Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Record-lows hit region

Record-low temps already set; storm could disrupt Thanksgiving travel

Story Highlights
  • Chilly temperatures are expected to remain for most of the week
  • Thanksgiving and Friday should be dry but chilly with expected highs of 35 and 38 degrees.
  • The record low for Nov. 25 was broken this morning with the temperature of 20.

The week is getting off to a record-cold start in Philadelphia.

The chilly temperatures are expected to remain for most of the week, with the exception of a brief mid-week warm-up. But, that rise in temperature comes as a storm makes its way through the mid-Atlantic, bringing the potential for rain, snow and sleet that threaten to disrupt pre-Thanksgiving travel.

The mercury at Philadelphia International Airport reached just 32 degrees Sunday, the coldest ever maximum temperature for the date. The temperature beat the previous lowest high of 34 degrees, set in 1956 and 1938, according to the National Weather Service.

That temperature was 21 degrees below the normal high of 53 and the lowest high temperature at the airport since Feb. 17, which also had a high of 32. 

More coverage
  • Philly declares 'Cold Blue' emergency
  • Forecasters: Nor'easter could disrupt Thanksgiving travel
  • And another record has already been set this morning. The mercury dropped to 20 degrees, the record low for Nov. 25. The previous record was 21 degrees, set in 1965.

    The rest of the day isn't expected to be much warmer, with the weather service calling for a high of 35 degrees. That temperature would be 18 degrees below average for the date.

    Tuesday and Wednesday should be warmer but still cooler than average, with forecasted highs of 44 and 50 degrees, respectively.

    But the weather those days could cause havoc for Thanksgiving travelers, as a nor'easter is expected to hit much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Heavy rain is expected at times, particularly Tuesday night and Wednesday during the day, with snow and sleet also possible in some areas.

    "There have been likely 300 better getaway days since Thanksgiving started than this Wednesday and Wednesday night," a weather service forecast discussion says.

    Temperatures are expected to plunge again Wednesday night, with an overnight low of 28 degrees forecasted.

    Thanksgiving and Friday should be dry but chilly, the weather service says, with expected highs of 35 and 38 degrees.

    Despite the recent cold snap, the temperature in Philadelphia this month has been close to normal.

    The average temperature for the month thus far is 47.6 degrees, 1 degree below normal, according to the weather service.

    The average high for the month has been 56 degrees -- which is the normal average high for November over the past three decades.

    Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

    Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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