Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Update On Flood Watch & Rainfall Totals

Officially, Philly has picked up 0.90" of rain through 5 AM this morning. Compared to some totals in Chester and New Castle Counties yesterday (three to four inches plus) and compared to parts of New Jersey last night and this morning (more on that in a minute), it's a relative walk in the park at the Airport in terms of rainfall. That said, rainfall totals have varied a fair amount event in relatively close proximity.  While Philly has yet to crack an inch, Northeast Philly (20 miles away) has over two and a quarter inches of rain so far and Wilmington (30 miles away in the other direction) has almost as much rain as Northeast Philly.  Northeast Philly has been hit by several waves of rain between yesterday and last night (with an inch of rain falling both Monday and so far today) but the biggest soaking so far from our current pattern has been in Ocean and Burlington Counties in Jersey.

Doppler radar estimates of over four inches of rain are common in rural areas of Ocean County and Burlington County in New Jersey (the big red bullseye over the Pinelands near Chatsworth).  It's possible some five inch amounts will be reported out of this area later on this morning once weather observers call in their totals from last night.  Thunderstorms that moved up the coast last night were rather slow moving, drenching the Shore and Pinelands through the night as they lifted north.

This general area has been hit a few times this summer with heavy rainfall events.  One earlier this summer brought three to five inches of rain to areas just south of Chatsworth (down towards Galloway) so in terms of rainfall "hits" this is one place that keeps getting in on the insanity and has been a focal point for the most rainfall in any event.  Not sure what is specifically causing this area to be a focal point -- it's not a traditional focal point such as the areas north and west of the Fall Line that have often been the "big winner" in rainfall events.

Some locations will get five inches of rain in the coming days and with the potential for heavy rains to continue into Wednesday, a Flash Flood Watch has been extended through 8 PM Wednesday evening.  In the case of the Chatsworth area in Jersey, some may already have reached that five inch mark.