Hot-ober high

Wed­nes­day in Le­high Val­ley was warm­est day on record for this month

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Stephanie Si­gafoos and Jac­que­line Palochko

Wed­nes­day didn’t seem des­tined to re­write the record books, but now it will of­fi­cially go down as the warm­est Oc­to­ber day on record in Le­high Val­ley his­tory.

Al­len­town recorded a high tem­per­a­ture of 93 de­grees at midafter­noon at Le­high Val­ley In­ter­na­tional Air­port. The heat in­dex, a mea­sure of how warm it feels when com­bin­ing the air tem­per­a­ture and rel­a­tive hu­mid­ity, was 95 de­grees.

The area’s record high tem­per­a­ture for Oct. 2 was 92 de­grees, set in 1927, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice. Wed­nes­day’s tem­per­a­ture is the warm­est Oc­to­ber day at the air­port since records be­gan in 1922.

Com­pared to other cities in the re­gion,

Al­len­town was fash­ion­ably late to sum­mer’s go­ing-away party. By 1:38 p.m., Read­ing, Tren­ton, Philadel­phia, At­lantic City and other lo­ca­tions had al­ready reached record daily highs, the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice tweeted.

The un­sea­son­ably hot, hu­mid weather dom­i­nated across the South, the Ohio Val­ley and into the mid-At­lantic, even as folks in the North­west were dig­ging out from an un­prece­dented win­ter storm.

Robert Deal, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist at the weather ser­vice’s of­fice in Mount Holly, New Jer­sey, con­firmed the tem­per­a­tures were pretty rare.

“[Al­len­town had only] four days on record at 90 or above in Oc­to­ber,” Deal said. He listed highs of 92 de­grees on Oct. 2, 1927, and Oct. 5, 1941. It reached 90 on Oct. 5, 1951, and on Oct. 8, 2007.

The jet stream — a cur­rent of pow­er­ful winds that drives weather sys­tems across the coun­try — was the cul­prit. It typ­i­cally locks in cold air to the north and warmer air to the south, but on Wed­nes­day things were wonky. The jet stream ap­peared to form an “S”

The weather ser­vice said it best — “what a dif­fer­ence a day will make.” By the time most peo­ple wake up Thurs­day, tem­per­a­tures should be in the low to mid-50s and won’t budge much through­out the day.

shape, al­low­ing cooler air to in­vade the western half of the coun­try and trop­i­cal air to push up from the south.

As a re­sult, nu­mer­ous states were ex­pected to see tem­per­a­tures soar some 10 to 25 de­grees or more above av­er­age.

Re­lief is ahead as the pat­tern flips

The weather ser­vice said it best — “what a dif­fer­ence a day will make.” By the time most peo­ple wake up Thurs­day, tem­per­a­tures should be in the low to mid-50s and won’t budge much through­out the day. The ex­pected high is 59 de­grees, with low clouds keep­ing things pretty dreary.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice doesn’t keep records on the dif­fer­ences in tem­per­a­tures from one day to the next. But me­te­o­rol­o­gist Sarah John­son said that in the fall and spring, known as the tran­si­tion sea­sons, it’s not un­heard of to see dra­matic swings in tem­per­a­tures like Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day.

Me­te­o­rol­o­gists an­tic­i­pate a de­crease in clouds for Fri­day and mostly sunny con­di­tions to pre­vail Satur­day. Both days will likely fea­ture tem­per­a­ture readings that are typ­i­cal of early au­tumn, and lows may get into the mid-30s on Satur­day morn­ing in the Po­conos. How­ever, there may be enough wind to pre­vent wide­spread frost.

Tem­per­a­tures are ex­pected to re­bound and push back into the 70s on Sun­day, but the weather ser­vice says fore­cast guid­ance sug­gests rain on Mon­day. Mod­els are hint­ing at the po­ten­tial for mod­er­ate to heavy rain­fall, which should cause no is­sues here in the Le­high Val­ley con­sid­er­ing the re­cent dry con­di­tions.


Matt Pfeif­fer, of Heller­town, holds his son, John, 3, while they en­joy the last bit of warm weather on Wed­nes­day at Dim­mick Park in Heller­town.

John picks up a leaf that has fallen from a tree.

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