Looking at the Schuylkill this morning at Norristown gave life to the concept of rock bottom, testimony to the exraordinary dryness that spread throughout the Midatlantic and Northeast.
The U.S. Geological Survey has the flow at 677 cubic feet per second, or about 22 percent of the median level. The water is so low that rocky have emerged in the river bed.
Chester County has declared a ban on open burning, as has Lancaster County, according to the William Penn Forestry District.
As we noted, based on records dating to 1872, the first 15 weeks of the year have been the second-driest such period. And, yes, it also was the warmest.
But the latest forecasts do hold out a strong possibility of significant rain during the second half of the weekend, perhaps something in the 1- to 3-inch range.
How long has it been since we've had rain that substantial? The last time Philadelphia measured an inch of rain was Feb. 29.
Right now it appears that most of Saturday could end up dry, with the rain arriving Saturday night and continuing into Sunday.
The forecast is not to be confused with a done deal, however. Last week, the models were looking at the substantial rain for the weekend this past weekend.