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Friday afternoon thoughts...

By: Zachary Labe , 8:41 PM GMT on April 13, 2008

"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 4/18)
Good Friday afternoon!!! Wow, what a great day. Temperatures in the 80s across much of the state. The cool spot in Pennsylvania is in and around Erie where a lake breeze is keeping temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies. Elsewhere clear skies are prevelant. As of 400pm 86degrees is being reported in Philadelphia as the warm spot in the state. I am sort of surprised it got this warm. I was expecting low 80s, but not mid 80s. Just another reminder of how strong the mid April sun is. An update on upcoming blogs... Summer outlook blog is coming out Sunday which will feature my maps and graphs of predictions for the summer. Also there will be my forecast discussion in a written format with climate analysis. For Tuesday my special Earth Day blog will be posted which will highlight a little on gardening, saving energy, and my take on global warming. By Thursday the typical format blog will continue for the rest of the week with all of the forecasts. Enjoy the warm weather! Have a great day!!!

Good Thursday afternoon!!! What a marvelous day outside as temperatures moved up into the 70s across all locations in Pennsylvania. Even the PA icebox (Bradford) moved up to 71degrees. Sunshine prevailed after another chilly morning for many areas. Frost was not as widespread this morning, but still there were areas of patchy frost, including here north of Harrisburg. A few wildfires were reported around the state yesterday, but the DCNR quickly put out all of the fires. Conditions will remain on the dry side so beware of wildfire chances. Below you can still find a map portraying the average last frosts/freezes of the winter signifing the start of the growing season. Finally the local mountains and ridge tops are showing signs of green with budding taking place on trees. After being a dull brown it is great to see the mountains and local scenery turning green again. As for trees, the oriental tree buds are at their peak and are a marvelous site to see. Now is a great time to start planting before conditions get to hot. Enjoy the wonderful Spring weather we have been having. Have a great day!!! Note the Summer Outlook will be coming out Sunday along with the new weekly formated blog for the next week.

Average Pennsylvania last freezes...

(Courtesy of PSU meteorology)

"Regional Radar"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Near Term Forecast" (Updated 4/18)(Friday through Saturday)
Today 850mb heights rise to near 925mb with low level temperatures a good 10-25degrees above normal. A low-level southernly wind ahead of the next weak front will draw up the warm air. For the first time in 2008 temperatures will make it to 80degrees across many southern Pennsylvania regions. It has been since October since temperatures were in the 80s for any location across Pennsylvania. Friday night will feature rising dewpoints with calm winds creating a muggy night with southern area's lows in the upper 40s. Ground fog may be a problem at airfields KMDT, KLNS, KSEG, KTHV, and KRDG Saturday morning with MVFR in 3-4mile visibility fog. By 800am the fog will burn off due to the strong mid April sun. Clouds will be on the increase Saturday, especially in the western half of Pennsylvania ahead of the next weakening front. Highs again will manage to get up into the upper 70s. Breezy conditions will also occur with a southwesterly wind of 10mph.

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Short Term Forecast" (Updated 4/17)(Saturday night through Sunday night)
Saturday night showers will be moving into western Pennsylvania. And by 10pm scattered rain showers will be all over the entire state. Rainfall amounts will be light and generally under a tenth of an inch. Low temperatures will be in the upper 40s to lower 50s. All Pennsylvania airfields will be encountoring MVFR conditions from Saturday night to Monday night. Light fog and low ceilings will be the primary threat combined with wet runways. Sunday temperatures will be cooler with highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s with a better chance of rain showers, especially for eastern Pennsylvania. A tenth to a quarter of an inch of rain can be expected. The rain will be very showerery in nature and not too widespread. Sunday night light drizzle will persist with lows in the upper 40s to lower 50s. The short term forecast is smaller than normal due to the week already almost coming to a close.

"Current Surface Map and Weekly History of Jet Stream Position"

(Courtesy of Weather Underground)

"Long Term Forecast" (Updated 4/14)
A relatively quiet long term period is upon Pennsylvania. Looking at the long term synoptics and global models, it seems to be a relatively normal extende period. Temperature should range near normal to slightly above normal through the next two weeks. Though by the end of April there is some indications of cooler weather moving back into the northeast. For precipitation, a relatively flat jet stream will be dominant with most fronts dying out as they hit the Appalachian Mountains. No significant precipitation widespread is in the outlook. So overall a very quiet period of two weeks is upon us. Get out and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather before the heat and humidity of Summer hit the region.

"Severe Weather Outlook" (Updated 4/14)
As for severe weather. For the next week I saw no chances for any strong to severe thunderstorms. As for regular thunderstorms I think chances will also stay at a minimal. As for long term severe weather chances, I do not really see any significan outbreaks anytime in our future. Enjoy the nice April weather while it lasts.

