of the region, causing rush-hour headaches in Montgomery County.
A storm knocked out power to traffic lights in West Norriton, and fallen trees blocked roads in Norristown and Lower Merion Township.
Officially, the National Weather Service reported a 60 m.p.h. gust at Philadelphia International Airport, where the 6 p.m. observation read: "Heavy rain with thunder, small hail, and/or snow pellets.
The period of official temperature records in Philadelphia cover 1,651 months dating to 1874.
And as noted in our online story, among of all of them, July 2011 was the warmest ever, with an average temperature of 82.3.
Although the solar energy peaks with the summer solstice, July historically is the hottest month because it takes awhile for that peak energy to take effect.