Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 31, 2014

Years ago, representatives of Kentucky Fried Chicken located a “Hotter than Hell” city, identified in a town about a half-hour from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Also located about an hour from Detroit, the town has an ice cream shop that makes sundaes in “coffins,” and a traditional “Run through Hell” race. The town is Hell, Michigan, that offers other … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 30, 2014

On July 29, 1945, moon rise over the Philippine Sea occurred at 10:30 p.m. Because of the illumination, Japanese submariners targeted the silhouette of a cruiser and torpedoed it. If not for the moon glow, the USS Indianapolis would have passed unnoticed. As noted in a previous column, SKY and TELESCOPE magazine predicted a repeat of this celestial … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 29, 2014

We recently noted how turkey vultures avoid overheating. The black-tailed jackrabbit also has a built-in cooling apparatus. Due to its oversize ears, these trademark appendages increase the hare’s audio range to avoid predators. Due to the abundance of blood vessels, its 7-inch ears are also a cooling mechanism that dissipate heat and regulate body temperature. The black-tailed jackrabbit … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 28, 2014

As noted in Sunday’s column, heat waves initiated cool-downs. Years ago, the inflatable pool was “shot-up” by Doug Kelly’s B.B. gun. Mom instructed us to fill the wash tub with cold water and stick my brother Kevin in there for a few days. He enjoyed it even though his lips were purple. Once Dale and … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 27, 2014

The Heat Index could register above the 100 degree mark this weekend. Keep the A.C. humming, the ceiling fans rotating and stay hydrated. As noted in a previous column, my mother instructed me to fill the washtub so that my brother Kevin would get a “cool-down” during episodes of blistering weather in Pennsylvania. That same … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 26, 2014

The Daily Telegraph reports that the bodies of more than 80 soldiers from World War I have been recovered from melting glaciers. Experts from the Archaeological Heritage Office in Trento, Italy, report that the mummified bodies of the soldiers were discovered near the small northern town of Peio. Glaciers began to melt in the 1990s and … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 25, 2014

It’s been a tough season for wildfires in the West and Pacific Northwest. The Carlton Complex Fire in Seattle is still burning. Lightning sometimes causes these fires. In 1945 Albert Staehle drew a uniformed bear with a name inspired by New York City fireman “Smokey Joe” Martin, becoming Smokey Bear. In 1947, Smokey’s trademark slogan, “Only You Can … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 24, 2014

Canis Major or Sirius was designated the “Dog Star” by ancient astronomers. As noted in a previous column, Romans believed that Sirius rose at sunrise, convinced this star was the cause of hot, sultry weather. To appease the rage of Sirius and believing that the star created the weather pattern, they sacrificed a brown dog, thus the reference-Dog … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 23, 2014

On this date in 1893, Father Benito Vines died in Havanna, Cuba. Father Vines is regarded as the pre-eminent hurricane scholar of the 19th century. As director of the observatory at Belen College in Havana in 1870, he catalogued meticulous weather observations and conditions, especially during tropical disturbances. His observations became a climatological catalog for future forecasts. Notations … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 22, 2014

This month, you may have been thinking of Abe Doumar, Albert Kabbaz, Arnold Fornachou or David Avayou. All claim the invention of the ice cream cone. July is Ice Cream Month and the Library of Congress identifies Charles E. Menches as the inventor. He and his brother Frank also claim the invention of the hamburger in Hamburg, New … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 21, 2014

When Frank Epperson was 11, he took a wooden stir stick, placed it in soda pop and placed it outside one wintry New York evening. As noted in a previous column, Frank enjoyed the frozen treat the next day. In 1923, Frank used a Birch tongue depressor to hold the frozen delight and applied for a patent … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 20, 2014

During our summer afternoon’s the convective showers and thundershowers can drop the temperature from 92 degrees to 77 in 20 minutes. Air conditioning crews stay busy preparing and repairing the “A.C.” units making sure they are “humming along.” As mentioned in previous column, last Friday marked the 111th anniversary of the invention of modern air conditioning. In the … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 19, 2014

‘The Big One, then Another’ Following the Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood of 1889, a flood control system was constructed in the Little Conemaugh Valley to withstand a 100-year flood. Experts declared that the city of Johnstown was flood-proof. As noted in a previous column, on July 19, 1977, in west Taylor Township, northwest of Johnstown, a … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 18, 2014

On this date in 1689, lightning zapped the altar church of Saint-Sauveur, in Ligny, France. Fifty witnesses watched a statue of Christ levitate and as noted in a previous column, altar cloths were scorched and curtains were blown off their rings but the rings remained on the rod. In 1812, in Combe Hay, Somerset, U.K., six sheep were … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 17, 2014