"Severe Weather Outlooks from Storm Prediction Center Days 1, 2, and 3"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Monthly Outlook" (April)
Well Spring is officially here though it may not feel like it outdoors with the cold northwest brisk wind and snow falling from an Alberta Clipper. But spring is here and winter is just producing some last gasps. For eastern areas after April 10 usually no more snow falls. In central areas the date is usually around April 15, and in western areas it is usually around the 20th of April. In the northwest mountains and Laural Highlands snow can be recorded throughout all of April. But as the old saying goes "April showers bring may flowers" so hopefully this April will not be as dry as past Aprils. Here is my Outlook for April...

Precipitation- Overal the long term pattern favors a very active midwest storm track putting Pennsylvania on the warmer and more cellular in precipitation side of the storm. I believe April precipitation will be above normal statewide with many days with showers and thunderstorms. Also after these coldfronts move through it will get colder with lake effect snow showers in the mountains. As far as snow, it will be the same areas that have seen snow all winter will get more snow. I do not expect hardly any snow in the south and east. But I believe snowbelts will recieve possibly above normal snowfall. For rainfall it appears to be above normal in all areas with some areas in the southeast possibly recieving several inches more of rain than average. Severe weather may also be a factor in the later half of the month.

Temperature- For temperatures they will probably average near normal to slightly below normal. The long term shows slight greenland blocking with a neutral NAO favoring cool conditions over the state. But during times when storms head west of region warmer air will move into Pennsylvania. But I believe by the end of April temperatures will be above normal with the southeast ridge affecting our region. This year may be a year with a jump from winter to summer with only a little spring.

"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Regional Forecasts" (Updated 4/17) (Friday)
1. Eastern- (Allentown, Southern Poconos)-
Sunshine. Very warm. High 80.

2. South Central (Harrisburg, York, Lancaster)(my home)-
Clear and sunny skies. Very warm. High 80.

3. Southern- (Philadelphia)-
Very warm with blue, sunny skies. High 83.

4. Central- (State College)-
Sunshine and mild. High 78.

5. Northern- (Erie, Bradford, Williamsport)-
Mostly sunny skies. Warm. High 75.

6. Western- (Pittsburgh)-
Partly cloudy skies. Very warm. High 79.

7. Johnstown, Altoona-
Mostly sunny skies. Mild. High 77.

***Note on regional map, the number equals which region in Pennsylvania. I chose regions with similar climates, geography, and elevation to make my overall forecast for the region.

Here north of Harrisburg 2008 statistics...
(Severe Weather Stats...)
Severe Thunderstorm Watches- 0
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings- 0
Tornado Watches- 0
Tornado Warnings- 0
Total Thunderstorms- 5

(Precipitation Stats...)
Flood Watches- 2
Flood Warnings- 3
Monthly Precipitation- .74inches
Yearly Precipitation- 11.08inches

(Temperature Stats...)
Heat Advisories- 0
Excessive Heat Warnings- 0
90degree days- 0

Spring is here... (Blizzard92)
Spring is here...

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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33. Zachary Labe
10:26 PM GMT on April 19, 2008
Red Flag Warnings now out for central and eastern Pennsylvania. Forest Fire Danger is very high as the easterly breeze picks up this evening.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
32. Zachary Labe
7:09 PM GMT on April 19, 2008
sullivanweather- Yea I was out fishing. Already 84degrees here!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
31. sullivanweather
11:46 AM GMT on April 19, 2008
Up early this morning, huh?
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30. Zachary Labe
9:23 PM GMT on April 18, 2008
My official high temperature here is 84degrees.
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29. Zachary Labe
7:43 PM GMT on April 18, 2008
jthal57- Yes, it is 83degrees here also.
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28. jthal57
7:39 PM GMT on April 18, 2008
Low 80's in most of the Lehigh Valley, Blizzard. Still very dry, humidity levels again in the upper teens.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
27. Zachary Labe
9:16 PM GMT on April 17, 2008
Interesting temperatures swings last couple of days in central Pennsylvania...

