Today, with precipitation in the forecast, I set up my mini-laboratory to measure the pH of the local rainfall in Stormstown, PA. First, I installed a standard rain gauge to collect rainwater.
I calibrated my pH meter, prior to taking any actual measurements, using standard reagents of pH of 4.0 and 6.86. I used a pH 7.0 reagent to verify.
After calibration, I waited for some rainfall and then collected my sample.
It had rained 0.20 inches over the past two days.
This was about 400 ml of liquid.
I measured the pH to be about 5.15, which is in the normal range for rainfall but still acidic. It is not considered to be acid rain.
The following is a graph comparing 2017 temperatures (the red line) with 2018 temperatures (the blue line). Temperatures are in deg F from March 11 to April 10. This shows how much colder than last year this spring has been so far.
The above is today’s upper level 300 mb chart. The 300 mb level, about 30,000 ft (9100 m) is where one would typically find the jet streams. The polar jet stream is clearly shown in the upper left portion of the chart. Arctic air has been dominating the northeastern US and is a reason for why the cold weather has been persisting this month.
The temperature in Stormstown dropped 55 F from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. It was definitely shirtsleeve weather on Friday and now it’s a frigid 20 F. The low this morning was 5 F. Cold temperatures are expected for much of the week. High temperatures are expected to be above freezing on Thursday and Friday.
The two-week-old brutal cold wave ended today. The high temperature today was 38 F. There lows during the last two weeks reached below zero temperatures 3 times, and stayed below freezing for the entire period. State College, PA, set a record for the coldest beginning of January.
Temperatures should reach the mid-40s F on Thursday and there will be another cold period next week.
As shown in the above graph, temperatures in Stormstown, PA, have not exceeded freezing since December 24, 2017. However, forecasts show a warming trend beginning next Tuesday (Graph begins at 12 AM EST on December 6, 2017). 2018 has had a frigid start with two days with minimum readings below 0 F.
Completed the first year of pyranometer operation at Stormstown. Here is the data for 2017.