On top of everything else, 2020 will fittingly end with not one but two successive storms with the potential to dampen the costumes of any rogue Mummers on New Year’s Day.
The pair of systems heading into the Philadelphia region starting Wednesday night will bring days of off-and-on dreary, wet weather. Depending on their location, residents will see mostly rain, but those in the western suburbs could see a mix of freezing rain at times.
Regardless, it will be a gray, wet, chilly start to 2021.
“It’s not a very a pleasant situation coming up for us,” said Alex Staarmann, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Mount Holly office.
Though official rain totals aren’t in yet for 2020, overall it was a wet, warm year, Staarmann said. The average temperature for 2020, through Tuesday, was 58 degrees, or about two degrees above normal. Meanwhile, precipitation averaged 49.72 inches, or 8.28 inches above normal, with much of that coming from the remnants of tropical storms in summer and into fall.
The last two months were indicative of the trend, as both temperatures and precipitation ran above normal.
New Year’s Eve could be dry, Staarmann said, though it will be cold, as temperatures are set to drop just below freezing.
The next system moves in on New Year’s Day, bringing more rain into Philly, with freezing rain possible in the western suburbs, into Berks County, and, again through to the Poconos, before changing to all rain Friday night into Saturday.
Though Mayor Jim Kenney has canceled Friday’s Mummers Parade because of the pandemic, some Mummers are vowing to strut anyway, prompting a rebuke from the parade’s organizers.
But, on a positive note, there are already a few extra minutes of daylight compared with the Winter Solstice — and temperatures are expected to be above normal at the start of January.
Here’s the daily breakdown from the National Weather Service for the next few days:
Thursday: Rain likely before 8 a.m. with a high of 48. Though it could dry out New Year’s Eve, clouds will remain with a low of 31.
Friday (New Year’s Day): A chance of rain and sleet before 10 a.m., but then a near 100% chance of rain in the afternoon with a high of 40. Rain should continue overnight, with another half-inch possible.
Saturday: Possible showers in the early morning, before turning mostly cloudy and a high of 60. A chance of rain after 10 p.m.