Winter seems to be coming hard and fast this year, as was evidenced by last week's snowstorm, which snarled commutes and was most known for the mysterious snow camel that popped up by a local highway.
While the heavier-than-expected snowfall is what made the Nov. 15 storm so difficult, this Thanksgiving, it will just be plain and simple cold weather causing problems. You also might have to break out the space heater to keep your pipes from freezing and bursting if they are exposed to cold and prone to freezing when temps dip down into the teens, as meteorologists are forecasting.
"An arctic air mass overspreads the region later this week, and there is the potential for record low temperatures Thanksgiving night/Friday morning," the National Weather Service Mt. Holly station announced on Twitter. "Highs on Thanksgiving will struggle to rise above freezing for many."
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The Nov. 15 storm brought 3.5 to 4.6 inches of snow across Philadelphia, estimated to be the highest snowfall in 65 years and the second-highest since 1884. Thanksgiving week is not expected to bring more snow, but it will bring temperatues below freezing earlier than usually is seen in the region.
Temps are forecast to slowly step down over the coming week, with a high of 48 and low of 32 during an expected rainy Tuesday. It will dip further to a high of 41 and low of 24 on Wednesday, and by Thursday, the high will be 27 degrees and the low is set for 19 degrees, forecasters believe. It could be even colder. Temperatures will start to climb back up the day after but stay freezing on Friday, with a high of 34 and low of 31 in the forecast.
After that, temperatures are predicted to go back up into the 40s.
The low of 19 degrees on Thanksgiving is not too far off from the record low in Philadelphia of 14 degrees set back in 1980 for Nov. 22. The record for lowest temp on Nov. 23 in Philadelphia was 10 degrees, set in 1880.
This winter isn't quite that cold, but the arctic air mass could drive temperatures even lower.
The first brush of snow last week hit the entire Northeast, stranding commuters and downing mass transit lines in cities across the region. In Philly, Regional Rail service was suspended across several lines, while outside the city hundreds of cars were involved in accidents or stranded on the roads.
No snow is in the forecast for Thanksgiving week just yet, but that could easily change.