Toby’s Firework Anxiety

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Our Scotty, Toby Two, has had a rough few weeks. From June 24 until July 6, fireworks were launched almost every night. During the first few times, he would run to an enclosed space such as the laundry room, his crate, our dog’s toy box, or under a chair in my office. Now he looks for me and lies down in a dog bed next to me in my office or in the living room. Toby Two doesn’t like thunder either, and he exhibits the same behavior when a storm passes through.

Last October, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania rewrote the 80-year-old fireworks law, making them easier to purchase. That is what made it worse this year as far as Toby Two is concerned.

Summary of Spring 2018

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: 1
Number of Days Min T <= 32 F: 40
Number of Days Min T <= 0 F: 0
Max T: 88.1 – May 26, 2018
Min T: 17.0 – March 11, 2018
Mar Dep from Normal: -3.0
Apr Dep from Normal: -5.4
May Dep from Normal: 6.1
Heating Degree Days: 758
Cooling Degree Days: 141
Mar Precip: 2.05″, 1.5″ below normal
Apr Precip: 3.57″, 0.18″ above normal
May Precip: 3.85″, 0.62″ above normal

Halfmoon Township Divided By Redistricting

District 12 Annotated

The recent redistricting of the Pennsylvania congressional districts caused some confusion during yesterday’s primary. The above map shows the boundaries of the 12th (in gray), 13th and 15th Districts. The gerrymander in the 12th District, to include State College, has divided my local township, Halfmoon, into two parts. Some of the people, that lived in the southern part of the township, that showed up at my polling place to be told that they were at the wrong polling station. This is because they are now in the 15th District.

Centre County is also divided by the new districts. For instance, Bellefonte, the county seat, is in The 15th District, while Centre Hall and State College are now in The 12th District.

Measurement of the pH of Rain

Today, with precipitation in the forecast, I set up my mini-laboratory to measure the pH of the local rainfall in Stormstown, PA. First, I installed a standard rain gauge to collect rainwater.

pH-1

I calibrated my pH meter, prior to taking any actual measurements, using standard reagents of pH of 4.0 and 6.86. I used a pH 7.0 reagent to verify.

pH-2

After calibration, I waited for some rainfall and then collected my sample.

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It had rained 0.20 inches over the past two days.

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This was about 400 ml of liquid.

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I measured the pH to be about 5.15, which is in the normal range for rainfall but still acidic. It is not considered to be acid rain.

pH Scale

April Snow

Easter has come and gone. However, I got up this morning and saw this:

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The depth of the snow was 6 1/2 inches. Due to the insolation of nearly 1000 W/m**2, the surface air temperature rose to 45 F, and the snow rapidly melted. It was just about gone before sunset, with just a few piles remaining. There is still a chance of snow Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

First Snowfall of the Season

First snowfall of the season in Stormstown, PA. The forecast today called for a chance of snow showers (60%). Instead, there was moderate snow, starting around 10 AM EST. Later, the flakes started to fall in clumps.

Air temperatures remained well above freezing for most of the day, so there was little or no accumulation in the area. However, to the southwest, in The Laurel Highlands, travel was affected significantly.

Summer of 2017: Weather Summary

IMG_0066Meteorological summer has ended. Here is a summary of the summer’s weather in Stormstown, PA.

Overall, it was a cooler than average summer, especially during August. June was about a degree Fahrenheit below normal, July was near normal, and August was 3.3 degrees F below normal. There was only one day at or above 90 deg. F (91 F on June 13).

Precipitation was below normal for the most part, even though July was an inch above normal. The maximum single day rainfall was 1.33 inches on July 14.

Highest wind speed was 40 mph on August 19.

Halfmoon Valley Rainfall

After the rainfall from yesterday and early this morning (1.10 inches), the annual precipitation is now at a surplus of 0.17 inches. Monthly precipitation has been below normal for January, February, March and April. May is not quite over, but the rainfall for the month is 1.74 inches above normal.
Outlook
The outlook for the summer months of June, July and August indicates equal chances for a near normal amount of precipitation.

Spring Arrives in Halfmoon Valley

Happy Easter!

