<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Philadelphia Weather News and Coverage]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/weather/stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Sat, 05 Sep 2015 06:30:47 -0400 Sat, 05 Sep 2015 06:30:47 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[How to Spot a Rip Current]]> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 10:11:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/07-29-2015-rip-current-nws-1.jpg

Dangerous swimming conditions will likely keep lifeguards busy during  the holiday weekend.

Elevated surf and rip currents are in the forecast as a long-period Southern Hemisphere swell moves into coastal waters. Expect elevated surf along south-facing beaches.

Strong rip currents can be detected by brown, discolored water. They often form on calm, sunny days.

Learn how to spot and avoid rip currents with this online training from the National Weather Service: Break the Grip of the Rip.

Photo Credit: NWS
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<![CDATA[NBC10 First Alert Severe Weather Central]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:17:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/generic+umbrella+rain+storm.jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Glenn's Blog: Second-Guessing Erika]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:07:26 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Glenn+Schwartz+Erika.JPG


In yesterday’s blog, I talked about how difficult Erika’s forecast was going to be. The intensity uncertainty was even higher than usual. And even though the computer forecast tracks looked similar, I said they couldn’t be trusted, since Erika was so disorganized. Now, less than 24 hours later, the computer forecast tracks AND the official National Hurricane Center track have shifted well to the left. This was no surprise. From yesterday’s blog:

“So far, Erika has been weak enough to be steered straight west. As long as it stays weak and disorganized, it should track more to the left than most computer models say”

“….Erika to track more to the left, move near the mountainous islands from Puerto Rico to Cuba, and be so disorganized that it won’t be able to recover. There’s at least a 30% chance of that happening”


This has always been a tough one for me, since worked at the National Hurricane Center long ago. I’ve been there when these potentially life-saving forecasts are made, and have admired many of the Hurricane Specialists there. Disagreeing publicly with NHC and downplaying a hurricane that gets worse can have fatal consequences. Studies have shown that many people, when faced with conflicting forecasts, will choose to follow the least threatening. Imagine if some local TV weathercaster downplayed Sandy, or Katrina, or Andrew. Basically, if we disagree significantly, we better be right.

But it depends on where you’re working. When I worked at AccuWeather (also long ago), we were encouraged to emphasize our disagreement with NHC or other National Weather Service forecasts. They used to take out huge newspaper ads bragging of their “victories”. They still disagree at times, but don’t seem to be as aggressive as they used to be. On the other hand, some other private sector meteorologists slam NHC sharply at times. Erika has been one of those times. One well-known meteorologist admitted he was on a “rant” and asked of NHC: “are they drunk?”


I’m not the only one who saw that the weak Erika was likely to follow the lower-level winds and steer well west of the NHC forecast (as demonstrated above). But what do we say, and how do we say it? How subtle do we need to be? Or can we emphasize our disagreement, with confidence that we are right and NHC is wrong? Remember, TV weathercasters are ad-libbing. There is no script. Sometimes words slip out that we regret later. In the rare times I publicly disagree (as with Erika), I try to prepare the phrasing a bit, so I don’t end up slapping myself for even one wrong word on-air.

The safe thing is clearly to show the NHC forecast on TV, and just “go with it”. Most do. But are we really serving our viewers by putting something on TV that we don’t agree with? Is it different for those of us with degrees in Meteorology and many years of experience in tropical forecasting?

In retrospect, I wish I had disagreed more publicly with Hurricane Irene in 2011. It was a category 3 major hurricane as it traveled north and hit near the North Carolina Outer Banks. And it was predicted to move up along the East Coast, directly affecting New Jersey and Delaware. It’s always a big deal when a hurricane comes up this way. But some hurricanes are different than others. Previous hurricanes taking this track have caused wind damage, depending on how strong they were (the 1944 storm destroyed much of the Atlantic City boardwalk). 

But that track does not produce big storm surges (which was the worst part of Sandy). Tracking so close to land leads to weakening. Yet ALL of Cape May County was evacuated. When I heard that, I almost didn’t believe it! Why was this necessary? This was not a “worst-case scenario”. The whole county? Yes, there would be wind damage, but….

So, now what do I do? The newscasters read the story about the government ordering the evacuation. But when they did the “toss” to me, I went right into the weathercast, just talking about the facts. Careful wording can help enhance or “play down” the threat, and I tried to make sure our viewers would not expect a “historic storm” at the shore. And indeed, Irene was not “historic” for the Jersey Shore. A lot of people mentioned Irene a year later when they were asked why they didn’t evacuate for Sandy. The over-forecasting of Irene clearly led to an under-estimation of the threat of “the big one” (which took the worst-case track).


Even a 2nd grader could see that not a single computer model predicted that Erika would track south of Puerto Rico (it has). Not a single one predicted a track over or south of the Dominican Republic (it is). Not a single computer model predicted a track over part of Cuba (it might). So, why would we trust any computer model now-especially the ones that track Erika well east of Florida? I’m not.

Once again, the weak, dis-organized storms tend to move to the left of the computer models. Since it is still weak, I would expect moving near the Dominican Republic and Haiti with their high mountains will weaken Erika even more. Maybe it will just be an unorganized blob of thunderstorms by Sunday. It sure doesn’t look like it will be able to get itself together fast enough to strengthen into a hurricane by that time. This lessens the wind and storm surge threat to Florida for now, but they could still get a LOT of rain in some places. South Florida is in a severe drought and needs rain, so it’s possible Erika could turn out to be helpful there.

Here are the 2pm Friday computer model forecasts. Notice that many now take Erika into the Gulf of Mexico. Very weak wind shear is predicted in the Eastern Gulf early next week, which would make conditions favorable for strengthening (very warm water, too). The Central and Western Gulf should have high wind shear, limiting Erika’s potential.


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<![CDATA[Tracking Erika: How Terrain Affects The Storm]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:51:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/erika_1200x675_515280963573.jpg Chief Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz details how Tropical Storm Erika will be affected by the rugged terrain of the Dominican Republic, and why there's already been many deaths associated with a disorganized tropical storm.]]> <![CDATA[Tropical Storm Erika's Impact on Philly Flights]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:49:07 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000011729447_1200x675_514669123647.jpg Tropical Storm Erika has already hit the Caribbean Island of Dominica. About 400 miles away, people in Puerto Rico are preparing for whatever the storm may bring. Christian Cazares, from our sister station Telemundo 62, has more on how the storm is impacting local flights.]]> <![CDATA[Erika: The Forecast]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:01:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_brightcove_2067658930001_4447640888001_4447576280001_vs.jpg

Even Tougher Than Usual
Hurricane forecasts have improved dramatically since I worked at the National Hurricane Center in the 1970s. Here is the proof:

The numbers show that the track error (where the storm will be) in a TWO day forecast in the 70s is about the same as the current error in their FIVE day forecast. Another way to put it: their TWO day forecast is THREE times as accurate as it was in 1970! Better computer models are the main reason for the tremendous improvement.

But not all hurricanes are alike. The ones tracking straight west across the Tropical Atlantic are the “easiest” ones to forecast. The ones that track northeastward across the North Atlantic also have high accuracy scores. The toughest forecasts are for “recurvature”-the transition between that westward track and the northeastward track. That is part of the forecast problem with Erika.

Weak Goes Left; Strong Goes Right
There are exceptions to every rule in hurricane forecasting. But there are tendencies and trends. Weaker, more disorganized storms (like Erika is now) tend to track more to the left than computer models suggest. It’s related to the structure of the storm. So, instead of getting “steered” by winds above 10,000 feet, the disorganized storms get steered by lower level winds, which in the tropics are often east to west.

