Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wetter, but drought conditions remain

Despite rain rally, region remains in "moderate drought."

Wetter, but drought conditions remain


With the generally gentle rains of the past few days, it's as though nature has put a coat of polish on the brilliant spring foliage.

Officially, for the month Philadelphia has measured about a third of an inch of rain, some places a splash more.

However, rainfall deficits remain, with precipitation totals running from 60 to 65 percent of normal throughout the region since Jan. 1 through Monday.

This morning, the U.S. Drought Monitor kept all of New Jersey and much of eastern Pennsylvania in a state of "moderate drought," although the "severe" drought area in the Delmarva has been trimmed back.

Getting a handle on longer-term precipitation is one of the more-vexing problems in meteorology, but the first few days of the month have represented a departure.

With a major exception last month, storms and fronts have stiffed the region since the first of the year.

Yesterday's light rains weren't even associated with a storm, per se, but a persistent onshore flow that beat back a warm front.

When it was in the mid-50s here during the afternoon, to the west it was 78 in Pittsburgh and 81 in Beaver Falls.

The onshore flow is easing up today, and it should warm up considerably this afternoon.



Inquirer Weather Columnist
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Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

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