Rain: Still catching up

A gust near 70 m.p.h. was reported at Dewey Beach, Delaware, this morning, but for most of the region the severe-storm watch evidently is on its last legs.

The National Weather Service has taken down the watch for all areas west of the Delaware River, and radar affirms that decision. The weather service says if any other strong storms pop up, southern Delaware is the favored target.

Rain totals have been paltry in most places, just a few hundreds of an inch in Pottstown and Doylestown, but Wildwood weighed in with 0.35 inches between 9 and 10.

The next few days look to be dry and comfortable, before another pulse of heat arrives for Friday and Saturday.

It is not at all clear yet how long that's going to last, but the latest outlook from the Climate Prediction Center favors above-normal temperatures for most of the nation through July 9.

What we don't see in the forecast is any mention of rain outside of a chance of showers for Friday and Friday night as the atmosphere moistens with water vapor.

Rainfall for June is close to normal, but we can't help but notice a certain dryness in the ground these days. Since Jan. 1, precipitation is about 75 percent of normal throughout the region.

Bucks County has fared best, at 82 percent of normal, or 3.8 inches below the long-term averages. Camden, Gloucester, Kent, and Sussex are all around two-thirds of normal.

Philadelphia, along with Delaware, Camden, and Gloucester Counties currently were classified as "abnormally dry" in the most-recent U.S. Drought Monitor map.

Meanwhile, parts of Delaware were in a state of "severe drought."