Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rains Varied By Location

Yesterday's thunderstorms varied greatly in impact across the region -- some spots didn't get more than a few sprinkles and perhaps a rumble of thunder, with others dealing with water rescues and rounds of rainfall that lasted for hours. The "beauty" of yesterday's thunderstorm event is that it was a definite heat buster but the ugly side is that the atmosphere can be quite volatile when the sea breeze becomes the big trigger for thunderstorm development, such as in yesterday's thunderstorms, as it provides that lift between hot land and slightly more stable oceanic air. The lift mechanism of the sea breeze acts as a front and fires thunderstorms up east of the boundary as it inches west, with the sea breeze then enhancing as an outflow boundary for the thunderstorms, allowing more development to take place as the sea breeze marches west.

The result is a rather varied -- but Jersey-heavy rainfall distribution.  The heaviest rainfall from yesterday's storms were along the Shore and also farther south in the DE Beaches, with some rainfall totals exceeding five inches in portions of Ocean County according to radar estimates.

"Officially", the highest totals that I could find were over two inches in Seaside Heights, Wading River (in Burlington County, which picked up at least 2.46" of rain) and in Newport (in Cumberland County).  Other significant rainfall totals from yesterday included 1.66" in AC, 1.66" in Bear, DE, 1.21" in Mount Holly, and 2.32" in West Creek (Ocean County).  The main bullseyes of rain were east and south of the city, with little to no rain falling up in the outer suburbs to the north and west.  Quakertown picked up no rainfall yesterday, with Reading and Allentown picking up scant traces.