Rain, records keep falling

Substantial rain -- perhaps an additional 1.5 inches -- is in the forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday, and why are we not surprised?

Through yesterday, officially 51.56 inches of precipitation had been measured at Philadelphia International Airport since Jan. 1.

Without one more drop between now and 11:59:59 Dec. 31, 2011 would become the seventh wettest year ever.

Philadelphia is fewer than 5 inches from the all-time annual precipitation mark in the period of record, dating to 1872.

The rain king is 1996, nervously toweling off at 56.45.

During the last three months of the year, the average rainfall is about 9 inches. Thus, if rain is a few drops more than half of normal, 2011 will wash out 1996.

Already, the August-September total is about two months' worth of rain better than the old record for the period.

The September figure is at 9.45, and it appears that precipitation will reach double figures for the second consecutive month.