Rain: Flood of contrasts

The 13.21 inches of rain measured officially in Islip, N.Y., today was a record for an Aug. 13.

Yet, as Dave Domek, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. pointed out, the total at Montauk, Long Island, was a mere 0.15.

The drive from Islip to Montauk is about the same as the distance from Philly to Atlantic City.

Around here, the contrasts weren’t quite as extreme, but still substantial. Atlantic City had a daily record 4.41 inches, according to the National Weather Service, on Tuesday.

Philly had just over a prosaic inch, and Doylestown, about a third of an inch.

Although the atmosphere was full of juice, it very simply decided to wring the rag out over a narrow area from near Baltimore into Long Island, where all the ingredients came together.

As Dombek observed, whenever one place is getting hammered with rains of such intensity – in this case 6 and 12 inches – other areas are going to be deprived. The atmosphere’s moisture content is finite.