Snow, yes, snow reported in Pa., North Jersey; freeze coming to Philly

It didn’t close any schools, but for 10 or 15 minutes on Election Day afternoon Harrisburg became a poor man’s winter wonderland.

So reports our intrepid Statehouse reporter, Angela Couloumbis, who says that it didn’t stick to anything and that the precipitation quickly returned to a prosaic cold rain.

Not far away from her desk, however, it did stick. An inch was measured near Rockville, Dauphin County, the National Weather Service reported, and a half-inch at Marshalls Creek, Monroe County. Wet snow also was reported in North Jersey.

Temperatures up that way were in the mid- and upper 30s, said Ray Kruzdlo, the staff hydrologist at the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, and the flake sightings have been confined to the 1,100- to 1,800-feet level.

Still, the sight of a “snowfall map” on the weather service homepage was something of a cold slap in the face given the remarkably mild fall that has seen record temperatures throughout the Northeast.

A December-like chill is forecast for Thursday and Friday with highs not escaping the 40s.

And the first official freeze of the season at Philadelphia International Airport is due Saturday. By that we mean an official reading of 32 or lower.

While traditionally the first freeze is associated with Halloween, that hasn’t been the way of the atmosphere in the 21st century.

Only once has the temperature hit 32 in October – that was in 2011. On average it has occurred on Nov. 14.

It’s tempting to indict global warming, but we caution that the date has shown tremendous variation through the years.

In the 1960s it was arriving by Oct. 25; in the 1930s, and in the first decade of the 20th century, Nov. 16.