You may be reading this while wearing summer-ish shorts and a T-shirt, or standing in comfortable weather in your driveway after getting your paper.
But here’s a news flash — winter’s coming.
Even though it’s only late August, school’s just getting ready to start and winter doesn’t officially start for four months, forecasters are already getting a good picture of what to expect for winter 2014-15.
And the picture has both good news and bad news.
The term “polar vortex” has crept back into the news as a mass of cooler air threatens to descend on the Great Lakes and farther south. But experts are dismissing that talk as so much, uh, hot air.
If the long-range forecasts hold true — and they often don’t — it’ll be a bit cooler than normal and you won’t have to run the air conditioner. That’s about it.
“I would shy away from using the term polar vortex,” said Tim Axford, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Pittsburgh. “Over the past six months that term has been used a lot and gotten a lot of media buzz for something that happens quite often.”
What may happen is a dip in the air currents that will send cooler air from Canada, giving us a few days of high and low temperatures about 10 degrees below normal, Mr. Axford said.
Summertime, and the livin’ is … steamy?
Welcome to Summer 2014 as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and its rival publication, the Farmers’ Almanac, forecast it.
Summer, which officially began at 6:51 a.m. today will be scorching hot and unbearably humid with thunderstorms soaking here and throughout the entire eastern section of the United States, the publications predict.
Wait. You don’t like that? Then perhaps you’d prefer the National Weather Service’s more temperate long-range prediction. Its forecast says the Pittsburgh region likely will have a typical summer for temperature and precipitation.
It might be time to put away the shovels and to prep the lawn mowers.
Spring-like weather looks to be settling into Lancaster County for the foreseeable forecast.
Starting Friday, AccuWeather’s extended forecast doesn’t show daytime temperatures falling out of the 50s for 10 days.
For today, temperatures should reach the mid-40s. Overnight Thursday, temperatures will fall back into the low-30s with winds around 10 mph.
It’s now officially spring, but more snow is on its way to the Philadelphia region.
The National Weather Service says a few inches of snow are expected to fall between Tuesday morning and early Wednesday, with most of the Philadelphia area seeing between 1.5 and 3.5 inches.
WILKES-BARRE, PA – As the saying goes, March is coming in like a lion.
Three to four inches of snow is expected in the Wyoming Valley Sunday into Monday, according to a spokesman for the National Weather Service. The storm comes on the heels of a week of bone-chilling temperatures.
A major, late-season storm could dump up to a foot of snow on us Sunday and Monday.
The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook that notes the storm likely will produce “a heavy snowfall” from late Sunday through much of Monday.
But National Weather Service forecaster Craig Evanego cautioned that the storm is a difficult one to predict.
March is the most volatile month of the year weatherwise as winter and spring duke it out.
It’s when winter transitions into spring and huge contrasts in air masses make for a nasty March cocktail. A battle zone of air masses results when lingering arctic fronts set up the dividing line between polar air colliding with spring-like milder temps. In this zone, you get massive outbreaks of severe storms and the tornado season launches, starting usually in late March and hits a peak by mid-late April.
But March in Philly has had some record snowstorms, including the infamous blizzard of 1888 when Philadelphia got smacked with 10.5 inches of snow along with winds approaching 80mph along the Jersey Shore.
And of course the very first “storm of the century” March 13-14, 1993, when we got buried with 12 inches of snow and sleet.
Feb. 26 to March 3 should be the most volatile time frame, with the best chance of more snow and temperatures at least 15-20 degrees below normal. Daytime highs in the mid 20s and overnight lows in the coldest of locations near zero. This would be for a 2-3 day time period.
Exactly how cold it will get and whether we will see another major snow storm is still questionable, but bares some watching. You know I will keep you updated.
In the meantime, you have a GREAT WEEKEND to look forward to as Saturday should see temperatures in the low 50s with sunshine.
INDICATOR: January Industrial Production and Import/Export Prices
KEY DATA: IP: -0.3%; Manufacturing: -0.8%/Imports: +0.1%; Nonfuel: +0.3%; Exports: +0.2%; Farm: -0.5%
IN A NUTSHELL: “The current economic slowdown, that hopefully can be blamed on the weather, is widespread.”