So far, Erika has been weak enough to be steered straight west. As long as it stays weak and disorganized, it should track more to the left than most computer models say. It just happens time after time. But when it starts getting better organized, it can turn more to the right.

Wind Shear: Slayer of Hurricanes
Hurricanes are powerful storms, but in a way they’re kind of fragile. They need just the right combination of warm ocean AND wind patterns from the lower to upper atmosphere. Otherwise, they weaken, or don’t form at all. One big negative factor is when upper-air winds are much stronger and/or from different directions than lower-level winds. It’s called “wind shear,” and the greater the wind shear, the more hostile the conditions.

Here’s a map showing predicted wind shear in the Caribbean and Atlantic for Friday morning. The reddish colors show the strongest shear, and there’s plenty of it in Erika’s path toward Florida. (Erika is the “L” in the middle of the map). Even the green and yellow colors show unfavorable conditions:

So, if Erika is going to become a hurricane, it’s not likely to happen until the weekend-perhaps late in the weekend. Once a Tropical Storm is “ripped apart,” it takes a while to get organized again. Warm water, a lack of mountains, and low wind shear are all needed.

About Those Mountains…
There are some really big mountains that are in the possible path of Erika. Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic/Haiti, and Cuba all have at least one mountain that is at least 4000 feet high! It’s all about friction, and any type of land creates some friction. The greater the area of mountains, and the higher the mountains, the greater amount of friction there is. Hurricanes hate friction.

In the past, some already-developed hurricanes have taken the “triple island-mountain track” of Puerto Rico + Dominican Republic/Haiti +Cuba. All have weakened. Some have been crushed into a disorganized mess. Erika is already disorganized-if it tracks over the triple islands, it may not survive.

The Track Forecast Is Tough Enough, But…
So, the track of Erika is more uncertain than usual. And if you think that’s tough, look at the intensity forecasts!

No, they’re not kidding! The possible solutions range from a “nothing,” torn apart by the mountains and shear, all the way to a Category 5, with winds over 160 mph! I have never seen such a variation. But looking closely, there is a good deal of agreement for the first 72 hours that Erika will NOT be a hurricane through Sunday afternoon. Those strong solutions involve tracks that curve Erika well east of Florida and up toward the North Carolina coast by the middle of next week.

The Bottom Line
The “bottom line” is there is so much uncertainty, in both track and intensity, that possibilities range from Erika moving into the Gulf of Mexico all the way to curving off the Southeast U.S. coast. The rooting interest here is for Erika to track more to the left, move near the mountainous islands from Puerto Rico to Cuba, and be so disorganized that it won’t be able to recover. There’s at least a 30-percent chance of that happening. But that also means there’s nearly a 70-percent chance that it will turn out to be a threat to the U.S. mainland next week.

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<![CDATA[Hurricane Andrew: A Personal Story ]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:57:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Hurricane-Andrew-Embed.jpg


That’s what they call it when you’re unemployed in the TV business.    

“So, what’s Harry doing now?”

“Oh, he’s on the beach”

Well, I had been “on the beach” for several months after having my contract not renewed in Raleigh. Job prospects weren’t panning out. It was a rough time.

Then, on the morning of August 23, 1992, I got a call from my best friend, Jim Reif, who was the Chief Meteorologist at WINK-TV in Ft. Myers, Florida. WINK was a powerhouse back then, and Jim was “The Man” in that part of the state.

“How’d you like to work a hurricane?” he asked.

“Of course!”

“I talked to my News Director, and he thinks it’s a good idea to bring you down to work Hurricane Andrew for us. I already booked you on the flight to get here, assuming you’d be willing and able to do it.”


Andrew became a Tropical Depression out in the middle of the Atlantic on August 16. This is known as the MDR (“Main Development Region”) for tropical development in the Atlantic. Some of the biggest and most disastrous hurricanes have formed in this area.

It had been an incredibly quiet hurricane season in the Atlantic, as evidenced by the first storm of the season not forming until AFTER August 15th-an extremely late start. This was largely due to the moderate El Nino in the Tropical Pacific that often leads to less active hurricane seasons in the Atlantic (just as this year). But Andrew turned out to be the classic example of: “All it takes is one to make it a bad hurricane season."

Andrew became a tropical storm on August 17th, but it was an unusually small storm, and, of course, a weak one. Here’s the track, via a great interactive website from NOAA.

[[322727071, C]]


Jim had convinced his bosses to hire me as a consultant, and also to be on-air as an extra hurricane “expert." My background at the National Hurricane Center and as a Hurricane Specialist at The Weather Channel gave them confidence that I knew about hurricanes. And I already knew the area well, since I had visited Jim many times in the past. Jim’s wife picked me up at the airport and drove me to the station. And I went on TV only a short time later.

“Who the hell is this guy?” I can imagine people saying this as they tuned in to their favorite TV channel as the worst storm since 1960 threatened. But they put me on-air with Jim, the most trusted TV person in the area. That made all the difference. Being best friends allowed us to have an instant chemistry on-air. As August 23 turned into August 24, Jim and I continued our marathon. Once Andrew started strengthening rapidly and moving straight west toward Florida, there was no other news. It was all Andrew.


WINK-TV was an affiliate of CBS, and an important one at that. Station ratings were among the highest of any CBS affiliate in the country year after year. That meant the CBS national news programs also had high ratings. So the #1 anchorman in the Ft. Myers/Naples area was Dan Rather. But as many meteorologists have discovered over the years, Dan Rather was not the most accurate or responsible communicator of hurricane information.

Andrew was an unusually small hurricane. Even when it became what is now known as a Category 5 storm (it was upgraded from a 4 to 5 many years later), the hurricane force winds only extended about 25 miles from the center, so the resulting damage was only in a narrow area. As we soon learned, the city of Miami had minimal damage, while Homestead, only 25 miles away, was basically destroyed.

We could see how small Andrew was, and also that it was moving straight west. I’ve attached a Florida map just to show you how ridiculous the Dan Rather quote would be:

[[322727191, C]]

Now take a line from Homestead straight west (right to left). Does that line come anywhere close to Fort Myers? Either Dan Rather didn’t know how to read a map, didn’t realize how small Andrew was, or just wanted to scare people, we didn’t know. All we knew was that he was dead wrong when, after showing the South Miami area getting clobbered, he said: “Next stop: Fort Myers!”

This was the #1 voice of the entire network, and scared the daylights out of thousands, or even tens of thousands of people who were watching at the time. Jim and I were furious! Our whole message that morning was that Andrew would track well south of the area, and only the Naples area would get significant wind and rain. And even then, it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as the southern part of the Miami area. But what do we say on CBS immediately after Rather’s comments?

Jim decided (and I firmly agreed) to directly comment on the words issued seconds before. “Don’t pay attention to what Dan Rather just said”, said Reif, and then we both explained in detail why he was wrong. And why our viewers shouldn’t think that Andrew had changed course and was headed right at us. There were very few people in the area that had ever experienced a hurricane of any kind, let alone a major one. The station was flooded with calls from frantic viewers who were going to stay home, but now needed to escape the area.

You might wonder if our management was upset that we slammed Dan Rather on live TV on their local CBS station. Nope. All they wanted to know is if we were sure it wasn’t going to cause major damage in the Ft. Myers area, and then gave us their full support. I can’t tell you what the competing stations said (we were a bit busy), but the feedback later in the form of calls, letters, and personal comments were unanimous in gratitude and congratulations.


The damage in the Naples area was on the minor side. And there was virtually no damage in the Ft. Myers area. Many parts of our area didn’t even see a drop of rain!

