Stormstown: A Brief History

The village that is now called Stormstown was located on one of the area’s earliest roads. Laid out in 1791-92, the road served as a main route for the shipment of Centre County iron west to Pittsburgh. First settler Abraham Elder’s tavern, on the east end of the village, was a stopping place for iron haulers. In 1812 David Storm recorded a plat of 30 lots, plus a school lot, that he named Walkerville, on the west side of present-day Municipal Lane in the middle of Stormstown. The origin of the Walker connection has not yet been tracked down. Some twenty years after Walkerville was established, Caleb Way slowly started selling off lots between Walkerville and the former site of Elder’ tavern, in an area that was briefly called Wayville. Eventually, by the time of the Civil War, the whole area was called Stormstown. The enterprises of the village included a gristmill, sawmill, distillery, tannery, wagon maker, and several craftsmen’s shops – blacksmith, weaver, potter, and chairmaker. An Easter fire in 1867 destroyed twenty-six buildings, many of which were never rebuilt.

October 2022 Weather Summary

Foliage on Bald Eagle Mountain – October 21, 2022

October was 2.7 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 74.2.4 deg. F recorded on October 6. The low for the month was 27.6 deg F, recorded on Oct 30. There were 0 days at or above 90 deg F and 6 days at or below 32 deg F. There were 495 heating degree days and 5 cooling degree days.

October was below average for precipitation with 2.05 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.41 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.06 inches recorded on October 1. There were 6 days of rain >.01 in, 3 >.10 in and 1 > 1 inch.

High wind speed of 32 mph on October 17.

October 2022 Data

Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit

Sagan’s Kit contains invaluable tools of healthy skepticism that are applicable to not just science, but to everyday life. By adopting the kit, we can all shield ourselves against clueless guile and deliberate manipulation. Sagan shared nine of these tools:

  1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”
  2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
  3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
  4. Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among “multiple working hypotheses,” has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
  5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. It’s only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don’t, others will.
  6. Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Of course there are truths to be sought in the many qualitative issues we are obliged to confront, but finding them is more challenging.
  7. If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) — not just most of them.
  8. Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.
  9. Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, and unfalsifiable are not worth much. Consider the grand idea that our Universe and everything in it is just an elementary particle — an electron, say — in a much bigger Cosmos. But if we can never acquire information from outside our Universe, is not the idea incapable of disproof? You must be able to check assertions out. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments, and see if they get the same result.


There is much confusion and misinformation about a common phenomenon in the sky known as contrails (condensation trails). They have been common ever since aircraft were able to fly at high altitudes. Some conspiracy theorists are saying they are chemtrails; part of a government plot. This is not the case. at all

Contrails over Stormstown, PA on October 6, 2022, at 8 AM EDT (12z).

There are two byproducts that result from the burning of aviation fuel, a mixture of hydrocarbons: carbon dioxide and dihydrogen monoxide (water vapor). Water vapor is what comprises a contrail.

GFS Sounding for 8 AM EDT (12z) on October 6, 2022
The red line is the temperature and the green line is the dew point.

Stormstown is near a busy airway for east-west as well as north-south traffic. The aircraft that expelled the water vapor were at roughly 30000′ ASL or roughly at the 300 millibars (hPa) level. From the sounding (above) made at the same time as the photograph, the temperature at that height is less than -40 deg C or -40 deg F. Under those conditions, any moisture would condense as ice particles which form the contrails. The contrails persisted and became cirrostratus clouds due to the fact that the air temperature was close to the dew point, close to saturation, at that level.

September 2022 Weather Summary

September was 0.2 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 83.0 deg. F recorded on September 4. The low for the month was 37.3 deg F, recorded on September 30. There were 0 days at or above 90 deg F and 0 days at or below 32 deg F. There were 142 heating degree days and 83 cooling degree days.

September had 3.74 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.21 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.77 inches recorded on September 5. There were 12 days of rain >.01 in, 8 >.10 in and 0 > 1 in. There was enough rainfall to end the moderate drought conditions in Pennsylvania except for a small area in the southeast part of the commonwealth.

High wind speed of 14 mph on September 1.

September 2022 Data

Dog Ear Protection

Some dogs do not react well to the sounds of thunder and fireworks. This is true of our male terriers: Toby a Scottish Terrier, and Tripper, a West Highland Terrier. Tripper also doesn’t like the sounds from the TV during football games. We think it’s the official’s whistles and the crowd noises.

My wife, Marla, decided to try baby ear protectors. She put them on Tripper before a football game (see below), and he napped through some of the game.

Tripper models his ear protection.

Marla got another pair of ear protectors and put them them on Toby and Tripper during a thunderstorm. That seemed to work as well. They both napped during the thunderstorm.

9/11 Artifacts

On September 6, 2022, a local chapter of The U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club escorted some artifacts recovered from the rubble at Ground Zero in NYC. They were escorted from The Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA, to The Port Matilda, PA, American Legion hall. A private collector had these items, and they were not available to seen by the public, until recently. The artifacts are pictured below.

This flag was flown in the “bathtub” area at Ground Zero as workers secured the wall to prevent flooding from The Hudson River.
Sign from the 110th Floor/Stairway A – WTC Tower Unknown
Sign from the 49th Floor/Stairway B – WTC Tower Unknown
Port Authority helmet recovered from the WTC rubble.
Cross made from WTC steel.

Summary 0f Summer 2022

Meteorological Summer is officially over. Here is a brief summary of June 1-August 31 in Stormstown, PA:

Number of days Max T >= 90 F: 4

Max T: 92.6 F – June 22, 2022

Min T: 44.9 F – August 13, 2022

Jun Dep from Normal: 0.1

Jul Dep from Normal: 0.8 F

Aug Dep from Normal: 0.6 F

Heating Degree Days: 137

Cooling Degree Days: 668

Jun Precip: 3.40″, 0.69″ below normal  

Jul Precip: 2.02″, 1.77″ below normal  

Aug Precip: 3.20″, 0.96″ below normal  

The main event of the summer was the abnormally dry conditions that developed.

August 2022 Weather Summary

August was 0.6 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 89.7 deg. F recorded on August 8. The low for the month was 44.9 deg F, recorded on August 13. There were 0 days at or above 90 deg F. There were 36 heating degree days and 222 cooling degree days.

August was a below-normal month for precipitation with 3.20 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.96 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.82 inches recorded on August 21. There were 13 days of rain >.01 in, 8 >.10 in, and 0 >1 in.

High wind speed of 26 mph on August 8.

August 2022 Data

Trisha Update

Trisha – December 16, 2021
Trisha – August 8, 2022

It’s been nearly 8 months since we brought our rescue Scotty, Trisha, home. She’s come a long way in that time and has come out of her shell. She can be impish with us and our other dogs. She loves belly rubs and running in the back yard. She also enjoys going on walks to explore. She’s warmed up to our friends but can still be shy around strangers. Her coat has also become darker. She knows she hit the lottery.

July 2022 Weather Summary

July was 0.8 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 91.2 deg. F recorded on July 23. The low for the month was 50.0 deg F, recorded on July 4. There were 3 days day at or above 90 deg F. There were 27 heating degree days and 275 cooling degree days.

July was a below-normal month for precipitation with 2.02 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.77 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.46 inches recorded on July 7. There were 8 days of rain >.01 in, 6 >.10 in, and 0 >1 in.

High wind speed of 26 mph on July 23.

July 2022 Data