By Steve Strouss
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The temperature on Monday, in Philadelphia, climbed to a balmy 60 degrees but the thermometer took a nose dive on Tuesday to the lowest value since 2005. In fact, the mercury dropped to a record low of 4 degrees Tuesday morning during the peak of the Polar Vortex. It has been a roller coaster week in weather since and the ride is not over. Commuters were forced to negotiate icy surfaces this morning and numerous accidents were reported as freezing rain, and snow snarled traffic. If you are traveling overnight to the Lehigh Valley or Poconos, a Freezing Rain Advisory is in effect in these locations until 4am where a few hundredths of an inch of ice may accumulate. Despite cloudy skies, a few showers, and locally dense fog elsewhere, temperatures will rise overnight. By Saturday afternoon, the high temperature in Philadelphia will climb to 62 degrees or 22 degrees above the avg. high temperature of 40.
Along with the surge of mild air on Saturday comes gusty winds, heavy rain, and a Flood Watch. An intensifying storm system in the Midwest will bring 1-2″ of rain to the Delaware Valley and the rain will be heavy at times into Saturday afternoon. The combination of recent ice jams and impending rain runoff could lead to flooding along area rivers and creeks and poor drainage flooding and ponding is likely on vulnerable highways and streets. There is also a threat for a thunderstorm Saturday afternoon as a potent cold front pushes through. Winds will be strong and could gust past 30 mph especially later in the day and at night. Once the front passes, conditions will remain windy but skies will clear and there will be a good amount of sunshine as high pressure settles in on Sunday. Monday will be sunny and nice but we are already watching our next storm system which will bring us rain on Tuesday. By Wednesday there is a chance of snow showers as a quick moving low develops along the coast. We will have to watch this one closely to determine its significance but right now it looks like a nuisance.