By Kate Bilo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — April’s volatility is on display today as a strong cold front puts an abrupt end to the summer-like warmth we’ve enjoyed over the past four days! This strong system has been a change-maker for much of the nation, even bringing accumulating snow to areas that had been enjoying sun and warmth just hours earlier. For us, the system is mostly a wind and rain event, though some of us could see some snowflakes before the night is out.
Through the remainder of the evening, we’ll endure pockets of showers and thunderstorms, some with locally heavy rainfall. This will slow traffic on area roads and lead to ponding, as much of the area will end up with around .50-1.00″ of rain. Several flood advisories have been issued already in the wake of heavy showers, in portions of western Chester and New Castle counties. In addition, winds will be strong, especially in any thunderstorm. Parts of the area may feel winds gust over 40 mph this evening.
The cold air is firmly in place behind the front, and anyone outdoors this evening will feel the rapid drop in temperatures as the front comes though. Temperatures today reached the upper 60’s and near 70 degrees, but by midnight we’ll already be in the 30’s with some spots outside the city dropping into the 20’s overnight. Because the cold air will arrive in the upper and mid levels of the atmosphere before it reaches the surface, the rain may end as a brief mix or even a period of wet snow before the front moves all the way out. We aren’t expecting any accumulation, because the surface will stay above freezing until after the departure of the precipitation, but it’s certainly an indication of the type of cold that will follow this strong front.
With sub-freezing temperatures tomorrow morning, a Freeze Warning has been issued for the area. If you have any cold-sensitive plants outdoors, you may want to consider covering them or moving them inside to ensure no damage. Things will freeze up rapidly overnight, but because the winds will stay strong, we aren’t expecting a widespread black ice threat.
Temperatures will moderate through the rest of the week, and we can expect to be back in the 60’s by the Easter weekend, so at least that’s the good news – the cold won’t be with us for all that long.