The British Open begins today and the four day weather expectations include partly sunny skies and light winds. Heavy showers will erupt on Saturday with windy conditions and temperatures dipping to 60 degrees by Sunday. Beginning in 1860, this is the oldest of the four major tournaments. Weather has always been an important element in the play of … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 16, 2014

The National Climatic Data Center analyzed climate data from 1981 to 2010 and constructed a map depicting the peak summer heat. Most locations will experience a lot more summer weather and haven’t experienced their warmest day of the year. For the southwest, the warmest weather traditionally occurs before the end of June. Phoenix and Tucson report average highs … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 15, 2014

Statistically, nearly 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning hits occur each year. The yearly average reflects 52 people killed each year from direct or near hits. Lightning can strike within ten miles of a thunderstorm. After completing some chores and assignments Sunday evening I decided to adhere to my exercise schedule by taking a “run” through the neighborhood on … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 14, 2014

The British Medical Journal reports that emergency room visits for kids increase as temperatures increase. An online edition of the Emergency Medicine Journal based their research on patterns of hospital treatments in 21 emergency rooms throughout England. Their data found that a five degree increase in temperature increased admissions for kids. A drop in temperature by … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 13, 2014

Saturday’s column recognized the hottest spot in the United States, Death Valley, and a reading of 134 degrees on July 10,1913 -- the highest temperature in North America and worldwide until September 13, 1922, when El Azizia, Libya, reported 136 degrees. The Death Valley reading was recorded at Furnace Creek Ranch from July 8 through the 14,,1913. … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 12, 2014

Death Valley National Park incorporates 5,000 square miles in California’s Mojave Desert in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The range includes peaks which are 11,000 foot above sea level. Badwater Basin is 28 feet below sea level. This area records an average rainfall of about 2 inches per year. Cooler, moisture-laden air from the Pacific rapidly dries … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 10, 2014

With the persistent wet weather, I located a letter in my files from Doug Haley who catalogued Earth’s heaviest recorded rainfall. He noted that 383 inches of rain per hour fell during the Great Flood of the Bible, approximately 4,461 years ago. Citing Genesis 7:12 he writes: “The duration of rainfall was 40 days and 40 nights.” He … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 9, 2014

Many believe that crickets chirp more in warm weather than during cold times. In 1897, physicist Amos Dolbear believed that the cricket was a thermometer. Not only do crickets chirp for a mate but they also correspond to “Dolbear’s Law” which incorporated listening, counting and addition to determine the outside temperature. This is how it works. Listen and … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 8, 2014

Monday’s column identified the famous “Year Without a Summer.” It was 1816 and it occurred as a result of the eruption of Mount Tambora. The volcano discharged dust and sulfurous gases that spread around the globe. The diary of Hiram Harwood of Bennington, Vermont, noted that on June 11, 1817, frigid temperatures found New Englanders building “roaring fires … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 7, 2014

Mount Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa, erupted in April of 1815. This incident was the most explosive eruption in 10,000 years. At the end of the volcano’s convulsions, 4,200 feet of its 13,000 foot height were gone as 25 cubic miles of ash was released into the atmosphere. In an area of 200 miles … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 6, 2014

Supplies in the 16th and 17th centuries were transported by ship. One product, needed by agricultural interests, was manure. Collectors would bundle the lighter, dry manure. The bundles were stored below deck for the journey, and on the open sea, salt water and storms often soaked cargo in the lower holds. Wet weather returned manure to its … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 4, 2014

John Adams suggested that this day should be celebrated “by pomp and parade, with games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other...” Independence Day falls in summertime with today’s activities including: picnics, baseball, watermelon and hotdog eating contests, and beach trips. Our schedule included a huge backyard picnic, wash tubs … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 3, 2014

Weather expectations in Philadelphia for Independence Day include morning showers, clearing and 81 degrees for the high. James Heintze researched weather for the Fourth of July, noting that in New York City from 1789 to 1855 rain fell on thirteen “Fourths.” On July 4, 1860, eight members of the German Fusiliers died from sunstroke in a Charleston, S.C. … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 2, 2014

The Bishop of Winchester was a Benedictine monk who died on July 2, 862. As referenced in a previous column, upon his death, he requested to be buried outside so rain would fall on his grave. His request was not relayed to those in charge of funeral arrangements in the village of Winchester and he was entombed inside … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for July 1, 2014

On July 1, 1776, debate was underway in Philadelphia concerning whether the 13 American colonies should declare their independence from Great Britain. As noted in a previous column, John Dickinson appealed for loyalty to Britain. When John Adams began his oration a summertime thunderstorm erupted. He delivered a powerful speech in the midst of lightning and rolling thunder. … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 30, 2014

On this date in 1908, riders on the Trans-Siberian railroad witnessed a fireball as bright as the sun streaking across the sky. It exploded above the Tunguska River and flattened over a thousand square miles of forest and was seen and heard for 1,000 miles. Scientists believe a chunk of asteroid vaporized in the lower atmosphere. … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 30, 2014

