With the mild temperatures and rainy weather, people may think they’re living in the Pacific Northwest right now, but winter as people know it in central Pennsylvania is making a brief, but cold appearance in the form of frigid temperatures tonight.
“Overnight lows tonight are going to be around 15 degrees,” said John Banghoff. “But, the big story here is the wind chill, which will be in the single digits overnight into the early-morning hours Saturday.”
The reason for the cold temperatures is the result of an Arctic front moving through the area with high pressure overhead.
“This is allowing some air from Canada to push its way into Pennsylvania,” said Banghoff.
Despite the frigid temperatures tonight however, the cold temperatures will be short lived, according to Banghoff.
“It is going to warm up pretty quickly,” he said. “High temperatures will be in the mid-30s Saturday, and temperatures Saturday will be in the mid-40s.”
Unlike the month of January, cold shots of air with frigid temperatures are not likely to last long as spring moves closer.
“As we move into (late) winter and into spring, the shots of cold air will be relatively short lived,” said Banghoff.
Other than some chances for flurries today, it will be quiet on the precipitation front this weekend as well.
“The next big weather maker doesn’t move into the area until next Tuesday or Wednesday,” said Banghoff, noting this particular weather system will “likely be on the rainy side of things.”
Which brings up another reason why the weather feels more like the Pacific Northwest as opposed to the Northeast — the lack of snowfall.
Though there aren’t any official observations from Huntingdon County, Banghoff noted that State College, thus far this winter, is the fourth in the least amount of snowfall, with records dating back to 1892.
“The average snowfall up to this point in State College is around 24 inches,” he said. “So far this winter, State College has only gotten 9.4 inches.”
Just because there hasn’t been a lot of snowfall in the forecast, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a lot of moisture.
“It has been the trend at this point, with slightly above-average temperatures and above-average precipitation,” said Banghoff. “But, there’s a chance that could change, but right now, there’s not a persistent ridge pattern that allows for the possibility of cold air to come in, but it’s certainly up in the air right now, but there’s not as strong of a signal (for change) has there was in the beginning part of winter.”