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.

Continue Reading