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

NTS Messaging

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 U.S. and Canada.

Normally, these 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, 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.

During 2018, I have sent over 200 routine messages using the phone and digital modes and during different conditions: summer heat, ice storms, rain, wind, etc. 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 3.983 MHz LSB at 2200 UTC.

2018 Stormstown Weather Summary

2018 Weather Data

Overall, the year’s temperatures were normal. The annual mean of  50.5 F was just 0.3 F above normal. The record annual precipitation of 58.07 inches was a phenomenal 17.37 inches above normal.

Equally phenomenal is that, in 2018, there were no violent tornadoes recorded, EF4 or EF5, in the United States.

January

January was the coldest month of 2018 with a monthly mean of 26.2 F, which was 1.9 F below normal, with a high of 61 F and a low for the month and year of -5 F. Precipitation was about an inch below normal with 2.15 inches of liquid precipitation.

February

February was much warmer with temperatures at 6.1 F above normal. The high was 75 F and the low was 6 F. Precipitation was 3.3 inches above normal at 5.6 inches.

March

March temperatures were below normal with a high of 57 F and a low of 17 F. Precipitation was 1.5 inches below normal with 2.05 inches of liquid precipitation.

April

Much below normal temperatures this month. The high was 83 F and the low was 19 F. Rainfall was about normal at 3.6 inches. On April 4 the high wind speed for the month and year was 53 mph. There was also significant snow on April 2 and April 9. The last day of temperatures below freezing was April 22.

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May

Temperatures were about 6 F above normal with a high of 88 F and a low of 37 F.  Precipitation was 3.85 inches; about 0.6 inches above normal.

June

Temperatures for the month were about 1 F below normal. The high was 90 F and the low was 44 F. Precipitation was above normal with 4.7 inches of rainfall.

July

The temperatures were below normal. The high for the month and year was 91 F and the low was 49 F. Rainfall was 5.68 inches above normal with 9.14 inches of precipitation.

August

The month’s temperatures were 1.8 F above normal. The high was 90 F and the low was 49 F. Precipitation was 1.38 inches above normal at 5.52 inches.

September

Temperatures were above normal this month. The high was 91 F and the low was 42 F. It was also a wet month with 8.20 inches of rainfall. This was 4.22 inches above normal.

October

October was a near normal, just 1.5 F above normal. The high was 85 F with a low of 28 F. The first day with below freezing temperatures was October 25. There were a near normal 3.55 inches of precipitation this month, 0.21 inches above normal.

November

Temperatures began to drop in November and were 5.1 F below normal. The high was 68 F and the low was 15 F. Precipitation was 4.77 inches, 1.53 inches above normal. There were 11.5 inches of snow on November 16.

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December

The temperatures were 2.1 F above normal. The high was 57 F and the low was 13 F. Precipitation was 1.84 inches above normal at 4.97 inches.

December 2018 Weather Summary

Happy 2019! December was above normal for temperature with a monthly mean that was 2.1 deg. F above normal. The high for the month was 57.4 deg. F recorded on December 21. The low for the month was 13.2 deg F, recorded on December 10. There were 965 heating degree days.

December was an above normal month for precipitation with 4.97 inches of rainfall recorded. This was 1.84 inches above normal and has contributed to a 17.37 inch surplus for 2018. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.87 inches recorded on December 31. The annual precipitation surpassed 58 inches, a record that is hoped to stand for a long time. There were 11 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.10 in and 0 >1 in.

December 2018 Data

The outlook for January 2019:

November 2018 Weather Summary

Meteorological winter has begun. November was below normal for temperature with a monthly mean that was -5.1 deg. F below normal. The high for the month was 67.8 deg. F recorded on November 1. The low for the month was 15.4 deg F, recorded on November 23. There were 850 heating degree days.

November was an above normal month for precipitation with 4.77 inches of rainfall recorded. This was 1.53 inches above normal and has contributed to a 15.53 inch surplus for 2018. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.04 inches recorded on November 9. The annual precipitation surpassed 52 inches. There were 14 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.1 in and 1 >1 in.

The first significant snowfall of the season, at 10.5 inches, was recorded on November 15.

November 2018 Data

The outlook for Winter (Dec. 2018, Jan. 2019 and Feb. 2019).

October 2018 Weather Summary

October was near normal for temperature with a monthly mean that was 1.5 deg. F above normal. The high for the month was 85.2 deg. F recorded on October 7. The low for the month was 28.3 deg F, recorded on October 25, the first freeze of the season. There were 423 heating degree days.

October was also a normal month for precipitation with 3.55 inches of rainfall recorded. This was 0.27 inches above normal and has contributed to a 14.00 inch surplus for 2018. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.97 inches recorded on October 27. There were 14 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.1 in and 0 >1 in.

October 2018 Data

The outlook for November.

My Personal Weather Station

If you haven’t figured out by now, I am a retired meteorologist. I have installed my own weather instruments at my home in Stormstown. My primary station consists of a cluster of sensors for The Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station.

Pictured is the tipping bucket rain gauge, thermometer, hygrometer, solar sensor, UV sensor and data transmitter. The transmitter has a battery that is charged by a small solar panel. The spikes are a deterrent to birds that can foul the rain gauge.

On a 30′ mast, near the instrument package, are a wind vane and anemometer.

Data are transmitted to my indoor displays. One of my displays has a data logger with a wired connection to an internet router.

With software, supplied by Davis, my data is downloaded to a PC for storage and analysis. My data are also uploaded to Davis WeatherLink, Weather Underground and The Citizen Weather Observer Program.

My secondary instrument cluster is a BloomSky package. On the left is a solar-powered barometer, thermometer, hygrometer and UV sensor package. It also has a fisheye WiFi camera. On the right are a solar-powered anemometer, wind vane and tipping bucket rain gauge. Data are sent to my router via WiFi and uploaded to BloomSky.

Data are displayed via The BloomSky App as shown.