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.

2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season has officially ended. Although all of the official names were used, four of those storms were short-lived or extratropical, and, in my humble opinion, should not have been named (Ana, Odette, Teresa, Wanda). There were officially 21 named storms, but there were really just 17. There were 7 hurricanes of which 4 were major. One of those, Ida, made landfall in the U.S. None of the storms exceeded Category 4. Ida and Sam were the strongest this year at Category 4. The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for the season was lower than 2020.

Summary of Autumn 2021

Meteorological Autumn is officially over. Here is a brief summary of September 1-November 30 in Stormstown, PA:  

Number of days Max T >= 90 F: 0

Number of Days Max T <= 32 F: 0

Number of Days Min T <= 32 F: 20

Max T: 85.7 F – September 18, 2021

Min T: 20.2 F – November 24, 2021

Sep Dep from Normal: 1.4 F

Oct Dep from Normal: 6.4 F

Nov Dep from Normal: -2.6 F

Heating Degree Days: 1146

Cooling Degree Days: 120

Sep Precip: 6.82″, 2.84″ above normal

Oct Precip: 3.40″, 0.06″ above normal

Nov Precip: 1.45″, 1.79″ below normal

November 2021 Weather Summary

November was 2.6 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 69.0 deg. F, recorded on November 9. The low for the month was 20.2 deg F, recorded on November 24. There were 20 days at or below 32 F and 0 days when the maximum temperature was at or below 32 F. There were 774 heating degree days and 1 cooling degree day.

November was a below-normal month for precipitation with 1.45 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.79 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.96 inches recorded on November 12. There were 9 days of rain >.01 in, 2 >.10 in and 0 > 1 in. There was also 1.2 inches of snow this month.

High wind speed of 37 mph on November 26.

November 2021 Data

October 2021 Weather Summary

Foliage on Bald Eagle Mountain in Halfmoon Twp. – November 1, 2021

October was 6.4 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 79.4 deg. F recorded on October 15. The low for the month was 36.2 deg F, recorded on Oct 24. There were 0 days at or above 90 deg F and 0 days at or below 32 deg F. There were 252 heating degree days and 28 cooling degree days.

October was above average for precipitation with 3.40 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.06 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.23 inches recorded on October 29. There were 15 days of rain >.01 in, 8 >.10 in and 1 > 1 inch.

High wind speed of 31 mph on October 26.

October 2021 Data

September 2021 Weather Summary

September was 1.4 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 85.7 deg. F recorded on September 18. The low for the month was 42.1 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 120 heating degree days and 91 cooling degree days.

September had 6.82 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 2.84 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.96 inches recorded on September 1. There were 8 days of rain >.01 in, 8 >.10 in and 3 > 1 in.

High wind speed of 28 mph on September 28.

September 2021 Data

Summary 0f Summer 2021

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: 7

Max T: 92.3 F – August 12, 2021

Min T: 41.4 F – June 23, 2021

Jun Dep from Normal: 1.0

Jul Dep from Normal: -0.4 F

Aug Dep from Normal: 1.8 F

Heating Degree Days: 117

Cooling Degree Days: 657

Jun Precip: 6.42″, 2.56″ above normal  

Jul Precip: 3.08″, 0.38″ below normal  

Aug Precip: 5.02″, 0.88″ above normal  

The main event of the summer were the passage of the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred, on August 18, which yielded 2.26 inches of rainfall.

August 2021 Weather Summary

August was 1.8 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 92.3 deg. F recorded on August 12. The low for the month was 48.8 deg F, recorded on August 3. There were 4 days at or above 90 deg F. There were 22 heating degree days and 245 cooling degree days.

August was an above normal month for precipitation with 5.02 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.88 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 2.26 inches recorded on August 18 (the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred). There were 15 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.10 in and 1 >1 in.

High wind speed of 37 mph on August 12

August 2021 Data

PA 550 Speed Limit

Someone has set up a petition on change.org to increase the speed limit on PA 550 to 55 m.p.h. The petition states:

“The speed limit on PA route 550 south is too low and should be increased to 55mph. A large portion of motorists already consistently drive over 50mph on 550 daily and by increasing the speed limit the road would be made safer as the speed limit would more closely resemble the speed motorists actually travel on the road. This would also likely eliminate most tailgating and strings of traffic behind someone going ‘exactly 45 THE WHOLE WAY DOWN 550.’”

As of this posting, 22 people have signed the petition.

PA 550 is a rural highway that runs from Zion, PA to near Tyrone, PA. The petition does not state which section of the highway it is addressing, or mention that the current posted speed limits are not consistent along its length (35 m.p.h. in Stormstown, 25 m.p.h. in Bellefonte, and above 45 in Huntingdon County). Nor does it mention the no passing zones for much of its length, the limited sight distances, sharp curves, the presence of slow moving farm equipment, or wildlife crossing the highway.

The argument stated in the petition is a logical fallacy. Just because “everyone” is exceeding the speed limit is not a valid argument for increasing it. As stated above there are too many potential hazards to warrant an increase to 55 mph.

July 2021 Weather Summary

July was 0.4 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 91.8 deg. F recorded on July 7. The low for the month was 49.6 deg F, recorded on July 31. There was a single day at or above 90 deg F! There were 32 heating degree days and 224 cooling degree days.

July was a below normal month for precipitation with 3.08 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.38 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.69 inches recorded on July 7. There were 12 days of rain >.01 in, 7 >.10 in and 0 >1 in.

High wind speed of 43 mph on July 7.

July 2021 Data

Western Pennsylvania Traffic Net Update

The National Traffic System (NTS) is an organized network of amateur radio operators sponsored by the American Radio Relay League for the purpose of relaying messages throughout The United States and Canada. It has evolved from a collection of stations using Morse Code to an expanded system using Morse Code, voice and digital modes.

Amateur radio operators send hundreds of messages each month using the phone and digital modes, during different conditions: summer heat, ice storms, rain, wind, etc. Normally, the messages are routine greetings (“Happy birthday Aunt Mary”) to keep the NTS operators active and well practiced in the event they are needed. When there is an emergency or disaster, The NTS works closely with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to provide emergency communications. The most common type of disaster-related messages are “health and welfare” inquiries and notifications into and out of the area affected by a disaster. In a time of disaster, it is easy to expand the system by simply creating additional meeting times for the nets with high volume, or by setting up a specific “trunk line” between two points. One such trunk line system is known as Hamshack Hotline. It is a network of phones, connected to The Internet, using voice over Internet protocol (VOIP).

In order to be better prepared, my fellow operators and I would appreciate messages of 25 words or less. All that is needed is the message, a phone number and/or email address, plus the destination town and state. A street address is optional. You may initiate a message by sending the required information to wx2dx@arrl.net.

The Western Pennsylvania Phone and Traffic Net meets daily on 3.918 MHz LSB at 2200 UTC and will begin meeting at 2130 UTC on August 1, 2021.

I regularly check into the Digital Traffic Network (DTN) hub, and into WinLink, to send and retrieve NTS messages.