March 09, 2016
Spring has sprung, at least in meteorological terms.
But will it last?
A record-high temperature was set Wednesday in Philadelphia as the mercury climbed to 82 degrees at 2:47 p.m. at Philadelphia International Airport, thrashing the previous record of 73 degrees for the date in 2000. The forecast high for Wednesday had been 77 degrees.
In addition to Philadelphia, temperature records were tied or set the previous records from 2000 in Atlantic City, Trenton, Allentown and Reading by 1 p.m., the National Weather Service said.
It was the earliest day in a calendary year with a reported temperature "greater than" 80, and the second-earliest 80-degree day. The temperature reached that mark on March 8, 2000, according to the weather service.
Records may fall again Thursday, which could be the warmest of day of the week – with temperatures again near 80. Record temperatures for March 10 were set in 2006 in Philadelphia, Trenton and Atlantic City (all 76 degrees), and Reading and Allentown (both 75).
The winter warmup is courtesy of a high pressure system anchored off the southeastern United States, which is expected to remain in place through Thursday. A cold front is expected to move through the area late Thursday night and Friday morning.
Friday's high looks to moderate, to around 67.
Federal meteorologists have reported that the winter season just ended was the hottest in U.S. records, thanks to the combination of El Nino and man-made global warming.
The average temperature for the Lower 48 from December through February — known as meteorological winter — was 36.8 degrees, 4.6 degrees above normal. It breaks the record set in 1999-2000.
Last month was the seventh warmest February. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist Jake Crouch said a super-hot December pushed the winter to record territory. The fall of 2015 also was a U.S. record.
Records date to 1895.
Here's the seven-day National Weather Service forecast:
Partly cloudy, with a low around 56. Southwest wind 5 to 9 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Light southwest wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the morning.
A chance of showers after 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 58. Southwest wind 6 to 10 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. North wind 8 to 11 mph.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 42. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Partly sunny, with a high near 63.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50.
A chance of showers after 8am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 63. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.