Chipperdog.comMay 29th, 2015

Berks Under Drought Watch

May 17th, 2015

Berks has been under a drought watch since March which was news to me. As of today we are nearly 4.0″ down for the year on rainfall and despite thunderstorms in the forecast it looks like May will end with a deficit.

Last night’s storms split as they approached resulting in a mere 0.11″ total rainfall. This morning there was a nice band of showers however they stayed south in Lancaster county. We currently have 0.16″ of total rain in May where the normal to date is 2.33″.

The first graph below shows our current ground water level which is at 136.6 feet below the surface. At this time of year values below 134 feet are considered watch conditions. The 2nd graph shows that Berks is below normal (watch conditions) in 2 of the 4 measured drought indicators.

Berks Ground Water Well

PA Composite Drought Map

A drought watch is intended to alert government agencies, public water suppliers, water users and the public regarding the onset of conditions indicating the potential for future drought-related problems. The focus during this stage is on increased monitoring, awareness and preparation for response if conditions become worse. A request for voluntary water conservation is made. The objective of voluntary water conservation measures during a drought watch is to reduce water uses by 5% in the affected areas. Because of varying conditions, individual water suppliers or municipalities may be asking for more stringent conservation actions.

April 2015 Weather Summary

May 11th, 2015

April weather was near normal based on temperature but quite dry compared to our station history. The average temperature was 52.7 °F, which is 0.2 °F below normal making April the first month this year even close to normal. There were 9 days at least 5 °F below normal and 7 days at least 5 °F above normal.

The maximum temperature of 79 °F occurred on the 18th and the minimum of 31 °F occurred on the 1st and 2nd. The coldest April at the station was 49 °F from 2007 and the warmest 57 °F from 2010. The station record low for April is 26 °F from 2008 and the record maximum is 90 °F from 2009.

CW4113 Temperature Summary - April 2015

There was no measurable snowfall in April which is typical considering our station average is a scant 0.1″. None of the other county stations reported any measurable snowfall. The monthly rainfall total was 1.84″ which is nearly 2.5″ below our station average of 4.23″. The maximum daily rainfall of 0.63″ was recorded on the 21st. At the end of the month we accumulated a rainfall deficit of 1.64″ for the year. Rainfall totals in other areas of the county were the following: Mohnton: 1.92″, West Lawn (Lincoln Park): 1.96″, Wyomissing: 1.76″, Reading Airport: 1.69″, West Reading: 1.89″, Laureldale: 2.00″, Fleetwood: 2.48″, Kutztown: 2.24″, Oley: 1.71″, Alburtis: 1.67″, Boyertown: 0.99″, and Hamburg: 3.58″.

It was a typically windy April for Berks with the predominant wind direction out of the West. The average wind speed for the month was 5.1 mph which is slightly above the normal of 4.9 mph. The peak wind gust of 36 mph occurred on the 4th and there were only 118 hours of calm winds. Sunshine hours totaled 138 which is below our monthly norm of 154 hours. A typical maximum daily solar reading was 850 w/m&#xB2 and the maximum daily UV index averaged 6.0.

County Records at the Reading Airport:
4\25: Record low of 31 °F ties 1999

Station All-Time Records Set: None

Note: Station normal and averages include the current year’s values and date back to 2004.

Note: Station rain totals other than the Reading Airport are from CoCoRaHS and are typically recorded at 9 AM so the totals may not align with ours if precipitation events occur at the end of the month or the beginning of the next month.

Web Cam and WU

May 6th, 2015

A web cam was recently added to the website and is integrated on the conditions page (slide show) during the daytime. The camera faces Northeast which was the best direction I had with the cleanest view. Additional web cam images and pages will be developed in the coming weeks as time permits.

I was unable to link the web cam with my current account on the WeatherUnderground. I ended up creating a new log-on and weather station so the old KPASINKI1 station was replaced with KPASINKI4. All historic data is linked to the old station but I had no choice since I contacted WU support several times and never heard back.

Thursday Update: I reverted back to KPASINKI1 to save my historical data. The WU had my camera working but now it’s down again so maybe they are working on it.

Webcam Image

Site Internet Upgrade

March 19th, 2015

4/1 Update: After configuration changes and a new customer owned modem the site should be back up and running now. The Internet pipe is now 10 times faster than before for both up and down speeds. There were some outages this week due to DNS changes and a deactivated modem.

Due to DSL speed issues over the last month the site will be switched over to business-grade cable. The site and DNS records will be transferred to the new address sometime this weekend. There may be a short site outage until all the DNS servers resolve the new address.