ROUND ONE DOESN’T PACK MUCH OF A PUNCH
Following a rainy Tuesday, where the entire Tri-State area saw on-off showers throughout the day, another round of rain will move in Friday.
This round of rain will be more short-lived, and light as it passes by the area.
Here’s a look at one model's projection for the passing rain:
The rain should come in late afternoon from the southwest, and exit in the overnight. Notice the light greens—that indicates it isn’t heavy. This is the same rain that will pass Washington D.C. earlier in the day Friday, leaving Inauguration Day a bit soggy.
BUT THE NEXT STORM COULD BE A KNOCKOUT
The next system is still several days away, and as a result, certainty cannot be as high. That being said, it’s looking more and more likely a strong storm will pass us Sunday afternoon through late Monday. The result? A very wet forecast.
Here’s a look at the same model from above on Sunday evening.
The deeper greens suggest more steady rain. The heaviest rain comes Monday. Take a look at the oranges and yellows surrounding the region:
The storm center is the red ‘L’ you see. It will pass to the south of New Jersey over the ocean, but the winds around a storm’s center are typically very strong. Even down at the ground. By Monday, the heaviest rain will pass and high winds are forecast. Gusts may be above 40 mph, with the highest winds near the Jersey Shore and Delaware beaches.
With rain from Sunday afternoon to Monday night, some areas may see high rain accumulation. Check out the Weather Prediction Center’s forecast for rain totals from the storm:
The map shows forecast rain totals from Saturday evening (that’s 00Z SUN) through Monday night (00Z TUE). It has portions of New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Delaware under the turquoise, light purple and purple colors. That’s the range between 1.25” and 2”!
So, while this storm will need to be monitored—it could slow down, or not cut quite as close to us—it’s looking to be much more impressive than Friday’s evening rain.
For now though, that leaves us with quite a rainy period! Check out the total week long forecast for rain across the I-95 corridor from tonight through next Wednesday night.
That’s A LOT of rain! The reds over New Jersey, Delaware and Southeast Pennsylvania represent the range of 2.5” to 4”.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR DROUGHT CONDITIONS?
Well, recently we’ve seen a few periods of rain and snow across the area. That’s helped us locally, and helped basins around the Northeast. In fact, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) just announced they lifted the basinwide drought watch.
But, that doesn’t mean drought conditions are entirely put to bed. While the watch is lifted, areas are drier than they should be.
“Although upper basin reservoir storage has rebounded in recent weeks automatically ending the drought watch operations, other indicators such as groundwater levels, stream flows, precipitation, soil moisture, and local reservoir storage have not all recovered,” said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini. “As a result, various state-issued drought watches and warnings based on those indicators remain in effect across most of the basin.”
Actually, according to the Drought Monitor, a government agency that works with the US Dept. of Agriculture and NOAA, still has New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware under various levels of drought. Parts of New Jersey see the worst, with the northern half under the “Severe Drought” level. Delaware fairs best— the southern half is not under drought and the northern half is only considered abnormally dry. As for southeast Pennsylvania? The zone is mostly classified as Moderate Drought.
The next round of rain should continue to assist with the drought conditions across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. More on this in the week to come!