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Winter Weather Isn't Finished Yet, but Big Spring Warm Up is (Finally) on the Way

by on March 25, 2014 6:05 AM

So far this year, spring looks and feels suspiciously similar to mid-February.

We've been getting a raw deal -- as in raw temperatures, blustery winds and yes, dare we say it -- snow.

The folks at AccuWeather are calling for a bit more snow Tuesday evening. But at least we shouldn't get very much.

"If we get more than a coating of snow it will shock the heck out of me, says Jack Boston, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather. "It might snow pretty good for ten minutes or so. It will be cold enough there might be some slippery travel Tuesday night."

For those keeping score at home, here's how this past winter stacks up, snow-wise.

The snowiest winter in recent years was 1993-1994 when we had 109.1 inches of snow.

In 1995-1996, the year of the January blizzard, we had 95.7 inches of snow.

1992-1993 -- 90.2 inches

2002-2003 -- 83.6 inches

2003-2004 -- 67.5 inches

2013-2014 -- 52 inches

So while it felt like the snow never stopped, this past winter was nowhere close to being the snowiest winter in the past two decades. That said, it was the snowiest winter since 03-04, so it's been ten years since we got this much snow.

The bigger issue is the temperature. "This winter the average temperature was 5.2 degrees below normal," says Boston. But he adds, "The winter of 93-94 was 6.6 degrees below normal, so that was colder."

Everybody (yes, me too) complained about the cold last winter and it was consistently cold. But believe it or not, only two low temperature records fell all winter long. On Jan. 6 we hit a record low of nine below zero. On Jan. 7 it was a record eight below.

On Monday, the low for State College was 16 degrees. The high was 32. If you thought it felt cold for March you were right. The normal high for this time of year is 50 degrees, so Monday was 18 degrees colder than normal.

However, in historical terms it wasn't so bad. The record low for Monday March 24 is three degrees below zero, set in 1896.

On Tuesday, Boston predicts a high around 36 degrees with a low of 20 Tuesday night and it gets worse. "Wednesday, we think the arctic air mass that's coming in is even colder. Wednesday's high probably stays below freezing."

But then, there is a glimmer of hope. "We're looking at some improvement by the end of the week," says Boston. He expects temperatures will get back to 50 on Thursday.

It will be even warmer on Friday with a high around 58, although we could see some showers.

We're in for a weekend warm-up with highs of 51 on Saturday and 58 on Sunday. Boston says Monday is the day you'll want to play hookey. "I'm thinking maybe 64 or 65 with partly sunny skies," he says. "It will really feel like spring on Monday."

We may see some cooler temperatures later next week, but nowhere near as cold as the air mass that's over us right now. Temperatures could sink into the 40s. "Wednesday (of next week) may be the coldest day we see until maybe next winter," says Boston.

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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