Easter-3Easter-2

At last, Spring has arrived in Halfmoon Valley. After a long Winter, temperatures have become more moderate with highs in the 60s and 70s. Forsythia are blooming and local apple orchards, Bradford pear, and other deciduous trees are leafing out. Farmers in the valley are plowing and planting their fields.
My outdoor activities are becoming more frequent, too. I assembled my wife’s gardening cart, and I installed a vertical HF antenna. My radio shack is now complete.
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2016 Climatological Summary

                            2016 ANNUAL CLIMATOLOGICAL SUMMARY

CITY: Stormstown   STATE: PA  
ELEV:  1385 ft  LAT: 40.8  LONG: 77.87

               TEMPERATURE (°F), HEAT BASE 65.0, COOL BASE 65.0
                          DEP.  HEAT  COOL                                          
        MEAN  MEAN        FROM  DEG   DEG                        MAX  MAX  MIN  
 YR MO  MAX   MIN   MEAN  NORM  DAYS  DAYS  HI  DATE  LOW  DATE  >=90 <=32 <=32 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 16  1  34.3  17.3  25.9   1.3  1211     0  59.4  31   5.0    5    0   12   30 
 16  2  40.0  23.1  31.9   5.1   960     0  65.9  28   0.5   12    0    7   22 
 16  3  56.6  33.6  45.3   8.8   618     8  76.2   9  16.0    3    0    0   14 
 16  4  59.6  35.7  48.4   0.7   522    23  80.9  18  19.3    6    0    0   10 
 16  5  68.8  48.4  58.5  -0.1   273    71  88.6  28  36.6   19    0    0    0 
 16  6  79.1  56.5  68.2   0.9    70   166  87.7  11  43.2   10    0    0    0 
 16  7  86.2  62.0  73.6   2.4    28   295  95.7  25  49.6    3    9    0    0 
 16  8  85.3  62.7  73.2   3.6    24   278  92.7  12  50.8   23    3    0    0 
 16  9  76.9  53.9  65.1   2.9   127   131  89.0  10  39.8   25    0    0    0 
 16 10  63.9  43.4  53.2   2.1   388    22  79.6  18  28.4   26    0    0    3 
 16 11  54.1  34.3  43.9   3.1   636     2  73.6   2  23.2   23    0    0   13 
 16 12  37.6  24.6  31.2   1.4  1047     0  52.1  27   5.9   16    0    7   24 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        61.9  41.4  51.6   2.7  5905   997  95.7 JUL   0.5  FEB   12   26  116 

                                PRECIPITATION (in)

               DEP.   MAX        DAYS OF RAIN 
               FROM   OBS.          OVER
 YR MO  TOTAL  NORM   DAY  DATE .01   .1   1
---------------------------------------------
 16  1  1.58  -0.92  1.12   10    7    2    1
 16  2  2.99   0.29  1.23    3    9    3    1
 16  3  1.92  -1.38  0.55   13   10    6    0
 16  4  1.85  -1.15  0.50   28   12    5    0
 16  5  3.52  -0.28  0.73   21   17   10    0
 16  6  2.12  -2.08  0.60    5   11    8    0
 16  7  1.16  -2.64  0.26   30    8    7    0
 16  8  5.61   2.31  3.47   10   11    8    1
 16  9  3.49   0.09  1.41   29   10    7    1
 16 10  6.95   4.05  3.62   20   13    7    2
 16 11  1.22  -2.18  0.62   30    5    3    0
 16 12  2.07  -0.73  0.76   18   12    4    0
---------------------------------------------
       34.48 -4.62  3.62  OCT  125   70    6

                                WIND SPEED (mph)
                          DOM
 YR MO   AVG.  HI   DATE  DIR
---------------------------------
 16  1   4.7  42.0   10     W
 16  2   4.5  38.0   25    SW
 16  3   4.1  54.0   28    SE
 16  4   4.0  43.0    3    NW
 16  5   2.7  34.0    8    SW
 16  6   2.9  34.0   12    SW
 16  7   2.5  26.0   15    SW
 16  8   2.2  35.0   16     S
 16  9   2.1  24.0    8    NE
 16 10   2.9  49.0   20   WNW
 16 11   3.9  41.0   20     W
 16 12   5.4  34.0   12     W
---------------------------------
         3.5  54.0  MAR    W