Thursday, April 15, 2010


Looking upstream on the Delaware Canal a mile below Yardley PA. Portions of the canal are now holding water thanks to the extensive flood restoration that is nearing completion. When the Delaware Canal is operational it's primarily supplied with water from the Lehigh River, which joins the Delaware River at the Forks of the Delaware in the City of Easton. That's where the Lehigh Canal ends and the Delaware Canal begin

The Delaware River is back to a normal flow (long-term median); indeed at Belvidere it’s a little below normal for this date.

The weather has been streaky that way for many moons. Frequent and/or long lasting storms punctuated by glorious weather. Lately the glorious mode has been dominant.

And the reason for the Delaware’s long descent to somewhat below normal is the more sudden crash of many of the Pennsylvania tributaries like the Broadhead Creek, which is a few hundred cfs below the median. That’s the result of the unseasonably hot, dry windy weather we enjoyed.

The mighty Lehigh too is well below normal, a full 1000 cfs below at Bethlehem.

Down in the land of Triassic shale the Tohickon is at a summerlike trickle of 55 cfs, barely half the median flow for Tax Day.

On the Jersey side of the river, tributaries like the Flatbrook and Musconetcong River are near or slightly below the median.

The difference between the overall flow of the two states' tributaries is expressed in the rainfall distribution from the last nor’easter, which hammered the coast with up to 15 inches in some places, but only gave the Poconos and westernmost PA piedmont a paltry few inches by comparison.

And that’s the way it is. And as usual, changes are on the way.

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