PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

There’s a reason why it’s been so warm out: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 10/18/17

Hi folks. I hope you are enjoying this extremely mild October. 

I asked Siri, the “intelligent assistant” living in my iPhone, why it has been so warm lately. She directed me to …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

There’s a reason why it’s been so warm out: LaVonne Ackerman


Hi folks. I hope you are enjoying this extremely mild October. 

I asked Siri, the “intelligent assistant” living in my iPhone, why it has been so warm lately. She directed me to some websites that were dated October 2016 and 2015 and 2007. 

Also, there is much to be found on what is happening in 2017. The easy answer would be  global warming, but that is not the case. 

It seems we need to look at Alaska to understand what is happening here! A massive trough of low pressure there sends a breeze of warm air to the rest of us. A trough is an elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure, often associated with fronts. On a map, it looks like a snake with peaks and valleys. The valleys are the trough part.

Also, a lack of high pressure in western Canada or Greenland can prevent cooler air from streaming down to us. 

This is no small thing for we are challenging records! Back in 2007, in Washington, D.C., the average October temperatures were about 6 degrees above the norm. Now it appears we are about 6 to 8 degrees warmer. Harrisburg’s average is a high of 65 and low 44. Some of our temperatures have been close to 20 degrees higher. 

We don’t need a thermometer to tell us it is warm. All we have to do is step outside! 

I hope you found this helpful. It looks like we should be experiencing low-70 and high-60 degree weather just around the corner. So, relief is on the way. Enjoy the last week or so of October, soon we will see what November has for us.

Let me know your news to share, email or call me. Have a wonderful week.


Happy birthday greetings are sent to Joe Owens on Oct. 18. He celebrates his 24th year on Wednesday. Have fun, Joe! 

Nathan Brady of Lower Swatara will hear the birthday song on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Happy 17th cake day, Nathan.

Many blessings and birthday cheers go to Bryce Bendgen of Lower Swatara. Hoping you have the finest birthday yet on Thursday, Oct. 19, Bryce.

Happy big-deal birthday to Danielle Nolen as she turns a quarter-of-a-century old on Friday, Oct. 20. Congrats and have a blast!

Tory Graham of Lower Swatara marks his 22nd birthday on Saturday, Oct. 21. Best wishes for a wonderful birthday weekend, Tory!

I hope 26 super things happen to Laura Waller of Lower Swatara on Saturday, Oct. 21 as she celebrates her razzle-dazzle cake day.

If you see Paige Pavlishin out and about in Lower Swatara on Sunday, Oct. 22, be sure to give her a loud and sweet happy birthday holler. Enjoy your me-holiday weekend, Paige!

Happy 14th cake-and-ice cream day to Josh Luther of Lower Swatara. His high-five birthday is on Sunday, Oct. 22. Hope it is super-special, Josh!

Alexis Travitz, nee Giulivo, celebrates her exciting 23rd birthday on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Hoping you, Jordan and little Ryker do it in style! Happy happy birthday! 

Lions Club Parade

Don’t forget to show up for the Lower Swatara Lions annual Halloween parade on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 5 p.m. (registrations) and start time, 6 p.m. This is located at the Lions Club in Shopes Gardens. 

Prizes will be awarded and refreshments will be available for everyone after the event. 


Thank you to Susan Wagner for another delicious recipe, Mama’s Pork Chops and Rice Casserole:

6-8 pork chops

1 Tbsp cooking oil

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups uncooked rice

Dried parsley flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Brown chops in a large skillet in cooking oil.

3. In a medium bowl, mix dry soup mix, cream soups, and broth together. Reserve 3/4 c. to pour over chops in step 5.

4. Add remaining mixture, mixing well. Pour into prepared 9-by-13-inch pan.

5. Lay chops on top. Pour reserved soup mix on top of chops.

6. Cover with foil and back at 350 F for one hour. 


Happy 20th platinum anniversary to Jason and Susan Wagner of Lower Swatara. I hope you kids have a wonderful time celebrating on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Maybe a break in the kitchen for Susan?

Best wishes to Eric and Crystal VanValkenburg of Middletown on Oct. 18. They observe their 37th romantic anniversary on Wednesday. Congrats and enjoy!

Best wishes to Dave and Kristi Rothrock for a happy appliance anniversary on Wednesday. They were married on Oct. 18, 2013. Happy 4th anniversary! 

Joe and Tami Hile of Lower Swatara celebrate their 29th hearts-and-flowers day on Sunday, Oct. 22. I hope the day is perfect for you both. Congrats!

Supper Time

The Church of God monthly meal will be held at the church located at 245 W. High St., Middletown on Monday, Oct. 23. The menu: Salisbury steak, whipped potatoes, veggie and desserts. Serving begins at 4:30 p.m. All are welcome for this final meal of 2017.

Yard Sale

Come on out from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 for the Presbyterian Congregation Church semi-annual yard sale. It will be held in the church hall, at Union and Water streets in Middletown. 

There will be baked goods, soup and subs for sale, too. A quilt raffle will be held at noon. Don’t miss out. Be there! 

Quote of the Week

“Everyone wants to be different, but very few have the strength to undergo a metamorphosis.” — Sarah Jakes Roberts, author. 

Question of the Week

What do you like best about October?

“Halloween!" I like to get lots of candy when I go trick-or-treating.” — Victoria Kelly, 10, Swatara.

“I don't like October, because it starts to get cold.” — Parker Delafice, 4, Swatara.

“It is my birthday month and we get to play in the leaves.” — DJ Warden, 10, Swatara.

“Halloween.” — Tim and Katelyn Wagner, 15, 9, Lower Swatara.

“My cousin has her birthday and I love pumpkins!” — Julia Killeen, 3, Camp Hill.

“Football season.” — Jason Wagner, Lower Swatara. 

“All of the fall colors, and Judy and my birthdays!” — Bernie Sobotka, Lower Swatara. 

Proverb for the Week 

Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance (20:18).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at