NEXT WEATHER: Mild weekend then next weather alert for rain and snow
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – February has certainly gotten off to a mild start with every day so far being warmer than usual and it looks like that trend will continue through the weekend. However, once Monday arrives, the focus will shift to a storm system that will bring a change in the pattern and threat of snow to the area.
Saturday will get off to an unseasonably mild start with temperatures in the low 40s (closer to normal high temperatures) before temperatures warm up to near 60 degrees Saturday afternoon. A warm southwesterly flow ahead of an approaching cold front will bring temperatures about 15 degrees higher than normal despite a blanket of clouds across the sky.
Record high temperatures will likely fall in many places Saturday afternoon, although they are well above normal, a few degrees below the record high temperatures set on February 10. The record high temperature in Philadelphia is 65 degrees which will likely stay there with an expected high of 60 degrees. However, the temperature in Allentown is expected to reach 59 degrees which will break the record high temperature of 57 degrees.
As the cold front approaches Saturday afternoon, some scattered showers will be possible, but most of the area will remain dry throughout the day and into Saturday night. Once the cold front passes to the south, drier, cooler air will push in from the northwest for Sunday.
High temperatures on Sunday, although cooler than Saturday, will remain in the low to mid 50s and be about 10 degrees warmer than the typical high temperature for this time of year.
While most of the area will remain dry with a few peeks of sunshine Sunday afternoon, an area of low pressure will follow through Virginia which could bring a slight chance of a few showers to southern Delaware Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, another area of low pressure will begin to develop outside of Louisiana as it begins to move toward the northeast. Conditions will remain relatively mild as the system heads into Monday with temperatures in the upper 40s. By Monday night, rain will begin to spread into the area with snow likely moving through the Poconos Mountains.
There is still uncertainty about how much cold air will be able to mix with the growing precipitation as well as exactly where the center of the storm will track.
If the center of the storm system tracks north of the Philadelphia area, it will likely bring all the rain to the area, but if the storm’s track is a little more to the south, there will be more potential for snow through Tuesday morning.
Regardless of the finer details that will come into better focus over the weekend, the storm system will make for a chaotic ride Tuesday morning with periods of heavy rain, the potential for wet snow, and increased winds.
One limiting factor for snow accumulation across the Delaware Valley is a lack of cold air. Temperatures Tuesday morning will likely remain above freezing in the mid-30s before rising to near 40 degrees Tuesday afternoon as the rain winds down. Cold air north into the Lehigh Valley and Poconos will likely support not only snow but also snow accumulation.
With a better focus on the details of next week’s storm system, the CBS Philadelphia NEXT weather team has issued a weather alert for Tuesday due to possible rain and snow impacting the morning commute. Be sure to keep checking back with CBS Philadelphia online as well as on TV for the latest forecasts and details to help you plan.
By Tuesday evening, precipitation will be out of the area as dry air pushes in with gusty northwesterly winds. This will set the stage for a seasonally windy and cold Valentine’s Day Wednesday with high temperatures in the low 40s and low temperatures in the upper 20s.
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