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August Flooding

Atmospheric conditions have created a rainy pattern for much of the central part of the Northeast this month. Many areas in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey have experienced significant flooding throughout August, which has led to damaged homes, flooded streets, poor municipal water quality, and water rescues. Local government officials have toured areas impacted by flooding and workers have begun to clean up some of the inundated areas in counties that were placed in a state of emergency.


A map from August 15 (created by the National Weather Service) shows impressive one-day rainfall observations across New York and northern Pennsylvania.

One of the more unusual aspects about this amount of rain is that it was not associated with a tropical weather system. A stagnant atmospheric pressure pattern brought plenty of tropical moisture to the slow-moving storms over the Mid-Atlantic. Days of heavy rain led to overflowing rivers which caught many by surprise.


This image from the Darby Police Department in Pennsylvania shows just how deep the water was in some areas.

So far, August has already been a historically rainy month for parts of the Northeast. Rainfall totals surpassing those typically seen over the course of a few weeks fell in just a couple of hours or days in some of these locations. Receiving more rain in a day than what usually comes during all of August, Scranton, PA recorded 4.34 inches of rain on August 13. In Schuyler County, NY some areas also received a significant amount of rain in a short period of time. Hector, NY recorded 6.38 inches of rain from August 13-14 and then received another 5.15 inches during a 24-hour stretch ending August 15. Many locations in Madison County, NY also received over 3 inches of rain that day, with Earlville, NY reporting 4.77 inches of rain.

Precip records

Although August is not over quite yet, there have already been many rainfall records set during these past few weeks.