The 4.42 inches measured officially at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursdays made April 30, 2014, the 14th-wettest day in the period of precipitation records that date to April 1872, spanning 51,918 days.
In fact, it was a total usually associated with tropical storms, although in this case, as meteorologist Tom Kines at AccuWeather Inc. pointed out, the storm was centered near Ohio.
East winds drew in Atlantic moisture, while upper-air winds from the southwest tapped the Gulf.
The result was rainfall totals that exceeded even the most-robust prediction in some places.
That also was a record for any April day, and any spring day, for that matter. “I think it definitely over-performed,” said Valerie Meola at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
It was evident for days that some area was going to get hammered, but yesterday afternoon, the rains decided to target the Philadelphia region.
Late in the day, the atmospheric traffic came to a near standstill, and the traffic on the ground followed suit.
A cluster of hyper-juiced showers focused its intensity in around Philadelphia.
The storm total in Philadelphia ended up at 4.81. Reports of 5-plus inches were common in neighboring counties to the west, and 6.56 inches was measured by weather service meteorologist Greg Heavener, in Spring City, Chester County.
In the silver-lining department, the region actually caught a break.
When the rain started, April precipitation totals were well below normal and river and stream levels were quite low. Had they been anywhere near normal, obviously the flooding would have been far worse.