Monday, May 25, 2015

Ice-o-metric: Near record temperature swing

That predicted 50-degree drop would be a rarity.

Ice-o-metric: Near record temperature swing

The period of weather records in Philadelphia is one of the longest in the country, encompassing over 50,000 days dating to 1872.

Temperature swings are part of the cost of doing business in the North Temperate Zone, but if your body is slow to respond to thermal shock tomorrow, be forgiving.

Given today’s official high of 59, if the forecast holds up and the temperature drops to 8 or lower officially at Philadelphia International Airport, that would constitute a rarity.

Only four times in the period of record has a day-to-day temperature difference exceeded 50 degrees.

The reigning champ would be the tandem of March 28-29, 1921. The high on the 28th was 82, and the low the next day, 25. That’s a 57-degree spread.

Finishing a close second – Feb. 10-11, 1885, 56 to 0; winning the bronze, March2-3, 1972, 77-25, followed by Jan.  2-Jan. 3, 1979, 63-12.

The record for a Jan. 7 in Philadelphia is 7, in 1988. The all-time lowest temperature remains 11 below Fahrenheit, on Feb. 9, 1934.

For those wondering whether the planet is suddenly cooling, the average temperature in Fairbanks, Alaska, are running about 15 degrees above normal this month – 26 degrees above yesterday, when it got all the way up to 24.

Obviously, Fairbanks leading export these days is Arctic air.

Inquirer Weather Columnist
About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

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Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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