The good news is the Mummers’ feathers will be safe; they will strut in dry conditions. The bad news is New Year’s Eve is going to be on the wet side, so bring an umbrella if you plan to watch the fireworks.
According to the latest National Weather Service hourly forecast, the rain is expected to start around 2 p.m. Monday and will continue into the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.
The weather service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for areas north of the city, including Bucks County and western Montgomery County, for locally heavy rain that could trigger localized flooding.
But the skies will clear overnight and it will be almost springlike — but windy — New Year’s Day.
It should be about 58 degrees under partly sunny skies when the Mummers Parade begins at 9 a.m., heading to a high of about 61, according to the weather service’s hourly forecast.
“It looks like it will be fine for the parade,” Leo Dignam, the parade director and assistant managing director for the city, said Sunday.
There will be two major pyrotechnics displays over the Delaware River on New Year’s Eve to help ring in 2019 — one at 6 p.m. and another at midnight. Both shows will last about 15 minutes.
Rain totals in the immediate forecast are expected to be about a half-inch to an inch, with most of it falling Monday night, said Mike Gorse, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly. Some gusty winds are forecast for the marine area but will generally be below gale-force strength. No tidal flooding is expected, he said.
That forecast is the polar opposite of last year, when the “feels like” temperatures reached only into the single digits and crowds for the 2018 Mummers Parade mostly stayed home.
“It won’t be anywhere near that this year,” said Gorse, who was a real sport Sunday, given his own gloomy predicament. The National Weather Service is one of the departments that has been affected by the partial government shutdown. Some employees, including meteorologists, have been deemed essential and must still report to work but are not currently being paid.
The Philadelphia region has been flirting with the record for the wettest year on record. (Data are kept dating to 1885.) It appears that 2018 won’t be breaking the record, but will finish in the No. 2 position.
As of Monday morning, 60.92 inches of rain has fallen in Philadelphia, short of the record 64.33 inches, set in 2011.
Other parts of the East Coast have already broken their precipitation records for the year.
In Washington, the annual rainfall record was surpassed on Dec. 15 when 61.34 inches of rain had been measured for the year, surpassing a record of 61.33 inches set in 1889, NPR reported.
New Jersey might be next.
NJ.com reported last week that the Garden State was 0.65 inches away from the all-time record of 63.95 set in 2011.