‘Major’ flooding possible along the Delaware Friday night, forecasters say. But Halloween should be a treat.
The river is expected to crest just below the record level at Washington Avenue. It gets better: Trick-or-treating weather should be ideal Sunday.
Another stormy disruption is under way, and the National Weather Service is warning of “major” flooding along the Delaware River in Philly Friday night, with a near-record crest that could lead to some road closings.
At the Shore, where wind gusts reached 60 mph, a warning is in effect for “moderate” flooding during the late-afternoon high tides. in Philadelphia gusted to near 35 mph and near 45 mph in Delaware County Friday morning, and Peco was reporting about that about 4,800 customers had lost power.
Heavy rains are possible into Friday evening, with perhaps 1 to 2 inches,but flooding along the Delaware would be more related to the hangover from the upstream deluges earlier in the week.
The gauge at Washington Avenue is forecast to reach 10.5 feet around 9 p.m. Friday, perhaps 2 to 3 feet above ground level, and just shy of the record crest, 10.6 feet, higher than Ida’s. The National Weather Service flood warning is in effect until 1 a.m. Saturday.
Fortunately, all of this should be out of the way by Sunday, and after masquerading as June on occasion, October will be going out as itself on Halloween, with ideal weather for trick-or-treating.
Temperatures are expected to be around 60 degrees around the witching hours Sunday — almost precisely where they should be on an Oct. 31 — with the skies sufficiently cloud-free to allow the sun to cast its farewell light on the foliage.
(Sorry, no moon, unless you want to wait up until 3 a.m.)
“You couldn’t ask for a better day for Halloween,” said Valerie Meola, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
» READ MORE: Is it OK to go trick-or-treating during the pandemic?
It certainly will be superior to Friday, which would be ideal for removing leaves from clogged storm drains.
The Shore was experiencing some minor tidal flooding on Thursday, and the Delaware River rose to the “action stage” at Trenton, just shy of the flooding trigger levels. The weather service posted an advisory for minor flooding in effect until 11 p.m. Thursday for areas to the south on both sides of the river.
The flood threat will persist the next few days, said Kate Schmidt, spokesperson for the Delaware River Basin Commission.
The strongest winds — basically an air sandwich generated by high pressure to the north of the Philadelphia region interacting with approaching low pressure — and the heaviest rains should back off by late Friday night.
Rainfall for the month, 4.18 inches, already is well above normal, but the temperatures have been the signature feature.
» READ MORE: Philly temperatures are soaring and nights are extra warm. And what’s with all the clouds?
The temperatures have gone above 80 on four different days, and the 78 on Oct. 25 set a record for the date. Through Wednesday, at 64.9, official readings at Philadelphia International Airport were running 6 degrees above normal — and were higher than the average temperatures for May.
By the time Halloween night is over, this likely will have become one of the five warmest Octobers in records dating to the 1870s.
» READ MORE: Fall is getting warmer in Philly. Here’s what that means for trees, ticks, and birds.