When the Eagles and Minnesota Vikings meet Sunday, temperatures are going to be just about normal — for an April day in Minneapolis. In the meantime, however, they are going to feel like January in Philadelphia, with a dash of snow for atmosphere.
A major atmospheric pattern flip is coming, meteorologist say, but before it arrives temperatures are going to be near the normal high of 40 on Tuesday and remain in the 30s the next two days, and 1 to 3 inches of snow could affect the Wednesday morning commute.
The Tuesday morning commute could continue to be a problem along the Delaware River near Trenton, as an ice-jam flood warning already in effect will remain in place until 1 p.m. The river was near flood stage — 20 feet — late Monday, forcing "multiple closures" along Route 29 in Trenton, the National Weather Service said. Pennsylvania towns affected included Yardley and Morrisville.
Areas just to the north and west of Trenton experienced 1 to 3 inches of rain on Friday, and all that water found its way into the Delaware, said Valerie Meola at the weather service office in Mount Holly.
If the long-range forecasts are correct, the region is about to see the ice harvest diminish, if not disappear, and the weekend might feel like a change of seasons.
While a great deal of talk has centered on how the Vikings — whose home field is protected from the atmosphere by a billion-dollar dome — will fare outdoors, Sunday's conditions aren't looking particularly challenging.
The forecast high is 53 — that's normal on April 7 in Minneapolis — with sunshine, and the field should be dry and unfrozen.
The only precipitation in the extended forecast is that light snowfall late Tuesday into Wednesday.
A winter-weather advisory is in effect for the outer regions of Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties for up to 3 inches, with 2 expected in Philadelphia.
But with the ground and paved surfaces so cold, even a light snow could affect the evening rush Tuesday in some areas and the morning commute on Wednesday.
However, it appears that the Vikings are arriving just in time for a substantial winter thaw.
Temperatures will struggle to get past freezing Wednesday and Thursday, but could hit 40 on Friday, and reach well into the 40s on Saturday.
The longer-term outlooks see no return of Arctic air for the rest of the month as high pressure builds over the East.
With the pattern flip, the entire East is forecast to have above-normal temperatures in the two-week period.
Halfway through a month in which temperatures have averaged 6.4 degrees below normal in Philadelphia, "I think that will keep people happy," Meola said.
Meanwhile, the region continues to run a significant precipitation deficit, even though snowfall is about twice normal.
Just over 3 inches of rain and melted snow and sleet have fallen since Dec. 1, almost 2 inches below the long-term averages.