Another Rainy Sunday: Philadelphia Braces for Fourth Consecutive Storm

16 December 2023

Meteorologists predict a more potent rain-and-wind storm, with potential flooding and gusty winds, to hit Philadelphia this Sunday.

If you thought last Sunday’s rainy weather was dreary, brace yourself for this Sunday’s forecast. For the fourth consecutive Sunday, Philadelphia is expected to be hit by a significant rain-and-wind storm, with the possibility of snow. Meteorologists have issued a flood watch for the entire region, warning of heavy rain, strong winds, and potential flooding in coastal areas. This storm, they say, will be different from the previous ones and could pose a greater risk of flooding due to saturated ground and the absence of tree absorption.

1. Saturated Ground and Runoff: Last Sunday’s storm helped alleviate the region’s precipitation deficit, but now the ground is saturated. With no warming sun to evaporate the moisture, the rain is likely to hang around. Additionally, the lack of tree absorption increases the risk of runoff, making flooding more likely during this storm.

2. The Timing: The rain is expected to start early Sunday afternoon and continue through the night into Monday morning. Gusty winds will accompany the rain, intensifying after sunset on Sunday and lasting through most of Monday. As the storm pulls away, it will bring in colder air, potentially leading to some snowfall. However, meteorologists assure that Philadelphia’s streak of no significant snow since January 2022 will remain intact.

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3. The Sunday Streak: Since the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Philadelphia has experienced a streak of rainy Sundays. Out of the total rainfall of just over four inches, more than three inches have fallen on Sundays. This pattern could be influenced by the robust El Niño warming in the tropical Pacific, which generates upper-air winds favorable for coastal storms.

4. El Niño’s Impact: Although El Niño impacts are typically observed later in winter, the recent storms align with the weather pattern associated with this phenomenon. The seven-day storm cycles are not uncommon due to the spacing between atmospheric waves that transport weather systems across the country. Meteorologists expect this pattern to continue, but it may break next Sunday, which coincides with Christmas Eve.

Conclusion: Philadelphia residents should prepare for another rainy Sunday as a more potent rain-and-wind storm approaches. The saturated ground and absence of tree absorption increase the risk of flooding, while gusty winds will accompany the heavy rain. Although the streak of rainy Sundays may be related to El Niño, meteorologists assure that the impact of this phenomenon will become more evident later in winter. While the streak may continue, the chances of a white Christmas in Philadelphia remain slim. As the city braces for another storm, residents can only hope for a “miracle” if they wish to see snow on Christmas Day.

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