No record, but cold won't ease up
Punxsutawney Phil may have been spot on when he saw his shadow Feb. 1, predicting six more weeks of winter.
With the thermometer reading in the single digits once again Monday and Tuesday mornings - and possibly again today, plus a near miss of snowfall Sunday, it has many wondering, "when will it end?"
Probably not next week, said Craig Evanego, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in State College.
After a gradual warmup to the mid-40s by Saturday, temperatures may slide back below normal by the start of the next work week, as indicated by a medium-range weather model for the period between March 12 and 19.
"Temperatures look to rebound a little this week, but the medium range is still calling for below-normal temperatures," Evanego said Tuesday. "It does seem like we will stay cooler than normal."
Highs are lows
Cooler than normal may be an understatement.
The normal low for early March is 30 degrees, which, ironically, was closer to the high temperature of 29 degrees reached Tuesday.
At Harrisburg, an official climate station for NWS, the low temperature Tuesday was 10 degrees, just 2 degrees shy of tieing the record set in 1974. The record low for all of March is 5
degrees, set in four different years,
the most recent being 2011.
On the other end of the spectrum, the record high temperature for March is 87 degrees, set March 30, 1998.
Another online weather provider, Wunderground.com, listed 1 as the record low for March 4 in Coal Township, set in 1943. That record was fairly safe from Wunderground's reported low of 9 for Tuesday.
The chilly temperatures haven't done high school athletics coaches any favors. Baseball, softball and track and field teams began the spring sports season Monday by practicing in gyms. In fact, several inches of snow still remains on playing surfaces from a snowpack that's lasted for weeks. Today's temperatures aren't expected to speed things along. This morning, temperatures are expected to dip to around 10 degrees before rebounding to around freezing under partly sunny skies. Temperatures will slowly creep into the 30s through the week under mixed skies. The next chance of precipitation will be Saturday night, when a system is expected to bring snow or rain.
As for Phil's prediction, his six weeks are up March 15. Maybe then the weather will finally break.