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. – See more at: http://www.centrehistory.org/abcs-of-centre-county/#sthash.RLS2TFw7.dpuf

April 2020 Weather Summary

April was 3.1 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 69.8 F, recorded on April 8. The low for the month was 24.2 deg F, recorded on April 17. There were 7 days at or below 32 F. There were 557 heating degree days and 1 cooling degree day.

April was an above-normal month for precipitation with 5.06 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.67 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.34 inches recorded on April 30. There were 15 days of rain >.01 in, 10 >.10 in and 1 > 1 in.

It snowed two inches on April 18, which had all but melted by the end of the following day.

High wind speed of 42 mph on April 10.

One kind reader remarked that this April seemed to be windier than usual. Here are the wind data for April during the past 5 years (2016-2020):

Year Wind Run (mi) Avg (mph) High (mph)
2016 2850 4.0 43
2017 3200 4.4 38
2018 3500 4.8 53
2019 3050 4.2 45
2020 3350 4.7 42

Wind run is the total distance of the traveled wind over a period of time.

April Wind RunBy any measure, April 2018 was the windiest during the past 5 years.

 

April 2020 Data

Outlook for April 2020

2020 Spring SET

Today was the 2020 Spring Simulated Emergency Test (SET) amateur radio network in western Pennsylvania. The SET is a training exercise involving the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS), a message-handling service of amateur radio.  Its primary purposes are to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in emergency preparedness and communications and to demonstrate amateur radio to the public.

My simulated position was at The Grays Woods Elementary School Emergency Shelter. However, I was actually operating from my home VHF/UHF and HF base stations. We were all sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was mainly operating on 75 meters using the Olivia digital mode.

We were sending formal formatted messages to net control. I sent three pieces of traffic containing shelter status. However, it got a bit silly at the end of the exercise. There was a message announcing the touch down of a tornado west of Pine Grove Mills in The PSU Ag fields. Then there was a voice message concerning a hungry elephant found in a closet at Juniper Village.

March 2020 Weather Summary

March was 6.6 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 72.5 deg. F, recorded on March 20. The low for the month was 22.1 deg F, recorded on March 1. There were 10 days at or below 32 F. There were 657 heating degree days and 0 cooling degree days.

March was an above-normal month for precipitation with 5.26 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.71 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.78 inches recorded on March 28. There were 19 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.10 in and 1 > 1 in.

High wind speed of 47 mph on March 3.

March 2020 Data

Outlook for April 2020

UV Index

Astronomical Spring begins on March 19. In addition to blooming trees and plants, the UV index is rising above the threshold where sunburn becomes an issue. My weather station has a UV sensor and I have already observed an increase in the UV index above the value of 2.UV Index 2020 When the UV index exceeds 2, skin and eye damage is possible. Suncreen with an SPF value of at least 30 should be applied. Stay in the shade if possible and wear a hat and wear sunglasses.

UV - Copy
The increased UV radiation does have some benefit. Your skin makes vitamin D naturally when it is exposed to UV rays from the sun. Vitamin D has many health benefits. It might even help lower the risk of some cancers. At this time, doctors aren’t sure what the optimal level of vitamin D is, but a lot of research is being done in this area. However, it’s better to get vitamin D from your diet or vitamin supplements rather than from exposure to UV rays. Dietary sources and vitamin supplements do not increase skin cancer risk, and are typically more reliable ways to get the amount you need.

More Antenna Woes

Being an amateur radio operator, I occasionally have to deal with equipment maintenance issues. I first noticed the problem when I found it difficult to communicate with several nearby VHF/UHF repeaters. Then, I noticed that my HF radio would not tune on 75 meters. I checked on all of my indoor cables and found no problems, so I ventured outside and noticed the following significant damage to my amateur radio antenna system.

Apparently, an animal had chewed through my VHF/UHF feed line. My dogs didn’t do it because it was outside of the fence.

There was also damage to the HF ladder line feed to my G5RV antenna. There were many visible tooth marks. The coax around the balun was destroyed. These components we’re well outside of the fence.

I used an auxiliary feed as a temporary fix for my VHF/UHF Yagi. I needed to obtain a new G5RV antenna.

Update: 3/4/2020
I installed a new G5RV antenna today. I also cleaned the corrosion from my feed line connectors at the balun. I was able to tune up on 75 meters.

February 2020 Weather Summary

February was 5.5 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 62.4 deg. F, recorded on February 3. The low for the month was 5.6 deg F, recorded on February 15. There were 19 days at or below 32 F and 3 days when the maximum temperature was at or below 32 F. There were 873 heating degree days and 0 cooling degree days.

February was an above-normal month for precipitation with 2.87 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.60 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.54 inches recorded on February 17. There were 14 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.10 in and 0 > 1 in.

High wind speed of 40 mph on February 27.

