By Steven Strouss
Since the start of 2012, dry weather has spread across much of the Northeastern United States. Rainfall deficits have climbed above 5″ in our area but in some cities such as Boston, MA the rainfall deficit has already exceeded 7″.
Here is a list of rain deficits in our area since January 1st:
Reading, PA: -5.73″
Philadelphia, PA: -5.43″
Allentown, PA: -5.20″
Wilmington, DE: -5.19″
Atlantic City, NJ: -4.77″
Trenton, NJ: -4.69″
Specifically, since January 1, 2012 only 5.55″ of rain has fallen in Philadelphia, about half of what we typically receive by this point.
The lack of precipitation combined with the low humidity has prompted the National Weather Service to issue Fire Weather Watches and Reg Flag Warnings almost every day during this past week. Numerous acres have already been scorched by wildfires in the region and just a few days ago, Philadelphia sadly lost two firefireghters battling blazes which were exacerbated and spread by the dry, windy weather.
To make matter worse, there is no significant rain in sight. So much for those April showers. The next several days will be warmer but not wetter. In fact, there has been less rain in Philadelphia this month than in Bakersfield, CA which ranks among the top ten U.S. driest cities.