January 9, 2022 Ice Storm

On January 8, 2022, a winter weather advisory was issued for my local area. Significant ice accumulation was predicted.

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO2 PM EST SUNDAY…

  • WHAT…A brief period of mixed precipitation, changing to
    freezing rain. Total snow and sleet accumulation of less than
    one inch and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch.
  • WHERE…Portions of central Pennsylvania.
  • WHEN…From 2 AM to 2 PM EST Sunday.

I obtained a 3/4″ dowel, and cut it to the prescribed 20″ length. Before installing the dowel outside, I measured the diameter with digital calibers (0.74″). That was the baseline measurement.

I then secured the dowel to the railing of my deck with 1/2″ clamps.

The ice storm developed in the early morning hours of January 9, 2022. An ice storm warning was issued.

…ICE STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…SIGNIFICANT ICING. ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF ONE QUARTER TO ONE-HALF INCH.
* WHERE…NORTHERN CLINTON, NORTHERN CENTRE, SOUTHERN CENTRE, MIFFLIN AND SOUTHERN CLINTON COUNTIES.
* WHEN…UNTIL 2 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON.
* IMPACTS…EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS. UNTREATED SURFACES WILL BE VERY SLIPPERY. ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE.

At 8 AM EST, ice had already accumulated on objects.

I did my first measurement:

By the following calculation, (0.95 – 0.74) / 2, the ice accumulation was measured at 0.11″.

At 10:20 AM EST the ice had accumulated to 0.14 inches.

The ice storm ended soon afterward, and that was the extent of the ice accumulation.

2021 Stormstown Weather Summary

Overall, the year’s temperatures were above normal. The annual mean of 52.0 F was 1.8 F above normal. The annual precipitation of 40.17 inches was 0.53 inches below normal.

2021 Weather Data

January

January was a bit warmer than normal with a monthly mean of 30.7 F, which was 2.6 F above normal, with a high of 48 F and a low for the month of 14 F. Precipitation was 2.06 inches below normal with 1.05 inches of liquid precipitation. There were 3 inches of snow this month.

February

February was the coldest month of 2021 with a mean of 34.7 F, which was 1.2 F below normal. The high was 58 F and the low was 3 F, which was also the low for the year. Precipitation was 0.66 inches below normal at 1.61 inches. There were 13 inches of snowfall this month.

March

March temperatures were also mild at 5.3 F above normal with a high of 70 F and a low of 14 F. Precipitation was 0.86 inches below normal with 2.69 inches of liquid precipitation. The high wind speed for the month and year was 47 mph.

April

Temperatures were 1.2 F above normal in April. The high was 83 F and the low was 22 F. Rainfall was 1.12 inches below normal at 2.27 inches. The last day of temperatures below freezing was April 22.

May

Temperatures were cooler at 1.3 F below normal with a high of 88 F and a low of 32 F. Precipitation was 3.67 inches, 0.44 inches above normal.

June

Damaged Trees Blocking PA 550 near Patton/Halfmoon Township Line
June 21, 2021 – Photo by George Riley

Temperatures for the month were 1.0 F above normal with a mean of 80.6 F. The high was 92 F and the low was 41 F. Precipitation was 2.56 inches above normal with 6.42 inches of rainfall.

July

The temperatures were 0.4 F below normal at a mean of 82.4. The high for the month was 92 F and the low was 50 F. Rainfall was 0.38 inches below normal with 3.08 inches of precipitation.

August

August was the warmest month this year. The month’s temperatures were 1.8 F above normal at a mean of 83.4. The high was 93 F and the low was 49 F. Precipitation was 0.88 inches above normal at 5.02 inches.

September

Temperatures were above normal this month with a mean of 75.0 F. The high was 86 F and the low was 42 F. There were 6.82 inches of rainfall, which was 2.84 inches above normal. This was the rainiest month of the year.

October

October was very mild with temperatures at 6.4 F above normal. The high was 79 F and the low was 36 F. Rainfall was near normal at 3.40 inches, which was 0.06 inches above normal.

November

Temperatures were cooler in November and were 2.6 F below normal. The high was 69 F and the low was 20 F. Precipitation was 1.45 inches, 1.79 inches below normal. The first freeze was on November 2. There was also less than 0.5 inches of snowfall.

December

December was very mild with a mean temperature of 46.5 F, 6.9 F above normal. The high was 66 F and the low was 16 F. Precipitation was 0.44 inches below normal at 2.69 inches. There was also 3 inches of snowfall.

2021 Insolation

2021 Daily Solar Radiation (W/m**2)

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

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.

June 2021 Weather Summary

June was 1.0 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 92 deg. F recorded on June 29. The low for the month was 41 deg F, recorded on June 23. There were 63 heating degree days and 188 cooling degree days.

June was an above normal month for precipitation with 6.42 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 2.56 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.65 inches recorded on June 13. There were 13 days of rain >.01 in, 10 >.10 in and 2 >1 in.

High wind speed of 44 mph on June 21. The high winds caused tree damage in the area.

Damaged Trees Blocking PA 550 near Patton/Halfmoon Township Line
June 21, 2021 – Photo by George Riley

June 2021 Data

Here is the latest drought summary for Pennsylvania:

May 2021 Weather Summery

May was 1.3 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 87.7 F, recorded on May 21. The low for the month was 32.4 deg F, recorded on May 13. There were 0 days at or below 32 F. There were 297 heating degree days and 74 cooling degree days.

May was an a-normal month for precipitation with 3.67 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.44 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.15 inches recorded on May 9. There were 10 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.10 in and 1 > 1 in.

The high wind speed for the month was 33 mph on May 26.

May 2021 Data

The developing drought in northwestern Pennsylvania has eased. Our region continues to be below normal for rainfall for the year.