I went to the Homestead area shortly after the storm to inspect the damage and report for the station. “It was like a 20 mile wide tornado hit the area. Everything is gone. People can’t even find where there houses used to be.” It was devastating to see the destruction. We couldn’t help thinking, what if? What if Andrew tracked 20-40 miles farther north, with the “donut of destruction” directly hitting the Miami area? What if Andrew was a much larger storm? It could have been so much worse.

[[322727261, C]]

(After the storm, WINK offered me a full-time contract. It was only three more years before I made it home to Philly.)

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<![CDATA[Hurricane's Blog: Another Nice Weekend on Tap]]> Sat, 22 Aug 2015 07:19:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/generic-beach-resized.jpg

In general, we’ve had really nice weather for the past 7 weekends in a row. And that has been the case from the Poconos to the Shore. This weekend will be another one, with the partial exception at the Jersey shore on Sunday.

The cold front that moved through with all the rain last night is now offshore. And the very muggy air we’ve had for the past couple of days is going with it. Not only is the heat wave over-we’ll have low humidity and clean air this weekend!

But the front is going to stall just offshore, as a storm that will NOT hit us moves northward in the Atlantic:

[[322580412, C]]

Note the high pressure centered just north of Pennsylvania. Normally with a position like that, the showers just off the Jersey Shore would continue to move out to sea. But also look at the bottom right. That’s an area of low pressure (either tropical or sub-tropical, but it doesn’t matter). Now look at the Sunday map:

[[322580432, C]]

The high has disappeared by Sunday, while the LOW has gotten much closer to us. In effect, the LOW is “pushing” the moisture back toward our area, and blocking it from continuing out to sea. The LOW will move away from land Monday, so it’s not a direct threat. But it indirectly may cause more clouds and even a shower chance Sunday, especially in New Jersey.

(And, in case you were worried, “Danny” will have absolutely NO impact on the U.S. East Coast this weekend).

Phila. area: Sunny and less humid. High 84. Chance of rain near zero

NJ Shore: Sunny and less humid. High 80. Chance of rain 10%. Wind from the Northeast 10-15 mph. Ocean temp: 67. Watch out for increasing rip currents.

DE Beaches: Partly sunny and still humid. High 82. Chance of rain 5%. Wind Northeast 10-15 mph. Ocean temp: near 80. Increased rip currents.

Poconos: Sunny and pleasant. High 76. Chance of rain near zero.

Phila. area: Mostly sunny and warm. Still not humid. High 86. Chance of rain 10% at any one spot

NJ Shore: Sun & clouds with a slight chance of showers. High 80. Chance of rain 20%. Wind Northeast 10-15 mph. Rip current risk.

DE Beaches: Mostly sunny. High 82. Chance of rain 10%. Wind Northeast 10-15 mph. Rip current risk.

Poconos: Mostly sunny with low humidity. High 78. Chance of rain 10%

Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz
Chief Meteorologist, NBC10 Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Archivo
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<![CDATA[Hurricane's Blog: Another Nice Weekend on Tap?]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:10:43 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/jersey+shore+generic+playing+beach.jpg

Another Good One (Mostly)
In general, we’ve had really nice weather for the past seven weekends in a row. And that has been the case from the Poconos to the Shore. This weekend, we’re most sure about the Poconos and the western suburbs of Philadelphia, but least sure about the Jersey Shore and Delaware beaches.

It’s been very muggy for the past couple of days, and now a cold front will be bringing relief…to most of us. At the Jersey Shore and Delaware beaches, it may stay humid all weekend (although not quite as bad as it is now). And some showers may actually return to areas near the shore on Sunday.

Blocking the Exit
Drier air will certainly move in gradually Friday afternoon and night, setting the area up for yet another very nice day Saturday. But we may not be seeing a repeat Sunday. Take a look at the computer forecast maps:

Note the high pressure centered just north of Pennsylvania. Normally with a position like that, the showers just off the Jersey Shore would continue to move out to sea. But also look at the bottom right. That’s an area of low pressure (either tropical or sub-tropical, but it doesn’t matter). Now look at the Sunday map:

The high has disappeared by Sunday, while the LOW has gotten much closer to us. In effect, the LOW is “pushing” the moisture back toward our area, and blocking it from continuing out to sea. The LOW will move away from land Monday, so it’s not a direct threat. But it indirectly may cause more clouds and even a shower threat Sunday, especially in New Jersey.

(And, in case you were worried, “Danny” will have absolutely NO impact on the U.S. East Coast this weekend).

The Forecast

Philadelphia area: Mostly sunny and less humid. High 84. Chance of rain 10 percent.

Jersey Shore: Partly sunny and still a bit humid. High 80. Chance of rain 20 percent. Wind from the Northeast 10-20 mph. Ocean temp: 75. Watch out for increasing rip currents.

Delaware Beaches: Partly sunny and still humid. High 82. Chance of rain 15 percent. Wind Northeast 10-15 mph. Ocean temp: near 80. Increased rip currents.

Poconos: Sunny and pleasant. High 78. Chance of rain near zero.

Philadelphia area: Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of showers. High 86. Chance of rain 20 percent at any one spot

Jersey Shore: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. High 80. Chance of rain 30 percent. Wind Northeast 10-15 mph. Rip current risk.

Delaware Beaches: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers. High 82. Chance of rain 20 percent. Wind Northeast 10-15 mph. Rip current risk.

Poconos: Clouds increase. Slight chance of showers. High 76. Chance of rain 20 percent

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[A Wet End to Our 4th Heat Wave]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:20:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Glenn-New-Blog-1.jpg


We’ve had a lot of days of 90 degrees or higher this summer (27 so far), which is about average for an entire summer. What is unusual is that we haven’t really had any extreme, dangerous heat (temperatures at or near 100). And we’re sure not going to get any in the next week, at least.

A major change in the overall weather pattern will prevent heat from building up in our part of the country for a while. The change from the hot & humid air to more comfort will probably come with a bang, in the form of heavy showers and thunderstorms.


Usually, I’m writing about how different computer models are coming up with far different forecasts. This is amazingly true regarding the future of Tropical Storm Danny, but that’s for another blog. But this time, high agreement means higher confidence that the basic forecast will be on target. Not perfect-on target.

Here are the latest forecast maps for total rainfall by Friday afternoon. Notice how similar the amounts of rain are. And the areas getting the most rain are similar, too. These are the NAM, GFS, and Canadian models (in that order) from today. The scale is a little difficult to read, but it is generally showing about an inch in the Philadelphia area, with more to the west and less to the east. But in this case, there is potential for a lot more rain in some localized areas.

The least amount of rain, on average, is at the shore. And the most (around 2”) is near the Poconos and Berks County. That’s the general picture. Then we try to get into the details.


It’s obviously a dangerous thing to be walking along train tracks. In weather, “training” is potentially dangerous, too. That is when showers or thunderstorms move along the same narrow zone time after time. Some places get a LOT of rain, while others may see none at all.

Another look at the maps above shows a general south to north band of the heavier rain. In this pattern, the actual shower movement is going to be south to north. When you combine an extremely moist air mass with a slow-moving band of showers and storms, it adds up to a potential flooding threat from training. Normally, a north-south line of storms keeps moving, so no one area gets enough rain for flooding. But when showers keep moving from south to north along the line, and the line moves slowly, it can cause trouble. 

Keep an eye on the radar in the next 36 hours, whether it’s on TV, your computer, or on your phone. It may give you an extra clue about where the flood threat should be in the next few hours. That’s what our Weather APP is for.

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<![CDATA[Localized Flooding in Parts of Region]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 23:50:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Manchester-Flooding1.jpg

Scattered showers hit parts of the area Wednesday causing localized flooding. 

