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

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.

damage

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):

0413 PM TSTM WND DMG STORMSTOWN 40.79N 78.01W
08/18/2019 CENTRE PA 911 CALL CENTER

TREE AND WIRES DOWN

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.

Tstorm

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.

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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 dog’s paws may be 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 our walk. On a sunny day, at 2:45 PM EDT, the air temperature was 82 F, and I found that the temperature of the asphalt can reach 130 F. It became increasingly cloudy during my walk so the asphalt cooled off a bit. Needless to say that I guided the dogs to the side of the road.

The gravel along the side of the road was preferable at 100 F. The grass is 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 hot asphalt can be harmful to your dog’s pads. A simple check is to place your fingertips on the asphalt for a few seconds to see if it’s comfortable.

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

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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:

May 2019 Weather Summary

May was 2.6 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 83.6 deg. F recorded on May 19. The low for the month was 39.6 deg F, recorded on May 22. There were 173 heating degree days and 72 cooling degree days.

May was an above normal month for precipitation with 7.15 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 3.92 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.50 inches recorded on May 29. There were 18 days of rain >.01 in, 12 >.10 in and 3 >1 in.

High wind speed of 34 mph on May 19.

May 2019 Data

Outlook for June 2019

April 2019 Weather Summary

April was 1.9 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 73.5 deg. F recorded on April 23. The low for the month was 22.2 deg F, recorded on April 2. There were 415 heating degree days and 10 cooling degree days.

April was an above normal month for precipitation with 4.24 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.85 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.45 inches recorded on April 19. There were 13 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.10 in and 1 >1 in.

High wind speed of 45 mph on April 3.

April 2019 Data

Outlook for May 2019