Right in sync with the arrival of the solstice, the atmosphere have given parts of the region classic summer soakings during the weekend, with as much as 4 and 5 inches reported Saturday and more dousings on Sunday.
No major flooding has been reported, but downpours late Sunday prompted the National Weather Service to issue flood advisories for parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County and one for Cherry Hill, Camden, and other Camden County towns.
And the possibility of showers shows up in the outlooks every day through Thursday. “Some of the storms may produce locally heavy rainfall, which may lead to an isolated instance of flash flooding,” the weather service said.
The government’s Storm Prediction Center has placed Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania collar counties under a “marginal risk” for severe weather Monday, but most of the day is expected to be dry.
It’s that time of year when the temperature contrasts that drive steering currents weaken, and — like the rest of us — the atmosphere tends to slow down and what happens sometimes tends to keep happening.
“It’s definitely has that kind of feel to it,” said Jonathan O’Brien, a weather service meteorologist in Mount Holly. “The past few days have been very stagnant. The winds for several days have been very light.”
And the air has been swollen with water vapor.
In Sewell, Gloucester County, 3.5 inches of rain — that’s a month’s worth for June — was measured Saturday; and 3 inches in Washington Township; and the weather service said that up to 5 inches had fallen elsewhere.
O’Brien said isolated amounts of 4 or 5 inches might had fallen elsewhere.
At one point Saturday, about 6,000 PECO and PSE&G customers were without power Saturday, including the Wegman’s Market in Cherry Hill, where the weather service reported pea- to dime-size hail.
The weather service said that a weak upper-level storm was centered over eastern Pennsylvania, and the moisture was getting a boost from light winds from the southeast.
As often happens once the summer sun went down, thunderstorm activity shut down as the heating source went to bed.
The solstice did arrive at 5:43 p.m. Saturday, as scheduled, marking the beginning of the astronomical summer.