On this date in 1908, riders on the Trans-Siberian railroad witnessed a fireball as bright as the sun streaking across the sky. It exploded above the Tunguska River and flattened over a thousand square miles of forest and was seen and heard for 1,000 miles. Scientists believe a chunk of asteroid vaporized in the lower atmosphere. … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 29. 2014

The “keeper of the light” used kerosene to light the lamps. The lighthouseman donned a pair of colored goggles, preventing blurred vision from the ignition flash. From the coast of the Pacific Northwest to California, the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic seaboard, more than a thousand lighthouses guided the ships at sea away from coastal … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 27, 2014

The cool spot for us was the Ewing Park Pool. With most families only having one car, “way-back-then,” the mode of transportation was walking. The pool was located approximately two miles from our home. On a hot summer day, there was plenty of excitement getting to the pool and not so much on the way home. We’d wait … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 26, 2014

I dusted-off a report from 2002 that seems to hold merit. Back then, Dr. Cesar Caviedes offered an interesting account delving into the history of El Nino and its impact on world history. His research evaluated the El Nino/Southern Oscillation or ENSO and its effects on the Peruvian fishing industry. He expanded his research to current events, marine … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 25, 2014

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) is assisting homeowners in preparing for possible hurricanes. The project is called “FORTIFIED Home” and is designed to not only build safer homes but retrofit existing structures. During the pilot phase of the project tests replicated high wind and hail. Builders and contractors work with home buyers and homeowners … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 24, 2014

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has designated June 22 through 28 as Lightning Safety Week. Lightning is the second leading atmospheric killer behind heat exhaustion. Facts note that 82% of those killed are male and 70% of all lightning fatalities occur in June, July and August. Even though the diameter of a single bolt is the size … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 23, 2014

Turkey vultures are beneficial to Louisiana as they not only clean the roadways of decomposing animals, also known as “road-kill,” but feast on trash discarded by motorists. Its head-shape gives it easier access inside a carcass. Noticing the scavenging vultures along our Interstates and highways may be a stomach turner with another aspect of the bird that is … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 22, 2014

In days of old a “barn-burner” was followed by a bucket brigade to extinguish a blazing barn. Years later, it identified something that was highly exciting or impressive. A “barn-raising” solicited neighbors to construct the first, largest and most costly structure for a family. The Amish could do it in a day, and as noted in … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 21, 2014

An example of avoiding inclement weather was the covered bridge. A few years ago my mom forwarded a copy of the Ellwood City Area Historical Society Newsletter. The issue detailed the first covered bridge connecting Hazel Dell and Ellwood. The bridge length was 165 feet with a width of 12 feet, 8 inches. The width was … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 20, 2014

Thursday’s column returned to the 1500’s as we noted the origination of the peas’ porridge hot rhyme and the term, threshold. With limited access to food stuffs, a slab of bacon became a sign of wealth and the recognition that a man “could really bring home the bacon.” Sharing the bacon led to the guests “chewing … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 19, 2014

A recent column noted why bride’s carried a wedding bouquet to offset June heat and related odors to the baby being the last to bathe and “throwing out the baby with the bath water.” When it was raining cats and dogs in the 1500s the animals were actually falling from thatched roofs. Another tidbit from that era … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 19, 2014

A recent column noted why bride’s carried a wedding bouquet to offset June heat and related odors to the baby being the last to bathe and “throwing out the baby with the bath water.” When it was raining cats and dogs in the 1500s the animals were actually falling from thatched roofs. Another tidbit from that era was … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 18, 2014

More than 13,000 prisoners died at Camp Sumter, also known as Andersonville, during the Civil War. On August 9, 1864, a severe thunderstorm hit the camp. The torrential rain rolled across the hillside. As noted in Monday’s column, Stockade Branch overflowed, broke the stockade’s pilings and created a flash flood. Sentries contained the prisoners by firing cannons, preventing … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 17, 2014

Camp Sumter was opened by the Confederacy in Andersonville, Ga., in March 1864. It was built on 16.5 acres between two mountains, and prisoners would scoop water from the “Stockade Branch” stream with tin cups attached to poles while remaining behind a “deadline.” Crossing the line meant instant death. The stockade’s pilings cramped the water flow and turned … Continue reading →

Pat Shingleton’s Weather News for June 16, 2014

I was serving Noon Mass with Father Vic Messina on June 8, 2004 when lightning zapped and silenced the bell system at Our Lady of Mercy Church. Mercy’s bells ring at Mass times, on the hour, half-hour, at Noon and 6 p.m. for the Angelus. In medieval Europe, church bells were cast with the Latin inscription “Fulgura … Continue reading →