Will It Rain During the Papal Weekend? | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Will It Rain During the Papal Weekend?



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    Pope Francis departs from Washington, D.C. en route to New York City on September 24, 2015 in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.


    A week ago, I wrote about the rain chances for the Papal Weekend in Philadelphia. Some computer models showed rain moving up from the Southeast U.S., while others kept us dry. And after some time off, what do I return to? As the Four Tops once sang: “It’s the Same Old Song." The players are the same, and none have changed “teams." 

    As it was a week ago, the main U.S. computer model, the GFS, continues to show rain now from North Carolina to Florida moving up the coast for at least part of the weekend. The Canadian model is similar. Now that we’re closer to the event, the shorter-range models come into play. The NAM (another U.S. model) not only shows rain for Sunday-it shows heavy rain. But “Team Rain” is in the minority, and has not become more impressive with time. If anything, it has backed off a bit over the past couple of days. 
    Here is a forecast map from the NAM for Sunday afternoon. It would suggest a steady rain, possibly heavy at times:

    Yes, the sports metaphors continue (forever, in my case). The other side of the computer model forecasts already has the top star in the game (the European model), and continues to add to their already impressive roster. On board now are the UKMET, the SREF, the RPM, and two others I haven’t mentioned in previous blogs: the JMA (Japan) and the NAVGEM (new U.S. Navy model). All show the southern moisture staying to our south. Well, at least south of Philadelphia. Southern Delaware and extreme South Jersey are still a close call.
    Here is the NAVGEM forecast for Sunday afternoon:

    That’s not even CLOSE to what the NAM shows. Just how different can those two maps be? It’s not like we’re a week away from Sunday. The NAVGEM keeps the rain farther south than any other model I’ve seen, but you get the idea-HIGH pressure just off the New England coast remains strong enough to hold off the southern moisture. It’s not a sure bet, but the odds-makers (me) have increased the point spread even more on the side of “DRY." There are about a million or so people who are rooting for that team to win, so they get to stay dry for the Papal weekend.
    The Forecast:
    Saturday: mostly cloudy and breezy. High 75. Chance of rain 10%
    Sunday: mostly cloudy and breezy. High 75. Chance of rain 20%
    One more update comes Friday…..