The weather has always been a favorite topic of conversation. Undoubtedly, someone must have said to Noah, I thought they said it was supposed to let up on Tuesday. Over a century ago, American essayist Charles Dudley Warner wrote in the Hartford Courant, Everybody talks about the weather but body does anything about it. And w with the advent of the 24-hour Weather Channel and high-tech radar and satellite imagery, we have more information about the weather at our disposal than ever before. But what about weather in the past? Is the climate changing? Are the summers hotter w than ever before? Were winters colder when our grandparents were children? In The Pennsylvania Weather Book, meteorologist Ben Gelber provides the first comprehensive survey of 250 years of recorded weather in this state. He reports on teworthy weather happenings by category (swstorms, rainstorms, cold and heat waves, thunderstorms, and tropical storms) and places them in historical context. Throughout the book, Gelber clearly defines meteorological terms and explains what creates weather events. The book features appendices and tables containing useful references for average temperatures, precipitation, swfall, and climate data. It also provides a brief history of the weather watchers who contributed to the state's meteorological records since the late eighteenth century. This volume will serve as a valuable resource for weather professionals, amateurs, and local enthusiasts alike. Did you kw that: * December 25, 1964, was the hottest Pennsylvania Christmas in modern times, featuring a high of 70 degrees in Newell? * Philadelphia shivered through its coldest day on record on January 17, 1982, when the daylight maximum temperature was zero at 2:48 p.m.? * Pennsylvania has an average of thirty to forty thunderstorms annually? * Although the average annual number of tornadoes in Pennsylvania is 11, a state record of 59 was counted in 1998? * The winter of 1985-86 brought an odd cluster of holiday floods in western Pennsylvania that occurred on Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Martin Luther King Day, and President's Day? * The wettest year in Pennsylvania since the beginning of reliable records in 1895 occurred in 1996, when the state wide average of rain was 56.08 inches? Or that that driest year happened at the beginning of the torious Dust Bowl year in 1930, when the average anual precipitation in Pennsylvania was a scant 25.37 inches?
BEN GELBER is an on-air meteorologist at WCMH-TV, the NBC-owned and -operated television station in Columbus, Ohio. His is the author of Pocono Weather: A Weather History of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Poconos, and Northwestern New Jersey.