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Record rainfall

Published October 15. 2011 09:01AM

Friday's rainfall throughout the state was nothing out of the ordinary.

In fact, gauging from the number of soggy days we've seen over the last two months, it was par for the course.

August and September were the wettest months on record in Allentown, according to the National Weather Service.

It's too early to tell what the second half of October will total but so far it's been a pretty wet month and more heavy rain may arrive next week.

"The atmosphere has been showing increased volatility over recent days with a strengthening storm aiming for the Northeast," said Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist with Accuweather. "However, another potentially much stronger storm for the same region and other areas is forecast to come about later on."

September's record rainfall totalled 12.99 inches, topping the record of 11.57 inches that fell in 1999.

During August, 13.47 inches of rain was measured at the Lehigh Valley International Airport, topping the 12.10 inches set in 1955 when back-to-back hurricanes named Connie and Diane drenched the region and caused deadly floods.

Since Sept. 1, a total of 14.78 inches of rain fell in the Lehigh Valley, more than doubling the average amount of 6.56 inches.

So far this year, a whopping 59.93 inches of precipitation has fallen, which is 23.60 inches above the normal average of 36.33 inches.

The September total at Allentown was considerably higher than the state's total of 9.71 inches, which was enough to shatter records going back 117 years.

Most of the rain was produced by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee which set off flooding throughout eastern Pennsylvania on a scale not seen since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

For the first time in its 157-year history, the Bloomsburg Fair was cancelled because of damages caused by the flooding.

The combined rain that fell in August and September totaled 26.46 inches, which is nearly 10 inches more than the record of 16.94 inches established back in 1933.

September was the ninth warmest on record in Allentown, with a temperature average of 67.3 degrees. The warmest ever was 1961, when temps averaged 70.8 degrees.

There were two days in September when temperatures reached or exceeded 100 degrees. In 1966, the temperature hit the 100 degree mark four times.

According to the National Weather Service, developing systems will bring a good chance of rain into the region on Wednesday, but computer models are still differing on the tracks the systems will take. Showers are likely Wednesday and Thursday.

In 1977, snow shovels were needed early when five inches snow fell on the Panther Valley area on Oct. 16.

According to The Farmers Almanac, the first serious snow will fall in the area on Dec. 8.

The Almanac predicts this winter will be stormy and cold because of the La Nina phenomenon, but snowfall totals during the year will be considerably lower than last winter.

On the other hand, if you rely on the thick coat of the wooly caterpillar, we're in for a nasty winter.

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