A flash flood warning was in effect for central Bucks County, southeastern Montgomery County and Northwest Philadelphia 

The rain disrupted SEPTA train service. Service was suspended between the Willow Grove and Warminster stations on the Warminster Line due to downed wires. CHECK HERE for alternate service suggestions. 

There were reports of lightning during a storm over North Philadelphia. Witnesses saw lightning strike a pole at the intersection of Whitaker and Wyoming avenues causing some power outages in the area. 

Rain also caused flooding in South Jersey including Manchester Township where the water reached as high as two feet in some areas. Two vehicles became stranded in the water in the area of Barcelona Court, Eleanor Road and Ambassador Drive as a result. An ambulance responding to a first aid call also got stuck on Barcelona Drive. 

More storms are expected to hit the area Thursday with scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. 

Photo Credit: Manchester Township Police ]]>
<![CDATA[How High School Students Are Handling the Heat]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:50:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/199*120/Marching+Band+Claymont+Tuba.JPG Tim Furlong is in North Wilmington checking in on some high school students as they start outdoor practice and rehearsals for the upcoming school year.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Enough With the Ridiculous Storm Names! ]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:50:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Superstorm-Sandy-Florida-Sa.jpg


Jason Samenow, the normally reasonable leader of the “Capital Weather Gang” blog on the Washington Post must have gone over to “the dark side." I agree with him on practically everything, so it was a shock to see a column titled: “Godzilla El Nino’: Meteorologists need to back off their criticism of apt description." He said using the word “Godzilla” was a “fun, buzz-worthy weather term”. What?????


As I’ve pointed out in a couple of blogs, a possible record El Nino continues to build in the Tropical Pacific, and it is certainly helping to suppress hurricane season in the Atlantic.

And last week, I looked at how the El Nino could influence another “feast or famine” winter here:

Apparently, calling it a “Super El Nino” or “Record El Nino isn’t enough for some folks. We live in an age of hype-in blogs, movies, politics, and yes, even news at times. It helps sell papers, create a “buzz," get more “clicks," and get valued media attention. But do scientists have to play that game? Are we so un-creative that we have to make up nonsense names to get attention?

The name “Godzilla” was added to the El Nino term by none other than a man Jason described as “respected NASA scientist William Patzert”. A quick Google look proves that not only is he brilliant, but a terrific communicator. He’s so good that he is well-known in California. Los Angeles Magazine calls him “The Prophet of California Climate." Clearly the guy has no problem finding words to describe his science.


Jason seems to feel that “Godzilla” is fine because it was used by a “respected scientist” and that “I say it often: If you’re boring, you’re irrelevant in weather communication.” Just how “un-boring” can you be as a scientist without causing a problem for everyone else? It is now a perfect defense by any headline writer in the world to call the El Nino “Godzilla." “Hey, a respected scientist called it that, not us.” This kind of thing has happened before, and I’m sure it will happen again.


Now, that was a great name. It was attributed to a former co-worker of mine, Bob Case, from the National Weather Service office in Boston. The 1991 combination of a dying hurricane, a cold front, and a high pressure area coming down from Canada were the three elements. They led to a best-selling book in 1997 and a popular movie starring George Clooney in 2000. While it wasn’t that unique in weather history, Bob apparently told the author, Sebastian Junger that it was a “perfect situation”. As I recall, only meteorological nitpickers objected to the name.


When we think of names for storms, we think of hurricanes. That officially started in 1953. But the origin of that was probably the habit in World War II of pilots naming their planes for their wives, girlfriends, or movie stars. The main objection regarding hurricane names was in 1979, when the National Hurricane Center (NHC) was ordered to alternate men’s and women’s names. It had been all female names before that.

Hurricane names have been carefully selected, first by NHC, and then by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). None of them are “jokes" or silly names, unlike the winter storm naming from The Weather Channel starting in 2012.


There are some real science nerds at The Weather Channel (I should know-I used to be one of them). It must have been a kick to be able to name winter storms after characters on “The Jetsons” (“Astro”), “Star Trek” (“Vulcan”), mythology (“Thor”, and many others), Captain “Nemo”, cartoon or comic book characters (“Linus”, Electra”), etc….etc….Believe it or not, I don’t object to the general idea of naming winter storms. It’s just the obvious frivolous and playful choice of names. Why not name them after Presidents? Or great scientists? Or war heroes? There are plenty of serious possible choices.


We had more than one big snowstorm in the record winter of 2009-10. The biggest was on Feb. 5-6, 2010. We got 28.5” of snow officially in Philadelphia, making it the second biggest one ever recorded. In the Washington/Baltimore area, Dulles airport got 33” and BWI 25”. So, of course, someone had to come up with a special name for the special storm. The Capital Weather Gang asked for suggestions, and one of them, “Snowmageddon” became the favorite. The storm will forever be known with that name.

While the name was nice and cute, there were several deaths associated with it. But not nearly as many as there were in “Frankenstorm”.


We knew Sandy was going to be bad days in advance. When an executive on a conference call asked what the “worst case scenario” was, I replied: “The worst natural disaster in our part of the world." This was no time for frivolous names. People were about to die. Others would lose their lifetime homes. Millions suffered in one way or another.

But one National Weather Service meteorologist wrote in a discussion, noting that Halloween was near, that “inviting perhaps a ghoulish nickname for the cyclone along the lines of ‘Frankenstorm,' an allusion to Mary Shelley’s gothic creature of synthesized elements.” What????? What happened to the days when The National Weather Service had standards as a serious, life-saving institution? Is it about internet “clicks” now? Or, “let’s get as much publicity as possible?"

Now that one real scientist used a “fun” name, it seemed every media outlet jumped in to join the fun. Except, of course, it turned out to be as far from fun as any storm we’ve seen along the East Coast. Later, it was called “Superstorm Sandy," which was a perfectly appropriate name for such a disaster.


“The Perfect Storm” , “Superstorm Sandy”, “The Storm of the Century”, “The Lindsay Storm” (look it up), “The Labor Day Hurricane”….all were names that described the storm, the timing of it, or the politician whose career was hurt by it (Lindsay). But where does “Godzilla” come in?

It’s no more serious than “Sharknado”, which is a nice, funny joke. Everyone knows it’s a joke. And it’s about something fictional. “Godzilla” has nothing to do with El Nino, in any way. But expect to hear that name a lot more. After all, it was “a respected scientist” who coined it. It’s the perfect defense.

Photo Credit: NOAA]]>
<![CDATA[Another Heat Wave, Storms]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 23:07:23 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/stormCloudNewJersey.PNG

As temps pushed toward 90 for the third-straight day, the region hunkered down under another official heat wave Monday.

The heat wave became officials as temperatures reached 90 by mid-afternoon. The high temperature on Saturday was 91 and Sunday was 93.

The heat wave was expected to last through Wednesday according to NBC10 Chief Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz.

Isolated storms began to pop up Monday afternoon, including one caught from the air by SkyForce10 over Bucks County and another in Northeast Philadelphia.

A flood advisory was in effect for south central Bucks County, east central Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia until 9:15 p.m.

Hot and muggy stays in the forecast through Friday with a possibility of pop-up storms each afternoon.

We can expect a break from the humidity come the weekend.

Photo Credit: Skyforce10
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<![CDATA[Trying to Beat the Excessive Heat]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:39:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000011592482_1200x675_506755139733.jpg NBC10’s Jesse Gary talks about the increasing temperatures and how you should stay indoors until evening to avoid the threat.]]> <![CDATA[Another Nice One! Your Weekend Forecast]]> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 20:41:34 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/b825d21cad85400c8023c12364cb83f7.jpg

We’ve been lucky with our summer shore weekends this year, especially lately. Using Atlantic City as a base, we’ve now gone 12 straight weekend days without rain. And ALL of them were partly sunny or better.