February 2020 Data

Outlook for March 2020

Summary of Winter 2019-2020

Meteorological Winter is officially over. Here is a brief summary of December 1, 2019-February 29, 2020 in Stormstown, PA:

Number of Days Max T <= 32 F: 10
Number of Days Min T <= 32 F: 65
Number of Days Min T <= 0 F: 0
Max T: 64.2 F – January 11, 2020
Min T: 5.6 F – February 15, 2020
Dec Dep from Normal: 1.8 F
Jan Dep from Normal: 5.1 F
Feb Dep from Normal: 5.5 F
Heating Degree Days: 2832
Cooling Degree Days: 0
Dec Precip: 2.69″, 0.44″ below normal
Jan Precip: 2.04″, 1.07″ below normal
Feb Precip: 2.87″, 0.60″ above normal
The outlook for Spring 2020:

January 2020 Weather Summary

January was 5.1 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 64.2 deg. F, recorded on January 11. The low for the month was 9.1 deg F, recorded on January 21. There were 23 days at or below 32 F and 4 days when the maximum temperature was at or below 32 F. There were 986 heating degree days and 0 cooling degree days.

January was a below-normal month for precipitation with 2.04 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.07 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.55 inches recorded on January 25. There were 14 days of rain >.01 in, 6 >.10 in and 0 > 1 in.

High wind speed of 43 mph on January 8.

January 2020 Data

Outlook for February 2020

December 2019 Weather Summary

December was 1.8 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 56.9 deg. F, recorded on December 23. The low for the month was 12.3 deg F, recorded on December 20. There were 23 days at or below 32 F and 3 days when the maximum temperature was at or below 32 F. There were 973 heating degree days and 0 cooling degree days.

December was a below-normal month for precipitation with 2.69 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.44 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.71 inches recorded on December 9. There were 12 days of rain >.01 in, 7 >.10 in and 0 > 1 in.

High wind speed of 34 mph on December 18.

December 2019 Data

Outlook for January 2020

2019 Stormstown Weather Summary

2019 Weather Data

Overall, the year’s temperatures were normal. The annual mean of  50.6 F was just 0.4 F above normal. The record annual precipitation of 38.03 inches was 2.67 inches below normal.

January

January was the coldest month of 2019 with a monthly mean of 26.2 F, which was 1.9 F below normal, with a high of 58 F and a low for the month and year of -9 F. Precipitation was 1.79 inches below normal with 1.32 inches of liquid precipitation. Eight inches of snow fell during January 19-20. There was some ice accumulation on January 8.

P1030912

We were also treated to a total lunar eclipse on January 20.

February

February was warmer with temperatures at 1.9 F above normal. The high was 58 F and the low was -3 F. Precipitation was 0.49 inches above normal at 2.76 inches. The high wind speed for the month and year was 58 mph, recorded on February 24. Snowfall on February 11.

March

March temperatures were below normal with a high of 70 F and a low of 7 F. Precipitation was 1.8 inches below normal with 1.75 inches of liquid precipitation.

April

Temperatures were 1.9 F above normal in April. The high was 74 F and the low was 22 F. Rainfall was 0.85 inches above normal at 4.24 inches. The last day of temperatures below freezing was April 29.

May

Temperatures were about 3 F above normal with a high of 84 F and a low of 40 F.  Precipitation was 7.15 inches; about 3.92 inches above normal.

June

Temperatures for the month were about 1 F below normal. The high was 90 F and the low was 38 F. Precipitation was above normal with 4.18 inches of rainfall.

July

July was the warmest month of the year. The temperatures were 2 F above normal. The high for the month and year was 94 F and the low was 52 F. Rainfall was 1.61 inches below normal with 1.85 inches of precipitation.

August

The month’s temperatures were 1 F below normal. The high was 90 F and the low was 47 F. Precipitation was 0.72 inches below normal at 3.42 inches.

IMG_0942

A severe thunderstorm on August 18 caused some minor to moderate damage in the area with downed trees and power lines. There was also pea-sized hail and heavy rain as high as 10 in/hr. The maximum wind speed was 36 mph, the temperature dropped 22 F, and the total rainfall was 1.35 inches.

September

Temperatures were 2 F above normal this month. The high was 90 F and the low was 42 F. It was also a relatively dry month with 2.22 inches of rainfall. This was 1.76 inches below normal.

October

October was warmer at 2.2 F above normal. The high was 88 F and the low was 30 F. The first day with below-freezing temperatures was October 19. Rainfall was above normal at 5.42 inches, which was 2.08 inches above normal.

November

Temperatures began to drop in November and were 4.5 F below normal. The high was 61 F and the low was 18 F. Precipitation was 1.03 inches, 2.21 inches below normal. The first significant snowfall was recorded on November 24.

December

The temperatures were 1.8 F above normal. The high was 57 F and the low was 12 F. Precipitation was 0.44 inches below normal at 2.69 inches.

P1040356

Snow was recorded on December 2.

img_1212

An ice storm was observed on December 17.

2019 Insolation
2019 Solar