Rainy roulette

Overnight, heavy rains pounded parts of the region, with the National Weather Service reporting as much as 2 to 3 inches in South Jersey.

On the other side of the river, Pottstown picked up well over an inch between midnight and 5, but Philadelphia International Airport was all but shut out.

After daybreak, the rains continued their capricious behavior.

Between 6 and 7, a well-placed shower doused the rain gauge at Northeast Phialdelphia Airport with 0.4 inches, and an hour later, a shower between 7 and 8 upped the Philadelphia International Airport total to 0.21.

The random-ness is expected to continue, but the general idea is that by day's end Saturday the rains are going to reduce everyone's rain deficit.

Those deficits remain impressive. Through yesterday, Philadelphia's rainfall since Jan. 1 stood at 68 percent of normal, and Camden County's at 64 percent.

In our part of the country, where the air typically is swamped with water vapor from the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, and our well-moistened foilage, such deficits are unusual.

Rainfall was about 65 percent of normal during Philadelphia's driest year on record.

Our online story quotes an expert from the Northeast Regional Climate Center as saying the dry trend is likely to persist.

However, the Beltway mother ship, the government's Climate Prediction Center, isn't making any call for August precipitation.

In the meantime, drought won't be a hot topic for the next two days, but the rains still have some making up to do.