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.

April 2021 Weather Summary

April was 1.2 F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 82.5 F, recorded on April 27. The low for the month was 21.7 F, recorded on April 2. There were 5 days at or below 32 F. There were 446 heating degree days and 22 cooling degrees day.

April was a below-normal month for precipitation with 2.27 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.12 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.90 inches recorded on April 11. There were 11 days of rain >.01 in, 4 >.10 in and 0 > 1 in.

It snowed enough to leave a trace on the ground on April 2 and April 22. The last freeze was April 22.

High wind speed of 46 mph on April 30.

April 2021 Data

There is a developing drought in northwestern Pennsylvania. It has also been abnormally dry in western PA. Our region has been below normal for rainfall for the year.

March 2021 Weather Summary

March was 5.3 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 69.9 deg. F, recorded on March 25. The low for the month was 13.7 deg F, recorded on March 7. There was 1 day where the maximum temperature was at or below 32 F, and there were 20 days where the minimum temperature was at or below 32 F. There were 697 heating degree days and 1 cooling degree day.

March was an below-normal month for precipitation with 2.96 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.86 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.87 inches recorded on March 18. There were 9 days of rain >.01 in, 6 >.10 in and 0 > 1 in.

High wind speed of 47 mph on March 26.

March 2021 Data

Summary of Winter 2020-2021

Meteorological Winter is officially over. Here is a brief summary of December 1, 2020-February 28, 2021 in Stormstown, PA:  

Number of Days Max T <= 32 F: 24  

Number of Days Min T <= 32 F: 81 

Number of Days Min T <= 0 F: 0  

Max T: 58.1 F – February 24, 2021  

Min T: 2.8 F – February 8, 2021 

Dec Dep from Normal: 0.8 F  

Jan Dep from Normal: 2.6 F  

Feb Dep from Normal: -3.4 F  

Heating Degree Days: 3098  

Cooling Degree Days: 0  

Dec Precip: 3.03″, 0.10″ below normal  

Jan Precip: 1.05″, 2.06″ below normal  

Feb Precip: 2.52″, 0.25″ above normal