In a pattern we’ve seen in recent years, just as drought conditions have threatened to take a serious turn around here, along comes something like this.
With a juiced atmosphere and favorable upper-air conditions, up to 3 inches of rain could fall across a significant portion of the region during the next two days, according to the National Weather Service.
To put that in perspective, based on readings of county-wide rain gauges no place in the region has received even an inch of rain in the last month.
Philadelphia was the regional wet spot at 0.9 inches, according to the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center.
How lame is that? The record daily rainfall for a Nov. 30 in the city is 0.96 inches, set in 1972, and that could get swamped on Wednesday.
Philly, Bucks, and Montgomery have been so dry the last two months that it’s possible the totals over the next two days will exceed the totals for what has fallen in the last 60 days.
Rain on Tuesday morning already was causing some travel problems. SEPTA reported its usual slippery rail issues, and we remind our readers that wet leaves constitute the road ice of autumn.
Leaf-clogged drains almost certainly will lead to some road-ponding during the afternoon prime commuting period when the rain might be heavy.
But any serious creek or river flooding is all but out of the question. Even with the Tuesday morning rains, the Delaware River at Trenton was at 8.03 feet at 10:15 a.m. and forecast to rise to 11.3; flood stage is 20.
The Brandywine at Chadds Ford was at a trickling 1.69 feet, and was expected to peak at 3.6; flood stage is 9.
The drought watches remain in effect on both sides of the river, and we suspect they will survive this week’s rains.
But it’s been quite awhile since the region has experienced a serious period of dryness with attendant water restriction – Pennsylvania hasn’t declared a drought “emergency” in this region in 16 years.
This rain should help keep that streak intact.