Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking back at 2011's Weather

2011 has been a busy year for weather events.  I can think of four events that I will mention later, that made significant impact on us here in the South Eastern PA and surrounding states.
I remember last summer that we had very little rain, grass on yards all across Montgomery County were all turning brown.  This year was different, I lost count of how many flood warnings we had.  Now we have  a moist and mild winter, only in the last two days have I see the temps drop below freezing.

In my research, I found that there were several Tornadoes that touched down in areas outside of Montgomery County, most were in Western, Central and North Eastern PA.  There was a Tornado in Delaware and a few in New Jersey.  So here is my list of basic weather events affected us here locally.

  • Tropical Storm Irene - Irene was a major Hurricane which was strong enough to take 44 lives from Puerto Rico to then sweep through  the US East coast.  Five victims were in PA alone, and from looking a reports several had trees fall on it's victims, others were car accidents and one poor lady was dragged away from flood waters after her car stalled near the Wissahickon Creek.
Here is a pic I took that clearly shows how much flood water rose from Irene and Lee.  The water pushed debris about 10 feet and had trash sitting in a tree.

  • Tropical Storm Lee:  Lee hit our area back on September 9th, the flooding was so bad that our President had to declare PA in as in a State of Emergency.  With that federal assistance was available to flood victims.  The flooding affected the Susquehanna river and even Hersey Park was so flooded that several animals in a Zoo there could not be saved and perished from the flood.  Lee claimed 7 lives in PA alone.  The worst of all was the fact that Lee came right after the flooding from Irene.
  •  The Virgina Earthquake:  August 23rd, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude Earthquake that we felt.  I have experienced several minor quakes when I lived in South America, but this was a big surprise to me! I was sitting at the office on the 4th floor and I could feel the building being pushed around.
  •  October Snow:  A freak early snow event, that caused 6 deaths and 200,000 reported power outages.  I wrote a few days before stating that the snow won't stick to the warm ground.  Well of course I was wrong.
Here a snap shot from the snow in October;

Finally I wanted to say that I look forward to writing more blog posts for 2012, stay safe and if anyone needs any safety information for weather events, please email me at;

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Strong La Niña & Arctic Oscillation

A stronger La Niña has been affecting our weather recently we are currently in by what NOAA defines as a multi-year La Niña, where it began during the Summer of 2010.  Normally a strong La Niña is followed by a strong El Niño event.  Normally these cycles can be strong to neutral, last year they were predicting a moderate event and it started to weaken during the spring and then it had intensified by late summer.

Since La Niña is here to stay, they say we may end up having a mild winter, which translates to little or no snow accumulation for Southeastern PA.

A more recent article on the NOAA website states that there is another cycle called the "Arctic Oscillation", apparently this is being identified as the newest element for our warm winter and for unusually warmer temperatures in the far northern areas.  This is the main cause of the diminishing polar ice that is melting away.

This was in part my own summary of a much bigger and impressive topic, to read on from the experts please visit;

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hurricane Charley

Hope that everyone had a wonderful Holiday weekend!

I have been so busy, still need time to edit the family pics from Christmas.  In the mean time, I found this video  that may be submitted for the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest recorded Hurricane winds (on camera).  Thank you to for publicly posting this incredible video on youtube.
Please note that the location and date is detailed at the end of the video.