September 17, 2012
After a beautiful stretch of weather where many Midstaters spent a majority of time outdoors in the last week or so, things will take a turn tonight and tomorrow. A soaking rain will move in overnight and continue throughout Tuesday with a few gusty thunderstorms potentially mixed in too. The good news is that the end of the week will offer more sunshine with near normal temperatures and dry conditions.
The Storm Prediction Center has put the region in a "Slight Risk" for tomorrow for severe thunderstorms and potentially damaging wind gusts. While tomorrow will be breezy and even gusty at times, I'm not so sure the severe weather will be the main concern. Nonetheless, here's the risk area as outlined by the SPC.
The main concern to me will be minor flooding issues with the volume of rain that is coming, not necessarily severe weather. The SPC is playing it safe just in case a gusty storm rolls through tomorrow and hence the "Slight Risk". I think areas north and east of the Midstate (New Jersey/Philly/New York) stand a better chance to see severe weather roll through late tomorrow. As for the flooding concerns, keep in mind that with the recent dry weather, we can handle what's coming tomorrow fairly easily. However, anytime you have a rain event like this one, it is always a good idea to watch small streams, creeks, and poor drainage areas just in case.
The surface features are posted above. We have gathering moisture ahead of the front in the Gulf of Mexico and the Southeast. The front is diving southward from Canada and strengthening as it does so. As it swings eastward, it will pick up all that southern moisture and lift it northward toward Pennsylvania. Showers should start in the southern counties this evening and most of the region will see a steady rainfall develop after midnight heading into the early hours of Tuesday morning.
I don't want to completely dismiss the severe weather threat altogether. PrecisionCast shows a nice line of heavy rainfall with embedded thunderstorms rolling through late tomorrow afternoon...just in time for the evening commute. While heavy rain will be the major weather player tomorrow, there could certainly be a storm or two that has damaging winds cause some problems. It's something we will be watching closely. Either way -- an ugly Tuesday is on tap for the Susquehanna Valley tomorrow.
The latest guidance projects about 2 inches of rain for the region and I think that is a safe bet. Most places should see between 1-2" with isolated locations picking up closer to 3". Last week helped with flooding concerns because it was a nice, long stretch of dry weather. However, with 2-3" of rain coming in some spots, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for minor flooding problems. Just be cautious...
The rest of the week looks sunny, dry, and near normal temperature-wise. We need the rain and after last week, we have been spoiled. Curl up with a good book tomorrow afternoon and stay inside. Enjoy!