February 22, 2015 |
After the most frigid Feb. 20 on record, nature might add a serious frosting to one of the harshest late-season cold spells since the government began keeping track of the weather in the 1870s. The National Weather Service late Friday posted a winter-storm watch for the entire region, for snowfall of up to six inches Saturday afternoon into Sunday night. On Friday, the official thermometer at Philadelphia International Airport never made it past 18 - the first time since 1896 that the high failed to reach 20 on a Feb. 20. The morning low, 2, missed the record by one degree, but the daily average temperature of 10 beat the previous coldest Feb. 20 - the aforementioned 1896 - by a full four degrees.
February 21, 2015 |
The region braced Thursday for what in all likelihood would be its most frigid Feb. 20 in 141 years of record-keeping, the latest in a cold spell that has iced waterways, shut schools, and already been blamed in at least six deaths. Temperatures are expected to flirt with zero Friday morning, and forecasters say they won't get out of the teens in the afternoon, something that has not happened since 1893. (The high that day was 19, the low 9.) Wind-chill readings will be as low as 15 below zero, the National Weather Service warned.
February 16, 2015 |
The strange winter of 2014-15 is about to take a harsher turn, with meteorologists warning of snow squalls, a siege of power-line-downing winds, and some of the lowest temperatures in more than 20 years. The National Weather Service has issued a "high-wind watch" for sustained winds of about 30 m.p.h. for 12 hours Saturday night into Sunday, and gusts up to 60 m.p.h., the backlash from yet another in a sequence of storms off the coast. Snow squalls are expected Saturday and Sunday night, with a few inches possible, but the big snows, perhaps 6 to 12 inches, are destined for snow-buried Massachusetts, the continuation of what meteorologists are calling an amazingly relentless pattern.
January 29, 2015 |
Meteorologically, the forecasts didn't miss by much. Just enough to affect the lives of tens of millions of people in one of the nation's densest population corridors. How a forecast of one to two feet of snow for the Philadelphia region shrank into an actual snowfall of one to two inches will be the subject of intensive reviews, government officials promised Tuesday. But in essence, the forecast computer models got into a 48-hour food fight, and generally the weather forecasters sided with the most trusted one, operated by the European Union.
January 26, 2015 |
After Saturday's snowfall, there is Monday to contend with. Snowfall Saturday ranged from a dusting in much of Camden and Gloucester Counties to 7 inches in West Rockhill Township, Bucks County, according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly. Many areas saw sleet, rain, and freezing rain. Heavier snow fell in the Lehigh Valley. Another snowstorm is expected to start late Sunday night with a potential of dumping an additional 2 to 3 inches on the region into Monday night.
January 22, 2015 |
Schools closed early, and after Sunday morning's debacle, the region's road crews were poised for an all-out battle with nature. Yet even as meteorologists warned of another storm threat for the weekend, with a potential nor'easter, Wednesday's snowfall totals were less than expected, and the forecasts evidently had more impact than the actual weather. In anticipation of an expected two to three inches of snow, several school districts decided to close early. By early evening, no major problems had been reported, though state police in Avondale said several accidents had occurred in southern Chester County, where the snowfall was a bit more robust.
January 20, 2015 |
Three people died and dozens were injured Sunday - in big multicar crashes and countless smaller accidents - as rain splashing onto frozen asphalt coated highways with a thin, dangerous layer of ice. One wreck on Interstate 76 involved 60 cars and trucks. Another, on I-476 in Marple Township, smashed up a dozen vehicles after a tractor-trailer jackknifed. Hospitals across the region were busy treating people injured in wrecks - and pedestrians who broke bones when they fell on icy sidewalks.
January 5, 2015 |
Matt Jenkins is still thinking about last winter. The 26-year tree-service veteran saw crushed homes, smashed vehicles, and a lot of property damage after February's epic ice storm. "It seems like it took us all year to get everybody cleaned up that had damage in our specific area," said Jenkins, owner of Top Notch Tree Service in Downingtown, Chester County. For the rest of the year, he saw about a 20 percent hike in business from customers looking for preventive tree work, he said.
July 28, 2014 |
The Madeline doll remains in the basement of the Rossi home, a haunting memory of the night of the "gray snow," when a devastating weather event - perhaps unprecedented in the region - wrought tragedy in a Montgomery County housing development. Late on the night of July 27, 1994, a potent tornado, with winds perhaps topping 200 m.p.h., tore through the "Hamlet" neighborhood in Limerick Township, killing Laura Petersen and her husband, Daniel Thompson III, both 28, and their 11-month-old daughter, Mikhela.