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:

Paws and Hot Asphalt

During a recent walk with my dogs, I decided to take along my infrared thermometer.

During the summer, it is important to remember that the pads of a dogs paws are subjected to hot surfaces outside. Since there are no sidewalks where I live, our dogs walk on asphalt, gravel or grass.

I took a few measurements during a walk today. It was sunny around 2:45 PM EDT, and I found that the temperature of the asphalt can reach 140 F. It became increasingly cloudy during my walk so the asphalt cooled off a bit.

The gravel along the side of the road is preferable at 100 F. Grass in much better, even if it is dry and brown. I measured 85 F for dry grass. Green grass was cooler at 80 F. In the shade, the green grass measured 70 F. Even concrete in the shade was better than asphalt at 90 F.

By contrast, at 7 AM EDT, the asphalt temperature was 76 F.

These readings show that asphalt can be harmful to your dog’s pads. Today the air temperature was in the low 80s. If it was above 90 F, it follows that asphalt can be greater than 140 F and could burn dog’s paws.

A simple check is to place your finger tips on the asphalt for a few seconds to see if it’s comfortable.

“Betsy Ross” Flag

The following story caught my attention this morning:

Major League Soccer club bans Utah couple from waving ‘Betsy Ross flag’ at games

Since when has our country’s first flag become controversial?! I had no idea it had been appropriated by some hate groups until Nike recalled Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July shoes, which featured the flag, over concerns that the design glorifies slavery and racism.


In recent years, hate groups, such as the KKK, have attempted to adopt the Betsy Ross flag. Nike’s decision to recall the shoes seems to be not a result of excessive political correctness but motivated by making money.

Despite the flag’s name, Betsy Ross’ role in designing and creating the revolution-era flag “is largely fictitious,” according to the U.S. National Archives.

Nevertheless, I will fly my own “Betsy Ross” flag, as I see fit, to reappropriate the flag as what it actually is: a symbol of liberty, equality, and justice.


Summary of Summer 2019

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: 93.8 – July 21, 2019
Min T: 38.0 – June 4, 2019
Jun Dep from Normal: -1.2
Jul Dep from Normal: 1.6
Aug Dep from Normal: -1.1
Heating Degree Days: 156
Cooling Degree Days: 603
Jun Precip: 4.18″, 0.32″ above normal
Jul Precip: 1.85″, 1.61″ below normal
Aug Precip: 3.42″, 0.72″ below normal
The outlook for Autumn 2019:

August 2019 Weather Summary

August was 1.1 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 90.3 deg. F recorded on August 18. The low for the month was 47.0 deg F, recorded on August 25. There was 1 day at or above 90 deg F. There were 47 heating degree days and 179 cooling degree days.

August was a below normal month for precipitation with 3.42 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.72 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.35 inches recorded on August 18. There were 11 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.10 in and 1 >1 in.

High wind speed of 36 mph on August 18.

August 2019 Data

Outlook for September 2019

Thunderstorm Strikes Stormstown

A severe thunderstorm occurred at approximately 4:15 PM EST in Stormstown, PA. Two small trees blocked part of  PA 550, and a large tree fell across the highway, downing utility lines, near Brothers Pizza.


Photo Courtesy Of Tom Majewski

The highway, further north, was also blocked by Sawmill Road. More wind damage occurred in Port Matilda and in State College on N. Atherton Street, Blue Course Drive, W. Beaver Avenue, and Westerly Parkway.

The official Local Storm Report (LSRCTP):

08/18/2019 CENTRE PA 911 CALL CENTER


Video of hail in Stormstown.

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.


The damage at my home was limited to a badly damaged flagpole. However, the wind had caused a heavy patio chair to be sent down the stairs from my deck to the landing.


July 2019 Weather Summary

July was 1.6 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 93.8 deg. F recorded on July 21. The low for the month was 51.7 deg F, recorded on July 1. There were 3 days at or above 90 deg F. There were 25 heating degree days and 280 cooling degree days.

July was a below normal month for precipitation with 1.85 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.61 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.40 inches recorded on July 22. There were 11 days of rain >.01 in, 5 >.10 in and 0 >1 in.

High wind speed of 31 mph on July 31.

July 2019 Data

Outlook for August 2019

June 2019 Weather Summary

June was 1.2 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 90.2 deg. F recorded on June 27. The low for the month was 38.0 deg F, recorded on June 4. There were 84 heating degree days and 144 cooling degree days.

June was an above normal month for precipitation with 4.18 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.32 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.89 inches recorded on June 13. There were 13 days of rain >.01 in, 7 >.10 in and 0 >1 in.

High wind speed of 30 mph on June 29.

June 2019 Data

Outlook for July 2019

Erie Canal Stories


An undated photo of my mom and her siblings, looking down into a hatch of their Erie Canal barge, in the late 1930s. My mom is in the upper left. Next to her is my uncle Fred, then my uncle Harry, my aunt Vivian and my uncle Morey. In the upper right is my uncle Norman. My uncle Norman went on to become chief engineer for a tugboat company in the New York area. My uncle Morey became a sea-tug captain. My uncle Fred joined The US Navy and later became a tugboat captain as well. Only my mom and my uncle Fred survive today.

My Uncle Morey and Uncle Norman were quite the pranksters back in the day. There are many low bridges crossing The Erie Canal along its length, with enough clearance for the barges. During Halloween, young ruffians would egg barges from the bridges, much to the annoyance of my uncles who had to clean up the mess. There was a water pump on the barge, connected to a hose, that my uncles used to wash the deck. They got their revenge though. My Uncle Norman would hide below the forward hatch, hose at the ready. As the barge passed below the bridge it would get egged. At a signal from my Morey, Norman would pop the hatch, yell “surprise!” and hose down the perpetrators from the opposite side of the bridge.

When the hold was empty, my grandfather would rig a wooden swing attached to a cross beam between the hatches. It was an unusual sight to see one of the children pop up on the swing from one hatch and then appear again, on the swing, from the other hatch.

Seventy-five years ago, my Uncle Morey was part of the buildup leading to D-Day in 1944. He was a pilot on The Erie Canal, guiding landing craft manufactured in Detriot, MI, that would carry troops to the beaches of Normandy, from Buffalo to New York City. As soon as he arrived in New York City, he would board a train back to Buffalo to guide another group of landing craft through the canal. At the time, my grandparents, and my other aunts and uncles lived in Brooklyn, NY. After one trip down to New York City, he sort of went AWOL to visit the family. He didn’t get very far before FBI agents challenged him and put him on the next train to Buffalo.

Summary of Spring 2019

Meteorological Spring is officially over. Here is a brief summary of Mar 1-May 31 in Stormstown, PA:

Number of days Max T <=32 F: 4
Number of Days Min T <= 32 F: 29
Number of Days Min T <= 0 F: 0
Max T: 83.6 – May 19, 2019
Min T: 7.1 – March 8, 2019
Mar Dep from Normal: -0.8
Apr Dep from Normal: 1.9
May Dep from Normal: 2.6
Heating Degree Days: 1476
Cooling Degree Days: 83
Mar Precip: 1.75″, 1.80″ below normal
Apr Precip: 4.24″, 0.85″ above normal
May Precip: 7.15″, 3.92″ above normal
The outlook for Summer 2019: