Local Forecast Discussion

Nearing record low temperatures again tonight before the cold eases up a bit for the latter half of the week

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TONIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy and quite cold. Low: 19

THURSDAY: Not as cold with a mix of clouds and sunshine. High: 45

THURSDAY NIGHT: Some cloudiness; a touch of rain or drizzle south and east. Low: 26

 

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We’re currently amidst a taste of January-like conditions as an arctic air mass has firmly established itself across the region the last 24 hours. High pressure, which originated from Canada, moved towards the region from the west today leading to ample sunshine, but a bit of a pressure gradient between that high and a cold front offshore made for northwest winds gusting over 20 miles-per-hour leading to wind chills well down in the 20s and even some upper teens. Temperatures were at record levels in several cases with Allentown tying the record low of 18 degrees set back in 1996, Reading reached 19 degrees topping the original record low of 21 degrees set back in 1976, Philadelphia reached 23 degrees topping the original record low of 24 degrees set back in 1996, and Trenton reached 21 degrees topping the original record low of 23 degrees set back in 1920. Afternoon high temperatures only reached the mid 30s, about 20 degrees below normal for this time of the year, and as of 3:30pm Wednesday, Allentown had a record cold high temperature for the day at 35 degrees beating the original record cold high of 36 degrees set back in 1995, Mount Pocono had a record cold high of 22 degrees beating the original record cold high of 26 degrees set back in 1942, Philadelphia was tied for the record cold high of 35 degrees originally set back in 1911, and finally Trenton had a new record cold high of 34 degrees beating the original record cold high of 36 degrees set back in 1986.

High pressure moving overhead tonight will allow winds to really lighten up while some high clouds move in from the west thanks to a weak clipper system and upper level trough moving into the Great Lakes. Thanks to just a little bit more cloud cover tonight, low temperatures will likely not get quite as cold as they did Tuesday night, but we should still drop into the upper teens to around 20 degrees which will be near record levels, but probably not any colder than record levels. High pressure will move off the coast for Thursday allowing our wind direction to become more southerly. This southerly component will aid in making our afternoon a little warmer compared to Tuesday and Wednesday, but we’re still only talking highs in the mid 40s which is still about 10 degrees below normal for this time of the year. An upper level trough swinging through will provide the region with just a little more cloud cover compared to Wednesday, but by-in-large it will be a dry day with just a very low chance for a flurry in far northern areas. Winds will also be lighter compared to Wednesday.

A small area of moisture trying to work up the Eastern Seaboard Thursday night may bring a brief shower or a period of some light rain or drizzle to parts of southern New Jersey and the Delmarva, but this moisture likely won’t make it any further north and west from there. Most can expect just a bit of cloud cover which will aid in warmer overnight low temperatures in the mid 20s. Friday will turn out mostly sunny again with temperatures continuing to climb. A southwesterly wind component will help push afternoon highs back closer to seasonable levels around 50 degrees.

A dry cold front moving through Friday night into Saturday will deliver another shot of colder air for the weekend, but this time it will be a glancing blow as the core of the cold remains to our north over Upstate New York and New England. Canadian high pressure will build by to our north over the weekend. Expect mostly sunny skies on Saturday, but high temperatures dip back into the upper 30s with that grazing shot of cold. Clouds increase on Sunday as a low pressure rides up the East Coast into early next week, but likely remains far enough east and off the coast to keep most of the rain to our east as well. Shore points will have a better chance of a little rain later Sunday into Monday with rain chances decreasing the farther inland you travel.

Temperatures for most of next week look to return to seasonably cool levels, with highs mostly in the low 50s starting Tuesday as we get a break from the repetitive early season cold shots of late. We may see a shower or two moving into the middle of next week as an upper level trough swings through the area, but other than that, there should be plenty of dry times with a mix of sun and clouds.

Have a good night and stay warm!

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