WHAT IT MEANS: January can be a cruel month and this year it is especially so. Job gains were mediocre, unemployment claims are above where we would like to see them, retail sales were pathetic and not surprisingly, manufacturers reacted by cutting back production sharply. Industrial production was off moderately in January but only because utilities had to produce massive amounts to heat our homes, offices and plants. Manufacturing output tanked as fifteen of the nineteen industry groups posted declines.
It’s a snow day for almost everyone.
With the winter storm pummeling Northeast Pennsylvania expected to continue into early Friday, schools and most government offices are shut down, and many businesses and some employers have followed suit.
Getting around is already difficult and is only going to get worse. Plows and salt trucks were prepared for a long siege. Roadways speed limits have been lowered.
COLTS announced its buses will quit running this afternoon, and most commercial bus runs to and from the area have been canceled. It’s the same at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, where most flights have been scrubbed.
So, no, there are no signs of a break in this vicious winter.
However, we will — thank goodness — miss a mega-storm this weekend, which should help in the recovery process of restoring power to many homes still in the dark.
Over the upcoming weekend, a storm system well off the coast, combined with energy racing across the upper Ohio Valley, could produce a period of snow showers from Saturday night into Sunday morning. The region is should expect light accumulation, from a possible coating in most places and up an inch or two. The most likely areas to see accumulation is coastal Cape May County, N.J., and Central and Southern Delaware.
After snow subsides early Sunday, the rest of the day will be windy and cold. Earlier in the weekend, starting Friday, temperatures will be hard pressed to crack the freezing mark.
The nine inches of snow that fell across the region Monday was just the first part of a three-part recipe for winter misery that may well last through the weekend.
If forecasters are right, you’ll wake up to three-to-six inches of snow that is forecast to fall overnight.
That forecast also calls for the snow to have been subsequently blended with sleet and topped off with an icing of ice and freezing rain.
Specifically, the area may get a quarter- to half-inch of ice from freezing rain throughout Wednesday morning, likely lasting until early afternoon, according to the National Weather Service forecasts.
Get ready for a week that will bring us snow, sleet, ice and more snow.
After up to 8 inches of snow was predicted to fall Monday, Tuesday night and early Wednesday will bring more snow and then sleet and ice.
Then the weekend will bring another storm, during a winter that already has given us well over the usual amount of snow.
Snow has been falling at rates of 1-2 inches per hour, with some places, such as northern Chester County counting 7 inches as of 11 a.m., and Horsham and Worcester in Montgomery County and West Rockhill Township in Bucks County, counting 6 inches.
Some places in Lehigh Valley are reporting 6 inches, as well.
Closer to the City of Philadelphia, Brookhaven in Delaware County, near the airport, was reporting 3.5 inches as of 10:30 a.m.
Just across the river, as of 11:15 a.m., the rain-snow line has halted, and actually in Haddonfield has changed back to some rain and sleet as that line oscillates around 10 miles south and east of the city.
The next storm will arrive later in the day Sunday. It might start as a mix, but then go all liquid on Sunday night. Northwest of Philadelphia, you could see a prolonged period of a wintry mix.
In the wake of that storm, another bitterly cold airmass will invade the region on Monday and Tuesday, and temperatures on Tuesday might actually turn out COLDER than today with highs of 10-15 degrees.
However, I will leave you with some good news. We could see milder temperatures by mid-January as the January thaw tries to kick in.
A snowstorm headed toward the Lehigh Valley will likely fall short of becoming a blizzard locally, but meteorologists are expecting heavy snow to arrive Thursday evening and Friday morning.
The National Weather Service is putting out a winter storm warning for Lehigh, Northampton and Warren counties. The three counties under the warning could face 6 to 10 inches of snow and wind gusts ranging from 15 to 25 miles an hour, according to the weather service.
Snow is expected to start around 1 p.m. in the three counties, according to the service.
The same report placed Hunterdon County under a winter storm watch, saying it could see 3 to 7 inches of snow beginning around 2 p.m.
The westbound turnpike has been shutdown between the Reading and Morgantown exchanges due to multiple vehicle accidents, according to Lancaster County Emergency Management director, Randy Gockley.
The detour route to avoid the area is as follows: Rt. 10 to Rt. 23 to Rt. 322 to Rt. 222.
Dozens of accidents were reported on the roadways this morning as snow was quickly laying on the roads.
Use caution and expect delays around the county.