Record warmth is coming Saturday, along with 45 mph winds and maybe strong storms
The Storm Prediction Center even lists an outside chance of brief tornadoes.
For a day that in all likelihood will produce record-high temperatures throughout the Philadelphia region, Saturday is looking remarkably unpleasant.
The National Weather Service has posted a wind advisory for gusts to 45 mph, and the government’s Storm Prediction Center even lists a remote chance (2%) of a tornado.
“It’s going to be pretty intense,” said Michael Silva, a lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly. “It’s going to be windy pretty much all day.”
Temperatures are due to approach 70 in Philadelphia, which would be five degrees above the record for a Dec. 11, set in 1971, and the weather service expects records to fall throughout its service area, which includes Wilmington and Atlantic City.
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Readings are due to pass 50 degrees shortly after daybreak Saturday, followed by a rapid pickup in winds gusting to 40 mph by early afternoon, and past 45 mph after nightfall.
That front would be attached to an unusually strong storm centered well to the north of Philadelphia. As it moves eastward, the region will experience warming winds from the south, part of the counterclockwise circulation around the center.
When the front passes, winds will abruptly shift and blow from the colder northwest. On Sunday, highs will be in the mid and upper 40s, close to seasonal normals, with winds gusting past 30 mph.
However, anomalous warmth is due to return during the workweek, and the Climate Prediction Center’s extended outlook has temperatures above normal through Christmas Eve.
AccuWeather has temperatures just a shade above the long-term averages Christmas week, and no snow — or anything else — on Dec. 24 or 25.
One thing is certain: It won’t snow on Saturday. “It doesn’t look like it,” said Silva.