Saturday, August 11, 2012

Soaked But Still Thirsty

Yesterday's rains were excessive in terms of rainfall rate as they moved through, blasting parts of the region with an inch to locally over two inches of rain in a short duration of time. Not everyone got in on the rainfall bonanza yesterday as rainfall totals varied from less than a half inch of rain in Millville to just over a half inch in Wilmington. However, Doylestown (1.73"), Blue Bell (1.33"), Norristown (1.98"), and Philly International (1.10") made up for those "lesser" rainfall totals.

Like we talked about yesterday morning, the storms yesterday were not going to be equal opportunity impacters in terms of producing heavy rainfall for all -- this was a north & west event to an extent.  However, we didn't get the afternoon or evening round that looked promising from morning guidance and even as the atmosphere tried to fire more storms up in Central Pennsylvania during the mid afternoon hours....the morning rain and thunder event was the product of a bit of a small scale low that zapped the local atmosphere of energy and eliminated a chunk of the instability needed to fire more storms up.  The morning activity overperformed at the expense of the afternoon and evening, which in hindsight was probably a "good" thing since a bit more sunshine and the lack of a morning event could have made the afternoon and evening storms nastier in intensity (not from a rain perspective, but a wind and damage perspective).

Despite yesterday's rains, we're still running with a rainfall deficit for the year in many places.  The only exception to this is at the Shore, which is running above average in a belt from Atlantic City to LBI thanks to a conveyor belt of rainfall that has set up there a few times this summer.

Philadelphia is still over seven inches below average on rain this year, Trenton over five inches, and Wilmington over eight inches below average.  The percentage to normal has come up a bit since earlier in the summer...most everyone is 70% of normal or above (Wilmington is just below that) as rainfall since June 1st is much closer to normal if not above normal in spots (Atlantic City is three inches above average since June 1).    We're not really in a drought in our immediate area but we're still dry in a few spots and could use a "steady" diet of rainfall.  We don't need another August and September 2011 around here but normal for a while wouldn't be a bad thing, especially for Philly and Wilmington.  Yesterday, despite the intensity, was a nice and needed rainfall for Philadelphia.