Drought is history as heavy rain, snow melt recharge rivers

Drought is history as heavy rain, snow melt recharge rivers.
But as the region enters a flood watch at noon Friday with rainfall of 2 to 3 inches — with the possibility of a localized 4 inches — projected by the National Weather Service, creeks could rise above their banks and rivers could reach into action levels and perhaps even hit flood stage, according to a WeatherWorks meteorologist.
The 18.3 inches of snow that fell in March in the Lehigh Valley "is kind of laying the foundation for the flood watch," Sam DeAlba said from the Hackettstown weather forecasting company.
March’s total so far is about a half-inch above normal, according to weather service figures from Lehigh Valley International Airport.
"Often times we do see these changes from a dry to a wet pattern," he said.
The Lehigh Valley is experiencing a normally wet spring, but the late-season heavy snow and the subsequent melt created "almost kind of like a building-block scenario" toward flood concerns, DeAlba said.
The heaviest rain on Friday likely will be to the south and east of the Lehigh Valley, but 1 to 2 inches is not out of the question, he said.
The weather service advises those in prone areas to "be prepared to take action should flooding develop."
And, as if to put an exclamation point on the changing weather patterns, March will be the just second month in the past 25 with a below-normal average temperature.
Tony Rhodin may be reached at arhodin@lehighvalleylive.com.

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