Saturday, September 5, 2015

Record rains for Philly

Mow warning in effect as drought takes a soggy hit.

Record rains for Philly


Officially, 1.87 inches of rain fell into the rain gauge at Philadelphia International Airport on Sunday, a record for an April 22. The old record was 1.67 inches, in 2006.

For the three-day period, the preliminary total for Philly stood at 2.19 at midmorning -- or about 40 percent of the entire precipitation amount that had fallen from Jan. 1 through last Friday.

As our online story indicates, the Philadelphia total was fairly representative of the region, and while the amounts were impressive, the region avoided significant flooding.

Coming into the rainstorm, river and stream flows were way, way down. The Delaware at Trenton was flowing along at about 20 percent of its average might.

Before the rain started, the flow was about 3,500 feet per cubic second, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This morning it was up to 12,500.

However, the rains raised the river level at Trenton from 8.2 feet, to only 10.15, well below the flood stage of 20.

The flow along the Schuykill at Norristown jumped about 17-fold, from 800, to 15,000 cubic feet per second. But the river level rose only from about 8 feet, to 10.8, again well below the flood stage of 17.

We were surprised to learn this morning that despite the rain, the Asthma Center tree-pollen counts remain high.

One thing that should surprise you later this week is just how much the grass shows its appreciation for the precious, liquid nourishment. A mow warning is in effect.



Inquirer Weather Columnist
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Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

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