That’s a nice stretch. We even lucked out last weekend, as the coastal storm stayed weak and offshore.

Before this nice stretch, 6 of 7 weekend days in June had some rain, and there was a lot less sunshine than July and August. So far. And it looks like the stretch of nice shore weather will continue for this weekend.

The pattern is similar to what we’ve seen in recent weeks. Hot weather inland (but not dangerously hot) and sunny, dry, and warm shore weather. At times, the ocean temperature got up to 78 degrees in Atlantic City, and was 80+ at the Delaware Beaches-without the jellyfish that often come with warm ocean temperatures.

As the computer model maps show, high pressure is centered nearby both Saturday and Sunday, without any significant rain threat. The chances aren’t zero, especially in the Poconos, but they’re pretty low. Again.

[[321831242, C]]


Phila. area: mostly sunny and hot. High 90. Chance of rain 5%

NJ Shore: .sunny and nice. High 80. Chance of rain near zero. Wind from the Southwest, shifting into a sea breeze in the afternoon. Ocean temp 74.

DE Beaches. Sunny and warn. High 86. Chance of rain near zero. Wind Southwest 10-15 mph. Ocean temp 77

Poconos: sun & clouds. Warm. High 80. Chance of rain 15%

Phila. area:. Sun & clouds. Hot & a bit more humid. High 92 (“Fells like” to 95). Chance of rain 5%

NJ Shore. mostly sunny and warm. High 82. Wind SW turning into PM sea breeze. Chance of rain near zero.

DE Beaches. Mostly sunny and hot. High 88. Wind SW 10-15

Poconos. : mostly sunny and warm. High 84. Chance of rain 10%

Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz
Chief Meteorologist, NBC10 Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Rachel Ellentuck
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[El Niño & Winter: A 1st Look From August ]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 11:11:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*124/GHS+OISST+El+Nino.png

Either Major Or "Super" El Niño

El Niño has arrived in the Tropical Pacific. By now, you’ve probably heard that it’s a strong one, and could become the strongest ever recorded. The "BIG ONE" occurred in 1997-98, with other strong El Niños in 1982-83 and 1972-73.

Here’s the latest look at ocean temperatures in the Pacific compared to “normal:”

[[321764642, C]]

The reddish colors show the warmest changes compared to average. The El Niño is in the middle of the image, extending from the coast of South America all the way to near the Philippines (about 10,000 miles!). That’s a lot of warmth, which is helping to make 2015 the earth’s warmest on record.

But there’s more. Look at the two other HUGE warm areas north of the El Niño area. One is off the coast of Baja California -- the other off the Pacific Northwest and Alaska coasts. Let’s call them "Warm Pool Baja" and "Warm Pool Seattle." They may play an important role in our winter. More on that later. But back to El Niño...

The image below compares the current El Niño to other strong El Niño years, just so you can see how extreme this one is (so far).

[[321764752, C]]

Strong El Niños & Winters Here

OK, so why should we care about ocean temperatures thousands of miles away? Because they affect our weather, that’s why. Strong El Niños have led to some very interesting winters here.

The El Niño of 1972-73 led to a winter with NO measurable snow in Philadelphia. Just some traces of snow. It was the least snowy winter ever recorded here. Did that get your attention? Maybe that was a coincidence. How about the other strong El Niño winters? The winter of 1997-98 was the strongest on record. And the snow: LESS THAN ONE INCH (0.8").
The other strong one was 1982-83. The snow: 35.9 inches. There, that spoils the theory of strong El Niños leading to nearly snowless winters here. Maybe.

But if we look a bit closer, we find that 21.3 inches of that snow fell in ONE STORM (Feb. 10-12). In fact, that was the biggest snowstorm on record, until the "Blizzard of '96" came around. So, what happened in that February that was different from the other strong El Niño months? The answer lies in the Arctic.

The Arctic Oscillation (AO)… The 'X' Factor

We have talked about the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) many times in the past. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just say that when it’s "negative," we tend to get colder and snowier winter weather here. The AO hasn’t been talked about much in public until recent years. But it is also very important, and a "negative" AO also tends to lead to colder and snowier winters here (and the now notorious "Polar Vortex"). The correlation is very impressive, especially in recent years.

[[321764762, C]]

WOW! The average snow in -AO: 63.6 inches and in +AO: 7.9 inches.

It’s not a large "sample," but it is pretty amazing. The obvious conclusion is that if we can predict what the AO is going to be, we can predict whether we’ll have a very snowy or un-snowy winter. It seems like one extreme or another, unless the AO is near neutral. The problem is, just as with the NAO, we can’t predict the AO very far in advance.

What's the Connection of El Niño/AO?

The general theory is that El Niño helps flood much of the U.S. with warm air and moisture. It also associated with more frequent storms, such as Nor’easters. It’s like the atmosphere is on steroids. That’s what happened in 1972-73 and 1997-98, when we hardly had any snow. So, we get lots of storms, but it’s too warm for snow.

The best way to prevent it from being too warm for snow is to have a –AO, which is a blocking pattern that tends to prevent warm air from moving in. Instead of the blitzing linebacker (warm air) blasting straight through to the quarterback, we put in a really effective lineman (-AO). Now the quarterback can do what a quarterback does (snow in the winter), and it doesn’t matter how big and bad the linebacker is (can you tell I’m a football fan?). Like in February 1983, when an all-pro linebacker snuck in and crushed the quarterback during a period of –AO (biggest snowstorm on record!).

If you want to know more about the NAO and AO, here’s a good link.

Any Clues Regarding The AO?

A recent blog by Todd Crawford of WSI showed some interesting developments. The AO was negative practically all of July. He showed that the 10 "blockiest" July’s ALL were followed by –AO winters. This means that, if history repeats itself, another "big" winter is possible, despite the strong El Niño.

The Baja/Seattle Warm Pool:The 'Y' Factor

Look back at the graphic showing current ocean temperature anomalies. If the huge red area representing the El Niño is important, then the big “Baja & Seattle Warm Pools” should be, too. That’s a lot of extra warm water over thousands of miles. And it’s VERY close to the U.S. West Coast. It clearly has been related to the long California drought and extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest.

A part of that warm water pattern is called the PDO, and it was strong enough to have a big influence on last winter along the East Coast. While we started with little snow, a lot of late-season snow put us above average for the season. And remember Boston had their snowiest winter ever recorded. These "Baja & Seattle Warm Pools" could again become factors favoring more cold and snow in our part of the country.

August Summary

The current extreme ocean patterns in the Tropical and North Pacific are going to be major factors in what kind of winter we have. That is, if there are no big changes in them for the rest of the year. And the Arctic Oscillation will be another key. We’ve had a lot of "feast or famine" winters in the past decade, and early signs point to a potential one, too. It’s just too early to tell if it will be "feast" or "famine."

Stay tuned for monthly updates on this fascinating pattern.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Your Photos: Storm Clouds over Pa, NJ, Del.]]> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:17:57 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/178*120/StormCloudsRaySkwire2.PNG Your Photos: Storm Clouds over Pa, NJ, Del. August 11, 2015.

