Phillies, Braves and drought

Whatever else happens during the Phillies-Braves showdown that begins tonight, it looks as though the teams won't have to play any make-up games.

The weather should be magnificent, with a Cole Hamels-friendly breeze from the north -- that is, blowing in -- tonight, and a hitter-friendly breeze from the south -- blowing out -- Tuesday and Wednesday.

The forecast calls for only a slight chance of showers Wednesday night, but the National Weather Service says that even if it does rain, it won't amount to much.

No more rain is in sight for the rest of the Phillies' home-stand, which ends Sunday, as it appears that a run of magnificent September weather continues.

In fact, scrolling ahead, the long-term outlook calls for below-normal rainfall for the next two weeks.

Rainfall is well below normal in every county in the region for the last 30 days, and below a third of normal in Chester and Cape May Counties, and all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey remain under some states of drought advisory.

Officially, a "drought watch" is in effect for all of New Jersey. On the other side of the Delaware, Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery are in a state of "drought warning," with Delaware and Chester Counties under a "watch."

In all cases, residents are being asked to cut back on water use voluntarily, and mandatory restrictions wouldn't come into play unless conditions worsen -- and they well may.

In its latest update, the government puts all of Eastern Pennsylvania in "moderate" drought; most of New Jersey, "severe," and most of Delaware, "extreme."

Check out the National Weather Service drought site.

For those interesting in conserving water, you'll note that the biggest consumer of water in the home is the toilet, at 26 percent; followed by the washing machine, 22, and leaks, coming in at an impressive 16.