Saturday, January 31, 2015

Downpours, but no flood watches

With stream and river levels low, widespread major flooding unlikely.

Downpours, but no flood watches

The Storm Prediction Center has the region in the “slight risk” zone for severe weather – defined as storms with 58 m.p.h. winds – and up to 2.75 inches of rain is in the National Weather Service forecast today and tonight.

Yet not so much as a flood watch has been posted, and the morning weather service discussion doesn’t even include a “hydrology” section.

Once again, the region evidently is going to escape major flooding during a significant rain event.

Although precipitation is way above normal for the year, this month got off to a dry start, and  in the last 60 days it has been in the range of 80 percent of normal in much of the region.

Rivers and streams are safely low. For example, the Delaware River at Trenton was at 10.7 feet late this morning; flood stage is 20.

The Schuylkill at Norristown was at 7.8 feet; flood stage is 13; for the North Branch Rancocas Creek at Pemberton, was at 1.56, flood stage is 2.5, and the East Branch Perkiomen at Schwenksville, at 2.87, flood stage is 8.

Once the rains fire up later today and tonight, some traffic-disrupting road-ponding and nuisance flooding are likely -- nothing new about that.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
About this blog

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.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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