Photo Credit: Ray Skwire Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Free Ways to Cool Off Amid Stifling Heat Wave]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 06:53:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Staying-Cool-in-the-Heat.jpg The stifling heat hitting our region is especially hard on senior citizens. The city of Philadelphia is offering older residents some relief. NBC10's Doug Shimell reports from North Philadelphia with more on free ways people can cool off.]]> <![CDATA[How Children Can Stay Cool in Dangerous Heat]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:00:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Spray+Park+Child+Boy+Heat.JPG Children are on the list as some of the most at risk when excess heat strikes. NBC10's Brittney Shipp has more about how children are staying cool.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[What is El Nino & Why Should We Care About It?]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:32:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/El-Nino-Pic-1.jpg

El Nino is a huge area of extra warm water in the Tropical Pacific. Ocean temperatures always vary, but this is a large and persistent area that can stretch from the coast of South America all the way to the Phillipines. That’s a lot of real estate and a lot of energy. It can influence weather in many parts of the world, including ours. And the one developing now could rival 1997-98 as the strongest El Nino ever recorded.

The animation below shows how the El Nino has quickly evolved into a monster. The redder the colors, the more extreme the temperature change from average (called “anomalies”). And, as you can see, it is still strengthening.

[[319571731, C]]


As we head toward the beginning of August, we keep getting closer to the peak months of hurricane season. August, September, and October represent the peak, with September at the top of the list historically. Anyone with interests at the shore tends to become more focused on the tropics. But there has been only a small increase of tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin (Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and North Atlantic). A tropical disturbance in the far East Atlantic is being watched as of this writing. Here is the satellite loop: http://www.goes.noaa.gov/dml/eumet/nhem/eatl/rb.html

It doesn’t seem to make sense, but we can largely thank the Pacific Ocean for decreased activity in the Atlantic-specifically, the “Super” El Nino that is developing there.

El Nino’s biggest influence is obviously in the Pacific, especially the Tropical Pacific. This leads to tremendous amounts of thunderstorms. The strong upper-level winds from some of these storms cross into the Tropical Atlantic, creating extra “wind shear." Wind shear, or big changes of wind direction or speed as you go higher in the atmosphere, helps prevent Tropical Storms from forming, or weaken ones that have already formed. On the other hand, all that warm water in the Tropical Pacific leads to more storms, and helps make for stronger tropical systems. There are a lot of “Super-typhoons” when there’s a strong El Nino. This year is no exception.

Take a look at the tropical tracks for the Atlantic and Pacific so far this season from http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/index.php (Unisys has had the best historical tropical tracking information since the internet’s early days).

[[319572381, C]]

[[319573161, C]]

[[319573761, C]]

The Atlantic has had three named storms already, but all formed close to the U.S., weren’t around long, and none became hurricanes. The “Super” El Nino effect is the lack of action in the tropics, from the Caribbean to Africa. Let’s see how much forms there as we go into the historical peak of the season.

The East Pacific (map #2) shows a lot of activity for that part of the world, with three major hurricanes already. And in the Western Pacific (map #3) they’re off to a big start. Even though this is the most active part of the world, the storms are much more frequent and stronger than usual.


El Nino isn’t the only thing helping to suppress the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season. While much of the Pacific Ocean has water temperatures WAAAY above “normal," a lot of the Atlantic is colder than normal. That is especially true for what is known as the “Main Development Region (MDR)” from just east of the Caribbean straight to the African coast.

[[319574561, C]]

Also, the drier Africa is, the lower the chance of tropical development in the MDR. Some of the most powerful hurricanes in history have developed in the MDR. A lot of dust from the Sahara desert is a result of dry conditions over the continent. That dust helps prevent tropical formation. The graphic below shows how extensive the Sahara dust is. It also shows the blobs of thunderstorms moving east to west across Africa. Those “tropical waves” are usually much bigger than the current ones.

[[319574971, C]]

Finally, the lower atmospheric pressures are in the MDR, the more likely tropical storms are to form. Pressures are higher than normal. The “Bermuda HIGH” is closer to the tropics, leading to higher pressures.


No, I’m not saying that. It just looks like an overall “quiet” season in the Atlantic. But as we say, “All it takes is ONE to make it a bad season." In 1972, a strong El Nino was underway, and there was only one hurricane that even came close to the U.S., and that one was barely strong enough to be a hurricane. But its name was Agnes, which caused so much flooding in Pennsylvania that it became the worst natural disaster in the state’s history.


As you know, there are few guarantees in weather forecasting. But people still make plans based on weather forecasts. In this case, your odds of good weather for a tropical vacation this year are better than they may be next year. I checked, and many post El Nino years were very active in the Tropical Atlantic.

The good odds this year also applies to the Pope’s visit in September, the historical peak of hurricane season. Let’s hope the strong El Nino, cold ocean, Saharan dust, and higher pressures continue….

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Wave... It's All Relative]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 14:23:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/heat+generic+sept+2014_3.jpg

Heat can be a killer -- and it has. We think of hurricanes or tornadoes as being the biggest weather threats around here, but the biggest death toll was from a heat wave. In 1993, 118 people died in Philadelphia from heat-related problems. It was even worse in Chicago a couple of years later, 1995. That heat wave killed nearly 500 people. But those numbers pale in comparison to ones overseas in recent years.

In 2003, a heat wave in Europe killed more than 70,000 people. No, that’s not a typo -- 70,000! France alone lost about 15,000. And in 2010, Russia (yes, Russia) had a heat wave that supposedly killed 55,000 people or more.

It’s very hard to count the number of heat-related deaths. If someone died in a hot row home from a heart attack, was it at least partially caused by heat? A common way to do it these days is to know the average number of people who die in a day. Then any amount above that average is assumed to be heat-related.

Heat deaths don’t generally come from just a couple of hot days. It’s the buildup of heat over a period of many days. And the nights are every bit as important. For example, if the temperature is able to drop to near 70 at night, the heat danger will be much less than if it only goes down to 80. That’s true even if the afternoon temperature and humidity are the same for both days.

The buildup of heat is easier in a brick house with no air conditioning. Those brick row houses in Philadelphia are more like ovens in an extreme heat wave. Lack of air conditioning was a big factor in those high Europe & Russia heat disasters.


The old saying: “It’s not the heat-it’s the humidity” is generally true. Of course, there isn’t a threat unless we start with high temperatures. But if you have ever been to a place like Las Vegas or Phoenix, even a 110 degree temperature day doesn’t feel as bad as some days here. The best way to compare heat dangers is with the HEAT INDEX, which combines temperature and humidity.

People sometime ask me for the formula to calculate the heat index. Well, my answer is the same as I give them for “wind chill”: “You don’t really want to know”. Here’s why:


Still want to know it? Instead, we have nice, colorful tables where you can look up the temperature on one column and the humidity in the other. Here is what those numbers mean regarding the actual danger:

80—91 °F -- Caution: fatigue is possible with prolonged exposure and activity. Continuing activity could result in heat cramps.

90—105 °F -- Extreme caution: heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible. Continuing activity could result in heat stroke.

