The official high in Philadelphia on Monday, 60, fell short of the daily record, but the weather did quite a decent impersonation of April, and forecasters say February won’t act much like itself until the weekend — at the earliest.
Daytime readings will be above the long-term averages through the workweek, and it’s at least possible that the thermometer makes a run at 60 again Thursday night or early Friday. Overnight lows Tuesday and Wednesday will be above the average daytime highs. And rain, maybe lots of it, is in the forecast for Tuesday through Friday.
“It’s been a sad winter for snow lovers,” said Nicholas Carr, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Mount Holly, with a measure of understatement.
Punxsutawney Phil, the prognosticating rodent, might be on to something. In case you missed it, he failed to see his shadow Sunday, the folklore harbinger of an early spring.
Computer models are saying not so fast, suggesting hints of at least a modest transition to winter during the second half of the weekend and perhaps later in the month. Temperatures on Saturday will be close to where they should be, with highs in the lower 40s.
A smallish storm could pop off the coast and throw back some snow toward Philadelphia Saturday night into Sunday, a nuisance threat that likely wouldn’t bear mentioning in a normal February, said Dave Dombek, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc.
“There’s at least some potential,” said Dombek.
The government’s Climate Prediction Center has odds favoring above-normal temperatures through mid-month.
Dombek said computer models do suggest an intrusion of cold air thereafter.
“If you’re looking for winter,” said Dombek, “it’s just not here.”
Through Monday, the official seasonal snow total stands at 0.3 inches, or exactly 11 inches below normal, typically half the seasonal total. Based on climatology, this is the heart of the peak snow season in Philadelphia.
Said Dombek: “The clock is running.”