July 23rd, 2023 (Sunday)
Berks enjoyed a perfect summer weekend with temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s and dew points hovering around 60. The sky was mainly clear with afternoon fair weather cumulus clouds developing, as shown in the webcam image below. This was a well received break from the recent string of humid and stormy days. It doesn’t get much better then this for mid to late July and for perspective it was 12 years ago on July 22nd, 2011 that Berks set its all-time high temperature of 106 °F (CW4113 recorded 103 °F). The station recorded its all-time record heat index of 118 °F on this same day.
The short term outlook is seasonable temperatures with a slight chance of thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday. By midweek heat and humidity will build and temperatures will peak in the mid to upper 90s by Friday. We are expecting heat indexes well over 100 at this time and probably due for such a stretch. The station’s high heat index for 2023 is currently 103 (July 15th), which is quite far from the 118 in 2011. A frontal boundary is expected to approach for next weekend possibly bringing some relief and rain.
July 9th, 2023 (Sunday)
Large areas of Berks received torrential downpours resulting in record rain totals. There were many reports of flash flooding throughout the county. The storms appeared to be training over the same area fed by the warm moist air. The NWS described the event: “Deep moisture and up-slope flow in a rather unstable environment resulted in very heavy, convective rains focusing on eastern PA into northern NJ much of this afternoon, where 3 to 5 inches of rain fell over a broad area, with locally higher amounts.”
Update: Some official and unofficial totals courtesy of Lincoln Park and CoCoRaHS network: Five Points: 9.16, Pricetown: 8.19, Blandon: 7.97, Fleetwood: 7.94, Sinking Spring: 7.62, PSU Berks: 7.35, State Hill: 6.71, Frush Valley: 6.61, Muhlenberg Park: 6.45, Lincoln Park: 4.38, Mohrsville: 3.66, New Morgan: 3.58, Lyons: 3.10, Alburtis: 2.95, Fleetwood 4.8 ESE: 2.70?, Hamburg: 2.50, and Mohnton: 1.33
The station’s official total was 5.55″ crushing the month of July daily record of 3.23″ from July 5th, 2007. The previous July 9th daily record was 0.43″ from 2015. The maximum 1-hour rainfall was 2.31″ with a peak rate of 9″/hr, which is still well short of the station hourly record of 3.10″ from June 1st, 2007. The Reading Airport’s 5.35″ smashed the old daily record of 3.74″ from 1952.
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July 8th, 2023 (Saturday)
Friday marked the second day of torrential T-Storms in Berks. The storms on Friday hit more of the north and eastern sections of Berks unlike Thursday. The station, CW4113, recorded 0.18″ of rain however areas such as KRDG (2.39″), Wyomissing (2.21″), Laureldale, and center city Reading received 2 to 3″ of rain in a short period. The last drought update had Berks in a D1 drought watch, but rain over the last week should alleviate the very dry conditions.
The July 8th drought map shows 3 of the 4 Palmer indicators have gone green for Berks. Ground level values are still low but they are slow to recover. The official conditions are updated every Thursday and this week’s storms may not have been widespread enough to end the drought. We may be upgraded to abnormally dry, but it’s too soon to tell. As of Saturday CW4113 is still 5″ below normal for yearly rainfall.
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