The combination of a very dry airmass and strong April sunshine
resulted in a 35 to 45 degree range in temperatures from the morning
lows to the afternoon highs across the area. The average daily range
of temperatures is around 20 degrees this time of year. Some notable
temperature ranges yesterday are as follows:

******************temperature ranges********************

Location morning low afternoon high range


... Bedford County...
Everett 25 66 41 degrees
Wolfsburg 29 68 39 degrees

... Cambria County...
Prince Gallitzin sp 24 68 44 degrees

... Cameron County...
Emporium 28 72 44 degrees
Stevenson dam 28 70 42 degrees

... Clearfield County...
Grampian 29 67 38 degrees

... Clinton County...
Lock Haven 30 70 40 degrees
Renovo 30 71 41 degrees

... Dauphin County...
DeHart dam 27 68 41 degrees

... Elk County...
Ridgway 24 66 42 degrees

... Huntingdon County...
Huntingdon 29 69 40 degrees

... Lycoming County...
Williamsport 31 69 38 degrees

... McKean County...
Kane 23 66 43 degrees

... Mifflin County...
Lewistown 29 69 40 degrees

... Potter County...
Coudersport 26 64 38 degrees
Oswayo 24 68 44 degrees

... Snyder County...
Selinsgrove 31 67 36 degrees

... Somerset County...
confluence 29 69 40 degrees
Meyersdale 22 65 43 degrees

... Susquehanna County...
Montrose 27 64 37 degrees

... Tioga County...
Wellsboro 29 65 36 degrees
Cowanesque dam 24 69 45 degrees

... Union County...
Lewisburg 30 70 40 degrees

... Warren County...
Chandlers Valley 21 67 46 degrees
Warren 31 70 39 degrees
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
26. Zachary Labe
9:11 PM GMT on April 17, 2008
sullivanweather- Yes I have. I have been seeing indications all week. This is what I posted from Sunday evening...
Though by the end of April there is some indications of cooler weather moving back into the northeast.

The PNA shows signs of going positive. The AO shows signs of going sharply negative and the NAO shows sings of stayings of negative. Also the GFS really has been hinting at this for a while. Especially yesterday's runs really showed this. The model really seems to want to develop a strong storm that draws in colder air in the beginning of May. Though the EURO anomalies indicate ridging for the same time period, while the GFS shows eastern trough. So it is something to definetly watch.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
25. sullivanweather
9:04 PM GMT on April 17, 2008

Have you been keeping an eye on that forecasted cold snap for the end of the month?

It looks to be pretty serious.
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24. TheRasberryPatch
1:51 AM GMT on April 17, 2008
mine is on rapid fire also. i don't recall what i am transmitting to cwop. i think it is according to their specs. they are the only two i am transmitting.
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23. Zachary Labe
1:03 AM GMT on April 17, 2008
cchamp6- Thanks for the link!
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22. cchamp6
12:52 AM GMT on April 17, 2008

Mine is on rapid fire, it updates every few seconds.
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21. Zachary Labe
12:51 AM GMT on April 17, 2008
Yet another busy day today. Tomorrow I WILL have my near term and short term forecasts updated. For now my regional forecast for Pennsylvania for Thursday will be updated. Also I will update tonight my afternoon thoughts section. It has been a busy week. But by this weekend through next week, expect my continued daily updates. Summer outlook will be out by this weekend.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
20. cchamp6
12:51 AM GMT on April 17, 2008
Someone took the spell off. Suddenly it is working!

You gotta get your PWS hooked up to the net. You can check mine out, here is the link Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
19. Zachary Labe
12:45 AM GMT on April 17, 2008
JDinWPA- Thanks. I will be sure to highlight your area also when I make my forecasts for all of Pennsylvania. What was your seasonal snow total out there this winter?

cchamp6- I have 2 major weather stations and not one of them is transmitting data to my computer. Maybe this year I will look into transmitting and getting a new computer software. For my Lacrosse, like yours, I have heavyweather program but I do not like it. For my Davis Vantage Pro 2 I do not have any program. Sorry cannot help you on your question. I have noticed that local personal weather stations in my area sometimes do not show up for a day and then reappear the next day. It may just be a quick fluke. If by tomorrow it still does not show, then I would look into even more.

jthal57- I just planted my snow pea seeds today.

TheRasberryPatch- My summer outlook I am working out my Pennsylvania precipitation/temperature outlook maps. I think you may be pleasantly surprised with the summer forecast. Also I am surprised you did not get below freezing this morning.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
18. TheRasberryPatch
12:09 AM GMT on April 17, 2008
low of 33 this am. it seems like the past few years April has been light on the rain and it sets us up for a dry summer. hopefully, when the rain hits it won't be until after this weekend.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
17. jthal57
11:52 PM GMT on April 16, 2008
cchamp: how often does your station send signals to wunderground/cwop? I got info that they don't want anything less than 10 minutes. Mine is set at 10 minutes.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
16. cchamp6
11:41 PM GMT on April 16, 2008

Morning low temp. of 23 degrees today with a high of 67 degrees.

