I have recorded 1.89 inches of rainfall since last Thursday. The drought isn’t over yet, but there are signs that it is improving.
Most of Centre County is still experiencing a moderate drought. However, our little corner of the county is now abnormally dry. The outlook for the rest of September indicates equal chances for normal rainfall (about 4 inches on average).
On Tuesday, December 17, our area experienced an ice storm. Freezing rain, supercooled rain droplets, froze on contact on many surfaces during the night.
About 0.16 inches of ice accretion was observed.
Also, snow squalls, on Wednesday, caused a pile up on I-80 that shut down the highway for 34 miles, in both directions, between the 178/220 North/Lock Haven exit in Clinton County and the 212B/I-180 West/Williamsport exit in Northumberland County.
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 dogs paws are 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 a walk today. It was sunny around 2:45 PM EDT, and I found that the temperature of the asphalt can reach 140 F. It became increasingly cloudy during my walk so the asphalt cooled off a bit.
The gravel along the side of the road is preferable at 100 F. Grass in 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 asphalt can be harmful to your dog’s pads. Today the air temperature was in the low 80s. If it was above 90 F, it follows that asphalt can be greater than 140 F and could burn dog’s paws.
A simple check is to place your finger tips on the asphalt for a few seconds to see if it’s comfortable.
Yesterday, on April 19, 2019, 1.45 inches was the maximum rainfall for a single day in 2019, in Stormstown, PA. April is now already 0.23 inches above normal for the month at 3.62 inches. However, 2019 is now 2.87 inches below normal for the year at 9.45 inches.
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.
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.
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.
This morning was the first real steady rain during our trip. It was also much cooler. Today was the first of our journey where I didn’t feel like I was marinating in my own sweat at the end of the day.
We left the campground near Rochester and drove towards town. Marla wanted to see The Mayo Clinic. It isn’t hard to find since it consists of many large buildings at the center of town. The main hospital is less than a mile to the west.
The second causality of the trip are the built in backup cameras. The problem seems to be a loose connection. This morning they totally ceased to function. That should be a warranty repair. I’ll get by on pull through sites and the mirrors.
We continued east on I-90 into Wisconsin. The plains abruptly ended with the bluffs to the west of The Mississippi River. We crossed the river to the north of La Cross. The vegetation and geology changed. There are more trees and topography in this part of the country than in southern Minnesota.
We are spending two nights in The Wisconsin Dells.
Left the campground near Joliet, IL, before lunch. Went to a nearby Pet Smart for supplies. Got lunch from a Steak and Shake. Then we proceeded west on I-80. Stopped at a rest area and observed a plot of restored prairie.
Crossed The Mississippi River near The Quad Cities, and reached a campground near Oxford, Iowa, just west of Iowa City. Stopped for fuel before arriving. Can’t beat the prices.
We need to find a place to stay for the weekend tomorrow.