February began with a seasonably chilly and sunny day on Wednesday, and another should follow for Groundhog Day on Thursday. Of course, Punxsutawney Phil will make his prediction for the rest of the winter this morning. Our forecast handles the next seven days, which will feature a brief but potent shot of arctic air Friday into Saturday, then a quick return to mild weather for most of next week. After well below zero wind chills Friday night, highs will be right back into the 40s and potentially flirt with 50 degrees by Wednesday. Snow chances remain slim to none, as they have much of the winter so far. Even rain chances are fairly low going forward, with a pair of mid-week cold fronts potentially bringing some light rain showers our way sometime between next Tuesday and Thursday. So regardless of what Phil says, it's been an easy winter so far, and besides a quick shot of late week cold, it doesn't look to get any harder for the foreseeable future.
Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow this morning. Expect a partly sunny and seasonably cool day, with highs inching up a few degrees from Wednesday and topping out around 40 degrees. A southwest breeze around 10-15mph will keep it feeling like the 30s through most of the daylight hours. Skies become mostly cloudy and it turns breezier later at night as our arctic front approaches. A snow shower or squall will occur in some locations late tonight into very early Friday morning which could bring a quick coating to an inch of snow in a few spots.
FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT
Here comes the coldest weather we've seen since Christmas, although it won't quite get as cold as it did during the holiday weekend in late December. Expect an arctic front to slide through early Friday morning, with tumbling temperatures the rest of the day despite skies becoming partly to mostly sunny. We'll start the day in the mid 20s, then fall slowly and steadily through the 20s through midday, and into the teens by afternoon, then single digits overnight. Wind chills will drop below zero Friday night and stay there Saturday morning, perhaps as cold as 10 to 20 below zero in the Poconos. West to northwest winds around 15-20mph will gust over 30mph Friday into Friday night, and deliver the short-lived but intense shot of cold.
It's a cold and sunny day to start the weekend, and while we'll wake up to temperatures between 5-10 degrees, the arctic air will already begin its retreat later in the day. Granted, it's still a cold day, the likes of which we haven't seen since late December, with highs only in the low to mid 20s. But a southwest breeze around 10-15mph will begin warming things up later in the weekend. In fact, while daytime temps will be in the 20s on Saturday, nighttime temps will also hold steady (if not rise) through the 20s as the milder air starts to make its presence felt.
SUNDAY INTO NEXT WEEK
This incoming arctic blast won't be quite as cold as our Christmas one, and won't last as long either. In fact, we should be back with highs above 40 degrees starting Sunday, and remain there most of next week. Expect a mostly cloudy, dry, and milder Sunday overall, with highs in the low 40s, a good 10 to 20 degree improvement from the previous two days. Highs will remain above 40 degrees throughout the week, although we'll have to watch a few fronts for some modest temperature shifts and also the chance of some light rain showers, centered between Tuesday and Thursday the way things look right now. However, no big storms or additional cold blasts are in sight.
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