Question for ya. Do you have your personal weather station transmitting to Weather Underground? I do and have had no problems. Suddenly today my site isnt showing up. Everything is working great. If I go to the page where you register your station, it shows mine is transmitting ok. I clicked on my ID and it shows my history all updated, its just not coming up where it should. Any ideas?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
15. jthal57
11:08 PM GMT on April 16, 2008
I had a 30 deg. low this AM, frost not too heavy. Glad I covered my snow peas, lettuce, and spinach seedlings. I have had to water the garden the last two days.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. JDinWPA
8:34 PM GMT on April 16, 2008
We didn't have any frost this morning or if we did it was very light. And you're right, it is dry for April. I can actually weed without worrying about clumping the soil.

By the way, I live in northern Butler county, about 12 miles due north of the city of Butler proper.
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13. Zachary Labe
8:08 PM GMT on April 16, 2008
lawntonlookers- Good afternoon!!! Yes I know. I just set up the water sprinklers to hit the grass and gardens, just a minute ago.
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12. lawntonlookers
7:53 PM GMT on April 16, 2008
Not only need some weather, need some rain. My garden is drying out fast.
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11. Zachary Labe
7:21 PM GMT on April 16, 2008
29degrees here this morning with a heavy frost.
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10. JDinWPA
2:59 AM GMT on April 16, 2008
Good evening Blizzard! I'm glad to hear that you had a good time in the mountains. They are pretty neat. It's been a while since we took a trip there except for passing through on our way east. We were cavern visiting which is really interesting.

I can't believe the weather is so nice this week. Well, other than a little chilly mornings. Which is kind of odd, we haven't gotten a lot of rain in the last few weeks. Not that I'm complaining, we've had buckets full since December. Oh well, it is what it is. Have a good one!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. TheRasberryPatch
1:37 AM GMT on April 16, 2008
last night the low here was 29.6 degrees. a very bright sunny day today, still a bit cool. looking forward to the rest of the week. especially, the end of the week through the weekend. will be in williamsburg. playing the golden horseshoe on friday. looks like it will be a great day with temp in the low to mid 70's.
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8. Zachary Labe
12:44 AM GMT on April 16, 2008
cchamp6- Thanks. Wow, 19degrees. Chilly. Tonight here we are expected to get in the 20s.
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7. cchamp6
12:42 AM GMT on April 16, 2008
Hey Blizz,

The blog is looking good. Just need some activity in the storm department now.

Very cold here this morning, 19 degrees with a high of 56 degrees.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. Zachary Labe
12:11 AM GMT on April 16, 2008
jthal57- Good evening!!! Yea it was a nice day outside. Each day of the week the weather will be improving.

Updates coming tomorrow!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. jthal57
9:34 PM GMT on April 15, 2008
Nice day today, highs around 60, but very dry. Thankfully, winds were light, so no red flag warnings thus far.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. TheRasberryPatch
10:58 AM GMT on April 15, 2008
If you ever buy a tool for the garden a manure fork is one of the best. I use it to turn the dirt and it gets down very deep and turns the dirt so nicely, not to mention it is a great tool to turn the composte bin. I am on my second fork, because over a few years the handle will break if you use it enough : )
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3. Zachary Labe
9:56 PM GMT on April 14, 2008
TheRasberryPatch- Sounds great! I hopefully am getting my pea seeds in the ground by tomorrow afternoon.
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2. TheRasberryPatch
9:27 PM GMT on April 14, 2008
Saturday was a very nice day in this area. I tilled 2 out of 3 gardens after turning them with a manure fork a couple of weeks ago. The ground was so nice to till. the dirt piles disintegrated very nice. I got my potatoes in and am looking forward to a bountiful harvest like last years, but a couple of weeks earlier.
I hope the precipitation for April is at least normal. We haven't had an inch as of today and it doesn't appear we will see much the next week.
the grass got cut today. it looks great.
As for planting trees, I think i have plenty. I have planted my share of trees at the 4 houses i have lived. I bet I have planted close to 50 trees in the past 12 years. It is ashame that people don't plant enough oak's, especially the white oak. they are such nice trees and fast growing.
I hope to have my vegetable garden in by the beginning of May. I also am planning on putting in some grapes in another bed.
Ever heard of planting pole beans in your potato garden to keep out colorado potato beetles?
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1. Zachary Labe
12:11 AM GMT on April 14, 2008
Just got back from northern Pennsylvania. Mountaintops above elevations of 2200ft are still pretty dormat in terms of budding on trees. But low-lying valleys are turning green. A light thunderstorm did move through the area up there Friday night. Today it was cold up there with rain/snow showers. My update for all forecasts is coming tomorrow. Have a great evening!!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Ph.D. Student - Earth System Science (UC Irvine), B.Sc. - Atmospheric Sciences (Cornell University)

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