Pennsylvania experiencing one of the most dramatic outbreaks of rain in a non-tropical storm setting

Although parts of the northeastern United States have already received record-breaking rainfall this summer, persistent rainfall and flooding are likely to continue.

“The weather pattern this summer is one of the most dramatic outbreaks of rain ever to hit Pennsylvania and other states in the region in a non-tropical storm setting,” AccuWeather’s Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.

The recent deluge has been on par with the type of rainfall that can be unleashed by a tropical storm or hurricane, Abrams writes.

For example, at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, Pennsylvania, 110.2 mm (4.34 inches) of rain fell on August 13, which shattered the old record for the date set in 1955 when Hurricane “Connie” moved northwestward across Pennsylvania. The location received more rain on August 13 than what typically falls in the entire month of August.

State College municipality has already recorded its wettest summer on record, Abrams continues, adding that Williamsport is likely to have two back-to-back months of record rainfall. Following the wettest July on record, the wettest August on record is on the doorstep, he said.

According to data provided by AccuWeather, it has rained on 44 out of 75 days this summer in State College. Typically, it rains one out of every three to four days in the summer. Since June 1, the municipality recorded 516.9 mm (20.35 inches) of rain, breaking the previous record of 488.4 mm (19.23 inches) set in 2003.

Since June 1, Harrisburg received 493.5 mm (19.43 inches) of rain. The normal for this period is 244 mm (9.61 inches). Since July 1, the city received 406.4 mm (16 inches) of rain. The normal for that period is 152.4 mm (6 inches).

Another record breaker is Elmira in New York where more rain fell in just 24 hours on August 13 and 14 than the city usually receives during the entire month of August (105.4 mm / 4.15 inches vs. 92.2 mm / 3.63 inches).

A quasi-stationary front extending from parts of the Northeast southward across coastal parts of the Mid-Atlantic into parts of the Southeast will slowly dissipate by Wednesday morning, August 15, NWS forecasters said.

Showers and thunderstorms will develop along parts of the Mid-Atlantic Coast into the Southeast and Eastern Gulf Coast through Wednesday evening.

In addition, an upper-level low over the Northern Mid-Atlantic/Northern Appalachians will slowly move northeastward off the Northeast Coast by Wednesday evening.

The energy will aid in producing showers and thunderstorms over parts of the Lower Great Lakes/Northeast and parts of the Northern Mid-Atlantic that will move off the Northeast Coast by Wednesday morning. 

A drier period is expected from Thursday, August 16 but late this week and into the weekend, another storm will push in from the Midwest.

This will be followed by another drier period early next week, followed by yet another storm by Wednesday or Thursday, August 22/23.

“There is the potential for next week’s storm to stall and create another flash flood concern,” Abrams said.

It still may be a ‘one and done’ scenario, but AccuWeather meteorologists are ‘concerned the slow-moving storm scenario may win out as that scenario has occurred multiple times this summer.’

Looking well into the autumn… river, small stream, lake and reservoir levels are likely to remain above average in a large part of the Eastern states, with the possible exception of parts of New England and northeastern New York state.

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Featured image credit: CBS

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