105—130 °F -- Danger: heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely; heat stroke is probable with continued activity

Over 130 °F -- Extreme danger: heat stroke is imminent


The heat index this week has reached up to 105 in Philadelphia and nearly 110 in Dover. While those are high numbers, they are far from the ones we experienced 5 years ago in 2010. The temperature reached 103 and the heat index got to 119 degrees. In Philadelphia. Here’s a chart, courtesy of meteorologist Jim Eberwine, showing the temperature and heat index for July 20-25th. How high can the Heat Index get? Appleton, Wisconsin once had a HI of 148 degrees! Worldwide, the highest I could find was 176 degrees in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia! Not so dry in that desert.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Rains Pours Down in New Jersey, Flash Flood Warning Widespread]]> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:15:26 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/216*120/Deptford+Wet+Road+Generic+Rain+Generic+Flood.JPG NBC10 got some great video of the downpour currently in Deptford, New Jersey. Gloucester County is just a portion of the area where flooding is a concern Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[New Castle County Hit Hard by Storms]]> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 12:14:37 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/New+Castle+Mobile+Home+Park+Funnel+Cloud+Damage.JPG Rain and wind caused severe damage to homes in New Castle.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Clean Up Begins After Storm]]> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 06:38:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/New+Castle+Mobile+Home+Park+Funnel+Cloud+Damage.JPG Thursday night's storm left behind some damage in surrounding areas. NBC10's Matt Delucia was in New Castle County, Delaware, with an update at some of the hardest hit areas.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA['This Is Our Sandy']]> Sun, 28 Jun 2015 23:50:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/205*120/Greenwich+Township+Storm+Damage.JPG Gibbstown, New Jersey continued to fight to get the power back and the fallen trees cleared six days after storms. The lack of state support caused Greenwich Township Mayor George W. Shivery, Jr. to ask what fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie planned to do.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[New Storm Knocks Out More Power]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 23:41:28 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/power_outage_generic.jpg As crews struggled the get the power back for thousands left in the dark after earlier storms, a new bout of rain and wind knocked out power to thousands more.]]> <![CDATA[Lightning Strikes at Firefly]]> Sat, 20 Jun 2015 23:30:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Firefly+Lightning+Evacatuation.JPG About 90,000 festivalgoers at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delware were told to seek shelter as heavy storms began to strike Saturday night.

Photo Credit: Instagram - JaketheCyclops]]>
<![CDATA[NBC10 First Alert Weather Forecast]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:05:09 -0400 ]]> <![CDATA[NBC10 First Alert Weather: Damaging Winds]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:21:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000010105472_1200x675_432394819741.jpg NBC10 First Alert Weather meteorologist Brittney Shipp says many areas across the region saw dangerous wind speeds Wednesday.]]> <![CDATA[Storm Picking Up in NJ]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:06:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/snow+pitman+new+jersey+march+5+2015.jpg Winds have picked up and visibility has deteriorated in New Jersey, as the winter storm moves through.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Light Snow, Then Bitter Cold to Hit Area ]]> Thu, 12 Feb 2015 07:52:42 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/cold+weather+second.jpg

Get ready to bundle up over the next few days. We’re in for bitter cold with wind chills below zero.

Before the cold, a system will bring in light snow Thursday. We should see very little accumulation, if any at all, as well as temperatures in the mid to upper 30’s. After the snow clears out Thursday night, the deep freeze begins. By the time you wake up Friday, frigid wind chills will make temperatures feel like below zero in most parts of the region.

Wind Chill Temperatures by 7 a.m. Friday

Philadelphia: -5 degrees

Wilmington: -4 degrees

Dover: 0 degrees

Allentown: -10 degrees

Doylestown: -7 degrees

Pottstown: -8 degrees

Reading: -8 degrees

Cape May: 3 degrees

Atlantic City: -2 degrees

Toms River: -5 degrees

Things won't get much better throughout the day with temperatures in the low 20's and wind chills in the teens and single digits.

Wind Chill Temperatures by 2 p.m. Friday


Philadelphia: 12 degrees

Wilmington: 13 degrees

Dover: 14 degrees

Allentown: 5 degrees

Doylestown: 8 degrees

Pottstown: 8 degrees

Reading: 8 degrees

Cape May: 12 degrees

Atlantic City: 12 degrees

Toms River: 10 degrees

We won’t see much of a warmup Saturday with temperatures in the 20’s as well as a chance of snow overnight into Sunday.

Stay with NBC10.com for the latest weather updates.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Covering Roads, Sidewalks]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 09:34:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009465807_1200x675_396737603537.jpg Be careful as you head out the door as we are seeing icy conditions throughout our area Tuesday morning.]]> <![CDATA[Snowfall Overnight in Lehigh Valley]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 08:23:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009465087_1200x675_396708931720.jpg Bethlehem saw some light snowfall overnight Monday into Tuesday.]]> <![CDATA[Dashcams Capture Car Wipeouts]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 07:49:30 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/car+spinouts+new+jersey.jpg Icy roads made driving difficult and dangerous in many places across New Jersey, and police dash cams captured the accidents Monday. Brian Thompson reports.]]> <![CDATA[Crews Prepare Roads for Ice, Freezing Rain]]> Mon, 09 Feb 2015 10:30:40 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009454699_1200x675_396150851756.jpg Freezing rain is causing dangerous conditions on the roads. NBC10's Matt DeLucia reports from StormForce10 where he says he's seen crews out salting the roads.]]> <![CDATA[Freezing Rain, Wintry Mix Hit Region]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 01:18:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/231*120/Center+City+Snow+Umbrella+Snow+Generic.JPG

Be careful while driving on roads and walking on sidewalks driveways Tuesday morning.

An area of snow and an icy mix is moving into the region from Baltimore and temperatures will stay below freezing overnight.

"Freezing rain, sleet and snow will move through and stick to roads that aren't treated," said NBC10 First Alert Weather Meteorologist Sheena Parveen.

Freezing rain and sleet created icy conditions on roads Monday night as northeasterly winds pushed cold New England air into our region.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Philadelphia and Delaware County in Pennsylvania and Camden, Burlington and Ocean counties in New Jersey that will last until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

There was little to no accumulation from the latest system but the timing of the storm still impacted commuters as they left work Monday.

"It may be safer to head out before it gets dark," said NBC10 First Alert Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz. "Try to stay on roads that would be treated as much as possible. And be careful walking on sidewalks and driveways."

Since temperatures remained below the freezing mark all of Monday, any precipitation -- even a light drizzle -- that fell caused slippery conditions. In Middlesex County, at least one person was killed while dozens were hurt after a 15-vehicle pileup involving a bus and tractor trailer. Officials haven't confirmed whether the crash was caused by icy conditions but one twitter user described the area as a "skating rink." 

Some schools closed Monday after icing occurred.

As areas closer to Philadelphia dealt with freezing rain and a wintry mix, the Poconos and Lehigh Valley saw light snow.

The wet weather will clear out Tuesday as highs head into the low 40s, but the region will only get a short break from the precipitation.  Wednesday will be sunny with highs in the mid 30s. More rain and snow is expected to hit the area Thursday as temps hover near the 40 degree mark.

Temperatures plummet Thursday -- lows will be in the teens making way for a bitter cold weekend and the chance of more snow.

Stay with NBC10.com for the latest weather updates.  

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend Warm-Up on Tap]]> Sat, 07 Feb 2015 01:27:26 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/211*120/Generic+Sun+Generic+Sunset+Generic+Hot+Generic+Heat+Wave.JPG

After a few days of bitter cold, a weekend warm-up is expected before another system brings colder temps and possibly wet weather.

“Warmer this weekend -- mid-low 40s Saturday, possibly low 50’s Sunday!” exclaimed NBC10 First Alert Weather meteorologist Sheena Parveen.

The warm-up will take a little longer in some areas. Expect chillier temperatures up in the Lehgih Valley and Poconos with a snow shower possible Saturday morning before temps warm up.

Expect some sun Saturday before clouds build Sunday.

After the warm weekend, a storm moves in overnight into Monday that could bring an icy mix and some snow Monday morning. Stay tuned through the weekend to get more details on what to expect.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Flies Off Big Rig, Smashes SUV Windshield]]> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 22:41:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009430620_1200x675_394669123938.jpg Snow and ice flying off of the top of a tractor-trailer caused a dangerous scare for a driver on a local highway Thursday morning.]]> <![CDATA[Tracking Snow in the Morning Rush Hour]]> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 08:12:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/211*120/night+snow+by+street+sign+winter+weather.JPG

Scattered snow showers moved into the suburbs north and west of Philadelphia early Thursday morning as biting winds made above freezing temperatures feel even colder.

