By Steve Strouss
The high temperature in Philadelphia climbed to 35 degrees Thursday. This is the first time the mercury climbed above freezing after 65 consecutive hours under the grip of the Polar Vortex.
Despite the thawing temperatures, a Freezing Rain Advisory goes into effect overnight for most of the Delaware Valley, excluding southern DE and eastern NJ. A warm front will quickly lift across the region early on Friday and light precipitation will move in from the west. Although the system is weak and fast moving, a trace amount of ice may accumulate on area roads and that could create slippery conditions on untreated surfaces for morning commuters. As temperatures climb above freezing in the city, by 9 a.m., any ice will melt. Across northern areas like the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos, a coating to half an inch of snow may accumulate before temperatures warm enough to change any frozen precipitation over to plain rain. High temperatures Friday will climb into the low 40s.
Meanwhile, a Flood Warning remains in effect for parts of Mercer and Bucks County along the Delaware River, because of the ice jam. Minor flooding has been occurring in Trenton and Morrisville but a Flash Flood Watch has also been posted downstream of these locations because the backed up water may flow quickly once the jam breaks.
As we head into the weekend, temperatures will soar to near 60 degrees on Saturday but we will need to keep the umbrellas handy, because there will be heavy rain at times Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Rain amounts will generally be around an inch in Philadelphia but higher amounts, up to two inches, are possible North and West. We will have to keep an eye on area rivers and creeks, because there could be some flooding due to the combination of recent ice jams and runoff from this impending storm.
As we head into Sunday, high pressure settles in and dries us out. Winds Sunday could gust to 30 mph as the storm pulls away and temperatures will level off near 50 degrees. The start to next week looks breezy and mild with some sunshine.