The type of brisk and bone-dry northwesterly winds that gusted past 30 mph on Saturday are not that unusual around here — at least in January, and certainly not on the day after it hit 96 in Philadelphia.
“It’s really the sort of thing you expect in the winter months,” said Jonathan O’Brien, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly. Afternoon temperatures Saturday were a good 20 to 25 degrees lower than they were on Friday, and 10 degrees or so below normal.
And early on Sunday, the official reading might make a run at the record for the date, 53, set in 1946. Daytime highs are expected in the mid-70s, and if the forecast holds, this would be the chilliest June 19 in Philly in over 50 years.
The only thing arguing against reaching that record low would be the wind, said O’Brien. When winds are calm, surfaces surrender their daytime heating more readily. “It’s going to be close,” he said.
The region is caught in one of those winter-like air sandwiches, with low pressure centered over the Canadian Maritimes, and high pressure due to build into the Ohio Valley. Together they are combining forces for strong winds from the northwest: Winds circulate clockwise around the centers of high; counterclockwise around low centers.
This is a typical setup after a winter storm passes northeast of the region and cold high pressure builds in from the northwest.
“It’s definitely not a pattern that we’re used to seeing this time of year,” O’Brien said.
Sunday should be virtually a “carbon copy” of Saturday, he said, although the winds should slacken. Monday temperatures will remain several degrees below normal — in the mid-80s — but summertime-like warmth is expected to return Wednesday and continue through the workweek.
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In the meantime, this is not the best swimming weather for those at the Shore for Father’s Day and the Juneteenth holiday weekend, which continues Monday, the legal holiday. The surf temperatures off Atlantic City were just shy of 60 Saturday afternoon, a few degrees below normal.
“It’s almost too cold for the beach this weekend,” O’Brien said, “but nice for other outdoor activities.”
But the Shore still should be a good place to chill.
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