Flurries began falling around 4:30 a.m. in parts of Lehigh and Berks counties. The snow started to reach parts closer to the city shortly after 6 a.m. Philly residents will see flurries around 9 a.m.

The temperatures, holding in the mid-30s across southeastern Pennsylvania, will keep the snow from accumulating before it tapers off in the late morning.

Thursday started out cloudy with temperatures around 36 degrees. As the clouds make way for sun throughout the morning and early afternoon, temps drop.

By lunchtime, it will be about 30 degrees and some parts will have wind gusts approaching speeds of 30 miles per hour.

The mercury will continue to nosedive in the afternoon and evening. Temperatures will head towards a low of 11 degrees overnight with wind chill values below zero.

Expect mostly sunny skies Friday and a high temperature near 29 degrees. Saturday will warm up with temperatures in the upper 30s. The weekend will come to a close with another chance of rain and snow overnight Saturday into Sunday.

<![CDATA[Snow, Slush Worsen Clogged Storm Drains in NJ]]> Tue, 03 Feb 2015 05:38:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/storm+drain+cleaning+nj.jpg Crews in New Jersey had to use heavy equipment and a lot of manpower to clear clogged storm drains and get some of the standing water off the streets. Brian Thompson has more from West Orange.]]> <![CDATA[NJ Travel Changes, State Delays]]> Mon, 02 Feb 2015 06:12:30 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NJ-Transit-Generic_edited-1.jpg Non-essential state employees in New Jersey are not required to be into work until 10:30 a.m. in order to give road crews plenty of time to clear the snow and ice. Meanwhile, New Jersey Transit is cross-honoring tickets today to help with uncertain travel conditions.]]> <![CDATA[Icy Roads Cause Accidents Throughout Region]]> Tue, 03 Feb 2015 16:18:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Icy-Roads-Accidents.jpg

Icy roads caused by leftover moisture and freezing temperatures and strong, gusty winds led to several accidents throughout the region.

Several weather-related accidents were reported throughout the area, including one in Princeton, New Jersey in which a car slammed into a tree.

Icy roads caused officials to close Lincoln Drive between Gypsy Lane and Rittenhouse street Monday night. It was later reopened. Lincoln Drive was then closed again shortly before 11:30 p.m. at Gypsy Lane due to a water main break.

High winds also damaged two telephone poles at Bryn Mawr and Parkside avenues in Wynnefield. A driver was also killed after heavy winds caused a tree to fall on top of his car in Villanova.

"Temperatures are well below freezing through the area now," said NBC10 First Alert Meteorologist Sheena Parveen. "Any untreated roads should be icy at this point. Winds are gusting near 40 mph so this is also helping to dry things out but they've most likely already frozen." 

Sunday's storm system began with snow, then a wintry mix before it completely changed over to rain. The wet weather moved out late Monday afternoon. Now we're seeing a drop in temperatures and 40 mph winds that are making it feel like the single digits.

In Philadelphia and along the I-95 corridor, we dropped below freezing by 7 p.m. and even earlier north and west of the city. After the sun went down, road conditions changed drastically and any slushy or wet surfaces froze quickly.

The icy conditions and cold temperatures will continue through Tuesday’s morning commute.

"For the morning temperatures will feel like the single digits through most of the area," Sheena said. "It will still be breezy but winds will decrease through the day, though not as windy as this evening was. Temperatures will be in the mid-20's for Tuesday highs." 

We’ll warm up on Wednesday with temperatures in the low 40's though there's also a chance of brief snow in the north and west suburbs early Wednesday morning. Wednesday night into Thursday morning another round of snow approaches from the west.

On Friday temperatures will drop to the 20's while they'll rise near 40 on Saturday. Then there will be another chance of snow on Sunday.

Please follow updated forecasts over the weekend, whether it’s on TV, our website, the NBC10 First Alert Weather or NBC10 News apps, Twitter or Facebook.

<![CDATA[Snow Squall Hits Friday Evening Rush]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:20:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/media+snow+squall.jpg

The sudden, fast-moving snowfall hit as residents in and around Philadelphia made their way home Friday night.

Many people were surprised to see lots of swirling flakes outside their windows and cars.

Take a look at your view of the squall:

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Snow Possible for Super Bowl Sunday]]> Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:54:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/snow-generic.jpg

This is a TOTALLY different type of storm than the one that mainly missed us and clobbered New England earlier this week.

This one already has developed; already has a lot of moisture; and all computer models agree that it will significantly affect our area.

But there is still a lot of uncertainty about how much snow will fall -- mainly because of the question of rain vs. snow.


The center of the storm is actually near Phoenix, AZ, site of the Super Bowl. And precipitation covers hundreds of miles around it:


The storm will re-develop in the middle of the country and head east. We often talk about “track” with storms, but this one is even more critical.

This map shows the storm track from Sunday at 7 a.m. (the "L" with 1012 above it, near Kansas City.) The next "L" position (with the blue 1007 above it) is near Cincinnati at 7 p.m. Sunday.

If we would continue that track, the LOW would move just south of Philadelphia. That would put much of our area on the north, or cold side of the storm, leading to mostly snow. With the type of moisture involved, that could produce 6 inches or more.

A couple of computer models show this solution.

But other models have the LOW tracking just north of Philadelphia. That would mean mainly snow N&W of the city, with the highest amounts in the Lehigh Valley and Poconos.

It would probably go from a snowy start over to rain from Philadelphia southward, limiting snow totals. So, the farther south you go, the less snow will fall.



If one model was right all the time, we wouldn’t need to see any others, or to compromise with them. Just because one model did “best” last time doesn’t mean it will again. Maybe if it was the same TYPE of storm-but this one isn’t.

An average of the models (as of early Fri. afternoon) would lead to a track right over Philadelphia.

So SOME warm air would come in, leading to a period of rain. Then it could go back to snow as the LOW moves past on Monday.

But how long would the rain last?



Snow starts late Sunday afternoon in parts of the area, and becomes more widespread in the evening. Places that stay all snow should get at least 6 inches, with significantly higher amounts possible.

Southern Delaware and Cape May County, N.J. have the best chance of seeing practically NO snow.

The amount of snow will be determined by how much of the storm is rain. Only 30 miles could separate 1 inch of accumulation from 8 inches with this storm, for example.

Only a slight change in the storm track could lead to big changes in snow totals.

Please follow updated forecasts over the weekend, whether it’s on TV, our website, the NBC10 First Alert Weather or NBC10 News apps, Twitter or Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Quick-Moving Snow Slicks Roads]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 01:19:56 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/181*120/1a0c2927a87847b9a7b438c7d6b3ac04.jpg

Quick-moving snow will drop little more than a dusting in the Philadelphia area, but will cause slickness on roadways.

Light snow showers are expected to move overnight leaving a dusting along the I-95 corridor, an inch in the Lehigh Valley and 2 to 3" in the Poconos, said NBC10 First Alert Meteorologist Sheena Parveen.

The snow will stick to untreated surfaces and make roads slippery for Friday's morning commute, said Sheena.

Friday morning will be cold, but not nearly as cold as Friday evening and overnight when strong wind gusts will make it feel like 10 degrees by 5 p.m., and -10 on Saturday morning.

In the Poconos, it'll feel like -20.

Following the arctic blast, is another possibility of snow Sunday night into Monday. Depending on its track, some areas could significant snow.

<![CDATA[Storm Alerts Keep People Inside, Businesses Take Hit]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:58:05 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009347572_1200x675_389798467544.jpg Local businesses are quiet with many schools and workplaces closed for the storm that never really came. NBC10's Doug Shimell is in Upper Merion Township with more.]]>